Grande Bretagne – Archived News
Our young sommeliers finalists
Our Young Professionals dinner
World Chaine Day is being held on April 23, 2016.
Raise a glass: Fourth UK Chaîne Young Sommelier Victory
Photographs taken during the very successful Grand Chapitre in York are now available through the website
In a great event last night at the Dorchester the results of our two competitions for 2014 were announced. All these talented young people received well earned praise from a full house of members and supporters.
Winner Ricki Weston from Southlodge Hotel (London City)
Second Deepak Mallya from Bournemouth and Poole College & The Ritz (Wessex)
Third Joe Gould from Lainston House (Wessex)
Winner Tanguy Martin from Hotel Terravina (Wessex)
Second Romain Bourger from The Vineyard (Wessex)
Joint third place Matthias Camilleri from Medlar (London City) and Pierre Brunelli from The Fat Duck (Wessex)
A sunny day in south London, our taxi found its way to HMP Brixton, This was not a normal fare for the cab driver, who admitted it was a first for him. Arriving at the prison for the opening of The Clink’s third restaurant inside a prison one was faced with the normal security – have been invited by somebody who knows you and can vouch for you, no mobile phones or electronic devices, double locked gates, escorts to the restaurant. But once inside this restaurant one could have been in the West End. The restaurant is sited in what was the Governors House, a three story octagonal building in the centre of a courtyard. The décor is in subdued brown hues together with The Clinks’ trademark slate walls. Chairman of the Trustees Scott Ridley welcomed 120 guests including Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright and a large contingent of the press. Maitre Restaurateur, Clink CEO Chris Moore talked of the pride and challenges each new restaurant gives. The first was at Highdown in Surrey in 2009 which is partner by Thames Valley Bailliage, the Second in Cardiff in 2013 partnered by Cotswolds Bailiage and now Brixton partnered by London Bailliage. All three are Chaine restaurants with Chis Moore , founder Al Crisi and Jane Sanderson being the Maitre at each of the three restaurants. Conseiller Culinaire Vic Laws acts as a front of house Ambassador and now Maitre Restaurateur Cyrus Todiwala of Café Spice Namaste acts as Chef Ambassador for the Brixton “It’s pointless just training prisoners to tick boxes,” says Al Crisci, “We’re serious about this.” His idea was to identify worthy candidates (usually category C and D prisoners nearing the end of their sentences), provide them with meaningful qualifications and mentors, and help them find employment in the catering industry once they are released. These graduates come out of prison with publicly recognised NVQ qualifications. “There’s a huge skills shortage in the catering industry, so however many graduates we turn out, I know we can get them jobs.” Chris told of the really impressive results so far. Currently, 47% of ex-convicts in Britain reoffend within one year of release, rising to 75 per cent among those who do not find work. To date only 6% of Clink graduates who have been through the Clink scheme reoffended. Brixton is the third of 10 Clink restaurants that are planned by 2017. While each requires an initial investment of around £500,000 (raised privately) and a further £150,000 subsidy each year to cover training costs, it is estimated that the long-term saving to the taxpayer amounts to around £22 million a year. Still, aside from a few anomalies - plastic cutlery, a no-alcohol policy, and being locked IN the restaurant - The Clink feels much like a normal restaurant. Our menu started with ravioli with mascarpone and pungent wild mushrooms which was cleverly balanced with a little purple basil and truffle foam, followed by a herby chicken breast, fondant potatoes and carrots, and finished with a “Celebration of Pears” - a delightful combination of pears and chocolate done different ways. Brixton also has the facilities on the upper floors of the building to house private functions for small groups. The Clink is the chosen charity for Chaine GB and we are pleased to support in many ways. We will continue to support with trainers, with job openings with raffles at our major national events and with Bailliage visits. Bravo Chris and the team. The price of a three course lunch is just £21. It’s a bargain. Contact your Bailli if you would like to go.
Preparation for the international finals of the Chaine’s young sommelier competition start the moment that the national title has been won. Thus six months study, training, mentoring from different master sommeliers many of whom are judges in our national competition. Then in mid October Loic Avril boarded a flight at Heathrow bound for Washington, DC.
The program started with a visit to RdV vineyard in the rolling Virginia countryside about in hours drive from the hotel. You ask vineyards in Virginia ? Yes there are about 320 in the state! Including one owned by Donald Trump producing probably Virginia’s best sparkling wine. A tour of the estate on trailers through the immaculately kept vineyards with owner Rutgers de Vink, next through the winery and then lunch, which was specially prepared by Neal Wavra of the Ashby Inn with matching vintages from RdV.
Friday was the big day - competition day – which ran from 8 am to 4.30 pm in the Fairmont Hotel. Then a wait for all the competitors until results were announced at a glittering ceremony at the French Embassy that evening. In being announced as the winner Loic, from the Fat Buck at Bray, received not only the prestige of this title and the trophy, but also the Peter Jones Award (€1000) and a Chaine Champagne sabre. In second and third place were Bobby Conroy of the Benu restaurant in San Francisco and Jarrod Mills of Est Retaurant in Sydney, Australia.
Speaking about his win Loic said he was ‘stunned but delighted’ to have taken the top spot this year: “It is an honour to have competed against my peers at such as prestigious competition, and of course to have won is just amazing. “To be judged on your performance by some of my heroes was the most nerve-racking experience of my life but I just imagined I was at work and tried to keep it together. “We having narrowly missed out of the top spot last year I am absolutely delighted to bring the title back to Britain.”
Avril was supported on his journey by Bailli Délégué Philip Evins and Janet Evins, Wessex Bailli both of whom said they were ‘enormously impressed’ with Loic’s whole approach to the competition and it was one of the most exciting contests they had offering been involved with in the six years that Chaine Gb has entered the competition. “The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Professionals competition is about giving our industry’s young people a platform to show their skill and receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work,” said Phillip. “Chaîne GB finalists have achieved three wins and three second places in six years clearly showing that the training of our young people is at the very core of our industry’s development practice. We congratulate Loic on his impressive win, and wish him the best of luck for what is likely to be a very bright future.”
Christian Seely wows diners with his wines and his anecdotes
OMGD members taste the full range of AXA Millesimes wines
This wine dinner was held in the Oak Room at the Park Lane Hotel. As guests mingled over Coates and Seely English Sparkling Rose many might have said “A French insurance company owns a Chateau?” incredulous. Yes, one can imagine that most people think that a top wine chateau in Bordeaux is owned by a French aristocrat, yet the world has taken quite a turn since the days that this might have been the case. Today the French insurance company AXA owns several wineries which produce the world’s most exquisite wine, such as Chateau Pichon Longueville, Chateau Suduiraut, Chateau Petit-Village, Chateau Belles Eaux, and two other properties outside France, Disznoko in Tokai and Quinta do Noval in Portugal.
This evening Managing Director AXA Millesimes, Christian Seely, an Englishman, overseeing 650 hectarces of Grand Cru vineyards introduced the wines of this wonderful collection of wineries. Wine lovers were seduced by carefully crafted wines of worldwide repute. The second growth Chateau Pichon Baron is the jewel in the crown and a wine much admired across the globe. The chance to explore two consecutive vintages side by side was areally interesting. Matching food and wine is central to Christian’s whole approach and together with Maître Rôtisseur Andrew Bennett, the Executive Chef, they created a great match. Christian Seely’s love of life, humour and generous nature are the ones which contribute to making him a natural host. The eye opener wine of the evening for me was the 1997 Colheita Port from Quinta do Noval. This Tawny was rich, sumptuous, complex and very long lasting – wow!
Echanson Gerard Basset named Decanter 2013 Man of the Year
Another great result for our candidate Arnaud Bardary and for the Bailliage here in Cape Town.
Arnaud was one of the winners of this competition, being placed second in a very strong field. A great result and reward for the consistent effort he has put in over the last year since he first entered our national completion. Bravo Arnaud.
A full week of visits to wineries and good restaurants accompanied by a very diverse group of Chaine members from around the world provided an amazing experience for the young competitors . They will all be returning home with new friends from the ranks of the other competitors and personal contacts with many winemakers.
The final placings were first, Chris Moore of the US, second Arnaud Bardary of GB and third, Yuki Hirose of Australia. As you know Arnaud is Head Sommelier of Gordon Ramsey’s Maze Restaurant in Grosvenor Square. This is a real accolade for the Restaurant and our congratulations to General Manager Sid Clark, Peter Scrafton and the London team.
In the five years that the National Bailliage has entered the competition we have had two first places and three second places, an outstanding achievement.
After a tremendous competition in Berlin the results were announced at a spectacular Gala Dinner last night in the Martim Hotel attended by 450 guests.
Our candidate Daniel Marshall from the Grand Hotel in Great Yarmouth was not placed in the final three. He told us that he had really enjoyed the experience has gained both experience and some new friends. The winner was Cristina Mertens from Germany, with the second and third place winners coming from France and South Africa respectively.
In early October Daniel leaves for Germany to take up the residency arranged for him by our partner Gaggenau under the two starred Dieter Henkel at the Schlosshotel, Lerbach.
Results of out Young Chef and Young Sommelier competitions
Peter was one of the world’s gentleman – easy going, good humoured and polite with a lovely warmth – all of which hid a sharp mind. He was very straight and fair in all his dealings with other people. After a spell in the Navy, he started his first business. He was a very successful entrepreneur going on to build a number of businesses from scratch. Always a lover of good food and good company he and Marie found a natural outlet for this in the Chaine.
It seemed to me that no matter what the occasion we met, a formal dinner, a breakfast, a flight – Peter was always immaculately dressed. In a beautiful suit, tie, silk handkerchief in pocket, polished shoes. He was a real advertisement overseas for the perfect English gentleman. Peter was enormously fond and proud of his family and I recall at his funeral that his very well dressed 11 year old grandson Oliver, in recalling his grandfather, said ‘He was my friend and he taught me to tie a tie and how to fold a handkerchief’ Not many parents or grandparents would think to pass such things to the next generation.
Peter travelled the world for the Chaine and will be greatly missed. His unassuming support to Marie in her very busy life as a Board Member was clearly of enormous help to her. We hope that she will consider us still her extended family.
President Yam Atallah informed the International Board in Munich on February 12, 2012, that Marie had accepted his invitation to become International Vice-President. The announcement was enthusiastically received by the Board members.
Marie has been a Chaîne member for over 35 years, having held local Bailliage offices before being promoted Bailli Délégué of Great Britain in 1994. She fulfilled this role until standing down in 2002 to be able to devote her time and energy to being a member of the International Board.
Since joining the Board Marie has been an active participant having taken on several responsibilities. The most prominent of these has been Managing Editor since 2005 of the Chaîne International Magazine. This job title has now transferred to the magazine’s successor: the Chaîne News On-line service.
In 2003 Marie facilitated the modernising of the Chaîne’s Règlement Intérieur and since then has retained the title of “Keeper of the Rules”. She is also a member of the International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition committee.
Raymond Blanc OBE to be honoured with ‘Hall of Fame’ Lifetime Achievement Award Maître Restaurateur Raymond Blanc O.B.E. will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Hotelympia in London on 27 February 2012 for his outstanding demonstration of services to catering and hospitality. He joins the inaugural winners Michel and Albert Roux who were inducted in 2010. The self-taught chef, who owns Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, said “I am delighted to be receiving this great honour and look forward to joining the Hall of Fame. It’s fantastic to be rewarded in this way for what I have achieved to date.” The restaurant has held two Michelin stars consistently for a total of 28 years, and during that time Raymond has championed and nurtured some of our most famous chefs including Marco Pierre White and Michael Caines.
Chevalier Willy Bauer’s OBE in the New Year’s Honours recognises more than 30 years of service to the hotel sector.
The 2011 International Young Sommeliers Competition took place in Athens, Greece ON 16 September. The Judges reported that it was an excellent competition with the competitors from all countries being be congratulated on their performances. Remi Cousin from the Fat Duck at Bray, Berkshire represented GB.
Congratulations to Remi and to Isa Bal his Head Sommelier on the preparation work they did before the competition. It really helped ensure that the result was very close.
The results were First Place Ian Cauble, United States, Second Place Remi Cousin, Great Britain and Third Place Nicos Giannopoulos, Greece.
The very high standard of this event can be judged by the fact that the winner had very recently won the open title Best Sommelier in the United States. A great result for Remi who said that he had really enjoyed the whole experience of the competition and the camaraderie amongst the competitors.
The 2011 International Young Chefs Competition took place in Istanbul, Turkey. The Judges reported that it was an excellent competition with all the competitors from the 21 countries being be congratulated on their performances. Garrett Keown of The Bell Inn at Hordon on Hill, Essex represented GB.
Congratulations to Garrett and to Stuart Fay his Exec Chef on the preparation work they did before the competition. It really helped ensure that the result was very close.
The results were First Place Reilly Meehan, United States, Second Place Michael Dyllong, Germany and Third Place Jaime Rodriguez Camacho, Colombia.
Garrett said that he had really enjoyed the whole experience of the competition, the various visits in Istanbul and the camaraderie amongst the competitors. He said he felt that he had cooked well, but was aware that it was likely to be a very tightly run event.
A hat trick for the sommelier team from the Fat Duck in our 2011 Young Sommelier Competition finals. Bravo to winner Remi Cousins.
Garret Keown scoops Top Accolade as Chaîne des Rôtisseurs announces Winner of the 2011 Young Chef of the Year Awards
Read Clement Robert’s summary of the trip to Australia he made as part of the prize for winning the Bailliage de Grand Bretagne 2010 Young Sommelier Competition. Thanks to Pernod Ricard.
A good crowd of us from the Bailliage de Grande Bretagne were delighted to be in Helsinki this September for the World final of the Young Chef of the Year (YCC) competition. Bailli Délégué Philip Evins and Conseiller Culinaire Vic Laws, together with a great party from Yorkshire lead by Bailli Derek Wright, were all there to support our competitor Tom Spenceley. Tom works at the Swinton Park Hotel in Masham, was there to represent GB with contestants from 20 other countries. His trip began on the Tuesday 14 September when he met the rest of the contestants, many of whom could not speak English, and this started a camaraderie which, we are sure, will last for some time.
A win in Santander for Clement Robert of the Summer Lodge in Dorset
Photographs of this year’s Grand Chapitre are now available.
Thursday 3rd of June saw the 34th annual national final of the Chaîne International Young Chef of the Year Competition, held at the Gaggenau showroom in Central London.
L-R Philip Evins, Denis Drame, Thomas Spencerly, Helen Shaw, Anthony Marshall, Mickael Weïss, Vic Laws
The winner was announced as Thomas Spencerly (20) from Swinton Park, Masham, North Yorkshire, who cooks under head chef Simon Crannage. This was Thomas’ first time competing individually since leaving culinary college. From his unseen ‘market basket’ of ingredients, Thomas whipped up a 3 course feast of pan seared trout with lemon marinated asparagus and courgette, black pudding stuffed loin of pork with pea puree, fondant potatoes and a red wine jus, and a vanilla infused pannacotta with lemon, lime and ginger jam.
Runner up was Dale Chamberlain from Lainston House, Winchester and third place was awarded to Daniel Morgan from Latymers, Bagshot. Head judge Anthony Marshall, executive chef of the Hilton Park Lane and a previous Young Chef winner himself, said “it was extremely difficult to choose a winner and came down to a matter of two or three points between contestants. The standard was incredibly high for such young chefs.”
In 2010, British restaurants hold more Michelin stars than ever before, proving that the current enthusiasm for cooking has ushered in a golden age of gastronomy. The rise of TV chefs and cookery programmes means that today there is even greater interest and participation in the culinary arts. The Chaîne is keen to encourage and celebrate young professional chefs who will set future standards within the industry. “From a consumer point of view these competitions ensure the maintenance and growth of standards which make the whole restaurant experience more enjoyable, and for the chefs they can use them to enhance their careers and aspire to greater things” said Philip Evins, head of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in the UK.
Thursday 27th May saw the 3rd annual national final of the GB finalof the International Young Sommelier Competition, held at the Gaggenau showroom in Central London.
The winner was announced as Clement Robert (24) from The Summer Lodge in Evershot, Dorset. Previously Head Sommelier at Hotel du Vin, Cambridge, Clement is now under the supervision of Eric Zwiebel, Head Sommelier of The Summer Lodge and previous runner-up in the World’s Best Sommelier competition. The panel of judges said all contestants demonstrated tremendous skill and precocious talent in their field. As well as the prestigious title of UK Young Sommelier of the Year, Clement received prizes from Riedel glassware and Gaggenau as well a trip to Australia to visit Pernod Ricard’s wineries. Second place in the competition was awarded to Erica Laler of Texture restaurant, London for the second year in a row and third was awarded to Loic Avril, the protégée of Isa Bal at the Fat Duck in Bray.
Our Echanson, Gerard Basset, is the winner of the World Sommelier Championships held this year in Santiago, Chile. Bravo Gerard !
Frances Griffiths appointed Chargé de Missions (ACCR) to co-ordinate GB’s support for the Chaîne’s worldwide Charity program.
Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué, announces that Philip Douglas is appointed Chancelier effective 1 December 2009.
The winner of GBs Young Sommelier Competition, Yohann Jousselin, won the international competition held in Stratford on Friday 26 September.
Gala Dinner is now fully booked, but don’t miss out on Friday evening’s Celebration Dinner and awards.
20-year-old Thomas Helyer from Kinnaird Hotel and Sporting Estate in Perthshire scooped the title of Great Britain’s Young Commis Chef of the Year.
25-year-old Yohann Jousselin from Hotel du Vin in Winchester won the prestigious title of Great Britain’s Young Sommelier of the Year.
The Chaîne International Young Commis Chef of the Year Competition, in association with Gaggenau, takes place on Wednesday June 3rd 2009.
The Chaîne International Young Sommelier of the Year Competition in association with Gaggenau and Pernod Ricard UK Wednesday June 10th 2009.
Laura Rhys, Sommelier, Winner of GB’s inaugural Young Sommelier Competition in 2008, has just won the prestigious UK Sommelier of the Year, following a tense final held at the Tate Modern in London.
Pernod Ricard UK partner the Chaîne to provide support to our Young Sommeliers Competition.
GB awarded the hosting of the 2009 Jeune Sommelier Competition Finals
Gaggenau and Riedel partner the Chaîne to provide support to our two Young Professionals Competitions.
The 49th International Grand Chapitre de Grande Bretagne will be held in London’s Canary Wharf, from 26 to 28 September 2008.
The grand finals of the Young Commis Chef Competition in Great Britain took place on Wednesday 11 June in Le Cordon Bleu School in London.
The grand finals of the first international Young Sommeliers Competition in Great Britain took place on Thursday 5 June in the showrooms of Gaggenau in London.
This year sees the worldwide roll-out of a new blazon for professional members of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
The Bailliage de Grande Bretagne launches its new website.
‘Corks and Corkscrews’ with John Ericson, followed by Dinner.