May 17, 2012

Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon: Masako Ikegami (BARShake)

by Kayoko Akabori

Masako Ikegami bartends at BARShake in Tokyo. Like Mr. Tomokazu Kai, she also won the Suntory Cocktail Award, which brought her to the Bay Area as the grand prize visit. Her winning drink, the Tamayura, was originally made with Hibiki whisky, but here she substitutes it with Yamazaki, along with supporting green tea and white chocolate […]

May 10, 2012

Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon: Thad Vogler (Bar Agricole)

by Kayoko Akabori

Mr. Thad Vogler needs no introduction. He is a leading barman in the Bay Area and beyond, who opened Bar Agricole in San Francisco in 2011. Named after agricole rum (rum made with 100% raw cane sugar), Thad has put his heart, soul, personal philosophies, and many years of experience into the restaurant — which […]

May 3, 2012

Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon Video Series: Ryan Fitzgerald (Beretta)

by Kayoko Akabori

In this video, Ryan Fitzgerald of Beretta in San Francisco makes three different kinds of margaritas, including the famed Tommy’s version. At Beretta, Ryan is always creating dynamic cocktails with tequila and mezcal, so it came as little surprise that this classic would be his signature drink. This presentation was particularly interesting, as Ryan demonstrated […]

April 26, 2012

Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon Video Series: Tomokazu Kai (Heuga Bar)

by Kayoko Akabori

Here is Part Deux in our Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon Series. Meet Monsieur Tomokazu Kai, bartender at Heuga Bar in Gifu, Japan. Mr. Kai won the 2011 Suntory Cocktail Award, and his prize was a trip to SF and NYC. Gifu is a way’s away from Tokyo, a city just north of Nagoya, but clearly it is […]

April 19, 2012

Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon Video Series: Jon Santer (Prizefighter)

by Kayoko Akabori

If you can recall, Umamimart helped organize a special bartender event back in March, with Suntory and Prizefighter bar. Bay Area bartenders came together with a couple of talented bartenders from Japan, for an afternoon of cultural exchange and cocktail knowledge sharing. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen all the photos from the event, and […]

November 10, 2011

OPENharvest Trip (Video)

by Kayoko Akabori

This is a short video by Tokyo-based photographer Nahoko Morimoto, which marvelously captures Yoko and my trip to Japan with the OPENharvest team. We spent three jam-packed weeks visiting farms, markets, taking brewery/distillery tours, and eating + drinking our way through Japan–all culminating in a huge event at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. I’m […]