Thursday, February 23, 2012

Geek Peek: Ayuchi Momose from Sake Bar GINN

A couple weeks ago, I was invited to a tasting at the newly opened and fabulously reviewed Sake Bar GINN where I met the owner Ayuchi Momose. I’m not going to on about the more than 70 types of sakes the venue has with more than 20 seasonal varieties or the delicious food but rather focus on Ayuchi since I’m sure you’ve been reading a lot about the restaurant itself since there’s so much online buzz. So without further ado, here’s our latest Geek Peek with Ayuchi, sake sommelier and owner of Sake Bar GINN. Read on to find a recipe on how to make your own sake toner as well as other tidbits about her.

Hong Kong Fashion Geek: What is your background?
Ayuchi Momose: I was born and raised in Yokohama Japan. I received a degree in Culinary art in 1997, so I have a government issued chef’s license. In 1998, I moved to New York and graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology. I am an SSI (Sake Service Institute) certified sake sommelier and certified sake instructor.

HKFG: How did you become interested in sake?
AM: After graduating from university I worked for a Japanese import and export trading company specializing in textile. I travelled to Japan often to visit my clients and started drinking sake. I’ve always liked cooking, eating and drinking so the interest in sake came very naturally. I also like to travel and visiting breweries became an interest too.

HKFG: What are some tips on drinking sake?
AM: Temperature is key in drinking sake. It depends on what kind of sake you are drinking, also what you are eating with the sake as well. It is difficult at the beginning but once you start learning about sake, it is not so difficult.

HKFG: Is it a myth that drinking sake hot will ruin the drink ?
AM: I personally like warm sake as well, but you have to select a certain type of sake to warm. You also have to heat it in a right way. If you heat up sake too fast, the flavor will be ruined. For example, you heat up Junmai Daiginjo (Super Premium Sake), it will definitely be ruined.

HKFG: Where do you source the sakes for Sake Bar Ginn?
AM: I purchase from multiple importers in Hong Kong and also personally import some of my favorite sakes, that are not yet available in Hong Kong.

HKFG: What fashion item can’t you live without?
AM: My watch. I’ve been wearing the same watch for the past 10 years. I have so many other watches but I always use the same one.

HKFG: What thing you could live without... but still can’t bear to part with?
AM: Sake

HKFG: What’s your favorite thing about HK?
AM: Good food, good food, good food!
HKFG: What is your ultimate indulgence food OR go-to food when you’re stressing out?
AM: Sake and steak

HKFG: What celebrity you would most like to be/trade places with?
AM: Mmmm…I cannot find anyone specific, but I would love to be a food critique for few days so I can eat for living.

What is your secret-weapon beauty product?
AM: Sake. drinking sake is good for your skin. Also I make a toner using sake. (Recipe below)

Sake toner recipe:
Koji Mold within sake is really good for your skin. It has a good whitening effect and helps prevent acne. Nama Sake (Unpasteurized Sake) is filled with enzymes as well. So drinking sake moderately is good for your skin, as well as for use as toner. I use this toner at night after I wash my face. If your skin is extra sensitive, I don’t recommend it since it has some alcohol.

• Pure Rice Sake 100cc (Make sure use pure rice sake. avoid using Table sake because it has some sugar)
• Filtered cold water 100cc
• Glycerin 20cc (If you can find at drug stores. You can make it without glycerin too)

Keep it in a clean bottle and keep it in a refrigerator.
Lasts for about a month.

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