Randolph wasn’t reading The Wine Bible for pleasure. The 25-year-old was on a mission, working with her sister and brother-in-law to bootstrap a self-funded restaurant into existence in San Francisco’s Mission District. With no investors and a budget far too slim to accommodate hiring a sommelier, the trio decided Randolph would handle that in addition to her duties as general manager.
A complete novice, she got straight to work, studying day and night — basically any time she wasn’t working at the restaurant — and just six months later, she earned her certification as a sommelier. Her adaptational fast-track to the world of wine is a feelgood story all its own, but it was just the beginning of the successes for her and the family business, Californios.
In 2015, two years after opening, the white linen was awarded its first Michelin star, and by 2017 it had the distinction of being the world’s only two-star Michelin restaurant celebrating Mexican cuisine. Randolph’s wine program, which grew from a list with 14 producers to a cellar featuring more than 800 in a span of just eight years, was integral to those accolades, as well as a Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and a Best Wine Restaurants nod from Wine Enthusiast. And in 2021, when The Michelin Guide bestowed its first-ever Sommelier of the Year awards, she was one of just two somms to receive one.