Now, the weird thing about plastic food you see in restaurant windows in Japan is not just that it looks completely real. It’s actually made in a way that mimics real cooking. Chefs chop and dice plastic vegetables and spoon plastic curry and rice onto real plates. They even put plastic pasta through a spaghetti machine and fry plastic tempura in oil.
I only wrote the the text for this particular story but I might have to go back to take photos some day!
The story below was for the ANA inflight magazine. Thanks to Tadashi Ikeda for the photo of your correspondent holding a plastic fish.
“The worktops are crowded with plates and bowls, chopping boards and knives. Jam jars full of colorful ingredients jostle for space with spoons, ladles and large tureens of liquid. Ovens stand here and there, and women in aprons bustle past carrying plates and trays. It could be any restaurant kitchen except, oddly, there is no smell of cooking.
In fact, this kitchen does produce food—but you wouldn’t want to eat it. Maiduru makes some of the plastic food models often seen in Japanese restaurant and cafe windows. Few people would dispute that Japan has taken plastic food to the level of an art form. These models don’t just look realistic; many are exact copies of a restaurant’s actual fare . . . ” [READ THE FULL STORY (PDF)]