Born and raised in Missoula, Montana, Ian Ray found his love for food at an early age. He was always hovering around whomever was in the kitchen, whether it was his Grandmother, Mother, or Aunts, Ian was there. He gained a very valuable perspective on cooking due to their vastly different styles.
After two years of college studying business management, Ian shifted gears. He decided to relocate to Arizona and enroll in Le Cordon Bleu to pursue a career that better matched his passions.
Ian found his mentor in Arizona, Jon-Paul Hutchins, the Executive Chef of Le Cordon Bleu. He trained Ian every day for the first few months, grooming him and teaching him the fundamentals of cooking. Hutchins made a phone call to his former student, Kevin Binkley, and set up a stage for Ian at Binkley’s in Cave Creek. After a two-day stage, he was offered a Chef de Partie position, which he accepted with excitement. After his stint at Binkley’s, he decided to head south and work for James Beard Award Winning Chef, Paul McCabe at T. Cooks at the Royal Palms. At T. Cooks, Ian learned to balance rustic, Mediterranean food, while also incorporating the intense attention to detail that he had learned through Binkley’s.
In the summer of 2014, Ian graduated culinary school and moved back to Montana for the summer to plan the next step of his life. He eventually decided to move to Denver, to experience their budding food scene. He became the Chef de Cuisine at a local wine bar, bistro that focused on using local ingredients to create rustic French, and Italian influenced food. It was here that he found his culinary vision. Here, he was able to express his creative freedom, while still executing on a higher level that eventually landed him and the restaurant “Best Wine Bar” in Denver, in 2015.
Eventually Ian moved back to Scottsdale to join the culinary team at Second Story Liquor Bar. Ian and the team collectively created some fantastic, and whimsical food. After success at Second Story, Ian was on the hunt for what was next.
Ian now calls Taverna Americana home and has already shifted some of the focus to help it gain its rightful place in Arizona’s restaurant scene. Ian plans to continue creating and finding inspiration through delectable yet simple meals, guaranteed to hit all the right taste buds.
In this wonderful time of seasons changing and cooler weather coming to the Valley, these wines make a perfect accompaniment for the season. Whether enjoying a glass of wine on the patio or matching with the perfect meal, these wines will make you happy!
2014 Elk Cove Pinot Gris
92 Points Wine Enthusiast
Fresh apricot, comice pear and ginger generously introduce a full palate of luscious white peach, honeydew, and melon. Expressive and weighty in texture; the finish is heightened with crisp acidity and a slight grip while a delicate floral note adds complexity.
$19 per bottle
$14.50 per bottle on purchase of 12 pack case!
2012 Colene Clemens Adrianne Pinot Noir
94 Points Wine Spectator
Distinctly spicy and peppery, this is layered, complex and harmonious, with generous cherry and floral flavors on an open-weave frame. The tannins are well submerged in the mix, the finish echoes beautifully. This wine is gorgeous now, but will drink well for the next 10 years.
Regular Retail Price $51.99
Tavern Wine Club Price $43.50
2012 Forman Napa Valley Cabernet
94 Points Vinous Media, Antonio Galloni
Ric Forman is arguably Napa Valley’s first superstar winemaker; in 2012 he is celebrating his 46th harvest. Forman’s Cabernet is one of the classic masterpieces of Napa Valley; comprised mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon with small bits of Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc in the classic Bordeaux tradition. Fruit from the wine is 100% Forman Estate from the “Grande Roche”, a hillside vineyard on the east side of St. Helena. Elegant blueberry and raspberry fruit intermix with toast and sweet tannins to produce a full-bodied mouth feel and expansive, long, luscious finish.
Regular Retail Price $100
Tavern Wine Club Price $87