Sarah Trubnick / owner-sommelier


After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Laser Physics from UCLA, Sarah decided to take a leave of absence from her Ph.D. program and spend a year at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. There she fell in love with wine… in particular, the science of winemaking.

She moved to New York City, obtained a sommelier certification through the Sommelier Society of America and an Advanced Certificate from the WSET, and set out with a backpack on a one and a half year journey through the wine regions of Europe, Australia, and South America. Working as a cellar hand in Bordeaux, Umbria, Coonawarra, and Barossa and a wine writer in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico supported her throughout the trip.

Upon her return to California Sarah worked various jobs in the wine industry before opening the original Barrel Room in San Francisco in August 2011. Sarah opened The Barrel Room Rockridge in December 2013, and The Barrel Room San Francisco at 415 Sansome in 2015.

Carolyn Johnson / owner-sommelier


Carolyn’s love of wine stems from its capacity to bring people together and to create enduring memories. Whether it’s crafting unforgettable wine and food pairings or learning more about other cultures through history, food and language, she is constantly finding new avenues to explore when tasting and discovering new wines from around the world.

Carolyn began her wine journey 9 years ago in New York City where she received her Sommelier training. She moved to the Bay Area in 2009, where she worked at Chez Panisse in the wine department. Carolyn helped open the original Barrel Room in August 2011 and has since opened their Oakland location and the new San Francisco location.

Carolyn is currently juggling life as a mother of a precocious toddler and working in the restaurant and wine industry.  



Manuel Hewitt / owner-executive chef



Born and raised in Colorado, Manuel Hewitt began his culinary career in his late teens working in various capacities in restaurants. He ventured the big island of Hawaii where he began working as sous chef. Deciding to further his career through more formal education he moved to the Bay Area to attend the Culinary Arts Program at the City College of San Francisco from which he graduated in 2012. 

Manuel joined The Barrel Room Rockridge in February 2014 and from that point on has shined, showcasing his expertise across many cuisines as an Executive Chef. 


siavash kouchek / general Manager of OAKland location

Siavash's passion for wine blossomed while he was attending law school in Orlando, Florida in 2006. Having always appreciated the longstanding tradition and poetry of wine, he quickly realized he wanted to pursue a career that would allow him to creatively share his passion with others. He soon joined a cooperatively owned restaurant in Florida - the first of its kind - and got his feet wet as a wine professional through leading the wine program there among other things. After three years, his interest led him to a management position at Wine Authorities - the best retail outlet for small production wines in North Carolina.

While traveling in the Bay Area in 2014, Siavash fell in love with The Barrel Room's unique mission which led him to move here in July on 2015 and he has been working for The Barrel Room ever since.