GRILL IN STYLE
Noosa designer’s hibachi grills are in demand around the world
YOU’RE probably familiar with teppanyaki or yakitori-style Japanese cooking, but there’s a newcomer in town – hibachi.
And Noosa furniture designer Phillip Jenkins has put his own twist on the traditional Japanese grill to create a turbo-charged cooking system that is elegant and practical.
The Hibachi Tabo uses special binchotan charcoal imported from Japan to ensure those same smoke-free cooking results are achieved.
“While travelling through Japan, I just fell in love with charcoal grilling. What it reveals is the true flavours of all the produce you cook on it,” he said.
Phillip said he found the hibachi – and his new design inspiration – purely by chance.
“One day Caroline and I went through these curtains, down two flights of stairs and to a cavernous area under street level. It was a restaurant. No one spoke any English, the prices weren’t even in numerals.
“We sat down and a hibachi was placed in front of us. We started with cabbage, and pointed as other things went past. They kept serving us more sake and more produce. It was a memorable experience.
“I’ve taken the original design and really expanded it. I have wrapped ceramic bricks, which is the main component of the Japanese grill, wrapped them in stainless steel, added stainless steel legs and timber handles and as such it’s just totally turbo charged the design.
“We can actually cook on a glass table – it’s the only one of its kind in the world.”
A typical meal would be a course served at a time and, while its not a large grill area, up to 10 people can be cooked for.
“If you compare it to grilling over a gas barbecue, you’d never use gas again because it just strips all the flavour from your food.
“Plus, I’ve added extensions and an oven hood so you can bake, roast, smoke and steam... I’ve baked bread, cooked roasts, legs of lamb, chickens, fish, all sorts of things.”
Every hibachi grill he makes is personally signed and numbered, making it “a forever piece, something you can hand on to your grandchildren“.
Above: Fifteen Degrees by Design's Hibachi Tabo and (top right) designer Phillip Jenkins hard at work.