May 30, 2013

To Whom it May Concern: I’ve been involved in the hospitality industry in one way or another since my early teens and became mostly focused on wine about 10 years later. During this time, I’ve been lucky enough to work for and with some of the most outstanding mentors in the industry at The Little Nell and The French Laundry until I decided to open my own restaurant. Since opening Frasca Food and Wine nearly 9 years ago, I’ve had the honor to employ some of the most talented wine personalities in the industry today (ex: Master Sommelier Dustin Wilson, Wine Director at Eleven Madison Park; Master Sommelier Jesse Becker; Matthew Mather, Wine Director at Frasca Food and Wine). I’ve also been heavily involved in mentoring some of the up and coming sommeliers in the country as they prepare for the rigorous testing that the Court of Master Sommeliers offers. Having gone through the program myself, I understand the level of dedication and perseverance it requires to develop the necessary breadth of knowledge and skill-set in the quest towards becoming a great sommelier. All this being said, Carlin Karr is easily one of the most impressive wine minds I’ve come across during my career. About a year ago Carlin Karr’s resume came across my desk. Having no other experience in the industry, I was impressed to see that she was both the opening GM and Wine Director of a Michelin starred restaurant in San Francisco (Son’s and Daughters). And she had been named one of the industry’s “30 Under 30” stars by Forbes Magazine. I also noticed she was very young when I saw the year that she graduated from college on her resume. I really wanted to interview this young woman as we were looking for an Assistant Wine Director at Frasca at the time. Needless to say, she was the first and only interviewee I saw. Carlin joined our wine team in May of 2012. Carlin immediately excelled in our program, providing new and innovative ways to organize inventory and manage purchasing (skills that are not so glamorous or romantic in the wine world). Within months, our program was more efficient and her energy and enthusiasm added a layer of professionalism we hadn’t even realized we were missing. That being said, I can confidently say that Carlin played a major role along with our Wine Director Matthew Mather in Frasca’s 2013 James Beard Foundation Award Win for Outstanding Wine Service one month ago. Carlin also recently passed her Advanced Sommelier Exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers on her first attempt, which is an enormous accomplishment given her young age and amount of overall experience in the world of wine. This absolutely speaks for her dedication to the craft. It has been a pleasure working with Carlin and I look forward to seeing how she will undoubtedly develop into one of more respected sommeliers in the country. Bobby Stuckey, M.S.

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