Tahlia Bolden is the new beverage director at Lark, an artisan-focused restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The widely celebrated restaurant recently reopened its dining room after a two-year closure. Learn about Tahlia Bolden…
Hometown: Shaker Heights, Ohio
First job: I was a host for a family-run place called Yours Truly. Years later, in my early twenties, I worked at a hip spot called Fat Cats and got behind the bar and into wine.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: I’m all about visiting Washington wine country on the other side of the mountains, as well as spending time at the tasting rooms in Woodinville.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Passing my advanced sommelier exam was an accomplishment. The pass rate for the Court of Master Sommeliers exams is notoriously low due to the nature of the exam. The wine and chef community I found here in Seattle, and really around the world, is filled with dynamic people with a deep passion for our industry, and that inspires me.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: I continue to come up against society’s interpretation of who should be a sommelier or wine director. Over the years, people have been shocked to learn that a woman or a person of color is running the wine program.
Someone who inspires you and why: My mother for her work ethic, kindness and amazing green thumb. And Michelle Obama for her strength and always finding a way to rise above and show grace in trying situations.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Do it because you truly love it. The hours are long, you don’t get holidays off, and a hot meal on your workday is nonexistent. But, you will get to travel, dine at some of the best restaurants in the world, and meet some amazing winemakers and spirits specialists.
Favorite quote: “People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” –Neil Gaiman
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I’m a huge science fiction/anime/graphic novel nerd.
What makes someone fabulous: Having a passport and wanting to see the world. Trying new experiences and getting out of their comfort zone.