The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2012

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Page 34 of 152

WHO���S WHO The Conidence CHRIS BRADFORD BRINGS A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE���AND INSPIRATION���TO THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LOS ANGELES AT BEVERLY HILLS PHOTO: STEVEN ANDREW GARCIA Chris Bradford is the new Wine Director at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. 34 / the tasting panel / december 2012 Gain O ne of the irst things Chris Bradford noticed about the staff at The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills was the level of enthusiasm and interest in learning about wine. That���s a great beginning for the newly appointed Wine Director at this stylish property, which houses the enticing Culina Modern Italian restaurant and a comfortable see-and-beseen three-room bar and lounge. Most recently serving as Beverage Director for Crustacean Beverly Hills, Bradford walked into an existing wine program at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills��� signature restaurant, which primarily features Italian wine���more than 200 selections���from just about every one of the country���s regions. His ambition is to create an ���open atmosphere��� where customers can enjoy half of nearly any bottle, making Culina an extra-special destination for those who like to experiment. ���Not only is the food price manageable,��� he points out, ���but without a mark-up, I will open up and pour half of almost any bottle on our list.��� The seemingly stoic Bradford���s passion may not be apparent, but he truly believes he is living his dream. ���I am one of the few sommeliers who don���t want to make wine. Winemakers are the alchemists; I enjoy tasting their magic.��� However, he does admit to being a ���frustrated chef,��� and at home he dabbles in Creole cuisine. ���It���s not just the waitstaff who are hungry for knowledge,��� claims Bradford; ���interest ranges from the concierge to the front desk. This is so gratifying to me because I love to teach my favorite subject. Their thirst for education and the desire to be a master of their craft is higher here than I have ever seen.��� Keeping the wine list varietally correct, he says he will never throw a curve ball into the mix and wants the staff to understand what typicity is about. ���They should know the wine list as well as they know the menu,��� he insists. But his best philosophy is a lifelong gift that only a great mentor can offer; when it comes to his ongoing staff training, he states, ���I can teach anyone to pour, but besides facts and wine knowledge, I also aim to impart con���dence.��� ���Meridith May

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