The Big Sip

16 Episodes

By: Gabriela Fernandez

Spillin knowledge on "sip" that matters--highlighting black and brown trailblazers, pioneers, risk takers, leaders, and visionaries in the the wine, culinary, and arts industry. #Sipwithus as we hear from an array of incredible individuals amplifying and elevating diversity in their industries.

Chasing Happiness

In Episode 16 of The Big Sip, we get to dive in and sip from Tamer Hamawi's cup--incredible entrepreneur, humble human, world traveler, and all-around eclectic individual whose goal in life is #chasinghappiness. It's his joy for bringing happiness and genuine connectivity to others that's led towards his success of establishing four restaurants ranging from the East Coast to the West Coast (and even a nightclub in Melbourne, Australia!).  How exactly does one sustain and thrive a handful of businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic challenges? With a great team/support system and a beautiful community that's embraced him a...

"Conscious Consumption"

Trailblazing the Pan-African soulfood diaspora in the Bay Area, you'll find Chef Solomon Johnson bridging Jamaican, Puerto Rican, and West African foods and flavors to delight every foodie lover's cultural palate. Not only is he creating delicious and aesthetically pleasing soulfood dishes, he's pushing the cultural palate and narrative further by educating his consumers along the way, integrating and highlighting food products that are indigenous to West Africa, while healing a community that is often left out of the food literacy conversation. Originating from Maryland, Chef Solomon Johnson finds comfort in the sacrifices his ancestors made, knowing history has provided...

¡Dale Chica, Dale!

Dale, like so many words and expressions in Spanish, has a fluid definition that varies. To Chef and creator of Dale Bars, Caroline Rae Green, Dale is a way of life. in one of the most challenging years, Dale also served as a reminder to go ahead, keep going.  Dale was created with the intention to provide active and busy #foodie lovers with deliciously satisfying treats. Having struggled with work-life balance in a laborious industry, boundaries, and mental health, Caroline knew the importance of bridging ingredients that fuel individuals to feel good, without sacrificing flavor. On Episode 14 of The Big S...

Lady & The Vine

"Into the Wild"

Episode 12 of The Big Sip officially kicks off our Culinary Spotlight Series, with none other than Executive Chef Sean Streete. Of West Indian heritage, Sean and his family migrated from Jamaica when Sean was a youth. In his early adulthood life he encountered an "Into the Wild" moment, yearning to discover the meaning and purpose of life, ultimately leading him to Miami. Upon completing his Associates Degree at the Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Miami, Florida, Sean was given the opportunity to work for the illustrious "95 Cordova" in St.Augustine, Florida. After receiving a call from a legendary...

"All That Glitters Isn't Gold"

One of the most raw and unfiltered conversations yet featuring three phenomenal black business owners in the Napa Valley: James Moss of J.Moss wines Darryl Bell of 816 BBQ, Stateline Road Charles "Buster" Davis of Buster's Southern BBQ In Episode 11 of The Big Sip we dive into honest conversations around what it means to be successful, especially as a black business owner. What are the challenges that come with that success and the tightrope many of us, especially those in the black community, often have to teeter without falling. Join the conversation as we get to hear from three generations...

"Broaden Your Horizons"

Growing up in Southern California, Jessica Koga would have never guessed she'd end up as a winemaker in Napa Valley. After graduating high school she headed to UC Davis with the intention of becoming a veterinarian, but that quickly took a turn after being exposed to the world of wine. Upon graduating from UC Davis, she started working at Schramsberg, and after a few years decided to broaden her horizons by working harvests in New Zealand and New York. Eventually finding herself back in California, she returned to Schramsberg in 2015 as the Associate Winemaker, focusing on the red wine program...

Responsible Hedonists

In Episode 8 of The Big Sip, I am so honored to have sat down with Diana Hawkins, winemaker for Responsible Hedonist. After realizing that happiness doesn't need to be sacrificed at the expense of financial security (and that you really CAN love what you do!), Diana quit her corporate job to pursue a career as a sommelier in Chicago. She's worked at James Beard award winning and Michelin starred restaurants, guiding all sorts of palates and curious mind through her experience as a Wine Director. In 2017, she moved to Aotearoa New Zealand to pursue her Master's in Wine Science from...

Episode 8: "Ahí voy!"

Born and raised in St.Helena, CA and with 3 generations of family working in the agriculture industry of Napa Valley, Sam was destined to make wine! After rising through the ranks with Pine Ridge and taking a trip to Oregon in the early 2000's, Sam migrated and planted his roots in Willamette Valley in the summer of 2016. Through his hustle and dedication he's been able to expand and establish Parra Wine Co while utilizing his networking skills to gain and sustain the buy-in of prominent growers throughout Oregon, who share the same passion for cultivating stellar single-vineyard wines. While Oregon...

"Find the YES!"

Uprooting their life from the Big Apple after graduating from the CIA with a dual bachelor's degree in Culinary Science and Applied Food Studies, Darwin Acosta's journey to wine country is an inspiration for anyone out there looking to take a chance on themselves. This phenomenal human is one of the first scholarship recipients of The Roots Fund's "Rooted In Napa" scholarship, providing Black, Indigenous, and LatinX individuals with a secure pathway towards their advancement and opportunities in the wine industry. What does it really mean though when companies say they want to prioritize amplifying diversity in the wine industry...

Dis·rupt·or /disˈrəptər/

Dis·rupt·or /disˈrəptər/ : "A company or form of technology that causes radical change in an existing industry or market by means of innovation." That's exactly what Christy Serrato, CEO & Founder of Pair Anything, is doing! As a woman of color entrepreneur, Christy's PairAnything platform will be the catalyst for disrupting the gender and racial imbalance in the wine industry, as well as reimagines the wine experience to be more accessible. Knowing that women make up 80% of wine purchase decisions in the U.S., Christy hopes PairAnything will empower the industry to push to cater to the diver...

"Corporate Rock Still Sucks"

The Big Sip launches its 5th episode and the 1st of 2021 with a true change-maker in the industry, challenging those in the industry around him to question: what does it mean to be a "luxury wine company," when so often that's tied to signifying exclusivity? With roots tracing back to his home-grown country in Iran, Kashy dives in and reflects on how coming from an oppressive country shaped his mindset on recognizing the importance of individuality and inclusivity. Marching to the beat of his own drum, and drawing inspiration from legend punk rock artists and bands, much of his approach...

Making it Happen

On this week’s episode of The Big Sip, we are joined by an incredible woman winemaker, Priyanka French, of Signorello Estate. Born and raised in Mumbai, Priyanka details her first encounter with wine, her immediate love for the industry, and the PowerPoint presentation she created that ultimately led to her parents support of her educational pursuit in wine. Through her worldly travels she has come to discover the heart of the wine industry lies within the stories, people, and places. As an Indian immigrant woman winemaker, she recognizes the adversity and challenges that underrepresented minorities, people of color, and wo...

It's Never Too Late

Lydia Richards and Maria Calvert are the dynamic duo determined to lead companies and brands in the wine industry towards reaching and expressing true diversity in wine through their work as PR gurus for a renowned company in the East Coast, and their venture in cofounding Hispanics In Wine--a platform dedicated to showcasing Latin@s in the wine industry from all around the world! Although these two Chingonas originally started their careers in polar opposite industries (Maria started her career in finance and spent 8 years on Wall Street and Lydia started off in the fashion industry), their courage and passion...

"Shoot Your Shot"

George Washington Carver Walker III's journey to Napa is the definition of everything wonderful that can happen when you "shoot your shot." Hailing from Michigan, this inspiring and humble human guides us through the journey that led to his venture out West, and the fruitful opportunities he embraced prior to landing a power position as the Assistant Director of Operations for Wade Cellars. Sip from his cup of wisdom and gain insight on what's currently inspiring him to continue creating, and his ongoing commitment towards building up those around him to equally strive for greatness.

Carry As You Climb - The Epitome of Maryam Ahmed

From hosting self-care sessions at the age of 7 just so she could get her hands on her fave candy, to curating all of the programming for this season's holidays hottest virtual market @ftcmarket, tune in and sip from Maryam Ahmed's cup to learn all about what makes her a badass, and the journey that led to her launching her own company!