Interview with a Sake Educator
We regularly host Sushi & Sake Masterclasses (click here to check them out), so we thought we'd chat to Satomi Dosseur about what it's like being a Sake Educator and introducing the Japanese drink to people across London.
1. How did you become a Sake Educator?
I have always been organized and ran staff sake training in the restaurant where I used to work in Knightsbridge. I love talking about sake and enjoy seeing staff start to like sake. I started to have the feeling of "I want to do more. I want to take the training to the next level",
I have been introduced to SSI (Sake Service Institute. who's providing the largest certificate course in Japan for over 25 years) through one of the sake brewery based in Fukushima Prefecture. Then I've been offered to become SSI International's educator in UK. So I decided to end my restaurant career to become educator/ Sake promoter.
2. Did you like sake before you started doing this job?
Before I became educator - YES absolutely. But before I started to work in a restaurant in Tokyo, NO WAY! I even thought, "I would never drink sake in my life."
3. What do you do on a normal work day?
If not having meetings and e-mailing (like anybody else), talking about sake at seminars or events, planning new trainings, creating material, doing research.
4. What’s your favorite part of the role?
To make someone who never knew or understood sake, discover a tasty sake.
All my staff and colleagues from restaurants where I used to work, they have either little experience trying sake or never tried sake before. At the beginning, most of them don't like sake. But after many fun sessions of sake training, everybody falls in love with sake. They even make their friends and families taste sake. Seeing people becoming a fan of sake and tasting sake that they like, it’s my absolute pleasure.
5. What do you find is the general reaction from people who are trying sake for the first time in one of your classes?
At my private seminars or events, I usually get "sake is not so bad" reaction. Many people have experienced drinking unpleasant sake or ended up not having great memory... But when they tried properly again, they love it. Realized sake is actually tasty!
6. Does sake pair well with food?
Sake is like wine. They can be drunk before, during, and after the meal. Sake doesn't need to be paired with only Japanese cuisine. It can be match with British, French, Indian, Chinese... wide variety of cuisines. Surprisingly, sake works so well with cheese too.
7. What is your favorite type of sake?
It is so difficult to pick one.
But I usually enjoy classic and savory style sake during meal.
Fragrant, aromatic and super premium style sake is great for aperitif. But I enjoy a lot those classic style, especially long night dining/ drinking.. :-p
8. Do you have any interesting facts about sake?
Sake has a lot of Umami [the fifth element of taste after sweet, sour, salt, and bitter - usually described as meaty]. So this is the reason sake can handle so many varieties of flavor that doesn't go well with wine.
Also , Sake is good for skin. In Japan, few skin care products are produced based with sake. Sometimes when I have un-drinkable (or oxidized) sake, I'd pour into bath. So skin becomes so smooth..