Interview with Leigh Hudson of Sakéshop

We had a chat with Leigh Hudson, founder and MD of our sponsor Sakeshop by Chef's Armoury about his love of saké! Thanks to Chef's Armoury, you'll have a chance to win a bottle of saké and other prizes as part of the raffle on the night so make sure you get the last tickets now!


Q: How long have you lived in Sydney and what do you love most about being a Sydneysider?
A: I’ve lived in Sydney for more than a decade. Love being able to enjoy citylife as well as live near national parks and visit world class beaches.


Q: What’s your favourite saké and how do you like to drink it?
A: My favourite saké is a hard one, depends on my mood, but right now I’m really obsessed with Kubota Shuzo Toji Ikkon Nama Genshu from Fukui prefecture, best served chilled.


Q: Why does saké pair so well with so many different kinds of food?
A: In comparison to wine, sake has much less acid and no tannins. Both of these 2 things often fight with food. This is why saké is so food friendly.


Q: Can you give us some insight into your thought process when you’re trying to pair saké with food?
A: I don’t want food or saké to outshine the other. It’s about finding a synergy or contrast. For example, beer battered fish and chips with seasalt and vinegar are quite strong flavours. But a simple Karakuchi Honjozo like Nagaragawa Karakuchi will pair so well, because it cleanses the palate making you want to drink and eat more.


Q: What made you decide to open a specialist saké store in Sydney?
A: It’s been a long time coming. There was a vacuum that needed to be filled. Other general liquor stores like Dan Murphy’s only sold a cursory selection, but there was nowhere in Sydney that specialized in saké. Our Sakeshop in Melbourne has been going for 4 years, and we were waiting until we relocated our Sydney store to launch. We are very excited about the response. So many enthusiastic new saké drinkers.


Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Most rewarding would be converting wine drinkers to drinking saké. People discovering their first saké epiphany.


Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: When not working, love travelling to Japan to eat, drink and explore the many towns and prefectures. But in Australia, unfortunately not much spare time at the moment, so we like to indulge in dining out.


Q: What’s something that not many people know about you?
A: I have a secret love for Japanese shoes, one of my favourites is Spingle Moves.


Q: If you could share a bottle of saké with three people (dead or alive) who would they be?
A: 1. William Shatner (Star Trek), 2. Richie Hawtin (Enter Saké) 3. and my wife Stephanie.


Q: Other than saké, what other Japanese product would you like to see become popular in Sydney?
A: Japanese pickles especially nukazuke, it’s so hard to find good pickles in Sydney.

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