Chef Lenny Cooking for Class

So you like wine. Have you ever dreamed about a career in the wine industry? Or just wanted to learn more about wine for your own personal enrichment? If so, check out The Northwest Wine Academy.

It was a little over two years ago when I contacted Reggie Daigneault at the school after I saw an ad in Northwest Palate magazine. They lured me in with Food and Wine Pairing. Then Reggie told me that Chef Lenny Rede teaches the series. That would be THE Chef Lenny who used to own the restaurant Sapphire, my go-to neighborhood spot in Queen Anne.  THE Chef Lenny who used to run the beloved (though some say haunted) Café Sophie where friends and I would indulge ourselves with his phenomenal gold dusted chocolate pyramids. Okay, I was hooked!

Hanging with Wade and Becky of Thurston Wolfe Winery

I didn’t really know what would become of it. “Should I take classes for fun or to pursue a professional certificate?” I pondered. I had recently left my corporate job and thought perhaps I could apply my business skills in the world of wine. If nothing else, I would indulge my passions for food and wine. Or as our friend Vivian says, “Have kickass dinner parties.”

Well, that was two years ago.  In that time I have started writing about food and wine pairing, been meeting some of Washington’s beloved winemakers – even sitting right across from them at the dinner table, doing social media for some of Seattle’s most prestigious wine events, touring vineyards, barrel tasting, visiting artisan cheese makers, and being a part of the most kickass dinner parties ever with my new friends from school. Oh, and let’s not forget the icing on the cake. I was recently hired to take care of wine sales and marketing for one of my favorite neighborhood shops, Dish it up!

Mike Andrews of Coyote Canyon Winery Offering Us Barrel Samples

Now, it’s time to enroll for another quarter with classes starting the week of April 4th. This time, I’m taking Wine Service Essentials to help round out my on-the-job skills. If you’re just starting out, consider Introduction to Food and Wine Pairing. Or, if you really want to graduate to the level of wine geek, sign up for Sensory Evaluation. This class is hands down one of the most useful and enlightening classes that I have taken in the program. If you’re more advanced, try Win 156. Don’t let the online schedule fool you – this is actually food and wine pairing with cheese (and Chef Lenny) and is not to be missed. Are you ready to pursue your dream and have the time of your life?