Chika Ohata (大畑知佳) is a bilingual certified sake sommelier from Japan based in San Francisco/Bay Area. (She is also a mother of two cats named Steph and Klay.)
Chika was born in a land of rice and craft sake (and more of delicious food): Iwate Prefecture. She was 6 years old when her family and she moved back to Iwate from Germany. The local fresh food and drinking culture of Iwate gave her a strong influence on her love of food and sake. (Photo credit to @drewski_101)
After living in different countries and Tokyo, she moved to San Francisco. She worked at both casual and Michelin starred restaurants including Japanese, French and Chinese restaurants with a passion of sharing her joy of food and beverages while studying about sake. She travels around Japan to visit local breweries and study local cuisines and food pairings. Chika holds numerous sake/food expert certificates including WSET Level 3 Award in Sake, SSI International Kikizake-shi, Sake Scholar, and Japanese Cuisine Adviser. She polished her knowledge about sake while working at True Sake in San Francisco. She opened a sake/koryori bar in Japantown SF called Chika & Sake as a head sake sommelier in 2022. Guests enjoyed her exclusive and long list of craft sake and the detailed, very “Japan-like” hospitality she offered. Today she hosts a private sake tasting to introduce sake to people on a more personal level.
“Kikizake, translated as sake tasting, means ‘listening to sake’ in Japanese. Let’s listen to what sake wants to tell you about their history, land, ingredients, and the people with me….kanpai!”
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