Our team of top instructors include leading chefs and home cooking experts.
Akemi Yokoyama

Akemi Yokoyama is a Japanese chef, presenter and culinary instructor based in London. Her regular classes at Sozai Cooking School have received very favourable reviews in national media, including Time Out and The Telegraph. She has also appeared on the popular TV programme, C4’s Sunday Brunch, teaching the presenters how to make sushi. Her friendly teaching style is easy to follow and informative, she will teach the art of healthy Japanese home cooking to students at all levels.

Akemi’s enthusiasm for gastronomy originated early in her childhood in Sapporo, where enjoying the spoils of wild vegetable foraging and sea fishing were regular family activities. This drove her understanding regarding the importance of the freshest, highest quality ingredients together with exquisite taste pairings in Japanese food.

She demonstrates Japanese cooking at various diverse events and she regularly works with the Japanese government’s related organizations promoting Japanese cuisine to the media and public. Akemi was recently invited to the prestigious cruise ship MS Queen Elizabeth as the guest chef to entertain guests with the authentic Japanese cuisines and to train their chefs.

Akemi is a member of the Japanese Culinary Academy UK, is a certified miso sommelier, and has the professional sake qualification WSET Sake Level 3.

Izumi Nakamura

Izumi grew up in Amakusa, a beautiful chain of five islands located in the south of Japan, blessed with delicious, natural, wholesome food -Izumi has never been far away from the joy that food can bring, honing her super-healthy recipes in surroundings with rich history.

She draws upon this upbringing in her work as an outstanding sushi chef, dietary consultant, and qualified sake sommelier. Her background as a trained and experienced pharmacist also enables her to create dishes and menus that are as nutritionally balanced as they are delicious.

She shares her passion for Japanese cooking and the health benefits to be had from it through her fun, informal, hands-on lessons. Her down to earth teaching and creative demonstrations at many companies and shows such as Your Sushi, Big Life Organics and Hyper Japan have already encapsulated and combining her talents. Her private lessons will show you how to create simple, delicious food. She is also the founder of 5 Incorporated Ltd, offering private chef/corporate event catering services.

Izumi is a member of the Japanese Culinary Academy UK.

Yuka Caves

Yuka’s passion for Japanese cuisine began at a very young age, taught by her grandmother and mother in rural Kyushu. Her childhood was filled with daily trips to fish, meat and vegetable markets where her grandmother taught her how to source the freshest of ingredients. Yuka trained in the art of traditional Kaiseki cuisine at Tokyo’s highly regarded Kaiseki cooking school, Kinsa-Ryu.

Yuka’s extensive knowledge and expertise in Japanese home cooking and formal training enable her to teach with an approachable and friendly technique. Her concept focuses on using four main seasonal ingredients to create simple and delicious menus which are beautifully presented. Yuka is a big advocate for using local ingredients which are easily accessible and reasonable. With her creative flair and natural enthusiasm, Yuka’s classes are fun, practical and hands-on, whatever your ability. Yuka is also a committee member of CookBookFestival.

Reviews on TripAdvisor

Kinu Yukawa

Kinu Yukawa is a cooking instructor, food stylist and private chef from Kobe, Japan. She ventured into the world of food early in life and fostered the basics of cooking from her grandmother who was a chef. Later she trained at Ecole Ritz Escoffier Paris and traditional Japanese cuisine in Kyoto.

Kinu believes in the simplicity of the Japanese philosophy in enjoying food with the body's five senses as well as cooking with the colourful produce in season. Bringing 'harmony' to the body nourished by the seasonal 'food' which is one of the meanings of the word 'Washoku' (the harmony of food), the Japanese terminology for Japanese cuisine.

Kinu has been teaching Japanese cooking at the Japan Centre London since 2011, sharing her expertise and knowledge of Japanese cooking and styling to students of all walks of life and various levels of culinary interests.

Visit her website @
Deliciously Japanese


Hitomi is from Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県, Hyōgo-ken) in the Kansai region of Honshu island, Japan. She is a certified washoku cooking instructor specialising in teaching Japanese cooking to non Japanese students. Hitomi discovered her love of teaching and sharing Japanese culture and cuisine, through hosting many gatherings when she lived in Hong Kong. She continued to hone and develop her teaching skills in Tokyo, and now London. Join Hitomi for a hands-on true Japanese home cooking with lots of tips and smiles :)

Sozai Special guest chefs

We are proud of welcoming the most talented chefs of Japanese cuisine from all over the world.

Suzue Aoyama

Born and brought up in Osaka, Japan, her family runs a traditional udon noodle restaurant where they also sell wagashi. Suzue was brought up surrounded by many food inspirations. While Suzue helped wagashi making at home, she used to wonder how the patisseries were made next door which led her to discover the world of patisserie.

Suzue studied at the Le Cordon Bleu in London and Paris and obtained both Patisserie and Culinary diplomas. During her training days, she gained various experiences from the world's leading hotels. Eventually, Suzue was promoted to be in charge of the renowned afternoon tea pastries at The Savoy London. She also achieved several awards including the Gold award for Tea Pastries and the Gold medal at the Culinary Olympics.

Suzue co-founded and built the premium brand 'William Curley' which won several chocolate awards and joined the world's leading association, Relais Desserts. During this time she also mentored young pastry chefs who now work successfully as pastry chefs around the world.

Suzue's philosophy is to 'Spread the Joy of Patisseries' and she would love to teach and share her skills with you.

So Restaurant

So Restaurant, contemporary Japanese cuisine with European influences.
After 14 plus years sharing Japanese culture and cuisine in Soho London, the time has come to close our doors.

Following government guidelines, we had stopped dine-in operation in late March, during which time we started delivering our specialities in vacuum sealed packaging. We were delighted this was received well and decided we must continue.

In the beginning of July, we moved to a new location near Liverpool Street where we share a space with our sister company Sozai Cooking School. Deliveries, collections, and take-aways have recommenced. We look forward to seeing you all!


'So Sozai Selection'

So Sozai Selection can be warmed and enjoyed at any time you wish. Unlike delivery food that is best eaten as soon as it arrives, these air tight packages can be stored in the fridge from 2-7 days (depending on dish, details will be on each packet).

Open them all and make a meal for the whole family or enjoy them one by one over a course of a week, there's lots of flexibility!

A little bit about the word 'sozai'

Sozai, which is also the name of our cooking school, has two meanings.
素材 (pronounced sozai) that means ingredient(s), and 惣菜 (pronounced sor-zai) which describes pre-prepared and packed main and side dishes that can be reheated and enjoyed at home. Similar to what may be referred to as 'deli' in some cultures.

So Restaurant's Sozai Delivery is of the latter 'Sor-zai', which is typically eaten as accompaniments to rice and miso soup.

One delivery of 'sozai selection' will serve 3-4 people, when accompanied with rice and miso soup*. Please note that this is subject to age, gender and how hungry everyone is!

* Rice and miso soup are not included in package.

Tomokazu Matsuya

Master Chef Tomo Matsuya
Born in Hokkaido,Japan. Matsuya completed his culinary education at 17 years old. After obtaining his international cook's license he joined the self-defense forces of Japan and for 15 years cooked for many VIPs of many nations as the forces' chef. After starting his own venture, he took a position at SO Restaurant in Soho London as the Head Sushi Chef. Then he has been another Head Sushi Chef at Miyama Mayfair ,works as a sushi teacher at Sozai Cooking School and an exclusive private chef at Ikisho. Recently, he has opened own casual dining restaurant Ezo Japanese in Central Acton.

Please enquire his bespoke classes for the professionals to

北海道生まれ。17歳にして食の道を志してから、国際船舶料理士の免許を習得し自衛隊に所属。その後15年に渡り、世界各国の著名人らへも料理を提供してきた。渡英してからは、食の中心地とも呼ばれるソーホーのSo Restaurant, またロンドンでも一等地のメイフェアのMiyamaにて、どちらでも料理長を務める。その親しみやすい人柄をかわれ、シティーにあるSozai Cooking Schoolでの人気講師でもあり、またラグジュアリーロンドンでも掲載されたIkisho ブランドを通じ、プライベートシェフをしての腕もふるっている。この秋より、カジュアルな日本食を提供するEzo Japanをオープンし、起業家としても才能を発揮している。

Satomi Dosseur

Satomi Dosseur is a Japanese Sake specialist and Director of Enshu Ltd, providing SSI(Sake Service Institute) International’s Kikisake-shi course as well as sake related events.

She moved to the UK in 2005 to join London-based, contemporary Japanese restaurant Roka and Zuma, to explore and understand more about sake outside of Japan. Satomi is certified by the SSI (Sake Service Institute) as a qualified Kikisake-shi and Shochu Kikisake-shi. She has also completed the Japan Sake Brewers Association’s technical Sake making course in 2011. Satomi is a judge in the Sake category of the International Wine Challenge since 2009, alongside becoming the head Sake sommelier at Zuma Restaurant.
After working 9 years for Zuma, she left to become SSI International’s ducator in UK and launch her company, Enshu Ltd.

It is the perfect experience gift for a birthday, anniversary, wedding, valentine, graduate, Christmas, Mother's day, or any special occasion! The lucky recipient can choose from our various yummy cooking classes.