Dominick Purnomo, is the Owner of dp An American Brasserie, and the Chef-Sommelier & Maitre d’hotel of Yono’s Restaurant, both located in downtown Albany. Dominick caught the restaurant bug at an early age, his parents, renowned restaurateurs Chef Yono & Donna Purnomo previously owned the 21 Restaurant before opening Yono’s Restaurant in 1986. Purnomo would spend weekends helping around the restaurant as a busser & host during his high school years.
Despite his parents’ strongest discretions, Dominick went on to the State University of New York at Morrisville to pursue a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management. While there, Dominick had the opportunity to combine all of his natural ability inherited from his parents along with a solid textbook knowledge learned from many wonderful professors & chefs. While at Morrisville College, Dominick became a member of the International Foodservice Executives Association which had a chapter in Syracuse. At the International Convention held in April of 1999 in San Diego, California, Purnomo was elected the Chairman of the Student Board, representing some 3,500 student members of the organization worldwide. At the 2000 convention held in Chicago, Illinois, Purnomo was instrumental in constructing many new programs to get the student members more involved.
Upon finishing Morrisville in 2000, Purnomo came back to Albany to work in the family business. Dominick took over the day to day operations of running Yono’s Restaurant, it was then that he discovered the wonderful world of wine. After having dined in some of the worlds finest restaurants such as Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Aureole in Las Vegas, and Lespinasse in New York, Purnomo wanted to bring a world class wine program to Albany, more specifically to Yono’s. This was not the easiest task because at the time Purnomo was only 20 years old and had difficulty breaking into the world of wine. That December, Yono’s Restaurant unveiled a wine list of 250 wines representing 12 countries, garnering it’s first of 4 consecutivee Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine, as well as an award for Best Wine Program in the Mid Atlantic States, from Sante Magazine. At the time, this was the largest list of it’s kind to have such an aggressive wine program. Through the next 4 years, the list would grow to almost 600 wines representing every major wine growing region in the world.
In 2002 Dominick was inducted into the Chaine des la Rotusseurs, an international Food & Wine Organization, as the youngest member in the society’s 52 year history. That same year, Dominick decided to pursue the long, arduous, yet coveted title of Master Sommelier. He traveled to Boston to take the first of a 3 part series and passed on the first try! Also in 2003 Purnomo was just one of 4 sommeliers from New York State, and the youngest in the nation to be featured in the prestigious Chalk Hill Winery Sommelier Guide.
In February of 2003, Purnomo decided to try his hand at his first sommelier competition, so he once again traveled to Boston to compete in the Northeast Regional Best Young Sommelier Competition and won!!! In May, Dominick traveled to Miami, Florida to compete in the National Competition against the top 7 young sommeliers in the country from restaurants such as The French Laundry in Napa Valley, Gary Danko in San Francisco, Jöel in Atlanta, and the Future Wine Director of Per Se, in New York City. Once again Purnomo was the youngest of all competitors at just 22 years old, and this time his youth showed its side, as he did not finish in the top 3.
In 2004 the Yono’s wine list which Purnomo created was awarded the Best of Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator Magazine, the only recipient of this award in a 100 mile radius. In December of that year, under Dominick’s direction, Yono’s was awarded Albany’s only 4 star review by Bill Dowd of the Times Union saying, “Such an experience can result in only one conclusion: 4 stars, emphatically”
In 2005 Purnomo was elected to a two year term as the President of the Greater Capital District of the New York State Restaurant Association, the youngest President in the history of the state organization.
Purnomo has presented public and industry seminars for Sante Magazine, The Desmond American Wine Festival, Cornell University, and the New York Wine & Harvest Fest as well as for private groups, and two Fortune 500 companies.
Dominick has written many articles on wine and wine service and currently writes wine reviews for Sante Magazine, an industry publication which distributes to 100,000 hotel & restaurant owners, executives & employees in 3 countries.
Dominick also receives enjoyment from giving back to the community. He has worked with several charities including Living Resources, Girl Scouts of America, the Donald P Lancella Foundation and has chaired events for the American Diabetes Association and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well.