2014 Kapalua Wine & Food Festival Sommeliers
Michael Jordan, MS, CWE
Director of Global Key Accounts, Jackson Family Fine Wines
Veteran Restaurateur and “Sommelier for the People” Michael Jordan is Director of Global Key Accounts for Jackson Family Fine Wines. Jordan also chairs the Los Angeles International Wine Competition – now 75 years running and the oldest competition in America. Previously Jordan served three years as vice president of food & beverage for Anaheim’s award winning restaurant and live music venue, THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon (Zagat 28-29-28). Prior to opening THE RANCH, Jordan was president of The Beachcomber Restaurant Group. Before that he served as Global Manager of wine sales & standards and wine education for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts® Worldwide – and also nine years as general manager of the world famous Napa Rose restaurant at Disneyland Resort® in Anaheim. In his career Jordan has been involved with the opening of seventeen restaurants including Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa and was general manager/sommelier of Pavilion at Four Seasons Hotel Newport Beach when it received AAA’s Five Diamond Award.
Jordan holds a Master Sommelier diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers as well as a Certified Wine Educator diploma from the Society of Wine Educators and is one of only 15 people in the world to hold both these diplomas. Jordan has taught comprehensive wine and beverage courses to well over a thousand students.
Jordan also hosts a weekly radio show, What’s Cookin’ with Wine on CRN Digital Talk Radio and many AM radio markets across the country since 2002.
Personal recognition & awards:
- 2012 Food & Beverage Director of the Year – Southern California Restaurant Writers
- 2008 Sommelier of the Year – Whitefish Wine & Food Summit
- 2008 General Manager of the Year – Southern California Restaurant Writers
- 2006 Restaurant Professional of the Year – Orange Coast Magazine
- 2005 American Sommelier of the Year – Cordon Du Vin World Society
- 2005 Wine Educator of the Year – STARWINE
- 2005 General Manager of the Year – Orange Coast Magazine
- 2002 Sommelier of the Year – Southern California Restaurant Writers
- 2001 Sommelier of the Year – California Restaurant Writers Assn.
“Michael Jordan is one of just 15 people in the world awarded both Master Sommelier and CWE (Certified Wine Educator) titles. And if there were an equivalent for heirloom tomato expertise, he’d have that, too.” – Priscilla Mayfield’s column “Taste of Orange County” Orange Coast Magazine – August, 2013
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.