Our Experts

From bartending to wine tasting and cooking to writing, our experts in the culinary world are endlessly knowledgeable about food.

Justin M. Lavenue

Justin M. Lavenue

Owner, The Roosevelt Room

Justin M. Lavenue began his bartending career in 2009 while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduating, he worked at the Bitter Bar, one of Colorado's first craft cocktail bars. In 2013, he moved back to Austin, completed the BAR 5-Day Course in New York City, and joined the opening staff at Half Step on Rainey Street. Two years later, he opened The Roosevelt Room, which has since become one of Austin's most popular bars. He continues to manage his ventures, study for his BAR Masters certification, consult on bar and restaurant projects, and write cocktail recipes.

John Politte

John Politte

Chef

Chef John Politte has dabbled in the culinary world for the last 40-odd years, working as a chef, bartender, bouncer, dishwasher, waiter, multi-level manager, teacher, media personality, food journalist, food photographer, online seasonings and spice shop curator, podcaster, and cookbook author. He enjoys using his humor, wisdom, and experience to entertain and teach the curious among us.

Jeff Tyler

Jeff Tyler

Owner/Operator, Spice Trade Brewery + Kitchen

Originally from New York, Jeff's fascination with beer was sparked by a work trip to Colorado Springs. He was quickly enamored with the variation and creativity of craft beers and began brewing beer at home. He furthered his beer expertise by becoming a BJCP certified beer judge and began judging beer competitions throughout New England. By 2016, Jeff decided to make brewing his full time job and moved to Colorado to work with Yak & Yeti Brewpub. Two years later, Jeff led the rebrand of Yak & Yeti's brewery to Spice Trade Brewing and became a co-owner. He then expanded the business by opening a new flagship location, Spice Trade Brewery + Kitchen in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Today, Jeff is the owner and operator for Spice Trade Brewery + Kitchen, which prides itself on a culinary driven menu inspired by global cuisines. He is a member of the Colorado Brewers Guild and Brewers Association.

Doreen Winkler

Doreen Winkler

Founder, Orange Glou

Doreen Winkler is a natural wine sommelier, orange wine expert, and founder of Orange Glou, the world's first orange wine subscription service and only brick-and-mortar store dedicated solely to skin contact wines, as well as Orange Glou Wine Fair, North America's first fair devoted to skin contact wines. Named one of "America's Top Sommeliers" by Forbes, Doreen is one of the first sommeliers who created wine lists focused on natural, organic and biodynamic wines. She's developed wine programs for Michelin-starred restaurants, bars and wine retailers, including at Aska and Aldea in NYC, where her program received the World of Fine Wine Best Wine List Award.

Mathew Woodburn-Simmonds

Mathew Woodburn-Simmonds

Founder, Home Coffee Expert

Mathew Woodburn-Simmonds is the founder of Home Coffee Expert, a business that aims to provide its followers with the best possible information about every step of the coffee-making (and drinking) process. His obsession with coffee began during his college days when he worked as a barista for a coffee shop and extended well into his time as a restaurant manager and sommelier.