The Sake Sommelier Association is pleased to announce…


Venkadesh Thanga Mariappan, Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Tower Hotel, UAE is
the Sake Sommelier of the Year 2016



Runners up were:

Joshua Kalinan Sinnathamby: Air Sommelier at Singapore Airlines, Singapore

Olivier Gasselin: Senior Head Sommelier at Hakkasan, London, UK


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It’s like a dream, but it is one of my lifetime achievements and the result of my hard work for two years. I fell in love with the Japanese sake a few years ago and it has become a passion in my life now. This competition is not easy and I am very pleased to be competing with some of the most talented and respected sake sommeliers in the world. It was very difficult to be focused and to find a balance between working full time and studying while keeping a healthy lifestyle.

This award really means a lot in my career and would definitely help to make my name in the sake industry. I felt like there is lot more responsibility on my shoulders now. I am going to continue my journey with sake in my region, planned to develop new sake sommeliers and will put continuous effort to take this ancient drink to the next level.

I would like to take this moment to thank the Sake Sommelier Association for allowing to participate in the competition and recognised me with this glorious price.



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Venkadesh will now receive a fully-funded trip to Japan to take an exclusive tour of the famous Gekkeikan brewery.



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The Six Semi-finalists were:
Deepak Elangovan: Head Sommelier at Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Olivier Gasselin: Senior Head Sommelier at Hakkasan, London, UK
Giuseppe Gelfi: Sake Aficionado & Sommelier, Studio Legale Gelfi, Italy
Venkadesh Thanga Mariappan: Bar Manager at Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Tower Hotel, United Arab Emirates
Metodiyka Popova: Sommelier at Restaurant Enso Sushi, Spain
Joshua Kalinan Sinnathamby: Air Sommelier at Singapore Airlines, Singapore



See our previous winners




Prize

The winner of the Sake Sommelier of the Year 2016 will win a unique trip to Kyoto including a special exclusive tour of Gekkeikan, where the winner can see behind the scenes of sake production at one of Japan's oldest and most prestigious breweries.



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*These images are for illustration purposes only.

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