Justin Vazquez

Service professional / Sommelier

Location 15h@2xYountville, CA

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Summary

My love for wine is something that anyone who meets me can see is a true tangible passion. This is an industry I have dreamed about being a part of for quite some time now. So much that I recently sold all my belongings, packed up my car and drove across the country so that I could submerge myself in this community and culture. My desire is to work... Read more

My love for wine is something that anyone who meets me can see is a true tangible passion. This is an industry I have dreamed about being a part of for quite some time now. So much that I recently sold all my belongings, packed up my car and drove across the country so that I could submerge myself in this community and culture. My desire is to work under the best winemakers in Napa, to learn this trade from the ground up, and one day to be a winemaker myself, producing world-class wines that are recognized and loved all around the globe.
This journey for me began about three years ago while working with The Capital Grill Orlando. Being positioned next to the second largest convention center in the country, our seats were filled nightly with guests traveling from all over the world. To see different people from different cultures observing, smelling, tasting and talking about the wine they were enjoying sparked something in me. I remember thinking to myself, “I have to learn more about this, I have to be a part of this.” I instantly became enthralled in the world of wine. I began reading, researching, and doing whatever I could within the walls of the restaurant to advance myself. Over time I began working directly with the advanced sommelier and beverage director of Del Frisco’s. I learned so much in that time working with her. Soon after that, I made a decision to move to Napa to carve out my path in this industry. I sat for and passed my intro level sommelier exam in September 2016 and will be sitting for my certified exam in March 2017.
I strongly believe that my experiences and skills obtained in my years working in the hospitality industry can and will translate into the career I am pursuing. Through the years I have gained a skill set that has set me apart from my colleagues. Strong attention to details, being able to anticipate the needs of both my teammates and guests, genuine care for people, and the ability to truly listen to others in order to come together and obtain a common goal. These are all qualities that have been pointed out to me by my supervisors and mentors over the years. I have worked in all facets of this industry. From service management, overseeing beverage programs, training and developing staff members in service, food and wine, and establishing rapports with local and international guests, I have been able to make a name for myself in the Orlando hospitality scene.
Now it is time for the next step. To find a humble beginning in the wine industry and learn from someone who has the desire to see this industry flourish to the next generation. Everyone needs a mentor, a guide, and educator who can pass down their wealth of knowledge. I am seeking to find that person. So that I can apprentice and learn, and one day be able to do the same for a person with true aspirations to be a part of this beautiful world of wine. Wine brings people together, it is history in a bottle, a story to be told. I too have a story to tell, and this is just the beginning.

Yours sincerely,
Justin Vazquez

My Dream Job is Estate Director / Vineyard Owner

Work Experience
  • Server

    Hillstone Restaurant GroupBeverly Hills, CA, US
    Jan. 2016 to Present (11 months)

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    Role & Tasks:

    + Creating a comfortable and enjoyable dining experience for the guests of our restaurant.
    + Using effective concise communication and decision making skills to work with and lead our team of servers through times of high volume service.
    + Responsible for training both new and tenured front of house members in wine education and pairing knowledge.
    Transferred from Hillstone in Winterpark, FL to R+D Kitchen in Yountville, CA as of October 2016.

  • Captain / Lead Server

    Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
    Aug. 2015 to Jan. 2016 (5 months)

    See Details

    Role & Tasks:

    + Part of the new store opening team for the Orlando, FL location.
    + Promoted to Service trainer, and worked directly with our beverage director on our extensive 1,000+ bottle wine list.
    + Responsible for training in wine sales and pairings, as well as working with wine inventory and budgeting.

  • Captain / Lead Server

    The Capital Grille
    Aug. 2012 to Aug. 2015 (2 years and 12 months)

    See Details

    Role & Tasks:

    + Responsible for coordinating and leading service for private dining bookings.
    + Responsible for establishing rapport with local convention center and hotel concierge to increase year over year food and liquor sales.
    + Consistently within top 5 in wine sales amongst an extremely competitive and well trained service staff.

  • Assistant General Manager

    J. Alexander'sJacksonville, FL, US
    Jul. 2009 to Aug. 2012 (3 years and 1 month)

    See Details

    Role & Tasks:

    + Responsible for hiring, coaching, and developing all front of house staff.
    + Responsible for beverage program for both locations. Including ordering, budgeting, and education on all products.
    + Responsible for PBO and YOY sales reports for both locations

Education
Skills

Classic Food / Wine Service

Classic Wine Service Knowledge

Menu development

Conflict Resolution

OpenTable or other

Customer service

POS Systems

Event Management / Organization

Experience in a Fine Dining Establishment

Staff Management of 20

Experience in a High Volume Environment

Staff education / motivation

Food / Beverage Pairing

Staffing / scheduling

Food Preparation Knowledge

TIPS Certified

Food Safety Knowledge

Certifications & Courses
  • Introductory Level
    The Court of Master Sommelier
    Sep. 2016 to Sep. 2016
Interests
WIne, Photography, Music, Food, Hiking / Biking, Travel
Languages
Spanish Basic
French Basic
English Fluent
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