definition of Sommelier

Steven LandeSteven Lande
The Dining Room

Chicago, IL

Steven Lande's love of food led him to a career at The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago. Steven joined The Dining Room in 1998 after training at the world-famous Charlie Trotter's with Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman from 1995 to 1997. His advanced training includes the Court of Master Sommeliers program and The Sterling School advanced wine program under Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein.

A longtime fan of Chef Sarah Stegner of The Dining Room and her commitment to excellence, Steven was delighted to join her staff and provide a level of service and selection of wines worthy of her cuisine. The results have been outstanding, as evident in The Dining Room's being named "One of the Top 20 Restaurants in America" in 2000 by Wine Spectator.

Wine Spectator Executive Editor Thomas Matthews acknowledged Steven's efforts, stating, "The restaurant's wine list holds one of Wine Spectator's longest-running Grand Awards, and Steven Lande has increased the cellar's depth and flexibility. He has added hot new California bottlings to the existing depth in fine Bordeaux, broadened the offerings of wines by the glass, and find-tuned the marriage of wine and food."

When Chicago Tribune food critic Phil Vettel awarded the only "Four-Star" honor in 1998 to The Dining Room, he described Steven as "a dependable and unintimidating guide" for wines.

Steven is committed to the education of both his staff and the public. He hosts special wine tastings and discussions with prominent winemakers, including such luminaries as Garen and Shari Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyards in the Napa Valley; Hubert Trimbach, a 12th-generation winemaker from the small town of Ribeauville in the center of Alsace, France; Cathy Corison of Corison Vineyards in Napa; Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger of the internationally renowned Taittinger Champagne family; and Nicholas Joly of Savennières.

Steven's coast-to-coast dining experiences, from Valentino in Los Angeles to Bouley in New York and "everything in between", including Michelin Three-Star restaurants in Paris and London, coupled with his genuine love of food, are the foundation of his success in The Dining Room of The Ritz-Carlton Chicago.

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