Canada's First Female Master Sommelier Announced Last Week

Toronto-based Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment's Jennifer Huether Named Master Sommelier

TORONTO, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Huether as Master Sommelier. Huether received the nod by the Court of Sommeliers last week and is the only female recipient of the prestigious designation in Canada.

Huether joins an elite league of 180 Master Sommeliers worldwide and is only the third Canadian to receive the title. Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities and professionalism in the hospitality trade.  The coveted designation is granted after several years of intense training and rigorous exams that includes a practical service component, theoretical knowledge examination and blind tastings. Thirty candidates attempted the invitation-only examination in Irving, Texas, and Huether was among only six recipients of the designation.

In her role as Head Sommelier for MLSE and Toronto's newest restaurant, e11even at Maple Leaf Square, Huether oversees an award-winning, multi-million dollar wine program.  Huether was also instrumental in developing the extensive wine list at e11even, which includes 4,000 bottles and more than 600 labels from regions around the world. 

The examination was one of the most challenging experiences Huether has ever encountered. "You have to be able to perform all the required tasks under pressure, so understanding how to keep that in check was crucial for me," she said.

She acknowledged other Master Sommeliers for her victory. "The Master Sommeliers who mentored me through this process were invaluable in giving me advice about how to develop my own skills and deal with the anxiety of the exam itself.  I am truly grateful for their guidance and support."

Huether's achievement comes after a 10-year career in hospitality. After graduating top of her class from the International Sommelier Guild in 2000, she went on to gain the Diploma of Wine and Spirits from Wine and Spirit Education Trust in 2003. Huether was then accepted into the Advanced Sommelier Program from the Court of Master Sommeliers and gained accreditation in the first round of testing in 2004.

"No words can describe how genuinely proud we are of Jennifer and MLSE for being a part of an incredible time in Canadian history," said Michael Doyle, MLSE's vice-president of Food and Beverage, who credits Huether for MLSE's continued success. "Jennifer is an amazing teacher and loves to share her knowledge of wine with her colleagues and guests. She has a passion for being the best and has grown our wine program over the years to be one of the best in North America."

SOURCE Maple Leaf Sports

For further information:

Media Contacts:
Jamie Deans, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, (416) 815-5445
Rajani Kamath, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, (416) 815-5790
Melanie Greco, Get Ink, (905) 426-8462

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