Interview with Chef Nadine Brown of Charlie Palmer Steakhouse – Washington, DC

December 13

Bruno: How did you develop an interest in wine?
Nadine Brown: I have a bachelor’s degree in social work and used to work with emotionally challenged kids – one day I needed a break. I got a host job at Bistro Bis and got the bug! I was very lucky to work with some really passionate people.

AB: Describe your fondest wine memory.
NB: I worked a charity event recently at a private house in McLean, Virginia. I ate pizza while drinking a 1990 Latour from a paper cup. It was perfect! In general I like making wine approachable for people who find it intimidating.

AB: Who do you consider to be your greatest mentors?
NB: Jeffery Buben at Vidalia, Ashook Ajar at 701, Gordon Leigh, formally of Bistro Bis. Herb Kaplan, Josh Radigan, Dan Fisher, Cathal Armstrong have all been influential as well.

AB: What courses have you taken? Awards won?
NB: Currently, I’m involved in both the Master of Wine and
Master Sommelier programs. I won the Rammy award for best
Wine and Beverage program and also received a Michael Bonnacorsi
Scholarship from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

AB: What is your philosophy on wine and food?
NB: To make wine approachable. To find a balance between traditionalism and innovation. To support the people who
do this for the love of the juice, whose integrity comes through in the glass. To have fun.

AB: Do you favor Old World or New World wines? Why?
NB: Neither, that’s almost a silly question. Life is about finding balance. It depends on my mood, what I’m eating and what is available.

AB: Tell me about a perfect wine and food match that you discovered.
NB: Pinot Noir based sparkling and foie gras is great. I like Soter Estate, from Oregon. The acid and earthiness in the Pinot cuts through the fat in the foie gras.

AB: What wines do you favor for your cellar at home?
NB: German Riesling and anything made by Ted Lemmon

AB: What are your ultimate career goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
NB: I would like to work in Las Vegas at some point, because it seems like the closest I could come to working on another planet. I would also like to open an education-oriented wine shop and center.