Saree, now the Champagne specialist for Republic National Distributing Company, and the former wine Director for Mark’s American Cuisine on Westheimer, developed an interest in food and wine while working in a restaurant in Gainesville, Florida during college. Her interest in the hospitality industry led her to Hawaii, where she worked at Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s Kahana Bar and Grill in 1999. As a Manager-in-Training, she assisted in managing the wine room and doing inventory. Realizing an enthusiasm and natural tasting ability, Saree decided to focus more on developing herself in the wine industry. Promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2001, Saree moved to Roy’s Restaurant in Denver, Colorado, where she was able to develop her passion for fine food, great wine and exceptional service, thus beginning to make a name for herself.
Two years later Saree opened Zoe’s in Virginia Beach, Virginia as Proprietor/Sommelier, earning a reputation as one of the areas’ top wine professionals. She garnered many awards for both the restaurant and wine program including the Four Diamond Award, 2004-2005, Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence”, 2004-2005 and the Wine Enthusiast Award of Distinction in 2006. Saree, herself, was a finalist in the competition, Best Young Sommelier in America, Mid-Atlantic Region.
Before joining Mark’s American Cuisine as Sommelier in June 2007, Saree worked briefly for the Fountain Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and for the Hilton Hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in both properties as Sommelier.
Saree is a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, was featured in Chalk Hill’s 2007 Sommelier’s