Meet Dominick Purnomo, 2021 Capital Region Philanthropist of the Year Finalist
Dominick Purnomo, Wine Director & Co-Owner of Yono’s & dp An American Brasserie, grew up in his family’s restaurant working alongside his parents at an early age before going on to the State University of New York at Morrisville to pursue a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management.
Upon finishing Morrisville in 2000, Purnomo returned to Albany to work in the family business and took over the day-to-day operations. It was then that he discovered a true passion for wine. After having dined in some of the world’s finest restaurants, such as Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and Lespinasse in New York, Purnomo wanted to bring a world-class wine program to Albany, more specifically to Yono’s.
At 25 years of age, Purnomo was elected to his first of two two-year terms 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.
Dominick was a national finalist for the Best Young Sommelier Competition, has been nominated for a James Beard Award for his wine program on three occasions.
His wine list has been praised by Wine Spectator since 2004 as a Best of Award of Excellence winner and has recently been named one of the 300 greatest wine lists in the world, receiving the 3-star award from The World of Fine Wine. Under his direction, Yono’s was named one of the Top 100 restaurants in America by OpenTable for two consecutive years.
Dominick was generously recognized for his leadership and business achievements as a 40 Under 40 by the Albany Business Journal and for his sartorial efforts as one of the #BestDressedSomms by GQ Magazine. He was just the 30th member inducted into Shaker High School, his alma mater’s, Hall of Fame.
Dominick has presented at the Desmond American Wine Festival, Albany Wine & Dine for the Arts, Nantucket Wine Festival, Martha’s Vineyard Wine Festival, and the Finger Lakes Wine Festival. He lectured to a group of trade professionals and students at the prestigious 94th annual Hotel Ezra Cornell at Cornell University’s renowned Hotel School. He has served on the esteemed wine teams for the James Beard House, Burdigala, Reboule de Rhône, Nantucket Wine Festival, The Jacques Pepin Foundation, La Tablée & Wine on Wheels alongside the most accomplished sommeliers in America.
He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the New York State Restaurant Association, The New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and The Palace Performing Arts Center, is a member of the Society of Fellows at the Culinary Institute of America, the American Sommelier Association, the Chevalier du Tastevin, a founding board member of the Albany Food & Wine Festival, the founder of the Sommelier Society of Albany.
In March of 2020, amid the emerging COVID-19 global pandemic, Dominick Co-founded FEEDALBANY, which provides meals for those in need and at risk in the community, especially those who work in hospitality. For those efforts, he has been named a Local Hero by Capital Region Living Magazine, a finalist for the Jefferson Awards, hailed as a CHANGEMAKER and an Empire Health Hero by the Capital Region Business Journal, named a 2020 Community Champion by CDTA, received the inaugural COVID-19 “Beyond the Call” award from the Albany County Legislature, the 2021 Professor Anthony Strianese Hospitality Excellence Award from Discover Albany, and a finalist as Philanthropist of the year by the United Way of the Greater Capital Region.
In his work as an industry advocate, Dominick, with the help of his colleagues, worked with Congress to pass the RESTAURANT’s Act, a much-needed industry-specific relief for Independent restaurants. He lobbied the Biden Administration to eliminate the Trump era wine and spirits tariffs and worked with the state legislature to make to-go alcohol sales in restaurants permanent across the entire state.
Dominick has appeared in Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits Magazine, GQ, Oprah Magazine, Men’s Journal, Santé Magazine, and MSNBC & CBS New York.
United Way's Capital Region Philanthropist of the Year award recognizes an individual who has positively impacted our community.
Join us on September 9, 2021, at the Albany Capital Center when we reveal this year’s Capital Region Philanthropist of the Year!