As you may or may not know, I am currently attending the International Sommelier Guild (ISG). I just received news that the former ISG student and current Wine Director of The Peninsula in Chicago, Michael Muser, was just named as the "BEST SOMMELIER" in the 2011 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence.
February 2, 2012
THE PENINSULA CHICAGO'S WINE DIRECTOR MICHAEL MUSER IS NAMED "BEST SOMMELIER" IN THE 2011 JEAN BANCHET AWARDS FOR CULINARY EXCELLENCE
The Peninsula Chicago's Wine Director Michael Muser is named "Best Sommelier" in the 2011 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence. The winners were announced at the 15th annual Grand Chefs Gala on January 27, 2012. In an effort to raise funds for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the gala showcased a diverse collection of award-winning culinary artists who each prepared and presented a signature dish for over 750 guests. Every year during this event, the Jean Banchet Awards are formally announced.
The Jean Banchet Awards is the only Chicago-based awards program that recognizes culinary originality and talent. Forty four chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, restaurants and catering companies competed to be named the best in each respective category for the 2011 awards. The winners were selected by participating and nominated chefs and industry experts by secret ballot.
Michael Muser joined The Peninsula Chicago in 2006 and serves as the Wine Director and Sommelier for the hotel's four venues: Shanghai Terrace, The Lobby, Pierrot Gourmet and The Bar. He also oversees the wine program for catering functions and private events. Prior to that, he worked for Lettuce Entertain You as Sommelier and Wine Director for three of the company's restaurants: Ambria, Mon Ami Gabi, and Café Ba Ba Reeba. While at Lettuce Entertain You, he was also responsible for creating all wine lists for restaurants in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Maryland. Previously, Muser was Sommelier at Frasca Hospitality Group in Chicago.
After graduating from Northern California State University, where he majored in history and theatre arts, Muser studied with the International Sommelier Guild (ISG), the only formal credentialed wine program in the United States. He then spent time traveling throughout Europe, specifically the regions of Burgundy, Champagne, Tuscany and Piedmont, working harvest and learning the fundamentals of wine first-hand before returning to Chicago to finish his last two years of training with the ISG. Muser is now the only instructor in Chicago for the ISG.
The Peninsula Chicago was named the Number One Large City Hotel in the US and Canada by Travel + Leisure's Reader's Survey, August 2011 and Number Two Hotel in the United States in Condé Nast Traveler's annual Reader's Choice Awards, November 2010. The hotel is located on the "Magnificent Mile" at 108 East Superior Street (at Michigan Avenue), within the city's premier shopping district. The 339 guestroom hotel opened in 2001 and features three distinctive restaurants, a popular bar and a world-class spa. For information on The Peninsula Chicago, please visit www.peninsula.com/chicago.
Congratulations and great work! It gives me great inspiration in my quest.