Satomi Dosseur was born and raised in Tokyo and grew up with a deep understanding of Japan’s wide culture.
Satomi’s father comes from Aichi prefecture, in the Chubu region of southern Japan, and her mother from Aomori prefecture, in the region of Tohoku, in northern Japan.
As a native Japanese, therefore, she was therefore brought up with a diverse, unique and rich understanding of Japan’s way of life.
As Satomi grew up, her love for travel ignited. When she was 20 years old she left her restaurant job as a part-time waitress, took a gap year and studied English in the picturesque town of Chichester, West Sussex. As well as making great friends and amazing memories, during her stay, she was also fortunate enough to work at a local hotel. It was then that her love for both the hospitality sector and the UK began.
Satomi returned to Japan with this in mind, and began working in the 5* Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel. she then worked in the Japanese restaurant Kozue for 4 years.
During this time she learnt further intricacies of Japanese culture, including:
- traditional Japanese cuisine
- and of course, Sake
Since then, her passion has been occupied with sake and the UK. She moved to the UK in 2005 to join London-based, contemporary Japanese restaurant Zuma and to explore and understand more about sake.
Satomi is certified by the SSI (Sake Service Institute) as a qualified Master of Sake (Kikisake-shi) and Shochu Kikisake-shi. Shochu is a Japanese distilled spirit, which has approximately 25% alcoholic content and is much stronger than Sake. It can be produced using rice, potato, barley and sugarcane. She have also completed the Japan Sake Brewers Association’s technical Sake making course in 2011.
Satomi is a judge in the Sake category of the International Wine Challenge since 2009, alongside becoming the head Sake sommelier at Zuma Restaurant.
Oliver Hilton-Johnson is a British sake specialist and Director of the award-winning Tengu Sake, a leading import, wholesale and retail company dealing solely in quality Japanese sake
Oliver’s first encounter with sake was in Japan in 1999 when he was living in the wilds of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. This first experience was not favourable, however: hot, rough sake did not impress! It was not until his return to the UK and a chance encounter in one of London’s leading restaurants with some delicious, chilled premium sake that he decided sake was the drink for him.
Oliver then dedicated his time to trying as much sake as he could get his hands on to build up a palette and begin to understand ideas of regionality, types and tastes in the world of sake. It was during this process that he became increasingly frustrated with the sake market in the UK – how difficult it was to get hold of sake, how expensive it was and – most importantly – how hard it was to get any decent information about sake!
Oliver launched Tengu Sake in 2013 with the express purpose of tackling these issues. Tengu Sake now supplies some of the UK’s finest restaurants as well as delivering directly to the public via tengusake.com.
Oliver has spent time in Japan studying sake and was an apprentice at Hayashi Honten brewery in Gifu Prefecture in early 2015. He holds the following qualifications in sake:
- Certified Sake Sommelier (2011)
- Certificate of Intensive Sake Study (Japan, 2013)
- Certified Sake Professional (Japan, 2013)
- WSET Level 3 Award in Sake (2014)
- Advanced Sake Professional (Japan, 2015)
Oliver is also Sake Educator for the British Sake Association and a judge in the Sake category of the International Wine Challenge. He leads talks, tastings and food pairings through the UK.