Owner, On the Square Restaurant & Wine Store, Tarboro, NC
Culinary Arts, 1998
Inez Ribustello grew up in the small town of Tarboro, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998 with a degree in journalism and mass communications, but her dream was to pursue a career in the culinary arts. She moved to New York City to attend ICE. After her externship she began a job at Best Cellars wine store. She went on to become an Assistant Cellar Master at the renowned World Trade Center restaurant Windows on the World. She was promoted to Beverage Director, making her the wine buyer for the largest grossing restaurant in North America. For two years, Ribustello worked in Atlantic City and was in charge of wine selection, service, and education for the Borgata’s 11 restaurants. In 2002, she and her husband opened On the Square, a combination restaurant, wine bar, and wine store. In 2009, she was a second runner up for the American Sommelier Association’s Best Sommelier in America, and On the Square received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence. In addition to running On The Square, she is an Adjunct Professor at East Carolina University in Hospitality Leadership, Wine & Beverage Management. When asked about how ICE helped her find her culinary voice, she said, “It gave me amazing teachers who took great pride in teaching me a broad range of culinary arts, including wine, service and writing.”
Click here to read more about Inez on the ICE Blog.