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Jeremy Houghton is a trained chef. Some of his favorite culinary experiences have been in Alaska and New Mexico where he has cooked bear, antelope, elk and moose.

He wanted something more. He decided to go back to graduate school—studying wine and earning level two certification as a sommelier.

A sommelier is a trained professional who specializes in wine selection, service and food matching. A sommelier may also be responsible for developing wine lists, for the delivery of wine service, and training for the other restaurant staff. He works with the culinary teams to pair and suggest wines that will best complement food menu items, drawing on a deep knowledge of how food and wine, beer, spirits and other beverages work in harmony.

For those of us who’ve been considering going back to school for additional training, we asked Jeremy about the career path of a wine expert. It’s a lot harder than I’d imagined…

Jeremy Houghton holds an associate degree in Culinary Arts and a bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management, both from Johnson & Wales. In addition to his Level 2 certification in Sommelier, he’s a certified food management professional through the National Restaurant Association and a certified master TiPS trainer through Health Communications Inc.