2013 Kapalua Wine & Food Festival Sommeliers
Vice President of Food and Beverage, The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon
Master Sommelier, Certified Wine Educator & Radio Talk Show Host
Owner, WORD Vineyards and Ōlelo Wines
Veteran restaurateur Michael A. Jordan, MS, CWE is currently Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon, a recently opened Anaheim California based wine destination restaurant and live entertainment complex. Before joining The Ranch team Jordan was President of the Beachcomber Restaurant Group, featuring restaurants themed to the California beach scene situated in spectacular locations. Prior to his work at Beachcomber Jordan served as Global Manager of Wine Sales and Standards (and Wine Educator) for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts® Worldwide. This role included responsibility for all wine sales and programs along with creating the wine education for all the Disney properties internationally as well as Disney Cruise Lines and ESPN Zones. Jordan was also responsible for pre-opening and all operations as general manager of the world famous Napa Rose Restaurant.
One of only 15 people in the world to posses both the Master Sommelier Diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Certified Wine Educator Diploma from the Society of Wine Educators, Jordan and wife Teresa have been making their own world class wine under the brand names WORD VINEYARDS® and ŌLELO Wines®. WORD and ŌLELO are small production, high quality, hand crafted artisan wines made from some of the finest fruit grown in California and other regions of the world.
Passionate about wine education, he is the On Air Host and “Sommelier for the People” on his own nationally syndicated radio talk show with Mike Horn called What’s Cookin’ with Wine – heard on many AM radio markets across US including New York, Boston, Charlotte, Detroit and Chicago including KSPA 1510 AM in greater Los Angeles area and CRN Digital Talk Internet radio. Jordan is also a regular ‘radio sommelier’ on KABC Talk Radio, KFWB and KLSX FM in Los Angeles.
Prior to joining Disney, Jordan opened the award-winning Pinot Provence restaurant in Costa Mesa where he was the general manager. Jordan was the chef /co-owner of Bella Teresa restaurant in Corona del Mar with wife Teresa; and general manager of the Five Diamond award-winning Pavilion Restaurant at The Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach. In his younger years, he followed in his celebrity restaurateur father Matteo’s footsteps and was chef at his family’s Italian restaurants, and later general manager & “maitre d’ to the stars” at Matteo’s in California and Hawaii. In all, he has more than 40 years of experience in the restaurant, hospitality and beverage industry.
Over the years Jordan has received praise for his efforts and accomplishments in the food and beverage industry. The following are some of Jordan’s achievements:
- California Restaurant Writers – “Sommelier of the Year for both 2001 & 2002”
- Southern California Restaurant Writers – “2003 Sommelier of the Year”
- Restaurant Business’ – “50 Top General Managers 2004”
- Orange Coast Magazine – “2005 General Manager of the Year”
- Starwine’s – “2005 Wine Educator of the Year”
- Orange Coast Magazine – “2006 Restaurant Professional of the Year”
- Southern California Restaurant Writers – “2008 General Manager of the Year”
- Whitefish International Wine & Food Summit – “2008 Sommelier of the Year”
- Southern California Restaurant Writers – “2011 Food & Beverage Director of the Year”
- • Chairman , Los Angeles International Wine, Spirits & Olive Oil Competition
- • One of only 15 People in world to hold both Master Sommelier and CWE Diplomas
Jordan is multi-certified and has been active in the California Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association, Newport Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau, Anaheim Conference and Visitors Bureau and the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. Residing in Costa Mesa, he is also active in other civic groups in various cities. Jordan grew up in Hawaii where he excelled in the food service management program at Kapiolani Community College and the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Jordan also currently serves on the Advisory Board for UCLA Extension’s Wine Education & Management. The Advisory Board serves as one of the primary mechanisms to keep the program in touch with the community it serves and to offer guidance in its development and evaluation.
His down-to-earth, completely non-intimidating approach to the enjoyment of wine is as refreshing as it is informative. And that, in a nutshell – or should we say in a wine glass – is why Chuck Furuya is Hawai‘i’s most sought-after wine expert. His “journey” really started when he passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination in the late 80’s. Chuck at that time was only the 10th American to do so.
Currently a partner with star chef D.K. Kodama and the DK Restaurants, the group includes all four of the Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar locations, Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas, VINO, d.k Steak House in Waikiki and the recently opened Maui Fish & Pasta Restaurant over on Maui.
Previously Chuck garnered a lengthy list of credits. He has worked in Hawai‘i’s best fine dining rooms, including managing La Mer Restaurant at the Halekulani Hotel and Bagwell’s 2424, formerly at the Hyatt Waikiki, in addition to being the wine cellarmaster at the Kahala Hilton (currently the Kahala Resort & Spa) for many years.
A noted expert on pairing wines with Pacific Rim cuisine, Furuya created the pairings and wrote the wine introduction for the first Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine cookbook, “The New Cuisine of Hawai‘i.” as well pairing wines for the PBS “Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi” program.
Pat Okubo is a Master Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Wine Educator (CWE), and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS). A graduate of University High and the University of Hawaii, he is a member of the National Guard, runs The Wine GI, a personal wine consultation and education business, and is host of A Perfect Sip – an online radio show, www.aperfectsip.com. Patrick is currently the youngest Master Sommelier in North America. Pat is the Fine Wine Specialist and Wine Educator for Young’s Market Hawaii. Previously, he opened Formaggio Grill as Managing Partner and Wine Director / Restaurant manager at Four Seasons Lana’i.
After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in French Language at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Roberto Viernes began his career in the Hospitality industry as an aspiring Chef. Roberto planned to use his love for food and French language skills to attend culinary school in France. However, while apprenticing under a French Chef in Honolulu, Roberto took the Introductory Course for the Court of Master Sommeliers in 1997 and has been hooked on wine ever since. He has intimate knowledge of all aspects in the wine industry. He has worked in retail, restaurant and distributor settings, and is currently General Manager for American Wine and Spirits of Hawaii. He travels extensively to classic wine growing regions around the world to gain an even better understanding of wine and is also active in teaching courses with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Roberto received the coveted title of Master Sommelier in 2005. He has judged for the National Sake Appraisal numerous times. He also currently writes a weekly column Vino Sense in the MidWeek Magazine and is a contributing writer for HI Luxury Magazine.