Petra Polakovicova

Wine Director, EPIC Steak

At the age of 18, Petra moved from Slovakia to San Francisco where she began working at the illustrious Palace Hotel. Living near the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, where Petra often went on trips, she discovered the world of wine that literally enchanted her. She wanted to learn more about wine, its taste and history. Her curious nature brought Petra to the Professional Culinary Institute, where she successfully completed her studies in 2007 and became a Certified Sommelier. Petra continued in her education and thanks to her efforts and hard work, she has successfully undergone sophisticated testing and blind tasting. In 2014, The Court of Master Sommeliers awarded her the title - Advanced Sommelier.  

Since 2008, Petra has worked in the renowned EPIC Steak Restaurant as a Wine Director whereby her main task is to take care of everything related to wine. From sourcing and procuring wine to maintain trends and changes with the restaurant's menu, Petra also oversees the continuing professional development of the restaurant staff. EPIC Steak employees have a unique opportunity to regularly take part in hand-filling, corking and labelling bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon wine under the EPIC brand that Petra has prepared with a renowned winemaker Celia Welch.  

Petra is a member of the Court of Master Sommeliers and a member of the Sommelier Association of the Slovak Republic. Petra has been awarded The Best Sommelier of Slovakia in 2018 by Gurman magazine. She worked for world-class hotels such as Starwood and The Ritz-Carlton, as well as the important Darioush winery in Napa Valley.  She has also applied her expertise in Chai Consulting as an Authentication Specialist, who specialises in detecting counterfeited of well-known brands. Currently, Petra is preparing for the Master Sommelier Exam. As part of her preparation, she regularly meets with sommeliers from all over the world, participates in various tastings and seminars.  An inalienable part of her continuing education is also travelling and visiting the wine regions all over the world. She has visited the regions of: Slovakia, Austria, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Greece, California, Oregon, Washington, Argentina and Australia. Petra fell in love with her profession immediately and her saying “It is not work but a lifestyle” epitomises her passion and dedication to the essence of wine.