Five Minutes With Marie Cheong- Thong

1) When did you join the Guild, and what were you hoping to achieve by doing so?  Has the relationship been what you hoped?

I joined the GFW in March 2021.  I do try and partake in trips and Zoom calls, and am delighted to share my knowledge with other members. I’ve offered to organize a sake brewery trip and Sake Masterclass for GFW members.

2) I know that your work with specialist sake and other drinks has involved a great deal of travel.  How did you cope with the pandemic and lockdown?

Lockdown meant people had time to learn about new things. I was actually quite busy, the added logistics effort of organizing and shipping samples consuming more time than the actual teaching! As chair of the British Sake Association, I was kept busy working on growing its membership, defining its strategy and building a team to help me run the association more effectively.

3) In your career, you have done much demonstrating and judging.  Where does writing fit into your commitments, and do you enjoy the writing that you do?

I am currently the UK correspondent for the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association newsletter. I also do expert interviews and ghost write for magazines. I do enjoy taking photos and blogging — Instagram is a great platform to very quickly disseminate facts to interested people.