Our Staff

Justin Ross

Justin Ross

Owner/Beverage Director/Sommelier

Justin Ross began his career at a young age working in the kitchens of such Maryland institutions as South Mountain Inn and Birches Restaurant. Although adept as a chef, he discovered a passion for wine and transitioned out of the kitchen to become the Wine Director for Ka Pow Restaurants in Annapolis. He quickly became known for his innovative leadership and was recruited by Chef Richard Hamilton, of Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon, to run Tidewater Inn's Restaurant Local and its 17,000 bottle wine cellar.

In 2008, Justin moved to Washington DC and joined ThinkfoodGroup's highly successful Mediterranean inspired restaurant, Zaytinya and Spanish Tapas restaurant, Jaleo. While at Thinkfoodgroup, Justin trained extensively under Jose Andres and worked alongside Head Chef Mike Isabella, runner-up on Top Chef All-Stars and FOOD & WINE’S the Peoples Best New Chef for the Mid-Atlantic.

At Zaytinya, Justin developed a groundbreaking beverage program that masterfully complimented the restaurant's culinary vision and in recognition of his success, was invited to Greece with the organization “All About Greek Wine”. Over the course of the trip, Justin devoted his energy to exploring Mediterranean food and culture and developed strong relationships with local winemakers.

Most recently, Justin served as the General Manager of Zola restaurant and Front of House Operations for Stir Food Group's five DC restaurants.

Justin has been a contributor for “International Wine Review”, “Wine Enthusiast” and is a member of “Wine and Spirits Magazine's” blind tasting panel. Justin holds certificates from the Court of Master Sommeliers, American Guild of Sommeliers, and French and Spanish Wine Academies.

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