Steven Olson, Wine and Spirits Consultant for Bon Appétit Magazine, is dedicated to the education and consultation of degustation for appreciation and celebration. He teaches, lectures, and writes all over the world about wine, beer, spirits, sake, and virtually any other beverage under the sun, discussing their integral cause-and-effect relationship with food as he preaches the gospel of his mission: making tasting fun by removing the intimidation factor and the pretense.
Over the years, Steve has hosted a couple of his own TV series’ and been a guest on many others, and has served as host of several trade education and product information videos, including being the voice of Virtual Bartender kiosks in retail stores nationwide. He was also selected as Santé Magazine’s Spirits Professional of the Year for 2003, and in 2005, he was chosen as CHEERS Magazine Beverage Innovator of the Year, a lifetime achievement award, and is the Chair of Wine and Spirits for the James Beard Foundation Awards.
Olson may be best known to many, however, for his restaurant and bar consulting, having designed the innovative beverage programs and service systems for several nationally acclaimed operations, including the Relais Chateau, Mobil Five Star award-winning Mayflower Inn in Connecticut, New York City΄s #1 Zagat-rated restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, and the Adam Tihany-designed Summit at the Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond BROADMOOR in Colorado Springs. Olson designed the beverage programs for OTG Management, which exclusively operates dozens of restaurants and wine bars in airports, and in 2007 Steve was chosen by Grupo Posadas hotel group in Mexico to design the beverage programs for their Aqua properties, which opened in 2008. In 2010, Olson and aka wine geek created the unique beverage programs for TWO Steak and Sushi Den, in New Hyde Park, NY, with Chef James McDevitt.
aka wine geek, the company, is based upon Steve Olson’s standing as one of America’s foremost experts and most sought-after lecturers in the business, and his 35+ years of experience in the restaurant business. aka wine geek specializes in beverage and service consulting, and has focused on the professional presentation of beverage education for the trade, consumers, press and the media since 1992, always striving to empower both members of the trade and consumers to make their own decisions, and to trust their own palates.
aka wine geek is more than Steve Olson, however. It is a network of employees and contracted consultants, including several speakers and sommeliers, bartenders and servers throughout the US, that collaborate to make his vision happen.
aka wine geek acts as a liaison between all strata of the industry, serving in an educational and advisory capacity between producer, importer, distributor, sales force, restaurateur, retailer, management, servers, and all others involved in the presentation and sales of beverages, creating the opportunity for successful interface with the consumer. www.akawinegeek.com
In March 2006 in New York City, Olson, along with four partners, Dale DeGroff, Doug Frost MS, MW, F. Paul Pacult, and David Wondrich, opened Beverage Alcohol Resource, LLC (BAR). BAR is an independent organization whose mission is to educate, guide, and propagate the healthy, enlightened, and responsible use of beverage alcohol products. The school is in a unique position to create and teach a series of courses that will not just train, but actually educate those who take them, be they service industry professionals, members of the media, or curious consumers. BAR was chosen as CHEERS Magazine Beverage Innovator of the Year 2007. www.beveragealcoholresource.com.