Instructors

Lorri HambuchenLorri Hambuchen

Lorri Hambuchen has extended her love and appreciation of wine into a fresh approach to wine writing and education.  She is the author of Uncorked, a weekly wine column offering advice to readers on the best way to shuffle through the vast amounts of wines giving her audience an educated opinion of wine with a straightforward explanation for buying. Her years of columns prompted a forum for her writing, Conversations on Wine.

In addition to writing and instructing, Lorri is also the owner of The Wine Center. After having achieved a Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London, Lorri worked with WSET to bring this prestigious program to Arkansas.  She has been able to certify locations to provide WSET Classes and serve as the Exam Facilitator for the rigorous testing required for Certification in these programs.

Lorri has appeared regularly on television and radio discussing everyday wine topics.  She also finds time to appear at selected speaking engagements to entertain and educate a wide audience of fellow wine drinkers.

Ken LippsmeyerKen Lipsmeyer

Kenneth Lipsmeyer is the Lead Instructor of Hospitality and Wine Studies at the Arkansas Culinary School in Little Rock, Arkansas. His responsibilities include teaching international wine, hospitality, menu design and food & beverage management.

Prior to joining the Arkansas Culinary School, he worked with the Country Club of Little Rock as Assistant Club Manager and Food & Beverage Director. Kenneth joined CCLR after working as Assistant Food & Beverage Director of the Capitol Hotel. He has also worked with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 9 Jones Restaurant, Tribeca Grill and other leading hospitality establishments.

Kenneth is a frequent presenter on wine subjects for the Club Managers Association of America, as well as various charitable, professional and social organizations in Arkansas, Texas, New York and Washington. He has earned his WSET Advanced Certificate and is currently studying at the Diploma level and also Court of Master Sommelier Certification. He is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, American Sommelier Association and a Food & Beverage Professional with the James Beard Foundation, New York.

Kim CrawfordKim Crawford

Kim Crawford is the chief architect of one of the Souths’ most successful regional wine festival’s, Art of Wine, and perhaps the area’s most outspoken oenophile.  Frequently sought by statewide media for her opinions and forecasts on wine, she has been featured in Market Watch; and this year is a selected guest of the trade magazine’s Leaders Banquet in New York City.

A student of the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California, and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust; her Art of Wine Festival began as a small tasting attached to a garden party fundraiser ten years ago. Today, it is a year long event that welcomes 1,500 guests from across the country as well as featured heads of California winemaking families such as Gallo, MacMurray and Martini.

Under her direction, Art of Wine is on pace to raise a million dollars for area arts education within a few years. Not yet 40, Crawford is general manager and wine director of the area’s dominant wine seller, Liquor World, and a wife and mother to three.

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel

Aaron is a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators and a Certified Wine Judge. He coordinates the Wine Judge Certification Program for the American Wine Society and has judged wine competitions in the United States and the United Kingdom. He has earned his Advanced Certificate with the WSET and is currently enrolled in the Diploma Program.