After opening up restaurants internationally—including Sao Paolo, Brazil where she caught the wine bug—Amanda returned to her native Detroit and began taking a scholastic approach to wine. In early 2000, with her husband Paul, Amanda moved to Traverse City with a five-year plan to open a restaurant. During that time, she officially began her pursuit of the Master Sommelier Diploma.
In July of 2004, the couple opened Trattoria Stella at the southern most end of Building 50 at the old state hospital grounds in Traverse City, which was followed by the birth of their first daughter that winter. Amanda passed the Advanced Sommelier exam in 2007 and took her first crack at the Master in 2012 with their second daughter—then an infant—in tow.
In July of 2014, Amanda and Paul (along with now partner and Executive Chef Myles Anton) celebrated ten years at Trattoria Stella by opening their second restaurant in the heart of downtown Traverse City: The Franklin.
All things served in a glass, bottle or other vessel out of which it may be optimally enjoyed—whether at Trattoria Stella or The Franklin—are curated by Amanda, though her actual floor time is spent at Trattoria Stella working with young sommeliers and servers to keep the “service” in hospitality.
Also in 2014, Amanda launched the City of Riesling symposium with co-director Sean O’Keefe of Chateau Grand Traverse, which brings Riesling makers from all over the world for a weekend of arts and education to Traverse City.