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Kat Hawkins

Wine Director at Miru, Tre Dita, and the St. Regis Bar, St. Regis, Chicago

Kat Hawkins is the Wine Director at Miru, Tre Dita, and the St. Regis Bar, all located in the brand new St. Regis Chicago. Prior to her current position, Hawkins was the Wine Director at RPM Steak, a leading Chicago steakhouse acclaimed for its extensive selection of over 1300 highly sought-after and rare wines.

Originally from Detroit, MI, Hawkins received a degree in Communications from Wayne State University before turning her attention to wine and hospitality. She worked at a number of Detroit restaurants, finally landing at Wright & Company as General Manager and Beverage Director, a position she held for more than 4 years. After moving to Chicago in 2018, Kat began her career with Lettuce Entertain You at Shaw’s Crab House, a River North institution since 1984, credited with the first Oyster Bar in Chicago. As Beverage Director, she was responsible for selecting wine and spirits for Shaw’s extensive list featuring American producers and classic international regions.

Hawkins is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Specialist of Wine and Spirits through the Society of Wine Educators.  In 2019, she was named one of America’s “Best New Sommeliers” by Wine & Spirits Magazine.

Hawkins is personally fond of the wines of Champagne, Alsace, and the Northern Rhône. She credits a trip to the Willamette Valley as particularly enlightening, where she experienced first-hand how the local growers are dedicated to promoting their region and inspiring each other. She has carried this inspiration through many parts of her professional life, but finds it especially important on the restaurant floor and working with her team. She emphasizes that they are better together and highlights the importance of supporting each other and their guests.

Outside of work, Hawkins enjoys exploring the local Chicago restaurant scene and practicing yoga. On her days off, you might find her relaxing by Lake Michigan or studying for her next wine exam - often at the same time.

Meet the other judges

John Maraffa

Corporate Beverage Manager, Morton's The Steakhouse | Strip House Steakhouse & Cocktail Lounge | Morton's Grille