A recent article in the Guardian on gourmet sea salts quotes Alison Lea-Wilson, founder of the Halen Mon Anglesey Sea Salt company, on the growing market for for artisan salts and the emergence of selmeliers:
When the Lea-Wilsons started 15 years ago, business experts said there was no market for artisan sea salt. But over a decade in which many people have become more interested in what is on their plates, the company's success – demand has always outstripped supply – does not overly surprise them. "There are even restaurants in America that employ 'selmeliers' to advise diners on which salt to choose for which dish," says Alison.
The most oft-cited selmelier is Mark Bitterman, the author of Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes and the owner of The Meadow, a gourmet shop in Portland, Oregon, that specializes in specialty salts. An Associated Press story profiling Mr. Bitterman and his devotion to salt noted his status as a selmelier: "Using the language of wine, Bitterman talks about salts that are 'unctuous,' that impart 'spiciness' or 'butteriness.' He refers to a salt’s 'meroir,' the qualities it derives from its ocean, and calls himself as a 'semelier.'"