As the Chef Sommelier at Benoit in New York, André Compeyre oversees the restaurant’s beverage program including a wine list that features several bottles from Alain Ducasse’s personal collection.

André began his career in his native city, Toulouse, France over twenty years ago where he created a new wine program for a local restaurant. With ambitions to expand his wine knowledge, André moved to London accepting a sommelier position at the three-star Michelin restaurant Le Gavroche, known for its impressive global list. Later on, André returned to Toulouse as an Assistant Sommelier at the Michelin-starred Les Jardins de l’Opera, where he further developed the wine list and created grand cru wine tastings. In 1993, he became the Chef Sommelier at Le Chateau Eza near Monaco where he met Theresa Henkelmann who offered him the opportunity to work in the United States.

André gained national recognition as the Head Sommelier at Restaurant Thomas Henkelmann, part of The Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he built the wine program. In June 2000, he opened Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, and had the pleasure to work with wines that included Alain Ducasse’s personal collection from his eponymous restaurant in Paris. André graduated to Chef Sommelier and remained at the restaurant until 2006. He then went on to work at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City where he remained for nearly four years. Deciding that he wanted return to a fine-dining atmosphere, André joined Bouley for a year before working again with Alain Ducasse at Adour at The St. Regis New York, where André also was the Assistant Manager.

In June 2011, he became the Chef Sommelier at Benoit New York with a collection that includes a secrets de cave reserve list. With wines from all over the world, highlights from the list include rare Burgundy and California varietals, not often seen at restaurants, let alone at bistros. Benoit also has NAPA Technology, a system that allows André to serve wines by the ounce from famed producers such as Château Petrus and Chateau Y’Quem. He also features a regularly updated “Top Pours” selection offering guests exceptional wines at competitive prices. André has an endless curiosity, and at Benoit, his passion for serving extraordinary and good value wines comes through.

Today’s episode takes us back into Andre’s long history within the wine and food industry, from starting in France, to becoming the head Sommelier at Benoit in New York City. Learn more about Andre, how he has learned to appreciate organic wines, and which wines he is excited about for the rest of the summer! Lastly, tune-in on how to receive a special discount on a visit to Benoit! This program has been sponsored by International Culinary Center. Also don’t forget to check out the Heritage Radio Network Hawaiian Barbecue, this Sunday, August 11th! Tickets are available at http://hrnhawaiianbbq.eventbrite.com. Stop on by to meet host Joe Campanale of In The Drink, and the rest of the Heritage Radio Network team!

“I remember going to the mountains, picking out the wild asparagus, and coming back with a treasure.” [7:03]

“Being in a casual ambience at Benoit allowed me to have fun, and still have the same opportunity to approach the guest, and make sure that they are having fun as well.” [21:05]

Andre Compeyre on In the Drink