Fosters Wine Estates
Senior Manager, Wine Education
Jerry Comfort is responsible for creating and executing brand training, winery ambassador in lieu of winemakers, and wine and food education programs for Fosters Wine Estates Sales, Marketing, Public Relations teams, the winery sites, trade customers, press, and consumers.
In preparation for this position, Jerry has been Culinary Director of Beringer Blass Wine Estates, overseeing Chateau Souverain's hospitality and restaurant, Beringer's Culinary Arts Center and private dining facility, the Hudson House, and other culinary programs within the company and around the world. Jerry is an instructor at Beringer's "Master Series" school and has been a guest instructor at hotel and restaurant schools such as the Culinary Institute of America in New York and Napa Valley, L'Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne and the Napa Valley Professional Culinary school. Jerry has conducted food and wine seminars internationally at such events as Viniexpo in Finland, Prowein in Germany, Vinexpo in Tokyo, and the Gourmet Summit in Singapore. These seminars also often include training staff at restaurants and hotels, including Singapore's Raffels, Bangkok's Peninsula, Ritz Carlton and Renaissance hotels around the world.
Since joining Beringer Vineyards as executive chef in 1991, Jerry has explored the relationship between wine and food. Jerry has used his culinary background and wine education to research and demonstrate how wine and food react when tasted with each other. This approach brings a measure of objectivity to a subject often dominated by subjective "expert" opinions and outdated traditions. This resulted in the FWEA wine and food pairing philosophy "Wine & Food in Balance".
In 2003, Jerry produced the definitive guide to cheese and wine pairing "The Progressive Wine and Cheese Pairing Wheel". In 2004 Jerry produced the wine and food in balance tool, the "Progressive Food Menu".
Jerry is a CWE-Certified Wine Educator with the Society of Wine Educators, he has also achieved the WSET advanced certification with Merit and completed the Court of Master Sommelier, Master Sommelier Level 1 course.
Jerry's experience before coming to Beringer included opening Executive chef at Checkers hotel and restaurant in Los Angeles. Under Jerry's tenure, Checkers was named one of the top 10 restaurants in the nation by Esquire magazine and received a four-star rating from the Los Angeles Times. Jerry was chef de cuisine under executive chef Philippe Jeanty at Napa Valley's Domaine Chandon restaurant, sous chef at Jeremiah Tower's Stars in San Francisco, sous chef saucier under executive chef Masa Kobayashi at Masa's in San Francisco & as sous chef at Fournou's Ovens in SF's five-star Stanford Court Hotel.