Sommelier Etinosa Emokpae of Walnut Street Cafe - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

March 2019

Etinosa Emokpae went from milkshakes to Merlot. It was her first restaurant job, Shake Shack, that taught her the value of spreading happiness to her coworkers and guests. She worked her way up through Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality, backserving at Untitled at the Whitney and Maialino, where she was introduced to the amazing world of wine. When she left to join Lafayette and Little Park, Emokpae became a “cellar rat,” learning through restocking and running inventory of the restaurants’ best wine. She briefly left the dining room floor to serve as a Tasting Assistant for Wine and Spirits Magazine. Not only was Emokpae able to meet and pour wine for some of the world’s best sommeliers, she was also able to take all leftover wine home.
In the hopes of a change from busy New York City, Emokpae moved to Philadelphia. She staged at a.Kitchen and Fork while achieving her advanced wine certification through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). She put her wine knowledge to action at Bar Hygge, Kensington Quarters, and Osteria, before becoming the head sommelier and floor manager at Walnut Street Cafe, where she remains today.