The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2018

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Page 74 of 96

74  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2018 WHO'S WHO T he question "What can you tell me about San Diego?" typically prompts replies of great beaches, craft beers, patio brunches, surfers, fish tacos, Top Gun, Ron Burgundy, and sub-par baseball. The answer I'm always looking for, however, is "a second- tier market with a first-class community of hospitality pros." To be fair, San Diego is like your friend who gets jokes ten minutes after you tell them: just a bit behind the times. That's OK for San Diegans—things move just a little bit slower there, yet the hospitality sphere somehow always remains a step or two ahead of the game. They've got Top Chefs, Iron Chefs, Master Chefs, industry-leading cocktail pros, and a thriving community of brilliant, talented, and dedicated sommeliers. And as of September, the city had also added two new Masters to the family: Master of Wine Lindsay Pomeroy (for more on Pomeroy, see page 32) and Master Sommelier Josh Orr. Here's our list of the top 12 sommeliers to visit next time you're in "America's Finest City": AUGUSTO FERRARESE and KARA LOVECCHIO, Urban Kitchen Group: Ferrarese decided to leave his two-Michelin-star restaurant in Italy to sell great wine stateside. He now serves as the Beverage Director for Urban Kitchen Group, which stretches from Orange County to San Diego. LoVecchio, meanwhile, pours wine and lays on the charm at Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill. Both Cucina Urbana and sister concept Cucina Enoteca have extensive lists that delve deep into Old World classics while surprising with lesser-known gems. Count on Ferrarese to always have a superb, affordable Italian wine on deck that you've never heard of. Getting Ahead of the Game INTRODUCING THE TOP SAN DIEGO SOMMS YOU NEED TO KNOW by Brandon Boghosian / photos by James Tran Kara LoVecchio and Augusto Ferrarese of The Urban Kitchen Group.

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