A Dining Experience Like No Other- The World Tour of Food and Wine

Great Food, Great Location, Great Fun

We are so excited to be working with the Schenectady County Community College Culinary Institute and hosting our “World Tour of Food and Wine” in the Van Curler Room of Elston Hall on the school’s campus. The Culinary Institute’s reputation and the history of the Van Curler promise to make this event unique and enjoyable.

The Menu

To provide an exceptional dining experience, The Language Learning Institute and the Schenectady County Community College Culinary Institute have created a dinner menu full of international flavors. The event will showcase food and drink from France, Italy, Spain and China. The menu offers a variety of wines, cheeses, and entrees that are sure to delight all that attend the event.

The Culinary Institute

Schenectady County Community College has been recognized by the American Culinary Federation for hosting an “exemplary” culinary arts program on its campus. The school even has its own restaurant, Casola Dining Room, where students gain practical experience preparing food and serving customers. Over two-thirds of the program’s graduates are hired by restaurant owners throughout New York, and many are selected as interns at Disney World and the Kentucky Derby each year.

Read more about SCCC’s culinary arts program:





Historic Elegance

The “World Tour of Food and Wine”will take place in the elegant Van Curler Room in Elston Hall of the Schenectady County Community College.

The building now known as Elston Hall was once the Hotel Van Curler. It was founded in the 1920s and has served many prestigious guests, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. After falling on hard times in the 1960’s, the hotel was sold and transformed into Schenectady County Community College.

Click here to read more about the building’s history.

The Master Chefs

Will Brown and Jay Larkin will be overseeing the food preparation for our event. They are both experts in their field and dedicated to training their students in the culinary arts. Continue reading to learn more about these talented chefs.

Will Brown

Will has been an integral part of Mazzone Hospitality for almost a decade.  After earning his AOS in Culinary Arts from SUNY SCCC in 2006. He joined the team at The Hall of Springs as a Banquet Chef, before transferring to Glen Sanders Mansion.  Will’s high-energy; attention to detail and drive quickly earned him the title of Executive Chef in 2008.  Continued development of The GSM Team and his willingness to always lend a hand to other locations across the Mazzone portfolio, he was elevated to Corporate Executive Chef in 2012.  Will’s expertise and skills from problem solving to menu planning, training and development, and most importantly cooking, are put to test everyday in over 7 properties with 100 employees and 30+ direct reports.  He is a wealth of knowledge and a resource for kitchen staff, sales, marketing, and guests.  His reach continues to stretch across the entire company from Prime Business Dining to A La Carte Dining to the Banquet Division.  In 2010 Will garnered the title Certified Executive Chef (CEC) from The American Culinary Federation, in 2011 became an adjunct instructor at SUNY SCCC, 2014 he was inducted as a Chef Rotisseur to the Albany Chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.  In 2009 and 2012 won silver and gold medals at the Culinary Cornucopia benefitting The Living Resources Foundation.  Will’s passion for food and commitment to quality serve as a benchmark for the Mazzone brand.

Jay Larkin

Jay has been with Schenectady County Community College for 7 years.  After earning his AOS in Hotel Restaurant Management from SUNY SCCC in 1991, he continued his education while completing the Bachelor of Science in Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  Jay’s drive and passion for hospitality provided many opportunities to manage a wide range of establishments.  Upon graduation he managed 2 nightclubs near Purdue’s campus before moving to Nashville, Tennessee to manage several fine dining locations at Gaylord Entertainment’s Opryland Hotel.  From Opryland, Jay moved to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, managing both locations in Nashville and Memphis Tennessee. In 1998 Jay relocated to Miami, Florida and began working for Ryder Transportation while applying years of customer service expertise he was promoted to sales and relocated back to the Greater Capital District.  After almost 10 years of highly successful sales and marketing, Jay could not pass up on an opportunity to come back to SCCC and teach his passion in hospitality.  Jay’s expertise and skills from guest service, training and development, and sales and marketing to beverage management and most importantly the responsible service of alcohol, are displayed daily whether at SCCC or out in the field working a myriad of hospitality based positions.  He is certified by Health Communications Inc. to train and certify students and professionals in TIPS (Training in Prevention Services) or the responsible service of alcohol, a member of the Albany Chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs as Rotisseur de la Table and is very active on the SCCC campus for anything that benefits the students and college experience.



Purchase your tickets by October 23rd to save $5! Enter the code “earlybird” at checkout.

Tickets can be purchased here. Checks can be made out to The Language Learning Institute and mailed to PO Box 12743, Albany, NY 12212.

We hope to see you on November 16th!

Thank you to our November Event Sponsors:

If you would like to sponsor our event and benefit from advertising opportunities on our social media outlets and at the event call us at (518)346-7096 or click here to submit sponsorship online

You do not want to miss this unique opportunity to enjoy amazing food in a historic location, all while you support language learning!

Click here for more event information.


What Our Students Are Saying

“My daughter has been receiving private French lessons at the Language Learning Institute for about a year. Under the tutelage of director, Nancy Scarselletta, her listening, speaking, and writing skills have flourished and her confidence has grown immensely.”

— Michele Marie

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