by Meridian Mayer, Senior Membership Services Manager
| Mar 19, 2018
Lara Creasy has been a hospitality professional for over 18 years, and she currently provides beverage management advice to the industry through her consulting business, Four 28
. She is an award-winning mixologist and wine list creator, having directed beverage programs at some of the Southeast’s most respected and profitable restaurants, including JCT. Kitchen & Bar, The Optimist and State of Grace, before relocating to Seattle.
Lara has extensive experience opening new restaurants, having successfully opened 11 within the last 8 years. Two projects, St. Cecilia and King + Duke, both in Atlanta, were named to Eater.com’s “Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2013 and 2014.” Previous project, The Optimist, garnered Esquire Magazine’s “Restaurant of the Year” Award in 2012. Lara has repeatedly earned the attention of the national media for her work, and her recipes and insights have appeared in such publications as Bon Appetit, Saveur, Southern Living, Imbibe, Wine Enthusiast, CNN’s Eatocracy, and Garden & Gun. She has also earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 8 times for 5 different restaurants.
Lara is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, as well as a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW). She holds a degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Atlanta and a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.
Over the years, Lara has been fortunate enough to tour the wine regions of Italy, South Africa and Spain, learn tequila production in Mexico, taste Bourbon samples from the barrel in Kentucky, and dine in some of the best restaurants from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon. Lara has placed in numerous cocktail competitions, both locally and nationally. Highlights include competing on a rooftop at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, and being crowned “Tomato Queen” for best cocktail at the inaugural Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Festival in Atlanta.
"I joined [GSBA] on the recommendation of an active member [Dani Cone of Cone & Steiner
], and I'm so glad I did! I was looking for a way to network with other professionals in Seattle in a non-threatening environment. I wanted to meet other people that were also interested in meeting other people, expanding their business opportunities and supporting our LGBT community. I've since learned about all of the benefits of membership, and I'm blown away by what a great organization this is. I'm very grateful for how welcoming everyone has been."
Check out Four 28 on Tumblr: http://laracreasy.tumblr.com/