Hideki Matsuyama’s win in The Masters 2021 was legendary. He became the first Japanese golfer to win a major, and followed it up by casually draping the prized green jacket over an airport chair.
This year it’s his turn to pick the menu for The Masters Champions Dinner — and it is utter perfection.
Every year I look at these menus and there’s a lot you can learn about a person and their tastes from their choices. Sometimes it’s a simple meal, clearly showing someone who doesn’t really care about food, other times it’s a love letter to where they were born, and sometimes it’s a faux-fancy meal that’s soulless in every way, clearly chosen by someone just picking the most expensive items.
Matsuyama’s is a testament to someone who understands flavor, food, and providence. Obviously it goes without saying that every course gets an A+. As a husky foodie, there is almost nothing I would change — but let’s break this down and get hungry together.
Assorted sushi, sashimi, nigiri
My only note here is that I’m really curious who is prepping the sushi. I would be genuinely interested to see if they’re bringing in a dedicated sushi staff for this course, or just letting the house chefs prepare it.
This is a banquet, so I’m not expecting a three Michelin Star sushi experience — but it would be interesting to see how they plan to prep this one. Other than that, perfect.
This is really thoughtful. Matsuyama knows that not everyone in attendance will care for sushi, despite it one of the greatest dishes in the world, I do really like that he picked something familiar like “chicken on a skewer” to serve for people who have a mental block with raw fish.
Miso glazed black cod with a dashi broth
Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
Every year we see a fish offering at The Masters dinner, but nothing is so well considered as this dish. I have very strong feelings about cod, as it’s my favorite fish. I think everyone should eat more cod.
When I see people always go to salmon or tilapia I know they like the idea of eating fish, but don’t really want to taste fish. That’s okay. Cod is the perfect all-around workhorse fish of the kitchen that’s extremely cheap, sustainable, and can pretty much stand up to any preparation. It has a firm, meaty texture that flakes away — making it ideal for everything from a fish stew, to battered and fried, and even a delicate poach. Seriously, eat more cod.
Now, we get to the pairing. A miso glaze imparts some much-needed flavor, because cod is a very delicate tasting fish. Adding dashi is just an umami bomb to send this dish over the top and round it out, and it’s such a beautiful addition to this dish.
A5 Wagyu ribeye, mixed mushrooms and vegetables, sansho daikon ponzu
My goodness, what a dish this is. Matsuyama is serving his guests the greatest steak in the world, and showing it off in the best possible way.
Yes, I know technically Kobe Beef is considered of a higher quality — but you can’t eat a Kobe steak unless you’re a monster. Its fat content is just too high, and is typically enjoyed in several small slices, because the richness is out of control.
The A5 Wagyu ribeye is a perfectly marbled steak that will literally melt in your mouth if seared correctly. If I hear of anyone ordering this medium-well or well done I will personally walk to Augusta and start a fight. Normally I’m a proponent of “eat food how you like it,” and I’m not a steak snob (even if I think you’re wrong for going above medium). That said, if you ask them to cook the hell out of a piece of A5 Wagyu then it’s simply disrespectful to the farmer who raised the animal, the cow that gave its life, and the chef who takes pleasure in cooking a steak of this quality, only to see you ruin it.
Mushrooms and vegetables are a perfectly fine accompaniment. I actually like that there’s no mention of a starch here, because the steak itself is rich enough you don’t really need a big creamy side like a potato puree.
The sansho daikon ponzu is the sauce here, and it’s a great addition. The acid from the citrus in the ponzu will help balance out the fat of the steak. Sansho pepper will bring a bit of brightness and heat. The grated daikon is really a textural component and allows the sauce to adhere to the beef a little better.
Japanese strawberry shortcake
No notes. This is a brilliant end to a rich, bold meal. It shows restraint, balance, and a light, familiar finish to a meal brimming with flavors that might test some of the pallets in the room.
Final Grade: A+
It’s the best Masters dinner ever, hands down. It’s impossible to find something wrong with this unless you’re really nitpicking. Bravo, Hideki Matsuyama. I’m jealous I wasn’t invited to eat this ... guess I have to learn how to play golf, or something.