Don Panko
David de la Torre

Destiny linked me years back in time with Japan working for a group of Japanese restaurants in London, in which partly work and partly leisure, I had the chance or perhaps the “luck” to travel a lot to the country of the rising sun.

I have always been very minimalist, so when discovering Japanese culture my understanding of the expression “less is more” boost all over my head when I star discovering the tiny restaurants from North to South in Japan, specialising in just one dish or one type of cuisine, ramen shops, curry and udon counters in the train stations, sushi restaurants, nabe houses, etc.

Without being pretentious, but I must admit I have spent a serious % of my wages in food in Japan, something my tummy and me are really proud of, but I have enjoyed every single moment of it, and this is the bit my mum will be shouting at me for (all mum want their sons and daughters to save money), however I will face it and admit I will keep spending even more, life is all about food and I am determined to accomplish it with Japanese food.

Years ago all my Japanese friends started encouraging me to help other Japanese restaurants so I started my own consultancy company, which still remains a huge part of my weekly hours, where I get to meet real passionate people trying to make the best of Japanese food, but recently all my Japanese friends started encouraging me once again, but this time was different…

Gathering friends at home to watch some football and after a few beers and glasses of sake, what it started as a joke ended up challenging me to create a pop-up venture of one of my favourite types of Japanese foods, “Katsu”.

So it was about time I had to travel again to Japan for work, then I spend literally 10 days visiting Katsu shops and talking to chefs working on those restaurants and eating tons of it. It linked me with a great Japanese Chef, whom in pursuit of promoting Japanese culture overseas, wanted to teach me all the secrets. So I took a couple of months later some holidays and travel on purpose to Japan to meet this Chef and soak all is tricks.

Introducing Don Panko to London is very special, and the feedback I would like to gather in the pop-ups will determine the upcoming future of the concept, London is leading Europe in terms of culinary offers, and it is going back to the times, in which SPECIALIZATION is becoming more and more strong. We have learnt in the recent decades how industrialization and mass-production has helped bringing the cost down of things, however you can’t trick your palate, tasty things still require a human touch, human efforts and hard work, freshness is recognized immediately by all your senses.

Less is More

I have always been very minimalist, so when discovering Japanese culture my understanding of the expression “less is more”
David de la Torre
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