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What is one of New Jersey’s Treasured Annual Wine Summits?

The Fifth Annual Summit Wine & Food Festival
September 20, 21 & 22, 2013
The Place to be!

Friday, September 20, events:

Saturday, September 21, events:

Sunday, September 22, events:

Ivan Ruiz Bio:

In the mid-1990’s, I first met Ivan Ruiz, founder & executive director of the Summit Wine & Food Festival, when I was selling computer systems to Citibank while working out of offices in 2 Penn Plaza.  Ivan Ruiz was General Manager & Sommelier for Patria (Park Ave & 20th, NYC), a Nuevo Latino mecca under the helm of chef/founder/co-owner Douglas Rodriguez, globally acclaimed “Godfather of Nuevo Latino Cuisine.”  It was a sensational rival to Asia de Cuba a little to the north (high 30’s & Madison) during a heady period in NYC for all cuisines “nouvelle.” Bobbie Flay was rippin' American Nouvelle at the Mesa Grill to the south off of Union Square in parallel to Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe… and, just a few blocks down from Patria reigned Eleven Madison Park Restaurant, most triumphantly claiming the eastern flank as the Flatiron Building (23 skidoo) claimed the southern edge of Madison Square Park. 

Dining at Patria was always an adventure, so choosing a wine could be a challenge, but Ivan Ruiz was ever so hospitable and helpful in selecting the best wine pairing option in my price range.  In the process, Mr. Ruiz introduced me to many, many wonderful wines from Chile & Argentina as well as Spain, France & California!

Patria opened in 1994 by legendary chef/founder Douglas Rodriguez.  It was the laboratory for his Nuevo Latino Cuisine. Patria received a three star review in the New York Times and accolades from The New Yorker and Gourmet among others. Although Patria closed its doors in 2004, Mr. Rodriguez, longing for his hometown, headed back to Miami Beach and opened OLA in 2004 followed by D. Rodriguez Cuba at The Hilton Bentley Hotel in October 2010. Recently, D. Rodriguez Cuba was awarded with “The Best Ceviche” in The Miami New Times’s Best of Miami 2010.

Newsweek selected Douglas Rodriguez as one of the 100 Americans that will influence the coming millennium. People magazine featured him in an article titled "Douglas Rodriguez - Superchef Makes Latin Food Haute Haute Haute." In 1994, the Fine Beverage and Food Federation elected Mr. Rodriguez as the Culinary Master of North America and the New York Culinary Master. He received the prestigious 1996 James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year Award. In May 1998, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from Johnson and Wales University. Most recently, Rodriguez was nominated again by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef South Florida in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, Rodriguez was one of the distinguished culinary elite to be on the First Season of Top Chef Masters on Bravo. In July 2010, Rodriguez received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Flavors of Passion Awards. Rodriguez is a member of the Chef Conclave for American Airlines.

Mr. Rodriguez is the author of Nuevo Latino (published in October 1995), Latin Ladles (published in November of 1997), Latin Flavors on the Grill (published in 2000) and has been signed by a major publisher to complete a four book series. In March 2003 he released his fourth book, The Great Ceviche Book. Mr. Rodriguez has been featured in myriad national publications including Food and Wine, The Metropolitan Home, Esquire, and Bon Appetit, and has made numerous television appearances including Late Night with David Letterman, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and CBS Weekend This Morning.

Primed by Patria’s pinnacle of success and his close association with chef/founder Douglas Rodriguez, in 2005 (about a year after Patria closed its doors), Mr. Ruiz opened the Wine List of Summit, which, arguably, has become one of the top 50 fine wine shops in New Jersey.  Then, in 2009, Mr. Ruiz launched the first ever Summit Wine & Food Festival.  Fast forward five years later to find that the Summit Wine & Food Festival has become a M-O-N-S-T-E-R!

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