Biography of Sylvain Huet, the Salon du Saké Organiser (2015 Update)
Sylvain Huet, creator and author of the first French blog on Japanese sake (“La Passion du Saké”), is one of the few Sake Specialists in France. He is known to be close to the Sake producers in Japan that he has been visiting on a regular basis for many years. Being the only independent Sake Expert in France, he decided to devote himself to the education of both general audience and professionals by creating “l’Académie du Saké” (the Sake Academy) in 2010.
Because he’s not involved in import or sales, he doesn’t compete with the actors of the market and has developed good relationships with all of them. Because of that, he was able to organize “le Salon du Saké” in Paris in 2013, probably the biggest sake fair in Europe.
To broaden the sake market in Europe, he is also working as a consultant and PR to help Japan and its brewers connect with the European actors.
In the February 2015 issue of Dancyu, one of Japan’s top culinary magazine, devoted to Sake, the world famous Sake Journalist John Gauntner wrote about Sylvain:
Sylvain Huet was born in 1970 in Poissy, west of Paris, France. His professional career is quite unusual because, although he studied Sciences at the university, he finally became a professional contemporary dancer. During his 10 years career of dancing, he met an aikido master and that was the beginning of his passion for Japanese traditional arts. Since that time, he started to visit Japan a few times a year. He has been a practitioner of this Japanese martial for almost 20 years now and he even taught it in Paris until 2009. Following his discovery of Japanese gastronomy and Sake, he decided to study Japanese Sake professionally and learn more from the best experts in Japan (he is today the only French trained and certified “Advanced Sake Professional” recognized by the Sake Council). Year after year, he learned Japanese language and visited many sake breweries during his countless trips to Japan. Over the years, he was even invited to join the teams and master brewer of some of the best sakagura in Japan to further study in-house sake making.
In 2009, he received a cultural scholarship and moved to Japan for one year to study the tea ceremony at traditional Urasenke Sado School in Kyoto. Moving back to France the next year, he then stopped any other professional activities (after his dance career, he worked as a marketing and communication strategy consultant) to fully dedicate himself to introducing sake to France through many trainings, seminars, lectures, writings, sake tastings and other events he organized himself or was invited to.
In 2012, he was the first French to receive the “Sake Samurai” title. This award is given by the Sake producers themselves in recognition of expertise and dedication to spread sake culture not only in Japan but also in the world. The following year, he organized the first European Sake Fair and Summit in Paris “Le Salon du Saké”. This first event was not only a great success because of its attendance but it was also the most important media coverage on Japanese Sake in France.
Sylvain Huet is currently organizing the next “Salon du Sake” event that will take place in Paris on October 31st and November 1st , 2015.
Thanks to the growing interest of the French for Japanese Sake, he is more and more often invited to teach about Sake in catering and gastronomy school as well as in restaurants, professional fairs and various events such as Vinexpo in Bordeaux for example. He was even recently invited to give a series of workshops at the famous “Grand Palais” Museum in Paris during the Hokusai Exhibit. He is also acting as a guide for journalists and other professionals to visit Japan and its sake breweries.