True wine connoisseur Mary Thompson showcases her many years of management experience and several prestigious wine certifications as the Operations Director of Potential Entertainment which includes The Lost Knight in Echo Park & the otheroom in Venice.
Mary believes in keeping wine approachable and introducing guests to wines from undiscovered regions, with no pressure or financial risk by freely offering tastes of the intriguing esoteric varietals she finds for the menu.
Raised in Philadelphia, Mary got her first taste of the food-service industry through her mother, who managed a banquet facility. While attending Chestnut Hill College in Philly, she worked in several restaurants, which allowed her to discover the addictive energy and theater of the dining room.
After college, she relocated to Portland, Oregon before returning home to work at famed Philadelphia restaurant Brassiere Perrier under Georges Perrier, earning her first recognition from Wine Spectator.
After relocating to Portland, OR, for a second time, Mary spent two years as the manager of Paley’s Place before earning her first wine director position at RiverPlace Hotel, at which she earned a third recognition for her list from Wine Spectator.
Mary returned to the east coast and went on to work in management and sommelier positions at several lauded New York City dining destinations, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market, Telepan, and Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne.
Looking to immerse herself in domestic wine production, Mary took on the position of general manager with The ONE group in 2006 and moved to Los Angeles working with the group to open STK restaurant.
Next, Mary became assistant manager and sommelier at Chaya Downtown, for which she oversaw a world-class wine and sake list of more than 350 selections, receiving another award from Wine Spectator. After working with Chaya Downtown, she became district manager of Wokcano, and then general manager of celebrated downtown restaurant, Rivera.
Prior to Potential, Mary was the General Manager & Sommelier of the critically acclaimed Saint Martha in Koreatown.
Mary has earned her second-level certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, attained the title of Certified Sake Advisor from the Sake Service Institute of Japan, and is earning a degree in viticulture and enology from the University of California, Davis.
She owns a wine production company, Bonnerland Wines out of California, crafting a pinot noir that pays homage to her parents.
When she’s not recommending or tasting wine, Thompson enjoys outdoor activities such as snowboarding and golf and remains involved in charities, like the Los Angeles Mission and L.A. Youth Network.
This summer Thompson looks forward to starting the process of earning her Advanced Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Please visit Bonnerland Wines for more on Mary.