AIWF Ray Wellington Wine Education Scholarship - Printable Version

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- myriad - 08-27-2001

The Great Sommeliers Dinner
"The Fab Five come to Icon"
An Awards Ceremony and Dinner to support the 2001 Ray Wellington Wine Education Scholarship.
Monday, September 24, 2001
Icon at the W Court Hotel
130 East 39th Street
$150 AIWF members/$175 non-members
For Reservations Please Call (212) 447-0456

Most tasting dinners feature a type of cuisine or particular grape varietal, or perhaps a famous chef or wine producer. But when was the last time we featured the sommelier? So for this year¹s AIWF-NY Ray Wellington Wine Education Scholarship Dinner we decided to feature the venerable restaurant professionals who never seem to get their due.

On Sept. 24th at Drew Nieporent's restaurant, Icon, in the W Court Hotel, five of New York's All Star sommeliers will pool their talents and select wines for a special five course dinner. Roger Dagorn of Chanterelle, Daniel Johnnes of Montrachet, Karen King of Union Square Cafe, Richard Dean of The Mark Hotel, and David Gordon of Tribeca Grill will each select a different varietal from one of their favorite producers and share their passion and expertise.

Karen King will feature an Austrian Gruner Veltliner, Roger Dagorn will get away from his French roots, go a little crazy and serve Sake. Meanwhile, Daniel Johnnes (the King of Burgundy) will pull something special from his cellar of Red Burgundies to go with the main course. David Gordon will bring something BIG from the Rhone to help wash down some fine cheese. And to cap off the evening, Richard Dean will pair one of Icon's great desserts with a luscious late harvest Riesling.

The Ray Wellington Wine Education Scholarship was named in honor of the Chairman of the New York Chapter of the AIWF from 1990-1992 who was an active supporter of our educational mission until his death in 1992. Ray's career in the wine industry began at Windows on the World, where he started as a busboy and rose to the position of Director of Wine Services. He went on to work as the wine director of the New York Restaurant Group, working with the management and staff of the Manhattan Ocean Club, Cite, Smith and Wollensky, and the Post House on wine and service training, as well as managing the restaurants' stellar cellars. In 1988, Ray and Kevin Zraly founded the Wine Buyers Circle, whose 24 members represent two dozen major restaurants, accounting for total annual wine sales of more than $20 million.

Daniel Johnnes, one of the founders of the AIWF-NY Ray Wellington Wine Education Scholarship Fund, writes, "Ray Wellington was not only a friend and a colleague but an inspiration as well. His drive and passion were infectious and certainly made me push myself harder in the field I love. Without these qualities one has little chance of succeeding and excelling in the highly competitive wine profession. The purpose of the Ray Wellington Wine Education Scholarship program is to enable young people to pursue their wine studies and discover the fire in their bellies and on their palates, both of which will lead them to a fulfilling, productive, and passionate career in the world of wine."