Lesley Quinn – Atlantic Canada’s Best Sommelier

Lesley Quinn was born and raised in Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island. She had planned on becoming a philosophy professor but while writing her Masters at the University of Auckland Quinn took a part-time job that included a few shifts in a vineyard and was hooked. Quinn spent the next few years working in the hospitality industry doing her best to break into the fine dining world.

Craig Macmillan of Charlottetown’s Sim’s Steakhouse – owned by the Island’s Murphy Group – took a chance on her which included giving her the reference she required to land a job at the Ritz Carlton in Cayman Islands. Her first position was as a banquet server, but as Quinn says “my constant questions to the head sommelier there lead him to take me under his wing as a junior sommelier. With his guidance and direction Quinn started on her journey with the Court of Master Sommelier program.

Quinn’s career path has been heavily focused on travel. She counts visits to France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Turkey, Georgia, California, British Columbia, and Chile as formative parts of her learning. After stints in Vancouver and Calgary, she recently returned to the east coast, again working for the Murphy Group and Craig at the newly opened Barrington Steakhouse in Halifax.