FOODIES WEST.COM         
TODD BRINKMAN
CERTIFIED SOMMELIER | Lead Sommelier, Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay California
Once you find good people, and you stay in this industry,
September 2016 Issue | Vol. 4, No. 16                                                            good people will find you as well.










 

 








 
 
 
 

Executive Chef
CHAMINADE RESORT
SANTA CRUZ, CA

NICHOLAS CHURCH

4-Diamond Chef de Cuisine
  DESEO | WESTIN KIERLAND
SCOTTSDALE, AZ

DEREK BIAZO

Chef de Cuisine
THE ARTHUR J
MANHATTAN BEACH, CA

DANIEL WAKED


View the wines, spirits, and beers chefs and sommeliers have paired with food featured in FOODIES WEST on our new page:



Todd Brinkman talks about an unforgettable and wonderful wine experience on our
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Autumn Cheese Pairings:
1st in a triptych

     
deseo restaurant
AT WESTIN KIERLAND
SCOTTSDALE, AZ


     
Pacific Resources Int'l
New Zealand Sea Salts
Manuka Honey


      
Ancho Reyes Verde
Roasted Poblano Chiles


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Todd Brinkman | Certified Sommelier | Lead Sommelier at Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay California Todd Brinkman will never forget the time in 2003 when he spent $2,000 on a dinner for two at one of the best restaurants in Paris. “We were lucky to get a seat at this restaurant,” Brinkman said. “We got there at 6 o’clock, when they opened, and we left at 1 AM. It was a nine-course tasting menu. Mine had prices on it, hers didn’t. I closed the menu and said, We're doing the tasting menu, right? She said, How much is it? I said, Don’t worry about it. We’re never coming back here, ever again.” Brinkman described the dinner as, “amazing.” However, Brinkman didn’t recall the experience because of the food, but because of the sommelier. He spoke English, and he looked clean, but his hands smelled like he had been working on his car. “The experience was great,” Brinkman said, “but I still remember what that guy’s hands smelled like. Of all the things to remember about that dinner. That’s not the best of experiences.” Brinkman said his dad chided him for a long time about that dinner. “I’m just a kid from Cleveland,” Brinkman explained. “We don’t go out and eat fancy like that.” Mention the city of Cleveland, and most people innately understand Frank Zappa’s incongruous drift with his song, Let’s Move to Cleveland (I’ve been there). Brinkman, who grew up listening to Zappa (as well as Rush and the Beatles) and now a certified sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers) that’s rubbed shoulders with a number of stellar names in sommland and vintnerville, admits the city didn’t make the best place for an oenophile to get his footing. “Let me tell you,” Brinkman assured, “Cleveland, even in the 1990s, was not known for its fine dining cuisine or its wine experience. It had a couple good restaurants that operated a good wine program, but not really. There were just no mentors to help you grow.”