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Wine Judges: Mid-American Wine Competition

Christopher Mitchell CookChristopher Mitchell Cook
Food & Wine Writer

Christopher Cook's career spans 20 years, both coasts, five newspapers, with stops along the way as a wine writer, restaurant critic, restaurant guide writer and editor, and wine competition superintendent and judge.

Cook is chief restaurant critic and wine writer for HOUR Detroit magazine. For 12 years, Cook was wine columnist for the Detroit Free Press, and then for the Oakland Press, the suburban daily in Detroit. Since 2001, he has been superintendent of the Michigan State Fair Wine Competition. Since 1995, Cook has been editor of the Zagat Survey of Michigan restaurants. He was restaurant critic for the now-defunct Detroit Monthly magazine from 1988-1991.

His freelance writing on wine and food has been published in Newsday (NY), the San Diego Union, Kansas City Times, Crain's Detroit Business and other publications.

Cook has judged wine competitions in the U.S. and abroad, including the Royal Australian National Wine Competition in Canberra, the VinItaly competition in Verona, and in the US:

  • The Riverside International Wine Competition (CA) (for 14 years.)
  • The Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition (CA) (for three years)
  • The Indianapolis International Wine Expo (IN) (for three years.)
  • The Long Beach Grand Cru (CA) wine competition (for three years.)
  • The Great Lakes International (MI) for six years
  • The Michigan State Fair Wine Competition (for 18 years.)

Cook has been a speaker, panelist or moderator on more than 100 events at wine and food conferences and conventions, including the Midwest International Wine Expo in Chicago, and at the Vintners Holiday Series at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park (CA), he is also the master of ceremonies for the annual Grand Traverse Resort Wine & Food Festival, Traverse City, MI.

In his other life, Cook is a documentary filmmaker, producer, writer and director whose honors include nine regional EMMYs, a TELLY, and two Clarion Awards from the Association of Women in Communications, fifteen Michigan Association of Broadcasters awards. His work has appeared on public television, History Channel and elsewhere. He is a freelance news producer for ABC News and NBC News, and has field produced segments for the National Geographic channel, VH1, NBA Entertainment and HBO Entertainment.

He has held various reporting and editing positions at several newspapers: Newsday, Staten Island Advance, San Diego Union, Kansas City Times, Detroit Free Press. He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism at Newsday.

Cook was born in England, grew up in France and came to the U.S. when he was 19-years-old. He is bilingual. He attended Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY and was awarded journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan 1981-82. He is married and lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

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