UK sommeliers reach global sake contest semi-final

sakesThree UK-based sommeliers have made it through to the global semi-final of the first Sake Sommelier of the Year competition.

They are Barry McCaughley of Chotto Matte in Soho, London, Jean-Louis Naveilhan of Sumosan in Mayfair, London, and Jonathan Beagle of Yashin Sushi and Bar in Kensington, west London.

The other semi-finalists are Rajan Rengasamy of luxury supermarket group Spinneys in United Arab Emirates and Sam Tse of the Hong Kong Wine Academy in Hong Kong.

Over 50 entries were received from sommeliers as far and wide as Europe, Asia and the Middle East. All the competitors completed a questionnaire and two essay-based questions, with the top-scoring sommeliers making it through to the semi final.

The semi-final and final will be held on November 11 at London’s Westbury Hotel and will involve a presentation, a food pairing test, a service task and a blind tasting.

The winner will receive a fully funded trip to Japan to take the five-day Sake Sommelier Association Advanced Sake Sommelier course.

The competition was launched this year by the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) in association with the London-based Sake Sommelier Association and sponsor Gekkeikan, one of the world’s oldest and finest sake producers.

The Sake Sommelier Association (SSA) is the first and only organisation to offer sake education In the UK. Candidates passing the Introductory Sake Professional and Certified Sake Sommelier become sake sommeliers, a certificate accredited by the SSA.

To attend the semi-final and final, email with your details.

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