International Culinary Center Announces Court of Master Sommeliers®-Approved Sommelier Training Course Now Available in New York and California, Master Sommelier Scott Carney Named Center's Director of Wine Education

Oct 12, 2011, 08:45 ET from The International Culinary Center

NEW YORK and California, Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Culinary Center, a worldwide thought leader in culinary arts, and home of the legendary French Culinary Institute, today announced its New York campus will join its California campus in offering Intensive Sommelier Training—the first program in the world to be approved by the Court of Master Sommeliers®, and developed specifically for students interested in the serious study of wine with the intent of becoming Sommeliers. In addition, The Center announced the appointment of Master Sommelier Scott Carney as Director of Wine Education.

Providing the same unmatched curriculum available to aspiring Sommeliers in California, the New York Intensive Sommelier Training program takes students on an in-depth tasting tour of the world's great winegrowing regions over 11 weeks of full-time study (or 19 weeks of part-time study), immersing them in the geography, winemaking styles, and terroir of these storied locales. The program combines lectures with tastings and food pairings, teaching students how to thoroughly taste, analyze, and evaluate wines from around the globe. At the conclusion of the program, students may take the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory Sommelier Course & Exam and Certified Sommelier Examination on-site at the school.  Receiving the Certified Sommelier credential creates a point of differentiation for those looking to explore the world of wine as a career. Students who have taken the exam at The International Culinary Center's California campus have had one of the highest success rates among programs offering the exam, with an 87.1% pass rate.

The first Intensive Sommelier Training class offered at The International Culinary Center New York campus will begin January 23, 2012.  Next classes offered at the California campus begin on January 9 and February 7, 2012.  The course is available to both U.S. and international students.

"We are excited to expand our partnership with The International Culinary Center as they incorporate Intensive Sommelier Training as part of the high-caliber curriculum available at their New York campus," said Jay Fletcher, Chairman, Court of Master Sommeliers. "We believe this course, taught by an unparalleled faculty of Master Sommeliers, under the expert direction of Scott Carney will provide a much-needed outlet for serious wine study on both the East and West Coasts."

"The growth of our partnership with the Court of Master Sommeliers and the addition of Master Sommelier Scott Carney to our staff mark the beginning of an exciting new phase for our wine curriculum at The International Culinary Center," said Founder and CEO, Dorothy Cann Hamilton.  "The combination of the education focus of the Court of Master Sommeliers, in conjunction with Scott Carney's wealth of wine industry knowledge, experience, business acumen, and keen understanding of cuisine is sure to serve as the perfect platform to further develop and enhance our Wine Studies curriculum."

A Master Sommelier and a graduate of New York University's Stern School of Business, Scott Carney is one of the country's premier wine educators possessing not only an understanding of the complexities of tasting and pairing wine, but the wine business and industry at large.  Having spent ten years as the Business Manager at Gotham Bar & Grill, Carney's passion for the art and trade of food and wine pairing developed and strengthened, leading him to operations, beverage, and finance positions with a number of prestigious restaurants including Picholine, Tocqueville, the Russian Tea Room, and Junoon.

As Director of Wine Education, Master Sommelier Carney will lead the Wine Studies department on both coasts, further developing the curriculum for career students and amateur wine enthusiasts, with more classes in food and wine pairing, wine foundations, and other wine topics.  He will direct a staff of Master Sommelier instructors including:

Jesse Becker

Master Sommelier Jesse Becker grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska.  After working with Robert Sinskey Vineyards, and K&L Wine Merchants in California, he began his sommelier career at Charlie Trotter's and NoMI in Chicago followed by Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder and The Boiler Room in Omaha.  His training has included three harvests: Miner Family Winery in Napa Valley 2001; Maison Camille Giroud in Burgundy 2004; and Alphonse Mellot in Sancerre 2008.  Becker tastes with hundreds of wine producers each year in Burgundy, Loire, Rhone, Jura, Germany, Austria, and Northern Italy.  He and his wife are co-owners of PWMWINE.COM, a San Francisco-based online wine merchant and importer focusing on the wines of Burgundy, Rhone, Jura and Northern Italy.

Eric Entrikin

Master Sommelier Eric Entrikin began his career in the restaurant and wine industry while still in high school. After various positions in the Los Angeles area, he landed a job at the Regency Club in Westwood with Chef Joachim Splichal. Following Chef Splichal to Patina, Entrikin served as the assistant to the Maitre D' and Sommelier and was able to travel extensively to many of the wine regions of France, gaining valuable knowledge first-hand.  In 2005, he became the Sommelier at Alexander's Steakhouse in Cupertino, CA where he created the wine list which was later awarded the Wine Spectator's Best Award of Excellence. While at Alexander's, Entrikin enrolled in the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory Course, and successfully completed all levels, becoming a Master Sommelier in 2010.

Geoff Kruth

Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth brings vitality, passion and extensive knowledge to his teaching role at The International Culinary Center.  In addition to this role at The International Culinary Center, Kruth serves as the Director of Operations for the Guild of Sommeliers, a nationwide non-profit membership organization and educational foundation, and as the Wine Director of The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in California's Russian River Valley.  In 2008 he became one of less than 160 people worldwide to have ever earned the designation of Master Sommelier.  He received the "Rising Star" award from Star Chefs in 2009 and in 2010 he was named one of the top "40 under 40" professionals by the North Bay Business Journal.  Kruth holds a certificate in Restaurant Management from the Cornell School of Hotel Management, as well as a diploma in Classic Culinary Arts from The French Culinary Institute.

Laura Maniec

Currently the youngest in the world, Laura Maniec is also one of 17 women who have earned the Master Sommelier diploma from the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers.  She began her career as a sommelier at Blue Fin, a 400-seat restaurant in New York City, where she was named "Best New Sommelier" by Wine and Spirits Magazine.  Progressing quickly, she was made a partner as well as wine and spirits director for the entire B.R. Guest Restaurant Group nationwide.  In 2010, Maniec left B.R. Guest, spending the harvest season in Champagne, and now is the co-founder of New York City's Corkbuzz Wine Studio, where she empowers guests to learn and experience different wines and champagnes.  In addition to her work at Corkbuzz, Maniec is on the board of directors for the Guild of Sommeliers, and is a contributor to Food & Wine and Sommelier Journal.

Alan Murray

Master Sommelier Alan Murray's passion for diverse wine regions began in the Hunter Valley, just north of Sydney, Australia.  Serving as an Adjunct Instructor at The International Culinary Center, Murray most recently led the wine program at Masa's Restaurant in San Francisco. The move to Masa's followed Murray's successful completion of the Master Sommelier Exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers; Murray is the first Australian to earn this distinction.  Prior to his studies with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Murray worked at San Francisco's Rubicon, with an ambitious wine program and encyclopedic wine cellar under the direction of Master Sommelier Larry Stone.

Matt Stamp

Beginning his passion for the wine and restaurant trade in his hometown of Omaha, NE, Master Sommelier Matt Stamp brings unique industry experience and prestigious accolades to The International Culinary Center.  After earning the Society of Wine Educators' "Certified Specialist of Wine" title and completing the Court of Master Sommeliers' Advanced Exam in 2008 as a best-in-class Rudd Scholar, Stamp departed Nebraska for California to intensify his study.  Working as a Sommelier at both the Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in California's Russian River Valley and at The French Laundry in Yountville, CA, Matt finished first in the inaugural 2010 TOP SOMM competition, earning the title "America's Top Sommelier," and completed the Master Sommelier Exam, joining the premier ranks of Masters worldwide.  Matt currently serves as the Education Program Manager for the Guild of Sommeliers and is responsible for developing and maintaining the Guild's online content and educational materials.

For information on Intensive Sommelier Training and wine courses at The International Culinary Center, visit

About The International Culinary Centers of New York, California & Parma

The International Culinary Center is one of the world's leading culinary institutions and home to the legendary French Culinary Institute with locations in New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Parma, Italy.  The school is the first choice for aspiring chefs offering unmatched intensive career courses, and also offers a wide variety of courses designed for cooks and food enthusiasts of all skill levels: from the serious amateur to those already in the business—and those aspiring to be. Its state-of-the-art kitchens and classrooms house courses of all lengths in culinary arts, pastry arts, Italian studies, bread baking, culinary technology, sommelier training, wine studies, food writing and restaurant management. As one of two "Ivy League" level culinary schools, the caliber of instruction and immersive experience provide a quality education that sets graduates of The International Culinary Center apart in today's new hyper-competitive marketplace. For more information, visit

About the Court of Master Sommeliers

The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court's charter. There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier:  1) Introductory Sommelier Course; 2) Certified Sommelier Exam; 3) Advanced Sommelier Course; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma.

There are 118 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization's inception. Of those, 101 are men and 17 are women. There are 186 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam. For more information about the Court of Master Sommeliers, please visit

SOURCE The International Culinary Center