Wine Director Ray Gumpert of Emeril's - Biography
New Orleans, LA
Ray Gumpert’s first exposure to the restaurant world came in the fall of 2000, when he joined Chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant NOLA in the French Quarter as a busboy. The restaurant’s fast pace and lively atmosphere came as a surprise, but he quickly became intimately aware of what it takes to operate a first-class restaurant operation.
Gumpert was particularly interested in the popularity and art of wine service, seeking out NOLA Sommelier John Hoff for wine knowledge and staying late to learn about wine after service hours. He was soon promoted to back waiter and then captain, showcasing the nightly degustation and wine pairing and honing his wine service skills.
In September 2002, Gumpert moved to Miami and assisted with the opening of Emeril’s Miami Beach restaurant. He soon became assistant sommelier at Emeril’s Miami, and developed strong connections with the wine community and top vintners, experiencing a new level of appreciation for the profession. In April 2008, he was promoted to sommelier at Emeril’s Delmonico. In November 2008, he became the sommelier at Emeril’s New Orleans, where he currently shares his passion for wine with the staff and guests and presides over the restaurant’s award-winning cellar.