Noosa de­signer’s hibachi grills are in de­mand around the world

Noosa Life and Style - - FOOD - MICHELE STERN­BERG

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.

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