Interview with Chef Fernando Beteta of Nomi - Chicago

December, 2005

Antoinette Bruno: What is your oldest wine memory?
Fernando Beteta: One of my oldest memories was in Italy when I was 18 years old at a lunch for the best friend of my father. I tried a 1992 Tignallo (a Super Tuscan). It beats every other wine I’ve ever had.

AB: How did you develop an interest in wine?
FB: Through my parents. My father is a chef. He and my mother own restaurants in Guatemala. My grandfather is a wine maker and has a wine shop. I love geography and culture.

AB: Where have you worked previously?
FB: At the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton with Sarah Stegner. In Thailand at the Royal Meridian Resort, and in Rome at the Hotel Eden.

AB: What is your philosophy on wine and food?
FB: I like simple, fun pairings. I believe in the marriage of food and wine. With seafood, I’ll choose a wine with high acid as a compliment, as you usually like lemon with fish.

AB: Do you favor Old World or New World wines?
FB: Old World – for their elegance and greater complexity. I tend to stick to classics and believe in terroir, a representation of the place where they are made.

AB: What are your ultimate career goals?
FB: To become a Master Sommelier, running my own restaurant or working in an award-winning restaurant.