Lucas Paya’s love for wine began at an early age by inheriting his father’s love for great wine and local restaurants, along with his mother’s natural cooking skills and a genuine love for food. The energy and enthusiasm shared around the family dinner table spurred his passion for anything related to the art of food preparation, hospitality, and all-encompassing culinary enjoyment.
Shortly after completing WSET studies and receiving his Sommelier Diploma, Lucas joined elBulli in 2002, as a sommelier working under the direction and leadership of acclaimed Chef Ferran Adrià, who dramatically shaped his understanding for the artistry in gastronomy and where he learned, first-hand, about the magical nuances of Sherry. During Lucas’s time at elBulli, he managed one of the greatest collections of Sherry wines from Jerez, found in all around Spain. With no doubt, Sherry reigned as one of the superstars of the restaurant’s wine program.
Lucas moved to the United States in 2008 to become wine and beverage director for José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup (TFG), responsible for overseeing the wine and beverage programs for all fifteen TFG restaurants in the US and internationally. In this role, Lucas clearly demonstrated a genuine passion for Sherry, consistently promoting by-the-glass Sherry offerings, food pairing menus, and Sherry-based cocktails on the wine programs he developed.
In 2016, Lucas was appointed House of Lustau U.S. National Brand Educator, bringing a wealth of experience to the position. He has been instrumental in educating both consumers and the trade on the versatility of Lustau’s full range of premium Sherries.