REBECCA FINEMAN, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

Rebecca always had an interest in food and wine, but she never thought that interest would lead to anything other than dinners out with friends. Through her early and mid 20s her focus remained purely academic: she studied Music and Anthropology at Pomona College in Clarement, California, which was followed by a Fulbright year in South Korea. In Graduate School she combined these interests and studied Ethnomusicology at the University of Hawaii—Manoa. This background in liberal arts brought her home to New York City in her late 20s, where she began to work in various facets of publishing during the day; at night she got a job in a restaurant to help subsidize her rent. Her interest was piqued.

Rebecca quickly abandoned the literary pursuits and enveloped herself in a world of food and wine. She rose quickly through the ranks from a Server to a Captain to a Wine Director. When a mentor suggested she get her Sommelier certification she relied on her academic background to propel her through the ranks. By 2012–in a mere 5 months– she went from having no certification to being an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She continued to push herself and succeeded at passing the Master Sommelier exam in 2017, becoming the 25th woman in the USA to hold the coveted title.

She is currently a Sommelier at High Treason, a wine bar in the Inner Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco. Previously she has held the posts of Sommelier at Restaurant Gary Danko; Sommelier at Michael Mina; and Wine Director at Ame, a Michelin starred restaurant in the St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco. She and her husband, Chris—who is also a sommelier—are working towards opening their own wine-focused restaurant in 2018.

DAVE YOSHIDA, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

Dave Yoshida first got started in the wine profession while in graduate school, finagling a position teaching Yale's wine classes. After a brief time working in wine retail, he transitioned to a sommelier position with the AvroKO group in New York City. Curiosity led him to intern for the 2013 vintage with Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla, and after catching the winemaking bug Dave followed with stage years in Bierzo and Chinon, working with Ricardo Perez-Palacios and Domaine Charles Joguet. Having just finished the Master Sommelier examination, he is currently the wine director and 1/2 of the team building the online startup Pollux Wine, helping to promote up and coming California boutique wine producers.

KYUNGMOON KIM, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

Early on in his life, Kyungmoon Kim discovered that he had exceptional palate. As he immersed himself in the world of wine, he leveraged his palate and his natural aptitude for memorization to build an extensive base of wine knowledge. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2005, Kyungmoon sought to round out his education in hospitality management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It was in Seoul, South Korea that he entered competitions, accumulating many accolades including securing third place in the Concours National du Meilleur Sommelier en Vins de France en Corée by SOPEXA and third place in the Korea International Professional Sommelier Contest. In 2009, Kyungmoon traveled halfway around the world to join the opening team of JUNGSIK in Seoul, South Korea. There, he spearheaded the much-lauded wine and beverage department and eventually traveled back to New York to open the second JUNGSIK. After 4 years of running the beverage program and the operation at JUNGSIK that helped garnering 2 Michelin stars, Kyungmoon departed to join the team at The Modern in 2015. While working with The Modern’s wine team, Kyungmoon went on to hold an Master Sommelier Certification and eventually join the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2016.

Jim Rollston,, ICC Sommelier Instructor

Jim Rollston, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

Jim Rollston brings nearly 20 years of experience in the wine and hospitality industries to ICC and currently serves as the Wine Director for three-Michelin star Manresa in Los Gatos.

He previously held sommelier roles at world class resort properties from Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg to the three restaurants of The Lodge at Pebble Beach. In addition to his restaurant experience, he has also worked in a number of winemaking roles at wineries throughout Northern California.

In 2013, Rollston started his journey towards the Master Sommelier exam when he was awardedthe Rudd Scholarship from the Guild of Sommeliers. Presented to the highest scorer in the Advanced Sommelier exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, the scholarship provides Master Sommelier candidates with funds for coursework and an invitation to attend the Rudd Masters Roundtable in Napa Valley, CA. After several years of study and working with mentors in the wine industry, he earned the prestigious title of Master Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers in May 2016.

In addition to his position as Wine Director for the three-Michelin star Manresa, Rollston also oversees the beverage team, lending his expertise to beer, cocktails, spirits, and more in pairing with Chef Kinch’s cuisine. Rollston was named one of Food & Wines Best Sommeliers of 2017.

ALEXANDER LAPRATT, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

While many sommeliers have paid their dues as waiters or captains, few have donned a chef’s jacket in a professional kitchen. Alexander LaPratt is an exception. Early in his career he temporarily switched from the front of house to the kitchen to gain entry into Tribute, a restaurant he believed he had a lot to learn from. He has worked with renowned chefs dedicated to the quality of their restaurants’ wine cellar and service including positions as Chef Sommelier for Chef Jean-Georges; Sommelier for Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin Restaurant, head Sommelier at DB Bistro Moderne, first ever Cellar Sommelier at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry. Born and raised in the Detroit area, Alexander took his first restaurant job nearby at Morels a Michigan Bistro in Bingham Farms. Inspired by working alongside Morels’ Master Sommelier, Madeline Triffon, Alexander, only 19 at the time, drank up plenty of knowledge and went on to learn from the best. Awards and Achievements include: first place in 2010 New York Ruinart Chardonnay Challenge; title of “Best Sommelier in America” at the 2011 American Sommelier Association competition; 2nd overall in the 2011 Chaine des Rôtisseurs Best Young Sommelier National Finals; winner of 2nd Annual StarChefs Somm Slam; Wine & Spirits Magazine “Best New Sommelier 2011”; represented the United States of America in the Best Sommelier of the World Competition in Tokyo Japan March 2013. In 2013 Alexander put to the test an entire careers worth of knowledge when he opened his own restaurant, Atrium DUMBO, in the posh neighborhood of DUMBO Brooklyn. The restaurant has been met with rave reviews and just celebrated its 2 year anniversary. He is currently preparing to open his next restaurant in the first quarter of 2016 in the historic Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. He then went on to pass the rigorous Master Sommelier Exam in 2014.

CHRISTOPHER BATES, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

Christopher Bates, MS, has spent over 15 years in all aspects of the hospitality industry, lending him a well-rounded perspective of all facets. Christopher and his wife own F.L.X. Wienery and Element Winery, and are currently opening F.L.X. Table (a small restaurant focused on a communal tasting menu format) and F.L.X. Culture House (a nano-brewery focusing on sours and barrel aged beers) in the Finger Lakes. Christopher’s experience in hospitality includes front of house, back of house, hotel and restaurant management, wine production, etc, and it is no surprise that his passions and interests encompass all things hospitality. He was the General Manager & Executive Chef of Hotel Fauchère, Relais & Chateaux and General Manager and Sommelier at Dos Brisas, Relais & Chateaux. In 2012 Christopher was named Best Young Sommelier in the World after winning Best Young Sommelier in America previously in the year. He went on to win TopSomm 2013, Americas most important sommelier competition, before passing his Master Sommelier Exam in May 2013, making him the 199th person in the world to do so, and the first to ever pass as a working Executive Chef.

ROGER DAGORN, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

Roger Dagorn is one of only 180 Master Sommeliers in the world which, in his case, was probably inevitable. Since his career began, Dagorn has accumulated scores of accolades, including the title of “Sake Samurai” (awarded to the sake-savvy somm in 2008 by the Japan Sake Brewers Association, making him one of only 22 so titled in the world, and one of eight in America). He plied his gifted palate for 16 years at the famed, lamented Chanterelle, providing exquisite pairings and innovative, sold-out wine dinners. In addition, he served as sommelier at haute-Mandarin Tse Yang, restaurant director at L’Ecole, the restaurant of the International Culinary Center, and sommelier at the Hotel Parker Meridien in New York City. He represented the United States as a contestant in the international Concours Mondial Des Sommeliers VI, and served as a judge at the Courcours VIII in Japan. In both 1987 and 1988, he was the first runner up the national finals of the Best Sommelier of French Wine and Spirits. In 1991, Chefs in America honored him as Best Sommelier in New York; only a few years later, the New York Press bestowed the same recognition. And in 1996, the James Beard Foundation capped off the recognition with their Outstanding Wine Service Award. Currently, beyond consultation work, lecturing, and acting as wine director of Porter House in New York, Dagorn shares his extensive knowledge as Adjunct Professor on Wine Education at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY.

DUSTIN WILSON, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

Dustin is a NYC-based Master Sommelier. His sommelier career spans some of the top restaurants across the US – Frasca Food & Wine in Boulder, CO; The Little Nell, Aspen; RN74, San Francisco. He is best known for his role as Wine Director of the three-star Michelin restaurant, Eleven Madison Park as well as being featured in the hit wine documentary film, SOMM. He recently left the restaurant and is now in the process of starting a new wine retail business in NYC called Verve - set to launch in 2016. He was featured on the Esquire TV show, Uncorked, as well as the follow up documentary film, SOMM: Into the Bottle.

PASCALINE LEPELTIER, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

Pascaline Lepeltier is a Master Sommelier and instructs with the Court of Master Sommeliers and at the International Culinary Center. Detouring from a master’s in philosophy and a career as a university teacher, Lepeltier began her obsession with wine at two stars Michelin-rated L’Auberge Bretonne under Chef Jacques Thorel, starting as assistant sommelier and soon presiding over a list of more than 4500 wines. Current Beverage Director of Rouge Tomate NYC, she was named one of the five best new US sommeliers of 2011 by Wine & Spirits magazine, one of the "New Wine Prophets" by TimeOut NY and one of the “40 under 40” beverage influencers by Wine Enthusiast. Her accomplishments include Best Loire Valley Young Sommelier, Best Brittany Sommelier, second-runner-up at the 2008, 2010, and 2012 Best French Sommelier, and 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Sommelier. In May of 2014, Lepeltier completed the Master Sommelier exams and joined an elite group of Master Sommeliers worldwide, becoming the 21st woman to achieve the title. A partner in the new Rouge Tomate Chelsea, she is currently preparing the reopening of the restaurant, while collaborating on her first wine book with acclaimed author Alice Feiring, to be published in 2017.

DENNIS KELLY, MS

Adjunct Wine Faculty

Dennis has more than 25 years of experience in the food & wine industry. As the Head Sommelier of The French Laundry from 2008-2015, he led one of the finest wine & spirits programs in the world. With a comprehensive collection including more than 2,500 selections, The French Laundry wine list earned the coveted Wine Spectator “Grand Award” in each year that he led the program. In 2010, Wine & Spirits called Dennis the “Best New Sommelier” and in 2012 he earned the Master Sommelier Diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Dennis has been featured in The World of Fine Wine, Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits and Art Culinaire, and has written published articles for The World of Fine Wine and Decanting Napa Valley: The Cookbook.