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Q&A With Bouchon's Sommelier Alex Weil

To mark the earth-shattering debut of Bouchon Beverly Hills tomorrow, Eater LA sat down for a Q&A session with Bar Bouchon's head sommelier Alex Weil:

Why leave Mozza for Bouchon? It was a very difficult decision to leave. How do you leave restaurants like the Mozzas and people like Nancy, Joe, and Mario? Ultimately, given that I was fortunate enough to be choosing between two restaurant groups operating on the top level of the industry it came down to being able to be part of an opening (which I haven’t ever experienced) and to be employed by a west-coast owned and [primarily] operated restaurant group.

How has working with Thomas Keller changed from working with Nancy, Joe, and Mario? Simply, different people and styles of cuisine lend themselves to different ways of achieving what in the end are really the same goals. We’re talking about people that are all top-of-their-game professionals that go about achieving their visions in different ways. The intensity to perform at Mozza is the same as it is at Bouchon. I feel you have to be aware of somebody else’s style to be able to forge your own personal style. It is hard to be a complete person if all you know is your way of doing things. I am fortunate to be able to learn from some great teachers at such great restaurants

Coming up: details on the only Bar Bouchon, Keller's custom beers, more! >>