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definition of Sommelier

Ken Fredrickson
Master Sommelier
Restaurant Terroir

Jackson, Wyoming


Ken Fredrickson’s most formative experience was with Chef Charlie Trotter at Charlie Trotter’s in both Chicago and Las Vegas. Ken worked with Trotter for over a year. At this time he was committed to mastering formal service as well as developing an in-depth knowledge of food. At Trotter’s, Ken was introduced to Master Sommelier Steven Geddes, who became a great influence and mentor to him.

In 1995, Ken left Charlie Trotter’s to take a full-time sommelier position with Las Vegas based chef and restaurateur Andre Rochat. Working with predominately French wine, KFredrickson opened two restaurants for Rochat and wrote both of their wine programs.

During this time, KFredrickson passed the Sterling Advanced Sommelier Course with the highest score and received the American Express Scholarship. Using the Scholarship monies, KFredrickson sat for the Advanced course given by the Court of Master Sommeliers and passed, becoming one of only about forty people qualified to sit for the Master Sommelier Diploma. There are currently less than 40 Master Sommeliers in the United States. KFredrickson became the 97th Master Sommelier in the world in April, 2000.

After passing the Advanced course, KFredrickson was recruited by Wolfgang Puck to run the Las Vegas Spago and write the wine list for the new Chinois. The wine list KFredrickson created for Chinois was met with critical acclaim. S. Irene Verbela, food critic for the Los Angeles Times, wrote, "KFredrickson’s wine list has got to be the hippest in town, in fact it’s eclectic enough to be cutting edge in Manhattan or West Hollywood."

In the autumn of 1998, KFredrickson left Spago and Chinois to open his own restaurant, in partnership with Ben Roth, his college roommate at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Hotel and Restaurant School. Restaurant Terroir opened for business in February 1999 in the resort town of Jackson, Wyoming. KFredrickson has since opened two new establishments in Jackson: a wine shop, Jackson Hole Wine Company; and an Asian-accented wine bar, Koshu.

KFredrickson's passion for wine continues to lead him into new business ventures. As he became known in the fine wine business, he began to help with the buying strategy of a modest number of wine collectors, finding the little treasures that they could not procure on their own. In 1999, he formed Vintage Consultants LLC to make the venture official. Today he has an active client list of more than twenty clients that includes some of the great collectors in the U.S. On their behalf, he has purchased several hundred thousand dollars' worth of fine wines from auctions and wholesalers. The expansion of this company includes managing the construction of three private cellars in the Jackson Hole area, with plans to fill them with wines from Vintage Consultations and the Jackson Hole Wine Company.

KFredrickson is also the project manager on the transformation of Sonoma Valley's Timber Hill Hotel and Timber Hill Vineyards. The vineyards in the neighborhood - Flowers, Marcassin and Kistler, to name a few - are some of the most sought-after wineries in California.

Having grown up in a small rural town in Idaho, KFredrickson feels like Jackson is returning to his roots. When he can find free time from studying wine, you will find him fly-fishing or mountain biking on one of Jackson’s many trails. That is, when he has free time, which is almost never!

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Interview with Ken FredricksonRestaurant Terroir's Wines by the GlassWine Tips by Ken FredricksonKen Fredrickson's homepageSommelier Archives

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