Sake Challenge Judge Bios

David Beauroy is Connexion Oenophilia’s Ontario Sales & Marketing Manager.  With 10 years of experience in a range of capacities at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), including Sake Product Manager at LCBO Vintages, David has expertise in marketing and sales related to wines, whiskies and sake. Prior to the LCBO, David worked as a professional chef in some of the world’s top restaurants, including Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Eigensinn Farm in Collingwood and Don Alfonso, a 3-star Michelin restaurant near Sorrento. David has tremendous passion for all beverage alcohol products. As an extensive traveler, he believes in furthering his knowledge and understanding of drink, food, language and culture. He is a member of the Sake Educational Council and a Level I Certified Sake Professional. In January 2014, David won the 15th Annual Tony Aspler Blind Tasting Award.

Richard Feldkamp has been in the beverage industry for over 25 years, with the last 15 years as Product Consultant for the LCBO. Feldkamp holds a Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Trust of London and was the Cellar Master for the Sommelier Guild of Canada for four years. His passion for sake started during his first trip to Japan, discovering the hidden gem of sake bars and exploring the mountain city of Takayama, where several breweries resided. As key leader in spreading the joy of sake in seminars to the Sommelier Guild, The Society of Wine Educators and to the LCBO, Feldkamp has also offered his expertise as a consultant to the LCBO product managers and participants in the selection of sake. In addition to his consulting with LCBO and other industry affiliates, Richard Feldkamp is always striving to improve his knowledge of sake through his visits to Kura, his tastings and continual research into this fascinating beverage.

Michael Pataran is a highly acclaimed chef who has challenged traditional culinary boundaries at international establishments, including Albany Luxury Resort in the Bahamas, Monsoon, Rain, Taboo Resort, The Windsor Arms and The Prince of Wales. Pataran has a true-to-food style and adheres to his ‘Faith’ tasting menus. As a published food, sake and wine writer, Pataran has written for several publications, including a contributing authorship accreditation for “Pairing Food & Wine” for the internationally renowned “Dummies” series publications with Master Sommelier, John Szabo.:

Zoltan Szabo is one of the most recognized personalities of the Canadian Sommelier scene. With two decades in the industry covering a three continent-wide resume, he has garnered international recognition. Szabo consults, writes, educates and judges for some of the most elite organizations, competitions and media forums, as well as being a Member of the Canadian Wine Writers’ Circle. Szabo has worked with Spirit of Hospitality Shanghai, Tokaj Renaissance, Wine Council of Ontario, Skyline Boutique Hotels & Resorts and Trump International Hotel, just to name a few. With dozens of TV, radio and video blog appearances throughout the years, Zoltan Szabo had become a mainstay character of the global wine trade.

Michael Tremblay is Ontario’s first certified Advanced Sake Professional, boasting a completed Sake Professional course from the Sake Education Council in New York with world-renowned sake expert, John Gauntner, and a Certified Advanced Sake Professional course in Tokyo through the Sake Education Council. As Ki Modern Japanese + Bar’s National Head Sake Sommelier, Michael Tremblay is committed to being Ki’s ambassador for sake, educating guests and staff alike in the beauty and subtle art of this beverage.

Hiro Yoshida is Chef and Owner of Hiro Sushi, a long-standing and revered establishment located in downtown Toronto. He is widely regarded by both critics and chefs as one of the best sushi chefs in Toronto. After graduating from Takushoku University in 1976 and working part-time at a local sushi restaurant during his studies he decided to devote himself to the Japanese culinary art of sushi making and trained under Sushi Master Takae Yamamoto. Famous for his ‘Omakase’ menu, Chef Hiro is committed to creating inspiring, new palette-pleasing cuisine with local, seasonal and fresh whole foods. He is dedicated to executing delicious dishes using the most technical skills to create simplicity that shines. They serve ever-changing, seasonal appetizers, followed by only the freshest sushi. Chef Hiro creates a menu based on his inspiration, which is always evolving. He believes in the balance of “play well, work hard”, this can be seen in the basics of cuisine: keep healthy by eating well-balanced meals. As a professional chef, this concept is reflected in his recipes. Chef Yoshida is also passionate about promoting sake to his enthusiastic and loyal clientele. He has been serving premium sakes since the early 1990’s.

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