After passing the Intro level (1 of 4) several years ago through the Court of Master Sommeliers ( http://www.mastersommeliers.org/ ), and the Certified Beer Server through the Cicerone Certification (1 of 3, http://www.cicerone.org ), I'm excited about continuing my education and certification levels, next up being the first step of the USBG (United States Bartenders Guild, http://www.usbg.org of which I'm a proud member) Master Mixology Certfication, which is a 3-step process, from Certified Sprits Professional, onto Advanced, finishing with Master Mixologist. Put together from a wealth of the industry's elite and experienced, this promises to be a new standard for knowledge and testing in the field. This is one of the newer Food and Beverage certification programs, and one of the most exciting to me, since I've worked as a bartender and mixologist since 1997, and it continues to be my favorite profession, no matter where I've worked around the country, in the restaurant and resort industry. I recently purchased the first level test, but have not taken it yet. I'm giving myself a couple weeks, as I'm currently enjoying the encyclopedic "The Ultimate Guide to Spirits and Cocktails" from Andre Domine, Ken Burns' 6-hour documentary Prohibition, and maybe a couple of additional distillery visits.
Following this, I've decided to take the leap into my Certified (2 of 4) Sommelier test, a 1-day, 3-part series of exams focusing on wine and service from the most recognized authority, aforementioned. I'm looking at August for the exam, probably in Omaha, NE or Southern California somewhere, based on money and time. I'm long overdue on this, wish me the best!
Lastly, but certainly not least, there's Sake. This is a beverage I've long enjoyed, in particular with Sushi, but have only recently ventured into the formal education and certification world. It seems there are multiple options, and I'm exploring the best route. Stay tuned...