More than 100 students in SUNY Delhi’s hospitality management program will join forces tonight to present a gourmet four-course dinner, organizers said Monday.
The dinner, “A Journey through Portugal,” will take place at 6 p.m. in the Alumni Hall Hospitality Center and will feature Portuguese food and wine prepared by guest chef Gerald Pellegrino and SUNY Delhi hospitality students and faculty. Pellegrino, who has family in Delhi, is the owner and executive chef of Corks Restaurant, located in Baltimore, Md. The annual fundraising dinner supports the college’s Kevin Zraly Scholarship Endowment, which goes to two students each year.
SUNY Delhi’s hospitality management department chair, David Brower, said the dinner began in 1998 and has grown tremendously since then. It is named in honor of Kevin Zraly, a 1970 SUNY Delhi graduate who went on to become one of the world’s leading wine authorities.
For years, Zraly was the wine director for the Windows on the World restaurant on the top floor of the World Trade Center in New York City, Brower said. Zraly authored Windows on the World Complete Wine Course book, which has sold more than three million copies and is the founder and instructor of the Windows on the World Wine School. More than 500 students take his course each year and roughly 20,000 people have completed the course in total.
Zraly has been very philanthropic toward his alma mater, Brower said, and returns each year to help out at the event by selecting the wine pairings for each of the dinner’s four courses and serving as the in-house wine connoisseur. He usually tells guests about each wine choice, Brower said.
Unfortunately, Zraly will not be able to attend this year because of a previous commitment, but still assisted in choosing wine for each course, Brower said.