Jeff Harding grew up in the Midwest and studied psychology, music, and French at the University of Miami. He has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, as a server and bartender with such chefs at Daniel Boulud and Norman van Aken. Harding got his start in the hospitality industry working as a server at van Aken’s a Mano in Miami Beach, and it was during this time that he first discovered that food and wine culture was a reflection of history, geography, and regional culture. A move to New York, and too many years bartending at the B Bar in Manhattan’s East Village, encouraged Harding to pursue sommelier training at the American Sommelier Association and beverage management positions.
A summer spent in France was influential to Harding’s hospitality career—while working in the Loire Valley as a manager at Château d'Alogny, he developed a passion for wine and its “sense of place.” Returning to New York City, wine became more of a career focus and he took a position as a sommelier at the Waverly Inn. He currently writes a regular column about wine for StarChefs.com, and is the beverage director at the Waverly Inn .