The city of Hachinohe is famous throughout the country for its seafood, and one of the best chances to try some of the freshest seafood while also enjoying the innovative creativity of the city’s finest restaurants is during the Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festival.
The Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festival is a relatively new tradition in the city of Hachinohe that takes place every winter from February to March. The event first began after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami as a way to reinvigorate and promote the local fishing community.
For the festival, various restaurants and hotels design their own unique rendition of the classic French dish of bouillabaisse. The catch is that the chefs of these establishments must follow two rules:
(1) The bouillabaisse dish must be prepared with at least four different types of seafood from the Port of Hachinohe. Additionally, locally grown vegetables should be used to the greatest extent possible.
(2) Each restaurant must prepare a secondary dish that utilizes the soup of the bouillabaisse in an original way to create a subsidiary dish.
Following these guidelines, the chefs of the city take a quintessentially French dish and use their skills and creativity to create food that celebrates Hachinohe and its community. Different restaurants ranging from Italian to traditional Japanese to Portuguese, utilize their unique influences to produce dishes that are as delicious as they are interesting. The event has grown in scope and popularity, and is now one of the most anticipated culinary events of the year in the Hachinohe Area.
The 2021 Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festival