HOME > CONCEPT > The Island Meisters Project
Francesco Bellissimo Meets the Seto Inland Sea

Island Meisters: Pursuing Excellence and the Truly Unique

Countless islands adorn the tranquil Seto Inland Sea. The sparkling seawater, plentiful sunshine and mild climate result in rich harvests from land and sea and a wealth of unique products. Certain islanders have poured their passion and dedication into developing unique island products. We call such people ?sland meisters∑ The ShimaShow project aims to share the attraction of the Seto islands through these master artisans and their handcrafted products.   Local island meisters respect the skills and culinary traditions that have been passed down carefully for generations. To these, they bring an original perspective and innovative ideas, pride and single-minded purpose, to develop special products. It is this constant drive for excellence and for the authentic that results in true originality.

Spotlight on the Meisters! Sharing the region’s charms with the world.

Francesco Bellissimo, Italian chef and gastronome, acts as our guide to the creative genius of the island? culinary artisans and their original products. Francesco, who left Italy at the age of twenty-one and spent the next decade in Japan, shares the discoveries he made in his encounters with each island meister. The Seto Inland Sea region is known as Japan? Aegean and Francesco recounts the similarities he sees with Italy as well as the region? uniqueness. As a culinary expert, he offers a fascinating perspective on each master? life work.   Most Japanese remain ignorant of the countless charms to be found on the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. The passion and skill of island meisters and the delights of local culinary culture as presented through Francesco? eyes represent new discoveries for Japanese people, too. The Island Meister Project introduces the superior quality of the Seto Inland Sea area through master artisans, showcasing their world-class skills, pride and dedication to excellence as well as the rare gems they produce. We see this project as a bridge between the islands and the world, as a means of attracting vast numbers of people who love this region and who appreciate its unique products and the craftsmanship of the masters who create them.
Francesco Bellissimo
Born in Rome, Italy. Italian culinary expert, designer, columnist. Bellissimo acts as a bridge between Japanese and Italian culture. His mission is to realize innovative ideas in the realms of Italian fashion, sports and tourism. He hosts cooking shows and demonstrations, gives lectures nationwide, and is a TV celebrity, magazine columnist, and cooking teacher. Bellissimo values people and approaches all his endeavors with humility and dedicated effort. President of Cucina Bellissimo Cooking Team, president of the Italian Cooking Association in Japan (membership of 18 restaurants) and president of Roma Club Giappone, the official A.S. Roma supporters club in Japan.
Official website: http://www.bellissimoyoshi.net/