Triffon is currently Director of Wine and Beverages for the
Unique Restaurant Corporation
in Detroit, where she is responsible for the development of all wine
lists and Beverage Programs. MTriffon also coordinates wine dinners
and tastings and serves as corporate wine educator.
New London, Connecticut, MTriffon moved to Greece with her family at
age three. She returned to the United States to attend the University
of Michigan. In 1977 she was hired by the Westin Corporation to open
the French restaurant in the new Renaissance Center in Detroit as wine
steward. "I got the position thanks in no small part to a good French
accent," MTriffon confesses. She purchased Hugh Johnson's World Atlas
of Wine and began to educate herself as a sommelier.
the Westin between 1977 and 1985, MTriffon expanded her role from wine
steward to buyer, and her food and beverage director entered her in
a national sommelier competition. "I had never even met a sommelier
from another state," MTriffon recalls, "and I found myself in New York
competing nationally in blind tastings, food and wine harmony, restaurant
service and knowledge of French wines." She finished among the nations
top sommeliers. MTriffon was hired in 1985 as wine steward at the prestigious
London Chop House in Detroit. In 1987 she was invited to sit for the
Master Sommelier examination by the British-based Court of Master Sommeliers.
At the time, only eight Americans had ever passed the exam, which is
the only internationally recognized credential for beverage sales and
service. MTriffon earned the title of Master Sommelier and became one
of only two female Master Sommeliers in the world. Her Chop House wine
list received a coveted Wine Spectator Grand Award. She joined renowned
chef Jimmy Schmidt in 1988 as Wine Director for his restaurants, including
the highly-regarded Rattlesnake Club.
MTriffon joined The Unique Restaurant Corporation as Director of Wine
and Beverages. Her wine list for Northern Lakes Seafood Company was
described as "pure poetry" by a Detroit Free Press restaurant reviewer.
She designed a "duet" of cellars for Duet, the first URC restaurant
in downtown Detroit, one for whites and another for reds, ensuring the
perfect serving temperature for each. In 1999, Wine Spectator awarded
three URC wine lists--Duet; No. VI Chophouse and Lobster Bar; and Morels,
A Michigan Bistro-- its Award of Excellence. The same year, Santé
magazine named MTriffon Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year. MTriffon
has served as Chairman of the American Chapter of the Court of Master
Sommeliers, of which she is currently a board member. She resides in
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