About Me

“There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other’s cooking & say it was good.” -Storypeople

There is something transcendent and transformational about cooking. Through stepping into a grocery store, finding the perfect ingredients and combining them, one can create a dish that somehow reaches beyond the plate to bring you to a new place. Or perhaps an old place full of memories and comforting feelings. Since I was very young, I have spent many hours in the kitchen. My mom’s southern influence (she is originally from Tennessee) has helped to shape some of my cooking, along with travels to Europe, South America and most recently, Asia.

My experiences over the years have helped me develop a collection of recipes that convey all aspects of my experience with cooking. From licking cookie dough from the spoon after making chocolate chip cookies with my dad (while he wasn’t looking of course!) to learning how to identify and cook with Japanese ingredients, these recipes tell a story. I hope that through Tokyo Terrace my stories allow me to share my love of food with all of you.

Doin DishesLittle Rachael...

Living in Japan for the past 3 years has presented many challenges that have helped to increase my creativity in the kitchen. The grocery stores and restaurants, even the kitchens, are completely different and somewhat difficult to get used to. It is exciting to learn about a culture that is so far from my version of “ordinary” while also learning how to create some of my favorite foods in new ways.

Without the endless support of my family, friends, and most importantly, my husband Brad, this blog would not be in existence. It has become a treasured record of the discoveries I make about the food culture in Japan, while also introducing new relationships that have only increased my love of the culinary world. I hope you find this blog insightful, interesting, and most important- deliciously inspiring!


For more information on contacting or following Tokyo Terrace, click here.

  • angiesappetite

    Hey Rachael! Just found your blog! Can’t wait to read more about your life in Japan. Love the photo with the wine glass!

  • http://thesophisticatedgourmet.blogspot.com/ Kamran Siddiqi (The Sophisticated Gourmet)

    You mentioned that the kitchens are completely different… Could you give us a tour one day?

  • tokyoterrace

    You read my mind, Kamran! I am planning to write a post about my own kitchen that will appear in the next couple of days!

  • http://thesophisticatedgourmet.blogspot.com/ Kamran Siddiqi (The Sophisticated Gourmet)

    I guess you could say great minds think alike. :D

  • Amanda Bartholdi

    ahh, very cool blog site! I love my food as well so keep the blogs acomin’!

  • BBQ Grail

    I lived in Japan for two years in the early 70’s as a “navy brat.” Your posts brought back some wonderful memories.

  • tokyoterrace

    Have you been back since the 70’s? I’m sure it is a much different place now… Tokyo is always growing and changing! Thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.eatlikeathena.com Amber

    Hey Rachel,

    You asked on twitter …
    I really liked your old header… it is really stylish!


  • tokyoterrace

    Amber: Thanks for the response! I think I’m going to have to change it…I like the old one too :)

  • Rebecca

    Me three

  • http://memoriediangelina.blogspot.com/ Frank

    Very impressive blog! The photography is superb-are you a professional? Not to mention the recipes, which look delicious…

  • http://cocktailsat80.blogspot.com AlchemistGeorge

    I’ve been reading your cocktail Friday posts, and I’d like to encourage you to explore Japanese spirts – mugi shochu (barley shochu) is a mild flavored japanese style vodka – the older/more traditional imo shochu (sweet potato) has an off-putting smell, but is slowly evolving into an artisanal spirit. Another is umeshu – plum ‘wine’ – this is all over the map – it can be sweet or very sour (like umeboshi), it can be plums infused in shochu or sake, or it can be plums fermented into wine. Its the kind of thing that everybody’s auntie in gunma-ken makes according to the family recipe.

    And then there is sake, over the past 15 years reishu (sake made to be drunk cold) has really become an art form.

  • http://www.culinary-quest.com Jules

    I lived in Narita/Tokyo area for 4 years (10 total in Japan) – am looking forward to your posts. I still miss it!

  • http://www.eleanorhoh.com Eleanor Hoh (WokStar)

    Hi Rachael
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such an encouraging comment, much appreciated.

    Your blog is beautiful, I’m “following” you on Twitter.

    You are so lucky to be living in Japan! They do everything in such a precise manner. So, I am honored you like my simple, one-dish wok meal concept.

    I am not very disciplined about posting but after watching “Julie” juggle a fulltime job, cook and post every day, I’m fueled, must let her know.

    I have TONS of photos from my trips to Penang and Singapore and will work on them. There, now it’s out in blogosphere, it will force me to commit.

  • http://www.butwinickinteriors.com Linda Butwinick

    Hi Rachel,
    I just read your blog re Ursulas Wine Bar in White Bear Lake, MN. I adore the place, the food, Sara Jones & her art, gracious owners Curt & Theresa, but most of all I love the cook. (Chef Andrew is my son)
    I’ve just read about everything on your site and now I am off to the store! It will be “Friday On Ice” & the “Bell Pepper Bites” for friends tonight.
    I am now subscribed to your feed.
    Linda Butwinick

  • http://whiteonricecouple.com White On Rice Couple

    Hi Rachael!
    We’re heading to Tokyo! (can’t seem to find your email)
    But maybe we can meet up for a meal! Your site will be of great use to us!
    diane and todd

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    I liked tokyoterrace.wordpress.com a lot. It has lots of useful info. This article is very professionally written. tokyoterrace.wordpress.com I will be back for sure.

  • http://jgleeche.blogspot.com/ Jen

    Hi Rachael,

    Your blog is beautiful. Thanks also for stopping by my blog. I lived for a summer in Japan back in college and absolutely loved it – I’m so jealous you get to live there now! I finally went back this past April (after 10 years). I already miss it. I guess I can live vicariously through blogs like yours. :)

  • http://bonvivant.wordpress.com/ Danielle

    Hi Rachael,

    Thanks for your kind comment on my blog – I’m envious that you’re living in Tokyo (although I’m sure it’s not easy) if only for the high quality of food found everywhere, even on a street corner! I fell in love with Tokyo when I visited 2 years ago and can’t wait to go back so I’ll be living vicariously through your words :)


  • tokyoterrace

    Hi Danielle! Thanks for stopping by! It is pretty amazing living here. It can certainly be difficult at times being away from all things familiar, but it has been the experience of a lifetime! We will most likely be here for 3 more years and I am excited to learn and experience so much more. Thanks for the note!

  • http://www.susanalaneevents.com Susan A. Lane

    I happened upon your blog and was instantly impressed. Your writing style is wonderful. I can only aspire to write like this someday. I must read up on how to make my own blog look as nice as yours.
    We’ll be all seeing you in the bookstores soon!

  • tokyoterrace

    Susan: Thank you so much for your kind words! I stopped by your site and your work looks very impressive! The photos are gorgeous! I hope to be in bookstores someday but I’m not sure where to begin that journey- any thoughts?

  • tokyoterrace

    Susan: Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I stopped by your site and your work looks very impressive! The photos are gorgeous! I hope to be in bookstores someday but I’m not sure where to begin that journey- any thoughts?

  • tokyoterrace

    Susan: Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Your site looks very impressive! The photos are gorgeous and the food looks amazing! I hope to be in bookstores someday but I’m not sure where to begin that journey- any thoughts?

  • Tom House

    Dear Rachael: It was nice twEATing with you today. This is Tom from http://www.dinnerreviews.com. I hope you will find time to see my Internet Magazine someday.

    I have just been blown away by your amazing site! I cannot wait to have some free time to browse through your many amazing stories and photos. Are you taking these photos yourself? In restaurant settings? Impressive.

    I just spent the last year traveling the USA and reviewing restaurants and clubs for a national glossy, and have had my own Internet Magazine for more than 8 years now. Seeing your inspirational work reminds me that I am on the correct path. People with passion for what they do are few and far between, and I am glad I have found another one in you.

    I will be subscribing to your blog now… I could go on. Additionally, as a student of Japanese language and culture, your site tells me that my dream of going to Japan is worthwhile.


    Tom House

  • http://dragonlife.wordpress.com/ dragonlife

    Dear Rachael!
    Greetings from Shizuoka!
    Keep it up!
    Actually I don’t worry much!LOL
    Best regards!


  • tokyoterrace

    Thanks for the note! I will certainly keep working at this whole food thing- I love it too much to stop! Hope all is well in Shizuoka!

  • http://dragonlife.wordpress.com/ dragonlife

    Dear Rachael!
    The pleasure is mine!
    BTW, just wondering it might be time to create a Japan-based expat food bloggers directory!

  • http://tokyoterrace.wordpress.com Aunt Judy

    I am so excited for you and so very proud of you. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I love the pictures of you in you mom’s kitchen when you were little. You were so cute I just want to hug you! Your mother is a wonderful cook and she certainly passed that passion for food down to you. I believe you have found your destiny and I look forward to see what is going to happen next! I love you Rachel!

  • http://alchemistchef.blogspot.com Caitlin

    I love love love Brian Andreas! Are you from MN originally? Why are you and your husband living in Tokyo?

  • tokyoterrace

    Caitlin: Thanks for stopping by! Nice to hear about another Storypeople fan out there :) I am originally from MN and my husband and I are teaching in Tokyo right now. Quite a change from the good ole midwest!

  • tokyoterrace

    Aunt Judy: Thank you for your sweetness! I truly appreciate the support I have received from all of you. It’s because I have such a great family that I can be confident to try new ventures! Thank you!!!!

  • tokyoterrace

    Hi Tom! Sorry it took me so long to return your comment. I’ve been crazy busy lately! I am so flattered by your compliments and I truly hope you continue to follow Tokyo Terrace. I think you have chosen the correct path as well! Food definitely stirs passion in certain people and I have begun to see how much it really means to me over the past year. I hope to hear from you again soon!

  • Brian

    Hi Rachael,
    I just found your blog and love it. I am a self proclaimed foodie. I love food and love to cook. My job now has me going to Tokyo once a Qtr so I enjoy reading about your cooking and experiences.
    Keep up the good work and Good luck on the voting!


  • http://www.vinceinosaka.blogspot.com Vince

    I found you blog randomly by searching for information about that insane pizza I just ate from Domino’s! :) The mille feuille! haha After reading a few articles, I just love the way you take photos of the food. Looks so amazing! :) I love food and your site is great.


  • Tina

    Love your blog and really neat pics :)

  • Loulou Zok

    Hey, I loved your blog and I just made your mom’s cinnamon rolls, they’re still hot but they’re smelling so DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing your kitchen experiences. I am a kitchen lover as well & I find your blog very inspiring & a joy to read.
    Bon courage.

  • http://www.ubervu.com/conversations/tokyoterrace.com/about/ uberVU – social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by tokyoterrace: Alright, here it is! New and improved w/childhood photos: http://tokyoterrace.com/about/...

  • dhaleb

    Great blog! Looking forward to following your adventures :)

  • http://sweetfelts.blogspot.com Xenophon

    Hello Rachel,

    Just came to your blog. It’s a very interesting blog and I love how you “made up” your cooking. I tended to “make up” my cooking often. But I love your inspiration. And I love your story about Minnesota and Toyko. I lived in Minnesota for years and I knew what you meant by cold… :D

    Please keep your blog and I will come back often.


  • Sophie

    Hi Rachel,

    I just came across your blog and I love it… the food, the pictures, everything! I spent quite a huge chunk of my childhood and adolescence in Tokyo, and reading about your adventures (both culinary and non-culinary) takes me back and makes me feel nostalgic – in a good way. Really admire your creativity with food. Consider yourself bookmarked :)

    Sophie x

  • Denise Henson

    Hello Rachel!

    I came across your blog after a Google image search for ‘comfort food appetizers’. I’m SO glad that I stumbled here! I think you have a great sense of combining your love of food, experience and what you’ve been learning from Japanese culture. As a fellow foodie and as someone who absolutely loves ingredients from Japan, I find it very interesting how you have been able to cook what you have. I’m glad to see someone who lives in Japan, who’s also American, embrace their differences. I was born and raised in California and I’ve been to Japan a couple of times — I always find it fascinating how each end of the ocean interprets ingredients. Please keep up the good work!

  • http://aromasysabores-heidileon.blogspot.com/ heidileon

    Rachael, thank you so much for sharing these lovely pictures from your childhood. I adore the one where you’re *working* on that mixing bowl. That smile!. That girl!. She’s SO happy.

    Love it

  • tokyoterrace

    Heidileon: Aren’t those pics fun? They help me remember that I have actually loved cooking my entire life. It’s something constant.

  • http://nypartyofone.blogspot.com dunkin

    Hey Rachael…

    your food looks spectacular…and your writing style is so conversational…it should really be in more places…

    i must say though…one of the things that stood out the most, almost instantly, was the storypeople quote…i’m a designer and animator in NYC and i once worked on a play where the director created an entire narrative structure from Brian’s work…one of the most inspirational and completely fun projects i’ve ever had the pleasure of working on…

    anyway…looking forward to trying your recipes…wish i had discovered your blog prior to the super bowl…those recipes look amazing…hope all is well on your side of the globe…


  • Ridz

    Hi there! I love your blog and your pictures are gorgeous! May I ask what camera you use?

    Cheers and look forward to reading more.


  • http://www.theasiancollection.com TokyoArtGuy

    very nice blog and great photos too.

  • http://www.tokyoterrace.com/2010/06/summer-roasted-beet-salad/ Summer Roasted Beet Salad — Tokyo Terrace :: An American Foodie in Tokyo

    [...] About [...]

  • http://www.cookingworld.biz Pam @ Cooking World

    I love your blog! Love the pictures. How is it living in Japan like? I want to visit there someday, I am not sure as a vegetarian I will survive eating only soybeans and veggie tempura maybe. I hope I am wrong.

  • http://theveggie.wordpress.com/ theveggie

    I really like your blog. Your pics are amazing. And I find it so interesting that you are living in Japan. How did that happen, did you post about that? I am interested in experiencing life outside of the US. I lived in London for school, but came back, and want to venture out again, but I need to muster the courage. Any advice?

  • http://www.girlparaphernalia.com GP

    Challenges indeed! Going on 10 years here, and I still have challengers in the supermarket, but also many opportunities!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Nami! I appreciate your comment and am so happy you are enjoying Tokyo Terrace! It’s interesting how, no matter where we live, the food we grew up with tends to follow us. I think it’s great that you still cook Japanese food even though you live in SF!

  • http://www.ateaspoonofturmeric.com/ Preena Chauhan

    Hello Rachael,

    You’re one of the first food blogs I started reading! Love your blog, the photographs, recipes, cocktails and Asian ingredients – which is why you’re on my Versatlie Blog Award list!http://ateaspoonofturmeric.com/2011/12/31/versatile-blogger-award/

    Happy 2012!

  • Anonymous

    Just discovered your blog while searching for a hot chocolate and Schnapps recipe. It will be served in my gallery in Gloucester, MA. Fifteen fellow retailers are on the Chocolate Tour February 9th. Will visit again! Fred Bodin, Bodin Historic Photo.

  • Anonymous

    OK, I just registered with Discus. Here is a photo of one of my openings. I’ll take a picture of folks enjoying your recipe and send it to you.

  • Tokyo Terrace

    Great! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Anonymous

     Thanks! Unfortunately the photo doesn’t show up here so you’ll have to email it to me. I’d love to see a photo of your guests enjoying their hot chocolate! You can email it to me- send it to tokyoterrace@gmail.com. Can’t wait!

  • Anonymous

    Your Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps is on in my gallery for the Downtown Gloucester Chocolate Tour. We’ll certainly credit you and I’ll send photos.