“Food is the purpose of travel. We established Villa Aida to promote head chef and owner Kanji Kobayashi’s hometown, Wakayama, as a destination. We wanted to use our own herbs in our cooking, so cultivated our own vegetable garden. We also have a rice field. We hope that our guests feel the wonder of nature and feel healthy both mentally and physically from eating real seasonal food.”
Oval squid with lettuce and broad bean; aubergine with onion, barracuda, and mulberry; and artichoke with red sea bream.
Villa Aida is a beautiful example of a restaurant that is integrated in its environment. Owner and chef Kanji Kobayashi serves seasonal cuisine and grows much of his own produce, including vegetables, herbs, and rice. Offering fresh food in season reduces food mileage, supports local initiatives, and creates a deeper awareness of the environment among guests and staff. Kobayashi knows and supports local producers. He also works with like-minded chefs across the country on sustainable initiatives, and supports rebuilding projects in areas struck by disaster.