Josh Orr, Wins Prestigious Guild OF Sommeliers Top|Somm Honors In National Championships
Josh Orr Surpasses 200 Sommeliers in One of the Nation’s Most Competitive Awards, Bringing Title to San Diego
Marina Kitchen at the Marriott Marquis & Marina in San Diego today announced Sommelier and Bar Manager Josh Orr’s recent first place win of the highly coveted Top|Somm competition by the Guild of Sommeliers. Judged by a panel of distinguished Master Sommeliers and former Top|Somm winners, the rigors of the testing challenged Orr on the most minute of wine knowledge, pushing the boundaries of skill and art found at the most elite levels, according to Steve Pagano, General Manager of San Diego’s Marriott Marquis & Marina.
“Josh stood up against some of the greatest wine minds in the business, beating out 200 of the nations brightest Sommeliers for the distinction,” continued Pagano. “His passion for this business, his education, and the level in which that has translated to the wine program he has built at Marina Kitchen are truly unparalleled.”
Highly regarded as one of the most prestigious Sommelier awards in the nation, The Guild of Sommeliers’ Top|Somm competition held in San Francisco on May 4, 2014 is governed by the standards of the US Court of Master Sommeliers. In the challenge, the country’s finest somms go head-to-head in a rigorous three-part competition, testing participants on service, theory and taste. During the fifth annual US Championship, Orr stood alone as the winner, taking home the Rodney Strong top trophy and a $2,000 scholarship.
While preparing for the competition, Orr credits his local San Diego ties for their support, “I have a great group of somms here in San Diego that I study and taste with. We are constantly pushing each other, and that has helped me immensely in my preparation. Both the Guild of Sommeliers tasting classes here in San Diego, and the support I have received by the community has proven to be invaluable.”
Orr now prepares for his Master Sommelier exam, a grueling test famed for its difficulty and ever-intimidating less-than-three percent passing rate.
“Winning Top|Somm is a lifelong dream fulfilled, but my attention now is turned forward,” added Orr. “Two hundred fourteen people have passed the Master Sommelier exam worldwide since its introduction 40 years ago. This is the ultimate test.”
In addition to his Top|Somm win, Orr has received numerous distinctions including an Advanced Sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, where he was named Rudd Scholar for receiving the highest passing score on the exam. In 2012, he finished fourth in the Chaine de Rotisseurs’ Best Young Sommelier National Competition. Orr was also named Ranch and Coast’s Best Sommelier in San Diego in 2012 and 2014. In addition to wine certifications, Orr is certified as a specialist of sake from the Sake Education Council and holds a bartender’s certification through Pernod Ricard’s Bar Smarts program.
Marina Kitchen, under Orr’s program, is also lauded as one of the best restaurant wine collections in the city when it was honored as a recipient of the Award of Excellence in Wine Spectator’s highly anticipated 2013 Restaurant Wine List Awards.
Marina Kitchen is the epicenter of food and beverage experience at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina. With panoramic views of the bay from its indoor and outdoor dining space, focus on serving “modern comfort food” using fresh, seasonally available ingredients, and wine program with a distinct West-coast orientation, Marina Kitchen is quintessential Southern California dining at its best. Marina Kitchen’s contemporary design, lounge atmosphere, and cozy and private seating arrangements make it the perfect place for guests to dine, work, gather with groups, and play. For the latest information, follow Marina Kitchen on Facebook or Twitter.
SAN DIEGO MARRIOTT MARQUIS & MARINA
The centerpiece of the inspiring San Diego Bay, the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina offers 1,360 guest rooms, more than 75,000 square feet of meeting space, and a 446-slip marina. Adjacent to San Diego Convention Center and steps from the Gaslamp Quarter, this downtown San Diego hotel’s location provides convenient access popular attractions like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego. The iconic hotel recently completed a comprehensive 100 million dollar transformation and boasts a lush resort pool area, state-of-the-art fitness center, deluxe accommodations, and top-notch cuisine at three waterfront restaurants. For additional information visit www.SanDiegoMarquis.com.