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Lorri HambuchenLorri Hambuchen

Lorri Hambuchen is the owner of and primary educator at The Wine Center, an official Approved Program Provider (APP) of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London (WSET). After having achieved a Diploma in Wines and Spirits from WSET, Lorri worked to bring this prestigious program to Arkansas. She certified several locations in Arkansas and several surrounding states to provide WSET Classes and serve as the Exam Facilitator for the rigorous testing required for Certification in these programs.

Lorri works extensively with the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute (UA-PTC CAHMI) in Little Rock, AR. In addition to offering wine education at the Culinary School, Lorri has co-chaired the Diamond Chef Arkansas competition pitting Arkansas’ best chefs against each other in a series of cooking challenges, battling for the honor of Diamond Chef.

Lorri regularly participates on wine judging panels locally, nationally and internationally. Most recently, Lorri worked with the University of Arkansas Agricultural Research Center at the Arkansas Quality Wine Competition with a goal to promote the quality of Arkansas commercial wines.

Lorri extended her love and appreciation of wine into a fresh approach to wine writing and education. For 15 years she authored Uncorked, a weekly wine column appearing in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Lorri appears regularly on television and radio discussing everyday wine topics. She also finds time to appear at selected speaking engagements educating a wide audience of fellow wine drinkers.

Ken LippsmeyerKen Lipsmeyer

Kenneth Lipsmeyer is the Lead Instructor of Hospitality and Wine Studies at the Arkansas Culinary School in Little Rock, Arkansas. His responsibilities include teaching international wine, hospitality, menu design and food & beverage management.

Prior to joining the Arkansas Culinary School, he worked with the Country Club of Little Rock as Assistant Club Manager and Food & Beverage Director. Kenneth joined CCLR after working as Assistant Food & Beverage Director of the Capitol Hotel. He has also worked with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 9 Jones Restaurant, Tribeca Grill and other leading hospitality establishments.

Kenneth is a frequent presenter on wine subjects for the Club Managers Association of America, as well as various charitable, professional and social organizations in Arkansas, Texas, New York and Washington. He has earned his WSET Advanced Certificate and is currently studying at the Diploma level and also Court of Master Sommelier Certification. He is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, American Sommelier Association and a Food & Beverage Professional with the James Beard Foundation, New York.

Kim CrawfordKim Crawford

Kim Crawford is the chief architect of one of the Souths’ most successful regional wine festival’s, Art of Wine, and perhaps the area’s most outspoken oenophile.  Frequently sought by statewide media for her opinions and forecasts on wine, she has been featured in Market Watch; and this year is a selected guest of the trade magazine’s Leaders Banquet in New York City.

A student of the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California, and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust; her Art of Wine Festival began as a small tasting attached to a garden party fundraiser ten years ago. Today, it is a year long event that welcomes 1,500 guests from across the country as well as featured heads of California winemaking families such as Gallo, MacMurray and Martini.

Under her direction, Art of Wine is on pace to raise a million dollars for area arts education within a few years.

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel

Aaron is a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators and a Certified Wine Judge. He coordinates the Wine Judge Certification Program for the American Wine Society and has judged wine competitions in the United States and the United Kingdom. He has earned his Advanced Certificate and Diploma with WSET and is currently enrolled in the Master of Wine Program.