13 Celsius owner Mike Sammons has assumed the role of wine buyer/beverage director for high-profile, vegetable focused restaurant Oxheart. Sammons succeeds Justin Vann, who left the restaurant at the end of March to start consulting company PSA Wines. Although Sammons eschews the title of sommelier, since he is not certified as such and won't be working the dining room during service, he tells Eater that his role consists of "general wine buying and (staff) training," including selecting wine pairings, for the restaurant where Vann earned a nod as one of Food & Wine magazine's 2013 sommeliers of the year. "Just to be associated with them is a great honor," Sammons says.
Oxheart chef/co-owner Justin Yu says that he's "been a fan and patron of 13 (Celsius) ever since I was just a cook .... It just seemed like a natural fit to work with Mike, because the style in which he forms his list already went in the same direction the wine list has always gone anyway." Fear not, fans of obscure Spanish ciders and Sherry; Oxheart's program will continue to march to its own beat, as it has from the beginning.
Mike Sammons [Photo credit: Darla Guillen]