Sommeliers at The Fat Duck, Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and Texture are among the semi-finalists in the Academy of Food & Wine's 2010 Sommelier of the Year competition.
Fifteen sommeliers working at restaurants across the UK have been picked to go through to the semi-finals at the Wesbury Mayfair Hotel in London on 28 April.
The competition, sponsored by Piper-Heidsieck, seeks to find the best sommelier or wine waiter in the UK based on wine knowledge, serving skills, customer service skills and tasting ability.
Three contestants will be put through to the final on the same day where they will have to complete a timed blind tasting, correct a series of mistakes on a wine list, participate in a pressurised restaurant role-playing scenario with difficult orders and demanding customers and attempt the notorious Champagne pour.
One winner will receive the title, a trophy and a trip to Piper-Heidsieck in Champagne region including a personal tasting with Chef de Caves Régis Camus. Previous winners include Gearoid Devaney from Tom Aikens restaurant in London and Laura Rhys of Hotel TerraVina in Hampshire.
The semi-finalists are:
Garry Clark, sommelier, Chester Grosvenor, Chester
Remi Cousin, assistant head sommelier, The Fat Duck, Bray
Christopher Delalonde, sommelier, Sarment Wines, London
Sergio Dos Santos, head sommelier, Atlantic Hotel, Jersey
Bavand Foroughi, sommelier, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, London
Yohann Jousselin, head sommelier, Vineyard at Stockcross, Newbury
Jan Konetzki, assistant head sommelier, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London
David Kubler, assistant sommelier, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxford
Erica Laler, sommelier, Texture, London
Phillippe Moranges, deputy head sommelier, Hakkasan, London W1
Mark Perlaki, head sommelier, Hotel du Vin et Bistro, Harrogate
Stephen Raducki, assistant sommelier, Le Pont de la Tour, London
Laurent Richet, sommelier, Hotel TerraVina, Southampton
Clement Robert, head sommelier, Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Evershot
Magda Saleh, assistant sommelier, La Trompette, London