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Showing results for tags 'James Beard Award - Outstanding Wine Service'.
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It's ridiculous that we don't have a thread for Mark Slater, a personal friend of mine, and donrockwell.com Member #14. Aside from Mark being exceptionally gifted as a a fine-dining sommelier - both in terms of maintaining a wine list, and in establishing a rapport with customers - I have had the pleasure of dining with him on many occasions, and he has an excellent palate. In 2007, he won the James Beard Foundation's national award for "Outstanding Wine Service" while he was sommelier at Citronelle. One thing many people don't know about Mark is that he studied harpsichord in Vienna, Austria, and is an accomplished harpsichordist. Having seen him play many times, I can verify that he is an outstanding sight reader, which is an incredibly difficult and underrated skill to develop and possess. His sub-specialty is early Rennaissance music, but he can handle most any work for harpsichord, and is a good enough sight reader to "fool" the listener into thinking he knows a piece, when it's actually the first time he's ever looked at it. Mark doesn't know I'm writing this, and may ask me to take it down, but I'm not going to - he deserves widespread recognition as one of the most important, influential figures in Washington, DC restaurant history - certainly when it comes to wine. At this point, he is truly the Patriarch of all area sommeliers, and should be recognized as such by all those who follow in his footsteps, both now and in the future.