Katelyn Peil is the award-winning wine director for Seattle-based Heavy Restaurant Group (Purple Woodinville, The Commons, Meet the Moon, Pablo y Pablo, Fiasco and Barrio). In her role, she is in charge of curating and maintaining the beverage programs for some of the Eastside restaurant concepts. Learn about Katelyn Peil…
Hometown: Kirkland, WA
First job: Officially, once I turned 16 and was able to get myself there, I was running the reception desk at a small business.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: I am a true Pacific Northwesterner, so I love being outside. But I am equally happy being curled up with a good book. When we were able to, I love to spend quality time with my friends exploring the everchanging local food and drink scene.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Overall, I take pride in my dedication and have worked hard at earning opportunities along the way. I’d say that being selected for Sommelier of the Year by a group of peers for Seattle Magazine’s Washington Wine Awards and winning a sommelier competition put on by Wines of Portugal have been some fun highlights over the past few years.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Not necessarily a large obstacle, but a major life shift lead me to this industry. I was on a completely different life plan headed off to law school with eventual hopes of a career within the FBI. After an internship opportunity, and living my life according to that plan, I realized I would not be happy on that path. After taking some time off to reevaluate, I was drawn to the culture of food and wine and started learning everything I possibly could. It was terrifying in the moment, but I couldn’t be happier with where my life took me.
Someone who inspires you and why: My mom is the strongest person I know. I have watched her work hard her entire life. She was somehow able to get her bachelor’s degree simultaneously while raising her adventurous and spirited children. She taught me to be a strong and independent woman and that I could accomplish anything with heart, determination and hard work. She even continued her own education by getting her master’s in her 50’s continuing to lead by example that we are never done learning and will accomplish anything we set our minds to.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Be humble, be patient, work hard, never stop learning and lead by example.
Favorite quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: When I was in my 20’s, I worked hard to save all my money and then went and spent it all backpacking extensively in many different countries around the world.
What makes someone fabulous: A kind heart and genuine disposition.