Culinary Stage: Cicerone Vs. Sommelier
Beer vs. Wine. Which is better? You be the judge! In the age-old love affair between food and wine, has beer been nudged off the dinner table? Cicerone or Sommelier... who will win? Join Jack Crompton of Whistler Debates as he hosts a scrappy and scrumptious multi-course match-up between world-class experts in their fields. Set on Cornucopia's Culinary Stage attendees will enjoy a multi-course tasting, each course being paired with both a wine and beer. Held under the Munk Debate format, the audience votes on their way in, then again after the showdown and whosoever sways the most votes in their direction will be named the winner. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Rachel Warner, Cicerone
Rachel was born and raised in Whistler, BC and loves beer as much as she loves the mountains. It all started with her first batch of homebrewed beer (which was a disaster). It was a rocky start, but many brews later Rachel realized how rewarding the process was when her recipes came to life. While finishing off her degree in Marketing & Entrepreneurship at UBC, Rachel has worked in a handful of the breweries during the rise of craft beer in Vancouver. Her love for beer drove her to pursue her Cicerone Certification and now handles Marketing and Branding at Faculty Brewing Co. You can find Rachel at any of the local beer festivals dressed up as The Hop, exploring the local craft breweries, or brewing in her own backyard.
Claire Saksun, Sommelier
Growing up, Claire would cook for her family, taking inspiration from popular food-focused television shows. In university, she studied a myriad of subjects and spent most of her free time delving into cookbooks and exploring the culinary culture. It wasn’t until her pursuit of a Masters in Architecture at the University of British Columbia that Claire formalized her passion for food. Here, she studied the history of the cookbook as a feminist rhetorical text, and her research culminated in architectural renderings of a farm-to-table restaurant with ingredients solely grown onsite.
After graduation, Claire completed WSET courses and learned how intensively wine engages all of the senses and encourages critical thinking of historical and geographical considerations. Soon after, she accepted the role of wine director at Royal Dinette, where she enjoyed working exclusively with natural wines and supporting local farmers and winemakers.
Sit down service. Food samples paired with Wine and Beer
Whistler Conference Centre - Sub Zero & Wolf Culinary Stage - Grand Foyer