Michael Muser returns as the host of the 2018 Jean Banchet Awards!

Originally from Chicago, Michael Muser moved to California at a young age. While studying at California State University – Chico, Muser worked in restaurants to support himself and took the opportunity to learn more about wine. After graduation, he devoted his life to oenology. He took a hands-on approach to his studies and spent time traveling throughout Europe. There he worked harvest in Burgundy and Champagne, learning first-hand the winemaking process before coming to Chicago to join The Peninsula Chicago, as Wine Director and Sommelier. He built the beverage lists for the hotel’s three restaurants, its bar, and for all catering functions and private events. At Avenues, Muser met Chef Curtis Duffy, and in 2011 the two began plans to open Grace.

Since opening Grace on December 11, 2012, Muser and the restaurant have been awarded many accolades, including Three Michelin Stars in the Chicago 2015 Guide, AAA’s Five Diamond Rating, Forbes Travel Guide’s 5 Star Rating, Robb Report’s Best Restaurant in the World 2013, Chicago Magazine’s Best New Restaurant, and one of Food and Wine’s 2014 Sommeliers of the Year.

Michael Muser has been involved with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for over five years, lending his support and talents to both the Grand Chefs Gala and Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence. Despite having no direct connection to the disease, Michael has become extremely invested in the mission of the Foundation and their search for a cure.