Meilleur Ouvrier de France, Master Sommelier at Racines NY & Writer
“I am lucky to have chosen my job. Every day I am proud to be the voice of incredibly talented, engaged and committed "vignerons" making wines in the most respectful way; with low intervention to preserve their vineyard and transmit their terroir. It makes me happy to help my guests and staff discover and enjoy these wines.„
You need to speak out your mind, sometimes with a loud voice, sometimes in a soft spoken way, but always express what you think with respect. And do and assume what you say!
Quotes that inspire me: Trust yourself a little bit more, and be happy - My mom. A happy staff makes happy guests - My first GM at Rouge Tomate, Oscar Henquet.
Learn everything, do everything. There is no little part, no little job.
During tough times related to work, I'm motivated by trusting that everything that can happen will make me better and stronger.
Without counting the time I spend in the vineyards, where I consider myself a total intern, my best internship was at the George V. with Mr. Beaumard, the beverage and service director (he is handicaped from his right arm since he is a teenager.) He built one of the most exceptionnal restaurants; a place of excellence, professionnalism and kindness. He was never discouraged despite his handicap (he was also runner-up for the best sommelier in the world competition.) Working alongside him and his head-sommelier, an incredible gentleman Mr. Hamon, they taught me you can realize your dream and be at an extreme level of excellence without compromising the human side. They taught me that you are nothing without your staff or your guests.
My first wine teacher and now friend, Patrick Rigourd, taught me that wine was made in a vineyard by a man. Wine was not elitist, wine was to be shared. He taught be that building a great relationship with the winemakers was the way to understand their wines.
Mr Jacques Thorel hired me when others were scared of my university background. He taught me to be demanding and precise. He taught me many classic, benchmark wines. He taught me to appreciate age and time. And he made me want to become a mentor one day.
Mr Emmanuel Verstraeten, my boss, has been a great mentor because of his vision and what he offers me at Rouge Tomate. And because he is an incredible humanist.
Alice Feiring, my American mom, is a fantastic wine writer and an every day inspiration to believe in what I do.
Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.
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