Emily Jo Larkin

Certified Sommelier

My father spent most of his free time sailing the Great Lakes and throughout his adventures he was always drawn back to the wonderment of Leelanau County. Every summer of my childhood was spent “up north”. I’m pretty sure I wanted to grow up to be a fish and live in Lake Leelanau. It was this early developmental brain washing that led to me to return to the area for summer jobs during my college years.   I worked in restaurants and loved the fast paced environment and the instant community of my work family. We worked hard, we played hard in one of the most beautiful places I ever known. I worked up the food chain to fine dining and immediately found that there was a lot to learn about culinary terms and techniques, standards of service, regional cuisine styles and the wine knowledge. I began to focus on the ocean of information that is wine and being a fish I dove right in and swam.

I first studied in 2006 with the International Sommelier Guild under mentor Shayne Bjornholm. I passed the Court of Master’s Introductory Sommelier exam in May 2008 and the Certified Sommelier exam in June of 2009. I was working in downtown Chicago with one of my most treasured restaurant families when I got the call: I had to get back to the woods. Life in Northern MI is where my heart resides. I returned to the area in 2010 and started a job in wine and beer sales. I gave it the old college try but after a few years realized that I was truly a fish out of water. I returned to the comfort of fine dining. I have of true passion for wine education and look for every opportunity to enhance the experience.

Epicure is one of my all time favorite work families. I’m humbled to be a part of the team and eager to start our next project. I love collaborating with Cammie and Andy on and off the catering field. In my free time I can be found reading cook books like they’re tabloid magazines, anything that can be filed under the title of “projects”, mischief and the everyday life of fish who lives in Lake Leelanau.