Culinary website honors Houston sommelier as a "New Original" for touting virtures of sherry
National culinary website Tasting Table has included a familiar face among the nine people selected for its inaugural class of "New Originals:" Public Services owner/sommelier Justin Vann.
Who are the "New Originals?"
Tasting Table editorial director Karen Palmer describes them as follows: "These are folks from across the country who are changing not only the face of dining in their respective cities, but the national conversation about food and drink."
Vann, the only Texas representative, earned his nod for his "one-man mission to better introduce the drinking public to sherry in all its forms" by featuring an extensive selection of the wine on Public Service's list and teaching Sherry 101 classes. The bar even sports a neon Sherry sign in its window.
If one is judged by the company he keeps, then Vann has earned a significant honor with his selection. Other members of the class include New York City chefs Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone of well-reviewed sister concepts Contra and Wildair, Bonnie Morales of Russian restaurant Kachka in Portland, Oregon, and Chicago's Beverley Kim and Johnny Clark of modern Korean restaurant Parachutes.
Being a New Original is only the latest honor for Vann. In 2013, Food & Wine selected him as one of its sommeliers of the year for his work at Oxheart. Prior to opening Public Services, his PSA wine consulting business improved the selections at independent restaurants like Paulie's and Mala Sichuan.
Public Services doesn't have any classes scheduled at the moment, but those who are interested can always stop by the bar and ask for an introduction. Vann, who once wrote that Sherry "will burn your drinking routines to the ground," will be too happy to oblige.