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Andre Mack
Andre Hueston Mack.jpg
Born December 25, 1972 (1972-12-25) (age 48) Trenton, New Jersey
Occupation Winemaker, Author, Designer, Sommelier, Entrepreneur
Spouse(s) Phoebe Damrosch (2008)

André Hueston Mack (born December 25, 1972) is an American sommelier, winemaker, and author. He is the first African American to win the title of Best Young Sommelier in America (2003), and was the runner-up for the title of Best Sommelier in North America in 2004.

Career

Despite a successful career with Citicorp Investment Services, in the early 2000s Andre Mack decided to leave his "desk job" to pursue his passion for wine. Mack began to study wine in earnest while working at The Palm in San Antonio, Texas. During his time working as a sommelier there, Mack discovered the joys of introducing guests to the little-known vineyards that first attracted him to the business and "the instant gratification of a guest's reaction." He left The Palm to work as head sommelier with the team that opened Bohanan's Prime Steaks and Seafood in San Antonio. In 2003, at the age of 30, he competed and won the title of Best Young Sommelier in America, awarded by the Chaine des Rotisseurs. He was the first African American sommelier to do so. Gaining exposure, Thomas Keller offered Mack a position on the opening team of his New York restaurant, Per Se. He accepted the offer and spent three years as head sommelier one of New York's few four-star restaurants, where he worked to manage a 2500-selection award-winning wine list and consulted regularly with Chef Keller on menu and pairing development. His wine lists have also received recognition by Wine Spectator, and he has been featured in Food & Wine, Wine & Spirits, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Black Enterprise. He was honored in 2007 with The Network Journal's 40-Under-Forty Achievement Award.

Mack is an ardent wine educator who has been invited to host seminars and lead panel discussions at several food and wine gatherings including The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado and the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival. He also curates wines for Club W, a wine club for a new generation of drinkers, to continue his mission of making wine more accessible.

Personal life

Since 2008, Mack has been married to author Phoebe Damrosch, whose New York Times notable book, Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter, detailed their courtship and collaboration during the early years of Per Se. As of early 2013, Mack is in the process of writing his own book, a culinary activity and coloring book that pulls together some of the most innovative chefs, ingredients, and technique.

Television appearances

Mack appeared as a guest judge along with two Michelin stars chef David Kinch on episode 4 (entitled "Daring Pairings") of Season 1 of the ABC reality show The Taste, which aired on February 12, 2013.

Business pursuits

In 2007 Mack founded Maison Noir Wines (formerly named Mouton Noir Wines until a dispute with Chateau Mouton Rothschild) after having forged relationships with growers and winemakers from Oregon over many years.

Based on the success of the wine labels he created for Maison Noir Wines, in 2011 Mack established Get Fraiche Cru, a boutique graphic design firm, for which he serves as creative director. He has worked with clients such as Joel Gott, Palm Bay Imports, and Charles & Charles.

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