Beverage Director Jesse Webster of PUBLIC - Biography

New York, NY

August 2014

Jesse has been involved in food and restaurants since his early teens. Upon coming to the United States from New Zealand more than 20 years ago, he spent several years in kitchens on the West Coast before moving to New York City. Like many others in the restaurant business, Jesse is a refugee from the acting business (although he continues to explore his theatricality in his wine trainings) and is a life long hospitality junkie.

After moving to NYC and exploring various restaurants in and around the city, Webster began working at PUBLIC in 2004. He worked as a server, wine steward, and eventually came to manage the wine program as sommelier and wine director/general Manager. Michellin starred PUBLIC is home to one of the United State’s best Aussie and New Zealand focused wine lists and has given Webster fantastic opportunity to explore great Antipodean wine over the years. Since 2008, he’s been beverage director for the AvroKO Hospitalty Group, which, in addition to PUBLIC, includes Saxon + Parole in New York and The Thomas in downtown Napa. Jesse holds the Wine and Spirits Education Trust Diploma of Wines and Spirits and was the top scoring U.S. graduate in 2009.Jesse Webster has worked as a freelance wine ambassador for NZ Winegrowers in the NYC market and has been an occasional commentator in various media on the wines of Australia and New Zealand and on wine trends in the US restaurant environment.