Petra Polakovicova has been named Lead Sommelier at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, announced James Cole, Hotel Manager/Director of Food & Beverage.
“Petra is an incredibly talented, personable and one of the Bay area’s best up-and-coming sommeliers,” said Cole. “Having worked with her at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, I know that her talents extend well beyond her wine knowledge. Her charisma, charm, community awareness, leadership and excellence in everything she does make her a perfect fit for our resort. I think it is also a testament to Petra’s dedication and commitment to have her want to work with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company again,” added Cole.
Polakovicova’s vision crafts the wine and beverage program for the entire resort including the signature restaurant Navio, the wine tasting room ENO, The Conservatory, and The Ocean Terrace. Navio boasts exceptional seafood dishes and a comfortable California-inspired design. Combing subtle sea flavors with fresh textures and light savory accompaniments, Chef de Cuisine Kevin Tanaka’s cuisine highlights approachable flavors that reference the best of coastal dining from all around the world. ENO is the resort’s custom-built, upscale wine tasting room where guests enjoy breathtaking ocean views while sampling selected flights of wine, cheese and chocolate, as well as wines by the glass and bottle.
“It was at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco that I further developed and honed my passion for wine,” explains Polakovicova. “I truly love finding that perfect pairing and I enjoy the opportunity to introduce guests to new and interesting wines and educate them on every aspect of wines, wineries and varietals. Working at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay gives me that opportunity every day,” she added.
A native of the Slovak Republic, Polakovicova’s passion for food and wine was cultivated by her parents.
“Although my parents didn’t work in a hotel or a restaurant, they taught me appropriate dining etiquette, how to properly set a table, and how to be the best host to your guests,” explains Polakovicova. “Hospitality was something I grew up with so it was only natural for me to go into the food and beverage industry,” she added.
Polakovicova started her restaurant career at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco as an assistant restaurant manager and her love for working in the food and wine industry has taken her to such acclaimed establishments as The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco and the W San Francisco. Most recently, Petra was instrumental in the opening of Epic Roasthouse where she was responsible for creating and maintaining the 450-bottle wine list and rotating a selection of 26 wines by the glass, earning the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
This year, Polakovicova is working on her Advanced Sommelier Certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She has already earned her Sommelier Certification from the Professional Culinary Institute and also holds certifications including Wine & Spirits Education Trust Intermediate Certificate and French Wine Scholar. She received her Associate Degree of Arts from College of Angela Merici in the Slovak Republic and studied communications and foreign language at Los Medanos College and City College of San Francisco.