Rising Star Sommelier Joe Camper of Bar Boulud (Boston) - Biography

Boston, MA

March 2015

For Joe Camper, the summer of 2008 was a climactic one. His years of private music lessons, undergraduate studies at Manhattan’s Mannes College of Music, and master’s program at the New England Conservatory of Music had all paid off. He was about to be offered a contract with a major Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. Staring down the opportunity of a lifetime, Camper found his thoughts—and career aspirations—drifting quietly, and insistently, to wine.

He didn’t stay abroad long, and, once back in the States, Camper got in touch with Cat Silirie, wine director and passionate educator at the helm of the Barbara Lynch Gruppo.  Silirie gave Camper a chance as a cellar rat at Menton. The two ensuing years found Camper attending countless tastings, playing host to world-renowned winemakers, and learning every facet of the business needed to become a sommelier.

Looking to return to Manhattan, Camper took a job at Eleven Madison Park, this time working his way through dining room positions to become sommelier. When the head sommelier position at Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne opened up, Camper was ready, not to mention eager, to dive back into a program rooted in classic French regions. When Boulud announced in 2014 that he was opening a Bar Boulud in Boston, Camper found the perfect way to go home. Shortly after, in 2015, Camper earned a StarChefs Rising Star Sommelier Award for his work at the restaurant.