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Our Sommeliers

Robby Younes, Chief Operating Officer

Robby Younes is a dynamic, accomplished senior hospitality executive and industry expert with 20+ years of hotel operations, finance and management experience. As C.O.O., Younes is charged with continuing Crystal Spring Resort's extraordinary growth and the resort's commitment to excellence in hospitality and the culinary arts. He oversees one of the largest hospitality teams in New Jersey, 1,500 employees for six properties including two luxury hotels, six golf courses, the award-winning Wine Cellar and multiple food and beverage outlets.

In is mid-twenties, Younes spent 10 years working at Starwood and Hilton hotels, becoming one of the youngest regional Food & Beverage Managers in the history of both companies. The year 2008 marked a pivotal point in his career, as Younes joined Crystal Springs Resort as the Regional Food & Beverage Director. Due to his success in the role, he quickly advanced to the position of Senior Vice President of Hospitality & Lodging. Keen to expand his repertoire, he explored his love of fine wine and attained sommelier certification, as well as membership to the exclusive Les Chevaliers du Grand Vin. Younes immediately invigorated the wine program, and under his direction, the prestigious Wine Cellar continued to amass an enviable and impressive collection of rare and prized wines. In 2018, he was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40 Tastemakers. In his current role, Younes’ directed the renovation of Minerals Hotel and four-star Restaurant Latour, considered one of the best restaurants in the state. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, he forged ahead with the renovation of Grand Cascades Lodge and is spearheading the addition of 30,000 square feet of event space to the Resort.

Susanne Wagner, Wine Director & Sommelier

Susanne Wagner, the Sommelier at Restaurant Latour and the Wine Cellar at Crystal Springs Resort, has more than 35 years of a successful professional background in the hotel and restaurant industries. She received her initial training at the Hotel Management School in Bad Reichenhall, Germany (her native country), followed by a three year apprenticeship. Susanne then left Germany to build her experience in various restaurant positions throughout Europe. She came to the U.S. in 1992, and held supervisory roles with Sheraton hotels for seven years.


Her arrival at Crystal Springs Resort in 2002 sparked a strong interest in wines, as one of her initial positions at the Resort was to help create and build the renowned Wine Cellar. Susanne studied at the International Wine Cellar in Manhattan and graduated with an advanced certification. She was instrumental in the launch of Restaurant Latour, and has managed several key operational aspects of the dining room and Wine Cellar. As of 2006, she has held the coveted position of Sommelier for Restaurant Latour and the Wine Cellar.

 

Gianni Chiodi Jr, Restaurant Latour Maitre D'/Sommelier & Restaurant Manager

Gianni began his stellar career at Crystal Springs Resort in April 2012 as a busser in the Crystal Tavern. Through his commitment and dedication, he was quickly rewarded with additional roles and was provided the opportunity to move up to Restaurant Latour. He held every position in the Front of the House before being promoted to Restaurant Manager in 2019, a position he has held with much success as repeat guests and others have been captivated with his knowledge and hospitable personality.

His passion for wines, food and customer relations is formidable and compelling. During his tenure, Restaurant Latour has been recognized for a number of highly prestigious accolades such as an 'Excellent' rating by The New York Times and outstanding coverage from Forbes, NJ Monthly, Edible New Jersey, Wine Enthusiast, and the like. Gianni also had the opportunity of representing the service staff at the James Beard Foundation for three different Latour dinners. Over the years, Chiodi has been learning and tasting wines under the mentorship of Mr. Robby Younes and Ms. Susanne Wagner, and completed his introduction to the prestigious Court of Master Sommelier in 2019.