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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Adjunct Wine Faculty

Eric Entrikin began his career in the restaurant and wine industry while in high school. After holding various positions in the Los Angeles area, he landed a job at the Regency Club in Westwood with then relatively unknown chef, Joachim Splichal. Joachim offered Entrikin the opportunity to follow him to his new restaurant, Patina, where he was the assistant to the maître’d and sommelier. While working for the importers, he was able to travel extensively to many of the wine regions of France, gaining valuable firsthand knowledge of this complex country.

In 2005, he accepted the position of sommelier at a new steakhouse opening in Cupertino. Alexander’s Steakhouse offered him the opportunity to create a wine list from the ground up, which gives the guest some personal experience into many of the wines. In 2008, the wine list was awarded the Wine Spectator’s Best Award of Excellence. At Alexander’s he enrolled in the Court of Master Sommeliers’® introductory course and continued through the other levels, becoming a Master Sommelier in 2010.

Further, Eric garners 20 years of experience in wholesale, distribution and import, which has involved the sale of wines from every major wine producing country in the world, with a focus on Europe and many of the unique varieties of grapes and styles of wine produced. This wide spanning experience allows him to have a unique view of the wine industry and the viability of wines in the US markets. He divides his time between teaching the next generation of sommeliers and consulting for various clients, in addition to advising on the US wine market.


Adjunct Wine Faculty

Laura Williamson achieved the Master Sommelier Diploma in 2005 when just 78 Americans had previously tackled this feat. Born and raised in a dry county of Arkansas, she coincidentally stumbled upon wine after working as an ‘au pair’ in Paris for a French diplomat. Her journey continued through work in fine restaurants while completing her degrees in Economics and Business. In addition to having traveled six continents for wine, she is an avid mountaineer (summiting Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro) and an accomplished yoga practitioner (RYT). She has worked in numerous fine restaurants over the past 20 years from Boulder and Vail, CO to Maui and San Diego prior to opening two of her own in Tucson, AZ.

In addition to assisting with special events and monthly winemaker dinners at her restaurant, Dove Mountain Grill in Tucson, she consults for various importers and independent collectors, speaks at private functions and public events, teaches at annual wine festivals, guides private clients on custom wine excursions and creates annual wine and yoga retreats.

She is an active member of the Court of Master Sommeliers, American Chapter and is also a Certified Wine Educator (CWE), achieving this degree from the Society of Wine Educators in 2001.


Adjunct Wine Faculty

Alan had his first glass of quality wine in the Hunter Valley, just north of Sydney, Australia, where he was raised. After that glass, he spent nearly all of his vacations in Australia’s diverse wine regions, tasting and learning as much as he could. And he’s still learning all he can. Alan moved to San Francisco to work at Rubicon, with its ambitious wine program and encyclopedic wine cellar under the direction of Master Sommelier Larry Stone. With Stone’s encouragement, Alan worked toward achieving his own title of Master Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, becoming the first Australian to earn this distinction. Alan moved on to become the wine director at Masa’s Restaurant in San Francisco in 2001 before becoming a wine instructor.

He is currently the Wine Director at Jardinière.