Queer Food Capital: Fifth Floor Master Sommelier Emily Wines
In anticipation of Pride on Sunday, June 28, SFoodie is presenting daily features celebrating San Francisco's LGBT food and drink culture, including interviews with prominent out chefs and other foodies. We're here, we're queer, we're cooking your burger. Get over it.
Name: Emily Wines (yeah, that's really her birth name)
Current gig: Sommelier, Fifth Floor (12 Fourth St. at Market), a Kimpton Hotels restaurant.
Past life: A self-described wine-rabid waiter at Jardinière.
Queer heroes: "I've always looked up to Traci Des Jardins [of Jardinière] -- she's someone who's always been very out at the same time that she's been a great chef. In the wine world there's Vivien Gay [founder of Vinum Global, a Berkeley-based wine sales and marketing company]."
On the challenges of being out: "I have dealt with things -- sometimes in restaurants there are certainly challenges that can arise with the Latino culture, but we have such a zero-tolerance policy here [at Kimpton], that anytime that comes up it gets nipped in the bud pretty quickly. I'm a little less out at food and wine functions, but I've always been fairly open about the rest of my life."
On working at Ground Zero for gay: "It's awesome, especially in the last year, the number of people coming in because they'd just gotten married or were celebrating their anniversary. I'm always aware of how privileged I am to be in the city where that's the case."