About the Crafter
California resident and a native of Japan, Ayako Iino has set out to introduce Americans the art of Japanese preserved food making.
As a child, Ayako grew up eating her mother’s traditional Japanese pickles and preserves. She started making her own preserves when she relocated from the Tokyo urban area to a small village in rural Japan, where she learned traditional food practices hands-on from families that lived in the area for generations. Every grandmother from each household had a slightly different method and a recipe for making umeboshi. Ayako learned everything from assessing the ripeness of the plums on the trees to properly storing the final product.
Some time after, Ayako moved to Northern California to study Macrobiotic cooking and eventually pursued a career as a cook. She gained culinary experience at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Oliveto in Oakland, and Boulette’s Larder in San Francisco, and currently cooks for private clients. Her discovery of local ume plum orchards rekindled her passion for making umeboshi and consequently led her to establish Yumé Boshi in 2013. She combines traditional methods and modern culinary techniques to produce high-quality umeboshi and other uniquely flavored Japanese preserved foods.