Employee Spotlight: AQUA by El Gaucho’s Nicolette Cook

Nicolette is a front desk lead at AQUA and recently passed the Master Court of Sommelier’s Level 2 exam, which is no small feat. We asked her a few questions about herself and her interest in wine.

What sparked your interest in wine?

My interest started when I was pretty young (19). I was working in a restaurant when they promoted me to be a Sommelier Assistant, so I was able to learn about the geography, the history, and the science behind wine, which was so cool to me. What really got me was practicing to smell a wine and actually being able to pick up on its different and unique aromas.  I became really intrigued and wanted to learn so much more! Working at AQUA by El Gaucho rekindled my interest and love for wine and really helped me realize my passion.

Favorite wine?

That’s a tough question, because I really do love every wine, but I would have to say my favorites include Pinot Noir or Chardonnay especially from Oregon and Burgundy. I also really love Brunello di Montalcino!

Favorite dish at AQUA/El Gaucho?

The Chilean Seabass! It is such a rarity to find, and the fact that we are able to get it fresh is incredible. The Seabass is rich, with such a delicious natural flavor from the fish itself all we have to do is add a bit of rice wine oyster sauce and it’s a dish that melts in your mouth.

Tell us about your tenure with the company.

I have been with the company for a little over a year. I moved from Miami and can’t imagine ever moving back. I came here looking for a job in a completely different industry, but found this one and haven’t looked back! I am extremely grateful that I landed here at AQUA; it has encouraged me to do so many things I would’ve never thought of doing before, like getting my Certified Sommelier pin! El Gaucho is an amazing company and I plan on staying for many years to come, as well as continue my education with wine. I hope to be a Master Sommelier one day, and I thank El Gaucho for providing me the opportunity to reach that goal and continue to learn each and every day. My love for Seattle, wine, and the company really go hand in hand (just like wine and food!).


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