Wine lessons from a Master Sommelier

About Disney's California Food and Wine Festival
From April 24 to June 7, 2009, a World Celebration comes to Disneyland® Resort. This six-week festival showcases California's rich fusion of flavors. Enjoy cooking demonstrations, seminars and recipes that reflect the Golden State's regional and culinary diversity at the Fourth Annual Disney's California Food & Wine Festival. Presented by Vanity Fair® Premium Napkins and Plates.

The Festival, which is celebrating its fourth year in 2009, offers special food items available only for the six-week run in the spring. Guests will enjoy more than 600 complimentary events and 60 signature events over the 45 days. More than 200 wines will be featured at the various wine tasting seminars, and 25,000 Guests will be able to participate at complimentary culinary demonstrations on the stage at Sunshine Plaza, at Disney's California Adventure park.
Click here for schedules and tickets

About Michael A. Jordan
Veteran restaurateur and Master Sommelier Michael A. Jordan is the general manager for Napa Rose, the premier restaurant in the luxurious Disney's Grand Californian Hotel® at the Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, California. Jordan is responsible for managing all of the fine-dining venue's staff and operations, and also serves as the restaurant's expert sommelier and the wine educator for the Disneyland Resort.

Since his tenure at Napa Rose began, the restaurant has received countless accolades. It holds the number one food ranking in the 2002, 2003 and 2004 editions of the Zagat survey for Orange County restaurants. The restaurant was honored as "Best Southern California Restaurant 2007" in the Orange County Business Journal and "Most Popular Restaurant" in the 2008 Zagat Survey. The restaurant's wine list also received the highest award from Wine Enthusiast Magazine the "Award of Ultimate Distinction", Wine Spectator's "Best of Award of Excellence" and a "Diamond Wine Award of Excellence" from the International Restaurant and Hospitality Rating Bureau. As well as being named as the "Best New Wine List" of 2002 as selected by Food & Wine, it was presented with the highest "Golden Bacchus" Cellar Award from the SCRW.

Similar to Napa Rose, Jordan has received praise for his efforts and accomplishments. In 2002, the California Restaurant Writers Association (CRWA), a journalist organization, named Jordan "2001 Sommelier of the Year", the Southern California Restaurant Writers (SCRW) voted him "2002 Sommelier of the Year" and the Cordon du Vin World Society named him "2004 USA Sommelier of the Year." In 2006 Orange Coast Magazine named Michael "Restaurant Professional of the Year 2006" and also "General Manager of the Year 2006."

Passionate about wine education both in and outside of the restaurant, he is a regular 'radio sommelier' on KABC Talk Radio in Los Angeles and the Cable Radio Network (CRN). As a prime example of Jordan's commitment to providing the best possible wine experience, the Napa Rose has more than 42 cast members who have passed the Court of Master Sommelier's "Level I" Introductory Sommelier Course and 5 that have passed the Level III Advanced Exam and are now Candidates for the Master Sommelier Diploma. It was Jordan who facilitated voluntary wine study courses for his staff, creating an in-depth six month international wine class. To successfully complete the course, candidates underwent a two-day test administered by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Throughout the entire Disneyland Resort, there are now over 250 Disney Cast Members who have passed the Level I Course, all due to Jordan's efforts. Jordan himself holds the Certified Wine Educator Diploma from the Society of Wine Educators and currently holds the Master Sommelier Diploma from the International Court of Master Sommeliers having passed the final part of that set of exams in London in November 2007.

Prior to joining Disney, Jordan opened the award-winning Pinot Provence restaurant in Costa Mesa where he was the general manager. Jordan was the owner and chef of Bella Teresa restaurant in Corona del Mar; and general manager of the Five Diamond award-winning Pavilion Restaurant at The Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach. He was also the general manager of Spencer's restaurant in Pasadena. In his younger years, he followed in his father Matteo's footsteps and was chef, and later general manager/ maitre d' "to the stars" at his family's chain of Italian restaurants, Matteo's, in California and Hawaii. In all, he has more than 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

Jordan has been active in the California Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association, Newport Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau and the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. Residing in Costa Mesa, he is also active in the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce and other civic groups in various cities. A native of Los Angeles, Jordan grew up in Hawaii and holds a bachelor's degree in food service from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Q&A with Michael Jordan, MS , CWE
Manager & Master Sommelier, Napa Rose

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Education & Awards: University of Hawaii Food Service Management, Master Sommelier, Certified Wine Educator, Sommelier of the Year, General Manager of the Year, Wine Educator of the Year, Restaurateur of the Year and Maitre d' of the Year

Years with Disneyland Resort: 8 years

Restaurant experience: Extensive experience beginning with family restaurant "Matteo's" in Los Angeles, then in Hawaii and Orange County; 15 years as a chef prior to becoming a General Manager/Sommelier;

Other notable restaurants where you have worked? Pavilion, Pinot Provence, Matteo's, Spencer's, Bella Teresa, Longhi's Lahaina and Taste of Hoboken

Your biggest inspiration? My father, Matteo "Matty" Jordan, is my biggest inspiration. He served 5 U.S. presidents in his restaurant.

Describe your culinary style. Southern Italian home cooking

What do you enjoy most about being a chef? Fresh flavors

What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare? Braised Pork Ribs in Tomato & Basil Ragu and Hawaiian style "poke" marinated raw fish.

Favorite spice? Basil and chili pepper

Favorite kitchen gadget? Micro plane

Favorite junk food? Tacos

You run a restaurant, but what do you cook for your family? Pastas and stews

What food holds childhood memories for you? Lamb chops

When you're not working, what do you enjoy? Gardening, fishing, surfing

If you weren't a chef, what would you be? Musician

Your secret culinary indulgence? Strawberry ice cream

Name 3 things that are always in the fridge at home. Parmigiano Reggiano, pickles, soy sauce

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