Fat Duck sommelier named Young Sommelier of the Year 2011

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sommelier

Remi Cousin receives the Young Sommelier award from Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué
Remi Cousin receives the Young Sommelier award from Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué
Sommeliers at that The Duck in Bray have scooped up the top three awards in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ National Young Sommelier of the Year competition, held this week.

First place went to Fat Duck’s assistant head sommelier Remi Cousin, while second place went to Jan Lukasz and third place to Loic Avril.

The competition, which is now in its fourth year, is based on the Master Sommelier advanced examination. It combines theory and service skills, and also tests composure, knowledge and tasting skills.

Challenge

Chair of Judges, Gerard Basset said all 13 finalists showed “exceptional aptitude and passion”.

“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.”

Supporting sommelier talent

Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué of The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, said : “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.”

The first place prize includes a trip to Australia. Cousin will also represent 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 Summer Lodge country hotel in Dorset, went on to win the international competition.

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