The Fat Duck's Loic Avril named world's best young sommelier

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Heston blumenthal, The fat duck

Loic Avril of the Fat Duck (centre) receiving his Chaine des Rotisseurs International Young Sommelier 2013 award in Washington last week with Philip and Janet Evins
Loic Avril of the Fat Duck (centre) receiving his Chaine des Rotisseurs International Young Sommelier 2013 award in Washington last week with Philip and Janet Evins
Loic Avril, a sommelier at The Fat Duck, has been named the world's best young sommelier after winning the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs 2013 International Young Sommelier of the Year competition. 

Avril, who works under maitre sommelier Isa Bal at Heston Blumenthal's Bray restaurant, beat 10 other sommeliers aged under 35 at the final at the French Embassy in Washington DC last week after impressing judges with his skill in three key areas: theory, service and blind taste testing. 

Coming second and third were Bobby Conroy of the Benu restaurant in San Francisco and Jarrod Mills of Est Restaurant in Sydney, Australia. 

Avril, who just missed out on the top spot last year, said he was ‘stunned but delighted’ to have finally made the grade. 

“It is an honour to have competed against my peers at such as prestigious competition, and of course to have won is just amazing," he said. 

“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." 

The young sommelier went through to the final of the competition after winning the UK final and mentored by Bal, and Philip and Janet Evins. 

“The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Professionals competition is about offering our industry’s young people a platform to show their skill and receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work,” said Phillip,

“Loic's win really reflects that the UK is committed to this ethos; Chaîne GB finalists have achieved three previous 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.

“This strong performance record also reflects the standing that establishments such as The Fat Duck have on the international stage.

“We congratulate Avril on his impressive win, and wish him the best of luck for what is likely to be a very bright future.”

As well as winning the title of International Young Sommelier, Avril takes homes 1000 Euros from the Peter Jones Memorial Fund, an engraved Champagne sabre and an engraved trophy.

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