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During the meals throughout the weekend, IPNC Maître d'hôtel will share a selection of current and IPNC library wines with you. These individuals are distinguished sommeliers and wine directors who donate their time to ensure our guests experience the finest service. Please feel free to ask them about the wines. Our thanks to them for their outstanding efforts on behalf of this event.
JESSICA ENDSWORTH, Miss Aimee B's (St. Charles, MO)
Maître d'Hôtel Captain

Jessica's journey began in St. Charles, MO in her mother's restaurant. She spent five years in the Chicago dining scene and finished her degree in journalism and marketing at Columbia College Chicago. After a trip out west, she was landed a position with Maysara winery and Jimi Brooks which began her migration to Oregon. She opened an Oregon-Washington boutique wine distributorship specializing in local, craft wineries. She sold the business and began working for the Southern Wine and Spirits as a portfolio manager for Moet Hennessy. After three years, Jessica accepted a position as Director of Sales and Marketing for Angela Estate winery in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Jessica's passion is educating the industry about wine and spirits and gaining more knowledge personally.. She has achieved her CSW and WSET Advanced Certification. She is considering pursuing the agonizing process of Masters of Wine.
BRYAN HILL (Seattle, WA)
Maître d'Hôtel Captain

Bryan Hill was formally schooled in accounting and hotel management, and technically educated in viticulture and enology. He successfully served as General Manager and Wine Director at Seattle's Campagne for four years. His keen interest in wine earned Campagne many accolades such as Wine Enthusiast Magazine's "Restaurant Wine Award" in 1995 and the Wine Spectator "Award for Excellence" three years in a row. In addition, Gourmet magazine in 1997 named his wine program the "Best in Seattle". Bryan demands gracious and intelligent service from his wait staff, which led to praise and recognition from publications such as Conde Naste, Esquire, The Atlantic, Gourmet magazine, Seattle Magazine, Northwest Best Places, and the Zagat Guide. As a previous co-owner of Brasa Restaurant, Bryan created a diverse, extensive wine list, which contributed greatly to Brasa being recognized by Food & Wine and Gourmet magazines as one of Seattle's top tables in 2000. He is a permanent member of the Northwest Palate magazine wine tasting panel and recently was a guest wine tasting panel member for Bon Appetit. Bryan is enjoying travel and looking forward to his next exciting and fulfilling adventure in the wine business. Photo courtesy of Andrea Johnson.
Maître d'Hôtel Captain

Sommelier Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen’s passion for wine and fine cuisine has taken him around the world in pursuit of the ancient art and craft of winemaking. He has worked the harvest in Burgundy, New Zealand, Washington and Oregon. In 2007 Jeff took his passion to the next level founding WT Vintners and is currently crafting small lot, single vineyard wines in Woodinville, WA. Joining the team at RN74 Seattle and working with celebrated Wine Director Rajat Parr represents the next step in his pursuit of all things vine. Jeff has had the opportunity to work alongside several of the Pacific Northwest’s best chefs, restaurateurs, and sommeliers while honing his craft. His resume includes a laundry list of Seattle’s top restaurants in including Cascadia, and James Beard Award winning Lampreia and Cafe Juanita. Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen holds an "Advanced Sommelier Certification" from the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Sommelier Diploma from the International Sommelier Guild. In 2008, he won the Pacific Northwest Super-Regional Best Young Sommelier Competition and competed as a finalist in the national competition hosted by La Chaine des Rotisseurs International Food & Wine Society. He is amidst the rigorous process that is the Master Sommelier examination.
SAVANNA RAY, Wildwood Restaurant (Portland, OR)
Maître d'Hôtel Captain

A native Oregonian, Savanna Ray started her career in the restaurant business as a busser at historic Besaw's Café in NW Portland in 1997. Her love affair with wine began in 2004 with a bottle of Didier Dagueneau Pur Sang. She decided to enroll in classes with the International Sommelier Guild and received her pin in May of 2007. She was an advanced instructor for the International Sommelier Guild from 2009 to 2012and has been the Wine Director at Wildwood Restaurant for three years, earning several awards for her wine list. Savanna sits on the Board of Directors for IPNC and for the past five years she has coordinated the sommeliers and wine service for ¡Salud!.  This will be her eighth year as a Maître d'Hôtel and her third year as lead Captain, or as Amy Wesselman calls her "Boss Somm."

DAWN SMITH, Stoneburner (Seattle, WA)
Maître d'Hôtel Captain

As a professionally trained chef, Dawn’s passion for wine emerged as a direct result of her experiences in the kitchen. The daughter of a chef mother, Dawn grew up in the restaurant business, which gives her unique and intimate insight into the guest experience. Dawn received her Culinary Arts Degree in Food Production and Hospitality Management from South Seattle Community College, earned a diploma level certification from the International Sommelier Guild, an Advanced Certificate from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Prior to joining Cafe Juanita, Dawn was the Wine Director and Sommelier for Heavy Restaurant Group’s Bellevue, Washington locations. She served as Assistant Wine Director and Lead Sommelier at Canlis Restaurant and was the opening Wine Director for Bin Vivant Restaurant in Kirkland. In 2009, Dawn was named Sommelier of the Year by Seattle magazine and was named Best Sommelier in the magazine’s Best of 2008 Reader’s Choice Awards.
KRISTEN YOUNG, Bastille (Seattle, WA)
Maître d'Hôtel Captain

Kristen Young is the Lead Sommelier at Bastille Cafė & Bar in Seattle, WA. After moving to Seattle in 2001, she served at prominent Seattle restaurants such as Campagne and Nell’s, developing her passion for fine food and wine. Previous to her work at Bastille, Kristen was Director of Wine at Aqua by El Gaucho and opened Tilth Restaurant with Chef Maria Hines, overseeing the wine program and front-of-house operations. Kristen holds oenophilic accreditations from both Court of Master Sommeliers and International Sommelier Guild, as well as a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from The University of Toledo. Miss Young was named ‘Sommelier of the Year’ 2011 by the Washington State Wine Commission. Kristen is also proud to participate as part of the Sommelier team for both Taste Washington and the International Pinot Noir Celebration and is also a judge for Seattle Wine Awards.
FRED ARMSTRONG, Ringside Fish House (Portland, OR)

Fred first developed a taste for wines in 1987 while touring France and Italy. Being a native Oregonian, he developed a love for local Pinot Noirs. After fifteen years in the telecommunications industry, Fred decided to take his career where his heart is, wine, and became certified from The International Sommelier Guild in 2005. He has spent much time teaching wine classes, writing wine articles for different publications and overseeing wine service for such prestigious events as The Classic Wines Auction, where he has served as the lead Sommelier for the past 6 years. Fred is currently the Wine Director for The Ringside Hospitality Group where he oversees one of the largest restaurant wine programs in the Northwest. 2012 will be his seventh IPNC since 2005.

VANESSA BAZZANI, Veritable Quandary (Portland, OR)

Vanessa Bazzani was raised in a restaurant family in New York City (her father was the managing partner of Le Bar Bat and Café Iguana) before moving to Portland, Oregon in 1994.  Growing up in restaurants, it was only natural for her first job to be that of a busser at the age of 16.  This early introduction to the business quickly led to a career devoted to restaurants and the wine industry.  While working at several of Portland’s premiere restaurants, Vanessa’s hard work and passion for wine inevitably led to her pin from the International Sommelier Guild in November of 2005.  For the past 10 years, Vanessa’s love for the wine regions of the Northwest has made her a staple at the International Pinot Noir Celebration working as a Maitre D’Hotel. Currently, she is the Wine Director of Portland’s Veritable Quandary Restaurant & Bar where her passion for locally sourced products has found a home.  Her wine program reflects Chef Annie Cuggino’s seasonal farmer driven menu, specializing in an array of Willamette Valley and Northwest wines while also offering a vast selection from around the globe. 
MATT BERSON, Carl's Jr. (Portland, OR)

"Eleven years at the IPNC
Have taught me how things ought to be
Swirl sniff slurp and spit
Pause and ponder it
Then pass the whole bottle to me"
KEN BOLICK, JORY at the Allison Inn & Spa (Newberg, OR)

You’ll find Ken at The Allison Inn & Spa’s JORY restaurant where he is Restaurant Manager and Sommelier. JORY’s wine list is a recipient of the esteemed Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence and offers over 850 wine selections—including 125 Oregon Pinot Noirs dating back to the 1994 vintage. A true Renaissance man with a degree in American literature, you can find Ken’s nose in a book, a glass of wine, or a simmering sauce. He is honored to attend IPNC as a maître d'hôtel for a fourth year. 

Bio Coming Soon
TOM CHAMPINE, The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen (Portland, OR)

Hailing from Motown, Tom discovered his passion for wine living in the Pacific Northwest. This enthusiasm grew from his love of entertaining, and sharing meals with friends around a table. Beyond earning his certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Tom has had the privilege of serving as Manager and Sommelier at Vino Paradiso Wine Bar and Bistro from 2005-2011. Now he currently performs Distribution Sales and Market Development for Raptor Ridge Winery, in Newberg Oregon. On weekends he often works in the garden, feeds the goats, or tends to the bees at The Side Yard Farm, an urban farm in Portland, where he is also the Beverage Director.
JACKIE COOKE, Vin et Pain (Calgary, AB Canada)

It was 1998 when Jackie decided she wanted to pursue a wine career after spending a month exploring the wine regions of the Pacific Northwest and California. In 2002, Jackie earned her sommelier diploma at the Dubrulle Culinary Institute in Vancouver. Since then, she has held various positions in the wine industry; cellar worker at Tinhorn Creek Winery, sommelier at Mission Hill Winery, sommelier at Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler and International Sommelier Guild instructor. During this time, she took the opportunity to travel to wine regions in Italy, France, Spain, USA, and Canada. Presently, Jackie resides in Calgary where she operates Garage Wine Mechanics, a wine consulting business, and is the president of the Calgary Sommelier Society. She is very proud to have launched Avec Bistro in may of 2012, where she is a proprietor and the sommelier. Being part of IPNC has connected her with a lot of Oregon producers and she is thrilled to have the Canadian exclusive on Cristom Syrah and Chardonnay, as well as the Love & Squalor wines!

Recent (ish) Oregon transplant harkening from the great state of Missouri, Jennifer Cossey discovered her interests in wine while perusing her undergraduate art degree in Northern California. Since then she has earned her Master’s Degree in Business and has worked in a variety of capacities in the wine industry including retail management, restaurant management, business development, marketing and education. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and is a freelance wine, food and travel journalist, educator, consultant and yoga teacher. She is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and a contributing writer and columnist for several regional and national publications such as Sommelier Journal, Oregon Wine Press, Sip NW, Wine Business Monthly, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Wine & Spirits Magazine.
JASON CRUME, Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge (Seattle, WA)

Jason was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and moved to Seattle when he was 12 years old. While attending the University of Washington, he was suckered into covering a valet parking shift for a friend at a Seattle restaurant and has been in the service industry ever since.  He spent many years behind many bars honing his skill as a barman before his journey into the world of wine began in New York City at the acclaimed wine bar 'inoteca.  After spending two years immersed in the study of Italian wine, he moved to Seattle to help open Bricco della Regina Anna, a well received wine bar on top of Queen Anne in Seattle.  Jason received his level one certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers while working at the Waterfront Seafood Grill before moving on to help create the award winning wine list at Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge. When he isn't working, Jason can be found teaching his one-year old son Jackson how to keep his pour costs low and how important biodynamic farming is to true terroir.

BRIANNE DAY, Riffle NW, etc. (Portland, OR)

A Pacific Northwest native, however, Brianne fell in love with wine in northern Italy when she was 19.  In 2006 she launched her career - and life - into wine with a two year trip around the world to five continents and more than 70 wine regions.  In 2008 she began studying to be a wine maker and gained experience working dual harvests each year in Oregon, New Zealand, Argentina, and France.  In 2010 she began working in the restaurant industry at Le Pigeon in Portland, OR and under the guidance of Andy Fortgang was able to develop her skills as a Sommelier.  Her career has lead her through the tasting room at The Eyrie Vineyards, into the cellars of Belle Pente, Scott Paul, Domaine Huber Verdereau, Willakenzie Estates, Brooks & Murdoch James Estate, in retail sales at Storyteller Wine Co. and on the floor at Le Pigeon and Little Bird Bistro.  She currently manages the wine program at Riffle NW, assists in production at Grochau Cellars, and has her own fledgling label, Day Wines.  In her spare time she plays in the woods and tries to get lost on back roads in Corsica and Priorat.
TIMOTHY EAGAN, Chops Lobster Bar ()

After graduating with honors from Johnson & Wales University, Tim stayed in the Boston area, and worked for the Ritz Carlton for 14 years as the Sommelier for the hotel. After 14 years of living in the snow and cold weather, Tim decided to make a move to Sunny Florida in 2005, and accepted the position of Sommelier/Assistant General Manager at The Old Homestead Steakhouse at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. After 2 years of work at the Old Homestead, he learned of a new restaurant that would be opening in Boca Raton by the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group. With this new job, he was given the opportunity to assemble the Beverage Program at the critically acclaimed Atlanta based, Chops Lobster Bar where he has been since 2007. In those 6 years, the restaurant was won numerous awards, including Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, Best Steakhouse in Boca Raton by Boca Raton Magazine for 4 years, Best Wine List in Boca Raton by Boca Raton Magazine, In Zagat’s Top Ten for Palm Beach County for 5 years. In addition, he is also a judge for the American Fine Wine Competition for the past 4 years, competed in the Best Sommelier Competition, Top SOMM Competition, and holds the Advanced Level Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and will be sitting for the Master Exam in 2013.   
KINN EDWARDS, del Alma (Corvallis, OR)

Biography coming soon.
KATIE ESPINOSA, Bacchus (Milwaukee, WI)

I am honored to be joining the team this year. I have worked in restaurants since college and what started as a job quickly turned into a passion. I have a love of food, wine and outstanding service. I am a level 2 Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine. I oversee the largest wine list in Milwaukee and have received the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence for the past 10 years. I work at Bacchus - A Bartolotta Restaurant with James Beard Award winning chefs Paul Bartolotta and Adam Siegel.
DANA FRANK, Ava Gene's (Portland, OR)

Dana started working in wine nearly 10 years ago, and as soon as the bug bit her, she never looked back. In Portland she has been a retail buyer for New Seasons Market, the direct sales manager at Bethel Heights Vineyard, a teacher for various wine schools and organizations, and wine director at clarklewis, 23Hoyt, Grüner and RiffleNW.  She is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers.  Dana and her husband, Scott, started their winery, Bow & Arrow, in 2010 focusing on Loire Valley grape varieties all grown in the Willamette Valley and made naturally in Portland's east side.  She currently slings Gamay and Pinot noir with her husband and wrangles her nearly 2-year-old daughter during the day, works as a server at Ava Gene's at night, and drinks Champagne on the weekends.

PATRICK GAFFNEY, Bar Avignon (Portland, OR)

Patrick loves scouring the city of Portland by bicycle in search of delicious things to eat and fantastic wines to imbibe. The extraordinary bounty of the Willamette Valley was a major drawing force in bringing Patrick and his wife to Portland in 2011. Patrick is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers where he received the Broadbent Award for outstanding performance during his exams. He got his start popping bottles at Nimbus restaurant in Bellingham, WA in 2007. The wines of the Pacific Northwest were the starting point for a passion for wine that has since spread to all of the wine-producing corners of the earth. It was at Nimbus that Patrick made his transition from years of cooking professionally to working in the front of the house as a server, Maitre D’ and Sommelier. Patrick is currently pouring rose’ and anticipating tomato season while managing Bar Avignon.

KYLE GARTLAN-CLOSE, Salt Tasting Room (Vancouver, BC)

Kyle Gartlan-Close is extremely excited and honoured to be returning as a sommelier for IPNC 2013. Kyle presides in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he is the general manager and wine director of Salt Tasting Room in Gastown. He oversees wine programs for a diverse portfolio of Heather Hospitality Groups, but can be found most of the time on the floor at Salt talking about wine. Salt boasts Vancouver’s most extensive sherry list, and a constantly rotating by the glass program; a wine lovers paradise.  Kyle completed his sommelier diploma with the International Sommelier Guild in 2009 under the tutelage of Barbara Philip (MW), and has developed a palette for all things food and wine through harvests in Kelowna, and Oregon, as well as extensive travels eating and drinking his way around the Pacific Northwest and Europe.
STACEY GRECI GIBSON, Corkbuzz Wine Studio (New York)

After a short stint in DC working in public policy, Stacey Gibson moved to New York City and into the restaurant world. She started as a hostess, a gig she scored thanks to a connection from her childhood best friend. While she had always been interested in food and wine, she quickly realized through working on the floor that she loved the energy and pace of restaurants. After spending time in the front of the house at several restaurants in the city, Stacey joined the opening team at Momofuku Ma Pêche in early 2010. A year later, she was promoted to sommelier and wine manager. In 2011, she leapt at the chance to join the team at Master Sommelier Laura Maniec's Corkbuzz Wine Studio. In addition to being a floor sommelier, she also schedules and organizes weekly staff trainings and teaches classes to the public. Stacey holds the Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. She recently passed the Certified Sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers and is preparing for the Advanced Exam.

MEL GUSE, Broder's Pasta Bar ()

Bio Coming Soon

JARED HEBER, Le Comptoir Bar a Vins (Santa Barbara, CA)

Jared Heber first started working as a sommelier in 2003 at Seattle's historic Canlis Restaurant under mentor Shayn Bjornholm.  From there he moved to Napa Valley to work for the Thomas Keller Group at both Bouchon and The French Laundry.  After several years in Napa he then moved to Los Angeles to open two new restaurants, first as Wine Director at Mozza, then Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood.  While at Mozza & Gordon Ramsay his assistant wine director was Eric Railsback, who is now the proprietor of Le Comptoir in Santa Barbara.In 2005 he attained Advanced Certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers.  That same year he was named one of the best new sommeliers in Wine & Spirits Magazine.  
JESSICA ROSE HERETH, Olympic Provisions ()

Bio Coming Soon

TIA HUBBARD, Gino's Restaurant & Bar (Portland, OR)

Pacific NW native, she is proud to make her home in Portland, Oregon.  She feels at home in restaurants, and has been in hospitality most of her adult life. She prefers places full of good smells, lively people, and food of all natures.  Tia slipped into a glass of 1993 Francesco Rinaldi “Brunate” Barolo, and has never been the same since. It was a natural progression towards wine and she received her Sommelier diploma pin in 2009, and has been managing the cellar at Gino’s, with a wine list of over 600 bottles.  As of April she has joined the Waverley Country Club team. Recognized as the only Platinum-rated club on the West Coast, she is excited to be part of the action. Tia is looking forward to another great IPNC. 
KRISTEN KOORS, Great Wine Buys (Portland, OR)

At the age of 18, "KK", left her home town of Naples, Fl to travel the world and elevate her wine knowledge (a.k.a headed straight to Europe to drink legally). After a few stints in Europe and New Zealand, Pinot Noir captured her heart and it was off to Portland, OR to plant some roots. The food & wine scene there seemed the perfect place to settle and further her "oeno-cation" with The International Sommelier Guild. In April 2010 she was pinned Certified Sommelier by the Court of Masters in San Francisco. For the last 5 years she has spent her evenings as Captain at Morton's the Steakhouse and enjoys her days working at the oldest independent wine shop in Portland, Great Wine Buys, whose founder was an early champion of Oregon Pinot Noir. She's elated to keep that tradition and be a part of IPNC.

JESSICA LEMONS, Le Pigeon (Portland, OR)

Jessica is super excited and honored to be attending IPNC this year as a matrè d'. Jessica is a recent transplant to Portland from Birmingham, AL where she worked at the Hot and Hot Fish Club and managed the bar and wine program at Cafe Dupont. Jessica is currently employed at Le Pigeon restaurant in Portland where she works for James Beard Foundation Award winner, Gabriel Rucker, and talented sommelier, Andy Fortgang.
CORTNEY LEASE, Wild Ginger (Portland, OR) ()

Cortney graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Chemistry and a minor in Dance.  She began her wine career upon moving to Cambridge, England in 2005, with a job as a Wine Advisor at Odd Bins.  Cortney took the Wine Spirit Education Trust’s intermediate and advanced exams in London, passing both with Distinction. Back in Seattle, Cortney accepted the position of Cellar Master at a James Beard Award-winning restaurant, Wild Ginger & The Triple Door; from there she worked her way to becoming the Company Wine Director for the entire restaurant group.  In that time, Wild Ginger was awarded the Grand Award by Wine Spectator in 2009 to present, among other distinctions.  Cortney also enjoys being a judge for the Seattle Wine Awards and the Art of Wine.  Cortney currently is an Advanced Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, and is continuing to cultivate her education in wine through study, tasting groups, work and travel to pursue becoming a Master Sommelier, and desires to one day combine her love for wine and her degree in Chemistry to make her own wine. 

Bio Coming Soon

CHRIS MURPHY, Eddie Martini's (Wauwatosa, WI)

Chris Murphy is General Manager and wine guy of Eddie Martini's in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Recognized as one of Gourmet Magazine's top 40 restaurants in the country, Eddie's is the place to go for a stellar and memorable Wisonsin dining experience. Chris is respected for his professionalism and unwavering commitment to impeccable service. Chris and wife Liz have been a part of the International Pinot Noir Celebration for 18 years (and counting).
JULIANNE NELSON, Great Wine Buys (Portland, OR)

Originally hailing from Minnesota, Julianne's career in hospitality began at 15 at a small bistro in Wayzata.  After college, she traveled to New York City to pursue a career in theater but found she was destined for a life of studying and serving wine. Beginning her wine education in 2005 with the late Chris Goodheart she ventured to Oregon in 2009 to work harvest with Ken Wright Cellars where she is now a full time sales representative and part time cellar rat. You will often find her buying bubbles, Alsatian Riesling and of course Pinot noir from the handsome fellows at Great Wine Buys


A native Ohioian, Jeffery Passerotti has been in the hospitality industry for most of his adult life. Starting in kitchens as a pastry chef and sous chef, then on to being a operations/general manager – always with a avid interest in the culture of wine. He has worked in almost all aspects of the wine industry including retail, wholesale, and as a restaurant buyer. He has been responsible for many successful wine programs in the Eugene area over the last 15 years and is a committed wine geek with a keen interest in Oregon and Europe, with a focus on the Pinot Noir grape. When not drinking, tasting, and buying wine you can find him on the golf course with dreams of the Senior Tour.
PHILLIP PATTI, Marché Restaurant (Eugene, OR)

Phillip J. Patti, Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, began his career as a manager at one of Chicago's best retail wine stores. He then became a manager at the James Beard Award-winning Spiaggia Restaurant. In Oregon, he has worked at Amity Vineyards, Northwest Wine Company, Brittan Vineyards and Domaine Danielle-Laurent. He earned a "Vineyard Management Certificate" from the Northwest Viticulture Center in Salem. In Eugene, Phillip opened and managed Uva-a Wine Bar, and ran the Eugene Wine School. He is now the Sommelier at Marché Restaurant in Eugene. Phillip has traveled to France, Italy, Chile, Australia and Argentina to evaluate wines and experience the terroir that produces them.
JESSICA PIERCE, International Riesling Foundation (Germany)

Jessica is on a journey to find her place in the world of food and wine. She recently relocated from Italy to Germany to intern in the cellar and vineyards of world-renown Riesling producer, Dr. Loosen. Transformed by her experiences in Europe, she decided to stay in Germany to make a documentary film about the cultural landscape of the Mosel Valley. Before moving to Europe, she lived in Portland, Oregon where she worked for over 3 years alongside Chef Jason French as the General Manager and Sommelier at Ned Ludd. She worked the 2010 & 2011 harvest seasons at Brooks Winery in Amity, Oregon and was the Key Hospitality Associate at Domaine Serene Winery in Dundee, Oregon in 2008 & 2009. Jessica is a graduate of the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Master's Degree in Food Culture and Communications; Human Ecology and Sustainability. She holds a diploma from the International Sommeliers Guild, and is a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers. She has a background in photography with a Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana State University, located in her hometown of Baton Rouge. Louisiana. Jessica really likes Riesling, Pinot Noir, and The Talking Heads.

APRIL POGUE, Wild Ginger (Bellevue, WA)

April Pogue discovered her passion for wine while working with the 5th Floor restaurant in San Francisco and their award-winning wine list.  Since then, she has worked for Spago Beverly Hills, Seattle’s Cascadia, Earth & Ocean, Yarrrow Bay Grill, and Wild Ginger Bellevue where she is currently the Wine Director/Manager.  In the winter of 2010 April collaborated with Chef Becky Selengut in the production of the IACP nominated cookbook “Good Fish” providing wine pairings for 50 + recipes featuring sustainable and west coast dominated seafood.   Aside from working at Wild Ginger, April teaches classes on food and wine pairing for PCC cooks, has taught twice for the Culinary Institute of America, and is currently preparing to collaborate again with Chef Becky Selengut on a new book to be completed in September, 2013.  While not following her passion in wine, you will most likely find April hounding unsuspecting friends urging them to run a marathon with her, painting with acrylics,  or playing scrabble on her smartphone which she takes most likely, much too seriously.
DAVID SPEER, Ambonnay Champage Bar (Portland, OR)

A certified sommelier with more than 10 years of extensive training and worldwide wine knowledge, David Speer is the owner of Portland’s first and only champagne-focused bar, Ambonnay as well as Red Slate Wine Company through which he hosts wine classes and serves as a personal sommelier helping his clients create and maintain their wine cellars.  Food and Wine Magazine chose David as one of ten Sommeliers of the Year for 2013.  David and his businesses have been featured in Food and Wine, Eater.com, Sunset, Portland Monthly, The Oregonian, and MIX Magazine.
JOSHUA THOMAS, Prospect (San Francisco, CA)

Having worked his entire life in restaurants, Joshua Thomas realized his passion for wine after several years spent in the back of the house cooking. After establishing a firm understanding of what makes good food, Joshua took the next step in his career to seek out and learn all there is to know about wine. The more he learns the more he finds there is to learn. Joshua has completed his International Sommelier Guild Diploma, has passed the Advanced exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers, and plants to sit the Master exam next year. Joshua currently works in San Francisco as a Sommelier and Manager at Prospect, the sister restaurant to Boulevard.

Christopher Westmoreland began his wine studies with the Northwest Wine Academy in Seattle and continued to become a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Christopher continues his studies with the Guild of Sommeliers and the International Sommelier Guild. He now serves as the wine and service director for Levant, the exciting new french-arabesque restaurant in Portland, Oregon. "I am excited to be involved with the thriving wine and food community of Portland and the Willamette Valley and honored to serve with the IPNC each year," notes Westmoreland.

Bio Coming Soon

JEFFREY WILSON, Laurelhurst Market (Portland, OR)

Jeffrey worked in restaurants for most of his life (aside from a few odd jobs such as Clown and Commercial Fisherman). Food, wine & spirits have played a major role in shaping who he is today. In 2003 he got his feet wet with sorting a little fruit, during harvest at Patricia Green Cellars. Since then he has worked each harvest with Patty and the crew and has been a full time employee since 2005. You may also find him at Laurelhurst Market where he does whatever they tell him to on any given evening.
JOHN ZOLLER, Paley's Place (Portland, OR)

John is a born and raised Pacific Northwesterner who is always very excited to be taking part in IPNC. John started in the service industry at the age of 15, and has been learning and growing ever since. In 2006, John was hired at Paley’s Place for James Beard award winning chef Vitaly Paley and his wife Kimberley Paley. John has been a bartender, server, and manager for the Paley’s and continues to work for them in whatever capacity they need at the time.