This past winter, Tim and Nancy Cushman, the owners of Boston's acclaimed Japanese restaurant O Ya sent their general manager and burgeoning sake expert (and Eater Young Guns semi-finalist) Alyssa DiPasquale to Japan to work in a sake brewery. It was a testament both to their faith in her after almost five years working at the restaurant and to DiPasquale's obsession with the beverage. After her trip she earned her professional certification in sake and now teaches classes on Saturdays at the restaurant. That's of course in addition to her duties running O Ya and managing its beverage lists.
Chef and co-owner Tim Cushman says DiPasquale will play a key role in any expansions within the restaurant group, adding, "I just think she's on the verge and really doesn't get much mention or recognition though she's so well deserving of it." Meanwhile Boston icon and Young Guns panelist Barbara Lynch says, "She is a leader in her field. You learn a shitload from Nancy, but it's up to Alyssa to take that knowledge and share it. And she is definitely doing it." See DiPasquale in action above.
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