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I’o restaurant’s Clark achieves rank of Level One Sommelier

By Staff | Jul 30, 2009

Richard Clark doubles as farm manager at O’o Farm and wine steward at I’o restaurant.

LAHAINA — Richard Clark, wine steward for I’o restaurant, successfully completed the Court of Master Sommeliers Level One training in June.

“We are extremely proud of Richard,” said I’o General Manager Ken Caldwell. “This caliber of training enhances I’o’s wine service and elevates us amongst other Maui restaurants.”

Established in 1977, the Court of Master Sommeliers is the only international credential for wine professionals. Four levels of intensive training culminate in Level Four: “Master Sommelier.” There are less than 100 masters in North America today.

Level One focuses on deductive wine identification, or blind tasting. The prestigious sommelier training was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, at Angus Barn restaurant, known for its award-winning 25,000-bottle wine cellar.

As wine steward, Clark is responsible for wine procurement, wine list development, cellar management, food and wine pairing and palette suggestions. 

Clark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of California, Irvine. An early proponent of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, Clark was the general manager and wine buyer for Jean Marie Josselin’s A Pacific Café on Kauai and Maui. Later, he worked as general manager for Beverly Gannon’s Joe’s in Wailea, and in 2000 became general manager for I’o restaurant.

Six years ago, I’o and its sister restaurant, Pacific’O, acquired eight acres of pristine Upcountry land, and Clark went to work developing O’o Farm as the restaurants’ exclusive sustainable, organic farm.