AFWS announces the 16 finalists for this year’s Champagne Piper-Heidsieck UK Sommelier of the Year

Sixteen sommeliers have made it through to the 2011 UK Sommelier of the Year final and have been named by the Academy of Food and Wine Service (AFWS) as:

Wiremu Andrews, Hotel du Vin & Bistro, Cheltenham
Loic Avril, The Fat Duck, Bray
Arnaud Bardary, Maze, London W1
Tobias Brauweiler, Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham
Remi Cousin, The Fat Duck, Bray
Sergio Dos Santos, Atlantic Hotel, Jersey
Bavand Foroughi, Claridge’s, London W1
Michael Jenni, L’Autre Pied, London W1
Johann Jousselin, The Vineyard at Stockcross, Newbury
Lukasz Kolodziejczyk, The Fat Duck, Bray
Kathrine Larsen, Le Pont de la Tour, London SE1
Philippe Moranges, Hakkasan, London W1
Adam Pawlowski, Northcote, Blackburn
Mark Perlaki, Hotel du Vin & Bistro, Harrogate
Stephen Raducki, Lime Wood, Lyndhurst
Clement Robert, Summer Lodge, Evershot.

The announcement follows four regional heats that took place this week in London, Tunbridge Wells, Bristol and Manchester.

The 16 sommeliers will now compete in the final being held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London, on 1 June 2011. Their tasks will include a blind tasting, a food and wine matching exercise and a detailed questionnaire testing their wine knowledge. The three top finalists will then battle it out in the afternoon in front of a live audience with another blind tasting, a wine-list correcting exercise, a role-playing scenario and the infamous Champagne pour. The winning sommelier will be announced at the Sommeliers’ Dinner the same evening.

Praising the high standard of this year’s entries, Academy chairman Nick Scade said: “This year’s finalists includes some familiar names but we’ve also got some exciting new sommeliers coming to the fore such as Adam Pawlowski from Northcote, Arnaud Bardary from Maze and Loic Avril from The Fat Duck. With such a high calibre of sommeliers getting through to the final, including three from The Fat Duck, we are likely to see one of the most exciting finals in the competition’s 32-year history.”

Last year’s Champagne Piper-Heidsieck UK Sommelier of the Year was Christopher Delalonde, from London-based wine sourcing service Sarment Wines. Christopher was praised for his extensive wine knowledge and excellent service skills.

This year’s judges includes wine and food writer Nick Lander, Gerard Basset MS, MW, technical director of AFWS and owner of Hotel TerraVina, Hampshire, and Matt Wilkin MS, AFWS director and proprietor of H2Vin.

For further information, please contact:

Academy of Food & Wine Service
Linda Pettit
T. 01737 823721, M. 07973 789853, Linda@tilburstowmedia.co.uk

Piper-Heidsieck UK
Elaine Begley
T. 0207 491 9903 M. 07801 515585, elaine@sidhuandsimon.com

EDITOR’S NOTES

About the 2011 Champagne Piper-Heidsieck UK Sommelier of the Year
The competition, now in its 32nd year, is open to professional sommeliers and waiting staff working in the UK. All entrants achieving 75% on an initial written questionnaire were selected to go through to one of four regional finals. The 16 finalists include the top scoring sommeliers from the regionals and last year’s runner-up.

The 2011 UK Sommelier of the Year will be announced at the Sommeliers’ Dinner on 1 June 2011 and will be awarded with a trophy and a trip to the House of Champagne Piper-Heidsieck in the Champagne region of France including a tasting with Chef de Caves Régis Camus. At the dinner the winner of the Academy’s UK Amateur Sommelier of the Year, being held in association with Decanter.com, will also be announced.

About the Academy
The Academy of Food and Wine Service (AFWS), established in 1988, is the professional body for front-of-house service. It is dedicated to improving the status and awareness of food and beverage service as a viable career choice, raising standards across the industry and encouraging teamwork with other colleagues. AFWS can offer advice and training to anyone following, or considering, a career as a sommelier, wine waiter, waiter, bar manager or restaurant manager. www.afws.co.uk.

About Piper-Heidsieck
Champagne Piper-Heidsieck was founded in 1785 by Florens-Louis Heidsieck. Since its creation, Champagne Piper-Heidsieck has always been associated with the greats and the goods; from Marie Antoinette Queen of France to Marilyn Monroe. Champagne Piper-Heidsieck is now the third largest Champagne exporter. With its British distributor, First Drinks, the emphasis for the brand is to gain new distribution channels in the on-trade.

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck has been part of the Rémy Cointreau group since 1988 and benefits from the expertise of the celebrated Chef de Caves Régis Camus. London’s prestigious International Wine Challenge has awarded Régis Camus the Sparkling Winemaker of the Year Trophy in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, which underlines its efforts to be among the best made Champagne.


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