Akiko Katayama is a food writer based in New York City and a director of the nonprofit organization The New York Japanese Culinary Academy which promotes a deeper understanding of Japanese cuisine in the US. She is also the host of Japan Eats on HRN. Across the board, her work is dedicated to education surrounding Japanese food and food culture - and that certainly does not exclude beverages.

Akiko’s mission to demystify Japanese cuisine has recently entailed a deep dive into drinking culture. Akiko’s conversations with restaurant owners, authors, entrepreneurs, and world travelers about what drinks to pair with sushi, an inspiring trip to Kyushu, and the future of American sake will give you new confidence to explore a more extensive menu of Japanese beverages.

Wherever and whenever you enjoy Japanese beverages including sake shochu, wines, and teas, Korin has the glassware and tableware to make any cocktail hour or dinner party complete. Browse their array of teapots, wine glasses, sake cups and other barware here.

Japan Eats: Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks: Akiko’s guest is Stephen Lyman who is known as a leading shochu expert. He moved to Japan in 2018 and now lives in the mecca of shochu, the Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan. Stephen recently published an intriguing book titled The Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks. He also owns a cool shochu bar in Fukuoka. In this episode, we will discuss his new life in Japan, his exciting new book, and Japanese drinking culture, which he observes deeply as a resident of Japan.

 

Japan Eats: What to Drink with Sushi: Akiko’s guests are Joshua Foulquier, co-owner of Sushi Noz, and Joshua Copeland, beverage director and general manager. Sushi Noz is an authentic 8-seat sushi restaurant on the Upper East Side with a Michelin star. Joshua Copeland has extensive experience at highly reputable western and Japanese restaurants, including Del Posto and Brushstroke by David Bouley. He has built an impressive beverage list at Sushi Noz, which includes 165 sakes, 18 shochus, 385 wines and 22 Japanese teas, to pair with sushi. In this episode, we discuss how Josh gained his knowledge of a vast variety of beverages, what to drink with sushi beyond Japanese sake, and much, much more!

 

Japan Eats: Visiting the Home of Shochu: Akiko’s guests are Haru Zenda of Masa, a famed sushi restaurant with three Michelin stars, and Andy May who works at The Polynesian, the cool tiki bar operated by the Major Food Group of Carbone, ZZ’s Clam Bar, Dirty French and other popular spots. Haru and Andy are the two winners of the Shochu cocktail competition “Spirited Away” held in May. The winners’ prize was a trip to Kyushu, the southern part of Japan and the home of shochu production. In this episode, we discuss what they discovered in Kyushu, why shochu is a great ingredient for mixologists, and how to make a great glass of shochu.

 

Japan Eats: What is the Future of American Sake?: Akiko’s guests are Brandon Doughan and Brian Polen, co-owners of Brooklyn Kura. It is the first sake brewery in New York, which opened at Industry City in Brooklyn in 2017. They joined us on Episode 105, and discussed why and how they created a sake brewery in NY and their sake-making philosophy. Since then, Brooklyn Kura is growing steadily and successfully. You may have seen their sake labels at Japanese restaurants and your local retailers. In this episode, we talk about their distinctively unique sake available at the tap room, new sake production methods that they are exploring right now, and a fascinating collaboration with a traditional Japanese sake brewery.