Premier Crew 2010

1. David Stanger from CinCin

2. Eryn Collins from Chambar

3. Kurtis Kolt from Salt Tasting Room

4. Katharine Manson from Refuel

5. Michael Stanger from The Beach House

Old School service, on the wane but still appreciated for its detail-driven protocols, demands that its well-pressed students clear from the right, address their charges as “sir” or “madam”, and give “discretion” new meaning. Identical twins Michael and David Stanger, of The Beach House and CinCin respectively, are widely known for their adherence to these long-established rules—and for their unending willingness to argue about them. New School service, by contrast, takes the best of the Old and filters out the assumed omniscience. Competent wine service, quick table setting, and the mental dexterity to make every guest feel at ease are taught, but often delivered with a familiarity that would make the ancien régime blanche. Katharine Manson is well-versed in the minutiae of proper service, but when Fuel rebranded as the more casual Refuel last year, it was her welcoming smile that was instrumental in selling the idea to regular guests in her capacity as general manager. Eryn Collins left her gatekeeper position at Blue Water Cafe to become head of customer relations at Chambar last year. “She’s so genuine,” says Chambar owner Karri Schuermans. “I don’t know of anyone else who can speak to hundreds of people every day and be so sweet and down to earth.” Kurtis Kolt, former GM at Salt Tasting Room and this year’s Sommelier of the Year at the Playhouse wine festival, combines food experience with serious wine chops: he’s certified by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and currently enrolled in the Winemaking program at UC Davis. With two critical successes under his apron (Aurora Bistro and Salt), when he gives advice, you take it.