Rising Star Sommelier Andrew Elder of Bresca - Biography

Washington, D.C.

March 2022

As an aspiring chef from Hampton, Virginia, Andrew Elder enrolled in Johnson & Wales University’s Charlotte Campus. He quickly came to realize that cooking wasn’t his thing—but his beverage appreciation class? Now that he could get onboard with. So after completing his associate’s degree in culinary arts, Elder continued his education to receive a bachelor’s degree in beverage service management and his Level 3 WSET certification.

While still in school, he helped open Corkbuzz Wine Studio in Charlotte with Master Sommelier Laura Maniec. As a service and beverage professional, he was on the floor, preparing wine flights and educating guests. He studied abroad at The German Wine and Sommelier School, where, after exploring the wine regions of Germany, France, and Spain, Elder earned an advanced diploma and gained an appreciation for wine, not just as a beverage, but as a “living thing in a bottle.” 

In 2016, Elder completed the Introductory Sommelier course from the Court of Master Sommeliers. After graduating in 2017, he moved to Washington, D.C. and took a back server position at the two-Michelin-starred minibar by José Andrés. There, he spent the next three years working his way up from floor captain to sommelier before becoming service manager at Officina in 2020. At the young age of 25, Elder took on the title of beverage manager at Chef Ryan Ratino’s Michelin-starred French bistro, Bresca, and now its sister restaurant, the hyper-seasonal, 14-seat tasting menu concept, Jônt. Overseeing a 180-bottle wine list, Elder showcases multiple tiers of pairings; from young vintages and uncommon subregions to iconic producers, with the goal of educating guests through the experience of dining.