Explore all of the upcoming programs and events at the Center.

Community Kitchen Virtual Potluck: Noodles and Holiday Dishes
Dec 8 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Community Kitchen Virtual Potluck: Noodles and Holiday Dishes

Join us for this month’s Community Kitchen Virtual Potluck and share your favorite Japanese noodle or holiday dishes with us!
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PST
Free Admission, Advance Registration Required
Connect via Zoom; Meeting ID and password to be issued upon registration

In place for our usual quarterly Community Kitchen nights, during the Center’s COVID-19 closure, our Community Kitchen committee is holding monthly virtual potlucks so we can share the joy of cooking Japanese and Japanese American family recipes with everyone! With the colder winter weather and upcoming holidays coming up, the theme for December’s potluck is a noodles and holiday dishes! Share your favorite Japanese noodles, or dishes that your family enjoys every year for the holidays! Prepare your dish in advance to share over your webcam with us on Zoom!


Looking for additional recipe ideas? The Center’s Nikkei Potluck cookbook has recipes for all kinds of dishes, including desserts and other potluck favorites! E-mail us at if you’d like to order your copy!

Kenji’s Kitchen – Matcha Roll Cake Online Cooking Class
Dec 13 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sign up for our online cooking webinar with chef Kenji Yokoo and learn how to make matcha roll cake, a tasty Japanese dessert for the holidays!
Sunday, December 13, 2020
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$7 Center Members / $10 General Public
Connect via Zoom; Meeting ID and password to be issued upon registration


Matcha roll cake is a popular Japanese dessert and is perfect for the holidays. The light and fluffy sponge cake, flavored with the aromatic freshness of matcha and filled with mouth-watering whipped cream, not only tastes delicious but looks beautiful. Matcha roll cake (as is the case with most Japanese desserts) is not overly sweet so it is perfect after a holiday feast. Add a few sliced strawberries or cranberries as garnish and you have a festive holiday presentation. Our instructor, chef Kenji Yokoo tells us, “My grandmother taught me how to make roll cake when I was growing up in Kyushu and I have perfected the recipe over the years. I will teach you all the tips and tricks you need to make the perfect matcha roll cake. Your friends and family will love this!”

In our cooking class, you’ll be joining Kenji over Zoom, and you can either watch and enjoy, or follow along in your own kitchen with Kenji’s instructions and make your own matcha roll cake during the webinar!

Supplies and Ingredients Checklist:

For those of you who wish to cook along with Kenji, please gather or prepare the following ingredients and supplies in advance:


Cake ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar divided in 2
  • 1 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Cream filling
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


  • Strawberries for garnish


  • 2 medium/large non plastic bowls (for separated eggs. non-plastic bowl is best for whipping egg whites)
  • 1 medium bowl to mix cream filling
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer (whisk can also be used but will require more time and more “elbow grease” but definitely doable)
  • mesh sieve for sifting dry ingredients
  • bakers half baking sheet (16.5 inch x 11.5 inch)
  • spatula
  • parchment paper
  • clean kitchen towel (must be clean, used for rolling cake, size at least 16.5 inch x 11.5 inch)
  • The sponge cake will need to be put in the fridge to cool off so please make sure that you have room in your fridge for the baking sheet prior to the class.

About Kenji Yokoo

Kenji Yokoo, founder of the Bay Area based “Kenji’s Kitchen,” was born and raised in southern rural Japan and has been passionate about cooking from a very young age. As is common in Japan, he grew up in a home with three generations and spent all his time with his grandmother in the kitchen. She taught him everything he knows about cooking. Kenji learned from his grandmother not just traditional Japanese cooking techniques, but that the purpose of cooking is to bring joy to the people that you are cooking for. Kenji was given the Bay Area “Quality Champion” award by Airbnb for receiving the highest quality scores on his cooking classes. Kenji has also taught team building events with Japanese cooking for many Bay Area companies including Google, Adobe, Airbnb and Facebook. Kenji is also a cooking instructor at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California where he runs online webinars on traditional Japanese dishes. Click here to view Kenji’s Kitchen YouTube Channel


Virtual Tea Tasting with Rona Tison of ITO EN
Dec 16 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Virtual Tea Tasting Workshop with Rona Tison of ITO EN

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PST
Instructor: Rona Tison, Executive Vice President – Corporate Relations and PR, Ito En North America, Inc.
$7 Center Members, $10 General Public
  sign up today

Experience a virtual tea tasting with Rona Tison of ITO EN, the global leaders of green tea and innovators of Japan’s #1 unsweetened bottled green tea- Oi Ocha. Enjoy learning, brewing and sipping tea exclusively selected by ITO EN. From cold brew & traditional preparation to fun matcha drinks, join this special interactive tasting.

Registrants will receive a packet of tea samples in advance of the workshop. Please register by December 1 to ensure delivery of the samples by the workshop date.





Workshop Menu:

  • Megami Sencha- leaf tea
  • Genmaimatcha- leaf tea
  • Lemon Turmeric Sencha- leaf tea
  • Matcha – Unsweetened & Sweetened
  • matcha LOVE Peach Cinnamon Teabags

Registrants are also encouraged to gather the following utensils & tools for the workshop:

  • Teapot (Kyusu prefered)
  • Pitcher
  • Teacup and glasses
  • Spoon
  • Tumbler or shaker
  • Ice cubes
  • Stirrer
  • Water- both cold & hot water (spring water)
  • Your choice of a milk- an unsweetened almond milk or oat milk is ideal
  sign up today

About Rona Tison

Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations & PR, ITO EN, North America, Inc., New York

A tea industry connoisseur with a refined approach to the U.S. Japanese culture and innovative marketing, Rona Tison is the Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations at ITO EN (North America) INC., Japan’s #1 green tea brand and the world’s leading purveyor of premium and sustainably grown green tea and healthy beverages. Tison is responsible for maintaining and developing the company’s corporate image through branding, public relations and promotional events. The company has received numerous awards to include recognition as one of “50 Companies Changing the World” by FORTUNE for its commitment to sustainability and the revitalization of tea farms through its Tea Region Development Project, and its proprietary tea leaf recycling program.

In addition to her role at ITO EN, Tison serves on the Board of the Tea Association of the USA and the Tea & Health Committee, the U.S.-Japan Council and Advisory Board of the Global Tea Initiative at University of California, Davis, and member of the Tea & Herbal Association of Canada. She has been a speaker at the World Tea Expo, San Francisco, Los Angeles & Northwest Tea Festivals, the United Nations, Shizuoka World Tea Festival, James Beard House and Smithsonian Lecture Series. She received the “2017 John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award” for her educational contributions to the tea industry, the first woman to ever receive this prestigious award.

About Ito En


Innovation with Integrity

ITO EN’s goal has always been to refine the art of keeping every tea harvest in top condition, maintaining its health benefits and flavor integrity. We have been perfecting this process of innovation since our origins. First, with the Japan Family Service in 1964, and then in 1966 when we were known as the Frontier Tea Corporation. Back then, our tea was sold only at specialty stores. Yet by 1969, in response to its high demand, we pioneered new packaging methods––vacuum processing and double-packaging––so tea could be sold in smaller quantities at mainstream stores without compromising its quality. It’s a tradition we continue to evolve so you always enjoy a perfect cup.

Commitment to Preservation

With the Tea-Producing Region Development Project, ITO EN partners with the Japanese farming community to preserve the art and craft of tea harvesting. We think of it as part of our responsibility to the planet that starts in the fields of Japan. We’re committed to forging strong partnerships with our farmers so that we see our product from first bud to final cut. It’s a measure that nurtures local economies, promotes conscious agricultural work, and ensures the stable supply of green tea leaves for consumers everywhere to enjoy for generations to come.


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The JCCCNC a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the State of California

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