Kinome Japonica sushi class

Host Spotlight - Kinome Japonica

Last updated on Tuesday 2 July 2024

Sachiko, the mind behind Kinome Japonica, is a chef and tutor teaching Japanese techniques and cuisine to food lovers up and down the UK.

Her classes aim to help keen foodies learn more about Japanese food and culture, through hands-on and banter-filled workshops. 

This month, we caught up with Sachiko to learn more about Kinome Japonica and how the business has developed over time.

How did you come up with the idea for your classes and what inspired you to get into cooking?

Growing up in Japan, I was immersed in the restaurant environment of my parents, sparking a strong interest in diverse culinary experience. After moving to the UK, I excelled in finding way to innovate Japanese cuisine, particularly in making it accessible and enjoyable for everyday households. Sharing my professional skills and experiences with others who seek it brings me immense joy and fulfillment. 


What inspired the name of the business?
Kinome is my favourite Japanese herb. It refers to the new shoots that grow from the Japanese prickly-ash tree, which is versatile and useful in its shoots, flowers, fruits, and wood. “Kinome” carries two meanings; the herb from the Japanese prickly-ash tree and the general concept of new shoots. Thus, it also encompasses the hope and growth associated with the budding and development of new shoots. 
How did you approach the concept of cooking classes emphasising accessibility and inclusion?
In my cooking workshops, I strive to ensure that participants can master one dish in each session. For instance, in a sushi-making class, I cover everything from types of ingredients and where to source them to preparation and actual cooking techniques. Whether it is making a single dish or mastering a specific skill, there is broad range of knowledge, tools and ingredients involved. By comprehensively covering these aspects, participants can confidently start cooking on their own once they return home. My goal is to create lessons that inspire participants to say “Let’s give it a try today!” 

What attracted you to running classes at Blow Water Café?
Blow Water Cafe has a such wonderful community. Many people are interested in art and culture, and they support each other in those interests. It’s always a pleasure to be able to share my own interests there and engage in shared passions. 

What do you look for when partnering with local businesses for your sessions?
When partnering with local businesses for my sessions, I look for alignment in values, a commitment to quality, and shared vision for creating meaningful experience for our participants. 

What challenges did you face in turning the business plan into reality? 
The most persistent one has been marketing. Figuring out where and how to effectively reach potential customers remains a constant struggle. 

Do you have any advice for a chef looking to start running workshops and teaching others?  
For a chef looking to start running workshops and teaching others, my advice would be to consider starting by either getting hired as an assistant or attending workshop as a customer. This will provide valuable insights into the dynamics of running such sessions, the teaching techniques that work best, and the overall experience from both the instructor’s and the participants’ perspectives. It’s great way to learn the ropes before diving into leading your own workshop. 

What motivated you to sign up with Yuup, and how has the platform been beneficial for your experiences?
I signed up with Yuup based on a recommendation from Blow Water Cafe. It has significantly simplified the process of attracting customers and managing reservations. The platform is incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate. The staff’s responses are prompt and very helpful and I’m grateful to Yuup for streamlining my experiences. 


How have your experiences on Yuup been received by customers?
My experience on Yuup have been well-received by customers. They appreciate the convenience of booking workshops.


If someone purchases once of your workshops through Yuup, what can they expect in terms of educational content, enjoyment, and the overall atmosphere of sessions? 

If someone purchases one of my workshops through Yuup, they can expect a rich educational knowledge, hands-on learning, and interactive demonstrations. My workshops are designed to be enjoyable, engaging, and informative, creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where participants can learn, ask questions, and connect with others who share their interests. Overall, they can anticipate an enriching experience that leaves them inspired and empowered to explore their culinary passion further. 

What are your future plans and how do you see the business evolving in the coming years? 
My future plans involves expanding my workshop offerings to include a wider range of Japanese culinary experiences, partnering with more local businesses and experts to enhance my sessions, and continuing to foster a strong sense of community among my participants. I aim to grow my customer base and establish myself as a go-to destination for immersive and educational culinary experience. Additionally, I plan to explore opportunities for workshop in Japan, I aim to tap into the rich culinary heritage and vibrant food culture of the region, providing unique experiences for both locals and visitors alike. Overall, I see the businesses evolving into a thriving hub for culinary exploration, learning, and connection in the coming years. 

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