Sommelier Jorge E. Liloy of Patria - Biography

New York, NY

November 2011

Jorge E. Liloy was born in Colombia, South America. He came to the States in the early 1980's to study medical technology at Kean University in New Jersey. During his studies of biochemistry, he was inspired to learn about wine, food, science and the relationship among them. He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor's degree in Medical Technology from Kean and certification as a Clinical Scientist from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. During his studies, Jorge supported himself by working in the food and beverage industry as Restaurant Manager and Wine Director at The Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, NJ.

After graduating from college, he made a decision to continue working in the service industry, using the knowledge and background from his education. In 1993 Jorge joined Craig Shelton at the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse, NJ and helped garner four stars (extraordinary) from the New York Times, by augmenting service, selection, and a formidable wine list in his position as Maitre d' and Wine Director. In April 1997, Jorge joined the staff at Patria to redesign service, rework the wine list, and marry the diverse flavors of Latin cuisine with wine. Patria's service rating in the Zagat Guide improved, and the restaurant maintained three star status from the New York Times. Jorge sends servers to Sommelier Society of America courses, holds regular tastings and seminars on food and wine pairings, and works with Executive Chef Andrew DiCataldo to create five and seven course chef's tasting menus with wine pairings. The wine list grew from exclusively Latin-Spanish to an international array of wines, including French, Italian, German, South African, Australian, American, and an expanded Latin American selection, even wines from Uruguay. The list also features a full array of sherries, ports, cognacs, armagnacs, Spanish brandies and cordials.

Jorge's dream is to become a Master Sommelier, and so far he has successfully completed a Certificate Course from The Sommelier Society of America, Certificate Course from the Court of Master Sommeliers, and Certificate de Mérite from Food and Wines from France/Sopexa. He is a member of the American Sommelier Association and the Society of Wine Educators. Jorge has written articles for Cheer's Magazine for the Sommelier's Selections on Chilean Wines. He is now preparing an article for Santé Magazine for the July/August 2000 issue for the Wine and Spirits Review on Latin America's Super Premiums. Every single year he has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the restaurant that he represents. In 1999, Santé Magazine honored him for Excellence in Restaurant Wine and Spirits Hospitality for fine dining in New York City.

During his educational travels, Jorge has visited wineries in Chile, Argentina, Spain, and the United States (Oregon, California, New York State, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia).