Arthur Hon

Arthur Hon_Headshot_LRG

Beverage Director at Sepia Restaurant

A trained visual artist, Beverage Director Arthur Hon compares his work in the world of wine as a four-dimensional outlet to express his creativity. A member of the savvy team at Sepia since the restaurant’s 2007 opening, he brings a natural affinity for creating a sensory experience through food and wine to Chicago. A self-professed perpetual student, Hon admits that his curiosity for wine was piqued by his intimidation by it. Hon began his personal pursuit of wine and work in restaurants while earning his undergraduate and advanced degrees from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. When Sepia opened, he joined the team as a server and wine captain. He continued exploring wine under the tutelage of Sepia’s then-sommelier, Scott Tyree, whom Hon credits for championing his learning and providing him with both training and encouragement to translate his interest into something much more.

As beverage director, Hon oversees Sepia’s seasonal, food-driven wine list of approximately 500 bottles, featuring boutique winemakers and lesser-known grapes and wine regions, in addition to discovering new finds and facilitating wine pairing events andd inners at Sepia throughout the year. He also hosts weekly wine staff training events to foster the servers’ knowledge and passion for wine at the Michelin star-rated restaurant. Since 2013, Wine Enthusiast Magazine has continued to include Sepia on its 100 Best Wine Restaurants in America’s list. Hon believes in removing the pretension and intimidation that often go along with the wine lists, which creates a lively conversation that ultimately inspired the guest to try something new.

A supporter of local and sustainable growers, he believes in allowing the grapes to speak for themselves as they harmonize with Executive Chef Andrew Zimmerman’s seasonal American cuisine. “Creativity and passion don’t always have to be complex or come from afar,” he says. “Simpler is always better.” Hon’s approach to wine captured the attention of the James Beard Foundation in 2012; Sepia has been named a semifinalist in the Outstanding Wine Program category consecutively ever since. Hon was awarded “Best Sommelier” at the Jean Banchet Awards in January 2015. He is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently studying for the Advanced Level exam.