Robert Gravelle was born on September 12, 1975 in Oshawa, Ontario. He displayed a high level of intelligence early on and graduated from secondary school with Honours. He continued his education at the University of Western Ontario with a partial scholarship and studied Biology and Environmental Science, achieving his Bachelors of Science at the age of 21 years old.
After graduating from NECI David became Sous Chef for Chef Patrick Glennon, the first non-French chef worldwide of the Meridian Hotel Chain, at his New England-style seafood restaurant, Paddy the Fysshe Monger. David then took his seafood cooking to the Outer Banks in North Carolina as Sous Chef of The Plant Restaurant. Seven months later he moved to Bethel, Maine to be Head Chef at the award winning Sudbury Inn, then back to Vermont to be the Head Chef of Priority’s at Okemo Mountain Resort. In 1999 David wanted to experience another side of culinary arts, banquets and catering. As Banquet Chef, David was able to work alongside of Czechoslovakian Chef Josef Podnecky at Bates Mansion at Brookfarm in Protorsville, Vermont, where Josef taught him the importance of guest relations and European traditions of cooking.
After school, Robert decided to travel rather than immediately continue his education. He left for California and decided to live in Mexico for the surfing, culture, and to study the language. Upon his return to Canada he settled in his university town of London, ON where he was employed by the University of Western Ontario as a fundraiser and raised 250K in donations to his alma mater.
Desiring greater opportunities, Robert relocated to Toronto in the summer of ’99 and needed a quick source of income. He found a job at a chic champagne bar in Yorkville as a bartender. It was here he acquired a tasted for Bollinger, Salon and other fine wines.
In 2003, Robert enrolled in the ISG wine fundamentals 1 program. A most remarkable and effective instructor, Wayne Gotts, inspired Robert to continue his education to the completion of the sommelier diploma. What was once a minor interest became a passion.
Currently, Robert is employed as sommelier for Brassaii Bistro and Lounge, owned in part by Peter Tsebelis. He responsible for the wine program here and at the sister restaurant, Brant House, as well. Other business endeavors within this company are also on the horizon. His responsibilities include design and maintenance of wine list templates with respect to each establishment and training of approximately 40 staff.
Robert has had opportunity to assist Peter Tsebelis in the teaching on WF1 at the start of 2006. He has recently been featured on R.O.B. TV Workopolis "a day in the life of a sommelier" and in September 2006 he was selected as sommelier of the month by the International Sommelier Guild. He is also an advocate of the local wine community and supports these quality producers whenever possible.
Robert looks forward to a challenging and rewarding career in the wine business. Having the opportunity to teach and inspire others would be a cherished responsibility.