HOUSE OF SUNTORY ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF EXCLUSIVE TRAINING PROGRAM LED BY UK BRAND AMBASSADOR JAMES BOWKER
The DOJO program will return for a second year and aims to educate select bartenders on the art of Japanese bartending
London, 2nd July 2021 – House of Suntory has announced the return of its advocacy programme which will educate bartenders on their premium portfolio of craft spirits: Roku Gin, Haku Vodka, Toki Whisky, and Hibiki Whisky.
DOJO, which translates as ‘a place to master the way’, is a first-of-its kind program that seeks to engage with bartenders to not only improve their skillset, but deepen their understanding of the philosophy and customs that embody The House of Suntory’s roots in Japanese craftsmanship.
Led by House of Suntory’s Brand Ambassador, James Bowker, the DOJO programme will be supported by traditional Japanese Craft Masters. Together they will provide best-in-class education in Japanese culture, craft and bartending, centring on the three key pillars of House of Suntory: Hibiki, Omotenashi and Monozukuri.
Between June and September, the Japanese Craft Masters will each present an online masterclass with James Bowker:
- Hosted by renowned Ikebana Artist, Keiko Smith, the Ikebana Masterclass took place on 21st June 2021, focusing on Japanese aesthetics and beauty. In addition, participants tasted each botanical distillate of Roku individually in a special Roku tasting experience
- On the 19th of July 2021, Master Sushi Instructor Izumi Nakamura and Japanese seasoning expert Stuart Turner will host a Sushi Masterclass exploring balance and seasoning, which will include a Haku tasting of rice spirits at different stages of distillation
- 23rd August 2021 will see Sake Sommelier, Erika Haigh, owner of Bar Moto, and Head Sommelier of Restaurant Story, Jonathan Kleeman, combine forces to teach the art of flavour matching during the Pairing Masterclass, which will also include a tasting of the blending components of Toki
- To conclude the DOJO Masterclass Series on 20th September 2021, House of Suntory are collaborating with leading Urasenke Tea Master, Genshitsu Sen, to curate a Tea Ceremony Masterclass, centring on hospitality and guest experience. In addition, James Bowker and Zoran Peric will host a tasting of Hibiki components following an advanced ice carving tutorial
In addition to this and in the spirit of traditional DOJO training, participants will also be able to take part in Kaizen Challenges, inspired by the idea of Kaizen – continual refinement – wherein participants will demonstrate their newfound skills and apply them to a classic cocktail. The participants who display the most commitment and personal development will be invited to a grand finale where House of Suntory will select the strongest DOJO apprentices to join them for a one-of-a-kind trip to Japan.
Commenting on the re-launch, James Bowker, UK Brand Ambassador for the House of Suntory said: “We are extremely proud to bring back DOJO for a second year. The programme is a great opportunity to engage with bartenders across the country and share with them the three pillars behind the House of Suntory brand that makes it so unique. Educating bartenders on Japanese culture has always been a passion of mine and I cannot wait to welcome the next cohort of Dojo ambassadors.”
For more information on DOJO, please visit www.suntorydojo.com