Young Sommeliers Competition - 2011
It was a hat trick for the Fat Duck, Bray, as the team took first, second and third places at The Grand Final of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ National Young Sommelier of the Year competition, held at the flagship London showrooms of Awards co-partner, Gaggenau, on 23rd March.
Remi Cousin, assistant head sommelier at The Fat Duck, scooped first place after demonstrating exceptional skills and impressing the expert panel of judges with finely tuned and extensive knowledge. Second place in the competition was awarded to Jan Lukasz with Loic Avril taking third place.
The competition, based on the Master Sommelier advanced examination, combined theory and service skills and challenged finalists to demonstrate composure, knowledge and tasting skills. All 13 finalists showed exceptional aptitude and passion, as Chair of Judges, Gerard Basset comments, ‘Becoming an accomplished sommelier is challenging – it takes time, commitment, continual learning and most of all, an enthusiasm for the role. It’s a vocation which I relish, and therefore it was exciting to witness the outstanding talent and professionalism of our finalists and in particular, that displayed by Remi.’
Now in its fourth year, this prestigious competition, partnered by Gaggenau and Pernod Ricard UK, provides the opportunity for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs to encourage and support young sommeliers and provides the platform to showcase skills and identify exceptional talent.
As Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué, of The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs comments, ‘The skill of the sommelier is often under-rated, and therefore competitions such as these serve to improve understanding and appreciation of the dedication it requires to excel as a sommelier. It is only by nurturing and harnessing our young precocious talent that we can continue to produce the outstanding sommeliers who add so much to the front of house service in our better restaurants.’
As part of the competition prize, Remi will enjoy a trip to Australia and also have the honour of representing Great Britain in the International Young Rôtisseurs Sommelier of the Year competition which takes place in Athens in September. Last year’s Young Sommelier of the Year, Clement Robert of the exclusive Summer Lodge country hotel, Evershot, Dorset, certainly set the bar high on winning both the National and International titles, ensuring expectations are high this year for Remi to excel in the International competition.