May’s Sommelier of the Month:
Pourer of wine at Garcons de Cafe
541 S Broadway - DTLA.
Our current favorite Sommelier.
Due to the May theme of wine, we had to pick a Sommelier who truly blew us out of the water, not just with knowledge but with hospitality. Sofian Ketfi is the co-owner/sommelier of Garçons de Cafe and the love for his craft shows all over when you walk in and admire the wine selection of Garçons de Cafe inside the Spring Arcade building.
Being from France, everything is, well, French and that’s always been Sofian’s mission for owning a business in America. He is everything a passionate Sommelier should be and when we visited for Happy Hour we knew we had to shine a spotlight on him.
Taking regular trips to France and drinking some of the best wine in the world, you should be truly jealous of his life experience (we are.) But that’s also his resume, that’s how you know you can trust what he suggests when you walk into his bar. That’s why we picked him for this Month’s honor.
OUR ONE ON ONE WITH SOFIAN:
We got to sit down with Sofian over French reds, whites, and charcuterie/cheese boards. He shared how his passion for wine came about, his favorite place to frequent after a night’s work, and what he plans to do next with his career.
HHC: Where were you born?
SK: I was born in Ivry Sur Seine, in the suburbs of Paris, France.
HHC: Where do you currently reside?
SK: I currently reside in Downtown Los Angeles, for now, 4 years.
HHC: How long have you been a sommelier?
SK: I've been a sommelier for the last 2 years.
HHC: When did you know you wanted to be a sommelier?
SK: Once I started drinking a lot of wine, I got really interested to know why all these different parameters were coming from. And the only way to open some books, do sommelier classes and meeting the most renown winemakers from Bordeaux to Burgundy.
HHC: What’s your favorite wine- Red? White? Rose? Sparkling?
SK: This is a tough question. I usually never give an answer, since it's really about the time, the mood, the food, the weather etc.. But let's say that I'm a big fan of Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France. I would go with a good Gevrey Chambertin, Givry or Marsannay.
HHC: What’s your favorite wine to pair with your favorite meal?
SK: A great Cornas from the Rhône Valley with an Entrecôte!
HHC: What is a must have at every bar/wine bar you go to/work at?
SK: I think you always need a crisp Sauvignon blanc, and a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/franc with Merlot
HHC: What is your favorite type of bar? Why?
SK: I mostly love wine bars because the ambiance is more chill, you can most of the time have a conversation with your guests without screaming.
HHC: Where is your favorite bar? Why?
SK: I like to go to Las Perlas after my shift for a beer and some tacos!
HHC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
SK: With a lot of exciting new projects coming up, I will still be bringing what I love the most: French wines to everyone!
HHC: You’re inventing your own sommelier program, what does that entail?
SK: It requires a lot, lot of time, and tasting an incredible amount of wine! Then it will require good knowledge to bring only very interesting wines that you would not find in every single place.
HHC: Where do you go for Happy Hour when/if you have the time?
SK: I like to go to Le Petit Paris for the Foie Gras, Peking Tavern for a beer and some dumplings, the District for couple bites, and Seven Grand for their great cocktails.
HHC: What’s one thing you think it takes to be a good sommelier besides the education?
HHC: What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on the job?
SK: It was a Sunday afternoon, after a busy brunch, during our slow time around 4 pm, I was by myself and a bus of 45 people came in to have a drink for a birthday party without a reservation! In 20-25 min I served all these people and few bites. Tough, but so much fun!
Garçons de Cafe
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
We'd like to thank Sofian for taking the time to work with us while he was on vacation. Stop by Garçons if you want to learn more about French wines and the innovative man behind their list. Thanks for reading, and as always...