Sake Educator


School Kodawari Sake Education
Sake Educators Sandra Gwee, Guy Vaillant, Thomas Hart
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Courses Run Introductory Sake Professional & Certified Sake Sommelier

Sandra Gwee

Sandra Gwee stands at the forefront of Perth’s burgeoning sake scene as the city’s inaugural Sake Educator® and sake scholar, a distinction bestowed upon her by the prestigious Sake Sommelier Association® (SSA) in the United Kingdom. With an unwavering commitment to fostering a profound connection within the Australian market, Sandra has seamlessly woven her passion for sake into a decade-long journey of enlightenment, collaboration, and celebration.

Fuelling her relentless pursuit of excellence is Sandra’s profound love for sake, a sentiment that transcends the boundaries of her professional endeavours. Her resume is punctuated with a rich tapestry of experiences, having engaged in countless sake events and forged enduring partnerships with esteemed breweries and sake masters from Japan and around the globe.

Sandra’s expertise extends beyond the tasting room; she has strategically positioned herself as a specialist in education and business coaching across all sectors of the sake industry. Armed with years of hands-on experience working directly with the market, Sandra’s team of Sake Educators® are uniquely poised to equip students with not only comprehensive theoretical knowledge but also invaluable practical insights garnered from the dynamic landscape of the food and beverage industry.

The SSA courses in Australia, under Sandra’s visionary leadership, offer a transformative educational experience, seamlessly blending online and in-person instruction. The curriculum is meticulously designed to impart in-depth knowledge while honing the business acumen necessary for success in the competitive realm of sake. Sandra Gwee’s journey is far from complete, as she aspires to ascend to the pinnacle of her craft, setting her sights on the coveted title of Master of Sake.

In a world where passion meets professionalism; Sandra Gwee stands as a trailblazer, shaping the future of Perth’s sake culture and leaving an indelible mark on the Australian market.

Guy Vaillant

Guy Vaillant, originally from Virton, a small City Southern Belgium; has been living in Australia since the early ‘90s.
Guy first discovered sake almost a decade ago when the company he worked with started to offer a range of sake and provided some beginner educational classes for our clients. He was trained to work in fine dining restaurants across Europe and when coming to Australia, he realised the lack of wine sommeliers in early 1990s. To help with this, he started a group with other pioneer sommeliers and founded the Sommelier Association in New South Wales back in 1993.
From here he spent hours reading and learning about sake to improve his sake knowledge and confidence.
Guy loves to share his experiences with his customers and explain how to taste sake and match it with different cuisines and best temperature to serve it with it, with the aim of helping people discover the delights sake has to offer.
I offer tastings, sake private education to help people discover the delights sake has to offer.

Thomas Hart

After cutting his teeth in the Sydney craft cocktail scene for the better part of a decade, Tom’s first true engagement with the world of sake came with the acceptance of the role of Sake Buyer at The Oak Barrel, an boutique and independent liquor retailer in the heart of the Sydney CBD.

Through the connections and opportunities presented to him in that role, Tom was fortunate enough to be involved as a jury member in the Australian Sake Awards, present at the Australian Sake Festival, and both operate and participate in a range of sake-focused events and activations, all while continuing to explore what the product had to offer through his role as Buyer. In 2023 he participated in the Certified Sake Sommelier course, and followed it up by participating in the Advanced Sake Sommelier course shortly thereafter. Whilst he continues to operate as the Sake Buyer at The Oak Barrel, Tom has expanded the scope of his involvement in the sake industry, now operating as the NSW Sake Educator for the Sake Sommelier courses, as well as making my first foray into sake importation and distribution. Tom’s goal is to normalise the consumption of sake in Australia, through a combination of education & training, direct-to-venue consultation, the importation of affordable sake which aligns with the local palate, and the operation of events which, all in all, make sake fun!

Kodawari Sake Education is a beacon of Japanese Sake education in Perth; it delves the understanding to the Sake world. Offering services for the community to unravel the beauty of Japanese Sake.