About Us
Sake Sommelier Academy  About Us
Sake Sommelier Academy - A Gateway to International Sake Expertise

The Sake Sommelier Academy has been providing a quality Japanese sake education in the UK for more than a decade. Widely regarded as the international authority for sake education, we strive to promote global education, awareness, and appreciation of Japanese sake whilst simultaneously increasing opportunities for students to learn the rich cultural history of sake. Contributing to the global awareness and consumption of Japanese sake, The Sake Sommelier Academy is the only organisation offering the Sake Sommelier qualification.

We believe that all great sake sommeliers start with a solid education. Whether you are a seasoned beverage industry veteran or simply an admirer of Japanese culture, our bespoke courses—ranging from Introductory level to Master—form a comprehensive curriculum that is tailored to students’ individual levels of experience and expertise.
In addition to our multi-tiered courses, we are also the founders and annual organisers of both the London Sake Challenge and the Sake Sommelier of the year. Organic and innovative, both events (founded in 2012 and 2013, respectively) see sake professionals and enthusiasts congregate in London to compete, connect, and learn from leaders in the Japanese Sake industry

 

Founder Profiles

XAVIER CHAPELOU

Recognised as one of the world’s leading non-Japanese Sake experts, Xavier has built an encyclopedic knowledge of Japanese sake through his experience in both retail and fine restaurant consultancy. Learning from sake professionals firsthand in breweries deepened his knowledge and appreciation of sake. In 2004 Xavier became one of the first non-Japanese sake specialists. His passion for learning spread into teaching, driven by an ambition to pass his knowledge to others. With this goal in mind, he co-founded the Sake Sommelier Association (SSA). His efforts were noticed by prestigious drinks magazine Imbibe when in 2013 he was nominated for “Educator of the Year”.

KUMIKO OHTA
Kumiko grew up in Japan surrounded by rice fields and sake-brewing culture. Driven by a thirst to know more she began visiting numerous breweries. This culminated in her becoming an Authorised Sake Lecturer, obtaining the Higher Certificate in Sake Education. Since relocating to the UK, Kumiko has tirelessly championed sake. A co-founder of the Sake Sommelier Association, her efforts where recognised by Nikkei in 2008 when she received the prestigious “woman of the year title”. Since then she has redoubled her efforts, constantly looking for new ways to showcase and promote sake. Kumiko is a co-founder of the Sake Sommelier Association.

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Push the limits and reach the peak of sake service
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A challenge of the finest quality
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Alumni

With more than 1,000 Sake Sommelier Alumni from across the world, many have gone on to hold top positions throughout the beverage industry.

From winning titles; Best Sommelier of the World (Gérard Basset, class of 2009) Sake Sommelier of the Year (, class of 2015), (Joshua Kalinan, class of 2011) to drinks purchasing for the Jason Atherton group (Laure Patry, class of 2009) and judging international competitions (Christine Parkinson class of 2010) becoming a Sake Sommelier opens the door to many new opportunities and experiences. Some leave so inspired they go on to create their own sake-related companies such as Maximilian Fritzsch CEO of Tokuri, Germany (class of 2013) and Oliver Hilton-Johnson founder of Tengu Sake (class of 2011).

MYSAKE introduction
The Sake Sommelier Academy has been engaged in Japanese sake education in the UK for more than a decade and is now widely recognised as 'the' authority for sake in the world.
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