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Le Jeune Chef Wins ‘Best of’ Award from ‘Wine Spectator’


“Wine Spectator” magazine has honored Le Jeune Chef Restaurant at Pennsylvania College of Technology with a prestigious “Best of Award of Excellence” for the depth and breadth of its wine selection.

The award places Le Jeune Chef − a 168-seat restaurant that also serves as a practical-laboratory training experience for students in Penn College’s School of Hospitality − in select company.

“Wine Spectator” issued 2,332 awards in three categories this year, with only 362 restaurants (15 percent) earning the mid-level “Best Of” awards worldwide. “Grand Awards,” the top honor bestowed by the magazine, went to just 78 restaurants. The magazine issued its basic award, the “Award of Excellence,” to 1,883 restaurants.

Introduced in 1986, the “Best Of” award recognizes restaurants “with wine lists that offer several hundred selections, with a strong breadth in major wine regions and vertical coverage of at least a handful of top wines,” according to the Sept. 30 “Restaurant Awards 2000” issue of the magazine. Le Jeune Chef offers about 600 wine selections.

“Receiving this award is validation of years of hard work and collaboration by our staff,” said William C. Butler, dean of the School of Hospitality at Penn College. “It is extremely difficult to build and successfully market this type of list, especially within the structure of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board system. Significant recognition must be given to the staff at PLCB store 4110, who have given invaluable assistance by calling other stores to arrange transfers of specialty-list wines and in working with us to place orders for limited releases.”

Ultimately, students will benefit most from the honor, Butler said.

” They get to learn their craft in a lab that has received national and international recognition,” he said. “This name association translates into a labor-market advantage when they are competing for careers. Our students have sold over 2000 bottles of wine the last two academic years, which has enabled them to add significantly to their knowledge and appreciation of fine food and wine.”

A record-setting 613 restaurants entered their wine lists to be judged for the first time this year, according to “Wine Spectator,” and a total of 185 new applicants (30 percent) received no award. Among the criteria that can cause a restaurant to be rejected are: sloppy organization, spelling errors, a limited number of selections, a lack of better producers and the omission of interesting wine styles. Wine lists that omit vintages or appellations are rejected automatically, according to the magazine.

Overall, awards were issued to restaurants in 38 countries worldwide.

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