Japan Centre are excited to announce in collaboration with world renowned sake brewers Gekkeikan, the winner of the inaugural Gekkeikan Masters Cooking Competition 2017, Tom Wilson, a marketing professional from London.
The yearly held cooking competition was open to all chefs and experienced/passionate home cooks to find the next Gekkeikan Cooking Master and discover brand new sake recipes. Each contestant was asked to create two original sake inspired recipes, one savoury and one sweet. The purpose of this event was to spread the knowledge of ‘Cooking with Sake’ in cuisines outside of Japan. Sake is a vital ingredient frequently used in Japanese cooking and adds significant levels of umami.
Panel of Judges
Rie Yoshitake – Sake Consultant, Sake Samurai
Anna Greenhous – Sake Journalist, Harpers
Chris Ashton – Director, IWC
Kohei Hoshino – Europe Area Manager, Gekkeikan Sake Brewery
Andrew Kojima – MasterChef Finalist, Restaurateur
Natasha Cohen – 2015/2016 Gekkeikan Sake Cooking Competition Winner
Each recipe was judged on how well the flavours of sake were incorporated into the recipe as well as the overall presentation and creativity of each dish.
Tom impressed the judges with his modern take on risotto, Sake and Mushroom Risotto with Grapefruit Duck Breast and his Sake Berry Bombs with Yuzu Syrup.
He was crowned Gekkeikan Cooking Master on Sunday 29 January 2017, and was awarded an exclusive one week trip to Japan including a two day hands on training course at the Gekkeikan Sake School in Kyoto Fushimi, courtesy of Gekkeikan.
Second place went to James Millar who created a Truffled Sake Cabbage with Rice Pudding with Sake Caramel and Caramelised Sake Nuts and Chocolate Rice ‘sugidama’. James was awarded a two days certified sake sommelier course at the Sake Sommelier Academy.
Third prize went to Poppy Sherwood who created a Sozzled Woodland chicken with Elderflower Pear and Sake Walnut Whip and was awarded a signature dinner for two at Sakagura paired with a selection of Gekkeikan premium sake.
The Gekkeikan Award went to Kuan Sim who created a drunken pork ribs with summer dream jelly and was awarded a case of Gekkeikan premium sake and sake vessel set.
The finalists were Toks Oladuti who created a Sake Glazed Pork Belly with Sautéed Vegetables and Rice and Caroline Antell who made Crab Cocktail with Cucumber and Sake Sorbet followed by Poached Sake Pears with a Ginger Cream Sauce and Sake Glazed Madeleines. Both were awarded Japan Centre gift vouchers.