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Diversity in Wine: A Panel discussion

Join us for what will be a compelling virtual event, covering the important issue of diversity in the wine industry. This will be an eye-opening opportunity to gain an insight into what needs to be done to create a more inclusive wine community and ultimately move forward as an industry.

The session will be led by our Sommelier, Fikayo Ifaturoti, so please do pour a glass on the evening as the panel answer a host of questions about their love of wine and their future hopes for the industry.

Panellist background:

Tahiirah Habibi
Tahiirah is an esteemed Sommelier, Founder and Executive Director. Frustrated with the lack of diversity in the industry, she uses her skills to bridge the intersection of wine and culture.

In 2017, she launched Hue Society as a safe space for the community to learn and find resources in one place. She had created a cultural space for the Black community to share their developments and experiences in wine. Tahiirah is the first Black woman to grace the cover of Wine Enthusiast 40 under 40 list and has been featured in Ocean Drive as one of the top 5 female sommeliers and in VinePair, Wine Enthusiast, Upscale Magazine, and Imbibe Magazine to name a few. Tahiirah’s work is rooted in empowering the community for both consumers and business owners. Infamous for her pioneering work in the wine industry, Tahiirah recently co-founded The Roots Fund, a non-profit organisation that will create new educational pathways, financial assistance and career opportunities for Black & Indigenous people in the wine industry.

Yannick Benjamin
Yannick’s tireless work and innovative vision is bringing awareness and visibility to seldom-heard voices in the wine industry and championing inclusivity. Yannick Benjamin will bring his energy and passion to East Harlem as he plans on opening his first restaurant, Contento NYC in 2020. Contento will be a barrier-free restaurant where wine and food come together. It will be a place where they share a story of who they are, their history, psychology, social needs, and where social sustainability will be practised. Additionally, it will be a space where they also plan to utilise their experiences and location to offer enriched programs that will enhance the quality of life for people living with disabilities.

Miguel de Leon
Miguel is a wine professional of colour currently living in New York City. He is the wine director of Pinch Chinese in SoHo and Jeepney Filipino Gastropub in the East Village. Heavily involved in supporting LGBTQ, he also writes for PUNCH, a James Beard award-winning online beverage magazine, where he threads stories about human impacts, human interventions, and human consequences in wine.

Sandia Chang
A Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Brunch regular, California-born Sandia worked in some of the world’s most sought-after restaurants – including Copenhagen’s Noma and New York’s Per Se – before launching Bubbledogs and the two-Michelin-starred Kitchen Table in 2012 with her husband James Knappett.

To join the online classes, simply click on the link 5 minutes ahead of the Masterclass.




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