Wine Director Mark Slater of Ray’s: The Steaks Group - Biography

Arlington, VA

April 2011

Mark Slater was raised in Mount Vernon, New York, and moved to Washington, DC, in 1977. He worked with Jean-Louis Palladin as sommelier and maitre d’hotel at Jean-Louis at the Watergate Hotel from 1984 to 1990, where he met many young chefs, including Michel Richard, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, and Eric Ripert. In 1993, Slater was the first wine director and manager of the new Citronelle in Georgetown, Pennsylvania. Slater returned to Michel Richard’s Citronelle in 1998 as wine director and chief sommelier and worked there until 2009. In 2007, he was awarded for Outstanding Wine Service by the James Beard Foundation.


From 2009 on, Mark Slater has been the wine director for Ray’s: The Steaks Group of Restaurants, located in Arlington, Virginia; Washington, DC; and Silver Spring, Maryland. Ray’s: The Steaks Group is a small group of progressive, casual restaurants with a major emphasis on value in both food and wine. In 2010, he acted as a judge for the 1st annual Somm Slam at the StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress in New York, New York. In his spare time, Mark is an accomplished harpsichordist and enjoys playing Baroque and Renaissance music.