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Join Chef Charlie Palmer for The Ultimate Japanese Experience series 
sponsored by JETRO Chicago (Japan External Trade Organization) and JFOODO 
moderated by Food Influencer & Wagyu Specialist Ben HonIncludes appearances from special sake experts: Sake Social's Kelly McKisic and Roger Dagorn, Master Sommelier and Sake Samurai.

Ben Hon, Moderator

Ben has a love for two things in life: food and people. And it’s the stories behind the dishes he shoots that drive his passion for photography.

When he shoots food, he finds the beauty in both the composition and angle of the dish, but also in the culinary story behind it. Whether those are ingredients, a chef or restaurant owner, Ben shares more than just food with his followers.

Having started in food, Ben has branched out his photography subjects, shooting BTS and product stills for The Food Network, The Michelin Guide, and Beautiful Cuisines. He also has collaborated with brands such as Google, Jet Blue, Capital One, Ben & Jerry’s and many more. 

His travel collaborations have brought him all over the world including London, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.

Follow Ben at @StuffBenEats

Kelly McKisic, Sake Expert

Kelly McKisic was born on a sunny August afternoon in Paris, France. Her expat parents entertained their expat friends all the time, so their home was filled with noise, people, languages, food and a lot of love. This exposure to all things foreign, planted seeds of culinary curiosity in McKisic and led her to become the chef and WSA/NASA Certified Sommelier that she is today. 

McKisic's goal at Sake Social is to give guests easy and simple recipes and to help them find the best food pairings to go with their sake selections. 

McKisic lives in Ventura County, CA with her husband and their two sons. 

Follow Kelly at @Foodwithawink

Roger Dagorn, Sake Expert

Master Sommelier Roger Dagorn is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Wine Education for New York College of Technology (CUNY), who also lectures at The  International Culinary Center in Manhattan for the Master Sommelier program. Along with being one of about 229 Master Sommeliers globally, Roger is one of a handful of non-Japanese to have been given the prestigious title of Saké Samurai.

In 1996, Roger was awarded a James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service. Past achievements include Best Sommelier in New York by Chefs In America, Best Sommelier in New York by the New York Press, Restaurant Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year by Santé Magazine in 2001.

Roger has travelled and competed all over the world, and is fluent in French. Over his career life, he has worked in several fine restaurants, including Tse Yang, Chanterelle, Porter House, Tocqueville/15 East, and until recently, River Café, all in New York.

"The theory of wine is my passion, the taste of wine is my science and the service of wine is my joy."

Follow Roger @rogerdagornms

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