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Kaiseki (懐石) or kaiseki-ryōri (懐石料理) is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals and is analogous to Western haute cuisine.
There are two kinds of traditional Japanese meal styles called kaiseki or kaiseki-ryōri. The first, where kaiseki is written as "会席" and kaiseki-ryōri as "会席料理", refers to a set menu of select food served on an individual tray (to each member of a gathering). The second, written as "懐石" and as "懐石料理", refers to the simple meal that the host of a chanoyu gathering serves to the guests before a ceremonial tea, and is also known as cha-kaiseki (茶懐石). The development of nouvelle cuisine was likely inspired by kaiseki principles.