Tadaku: Traveling the World Through Home Cooking
What happens when you take three energetic, food loving world travellers and put them together in Tokyo, the food capital of the world? The answer is Tadaku, a fast-growing new website that connects travelers and locals through home-cooked meals.
The word Tadaku is a contraction of the the Japanese phrase “itadakimasu,” meaning to receive. This phrase is uttered throughout Japan before every meal. The concept of Tadaku started as a way to engage travelers with local people in foreign destinations through the medium of cuisine. The original idea was that travelers would plan ahead by booking a home cooked meal with a local host. Connecting travelers and hosts in such a way allows a unique opportunity to delve into other cultures on a friendly and far more personal level. As the Tadaku website proclaims, it enables travelers to “cook real food with real people.”
The Tadaku website provides easy access to getting more out of your next overseas adventure. Book and pay ahead either in a group of your choosing or by joining other like-minded people. With hosts in 12 different countries, Tadaku is sure to have something to offer any traveler. Among the exciting destinations where hosts are available are Rome, Barcelona, Budapest and Nairobi. Some cities have more than one host, such as in Rome where there are three different hosts offering three completely different Roman food experiences.
But Tadaku is such a great idea that it works in reverse as well. Demand in Tokyo for Takadu’s services was so strong the founders decided to offer both home-based Japanese dinners and cooking classes to foreigners, as well as dinners and classes by foreigners to local Tokyo residents. Naturally, the results of the class are consumed in a happy and relaxed manner afterwards!
So far there are about ten hosts offering their services in Tokyo. Classes are available on a fairly casual basis, but usually four to five times a month. They are a fun way for locals and travelers alike to meet people not only from Japan, but from all over the world and to enjoy their interesting and delicious food. Tadaku is also an easy “foodie” adventure for visitors to Tokyo with limited time to pursue culinary experiences.
Tokyo’s hosts welcome travelers and residents alike into their homes, where they learn to make and eat such Japanese favorites as temaki (raw fish hand rolls), vegan Buddhist food, seasonal favorites like winter nabe (stew) and spring menus including light soups and fried lotus. Some of the hosts will happily accompany guests to Tsukiji market to purchase supplies. One of the nicest aspects of dining in this way is that the hosts each live in a different neighborhood of Tokyo, allowing guests a peek into a completely different side of Japanese life.