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Revealed: Winner of Champagne JACQUART’s Rising Stars Trophy 2009

Restaurants based outside of London triumphed in the Champagne JACQUART Rising Stars Trophy this year.

Nottingham-based Restaurant Sat Bains won the Grand Final of the the ultimate young chef and sommelier competition, while The Forth Floor in Edinburgh’s Harvey Nichols was awarded the runner up prize.

In a hotly-fought final in central London last week, some of the UK’s leading restaurants battled it out in front of the seven-strong judging panel, headed by Gerard Basset MW MS.

The winning Sat Bains team consisted of sommelier Samuel Walker, 23, and chef John Freeman, 28. Freeman’s specially-created three course menu was matched with wines chosen by Walker, who made his choices from a blind selection of 28 wines supplied by The Wine Treasury.

 The winning Sat Bains team consisted of
sommelier Samuel Walker, 23,
and chef John Freeman, 28

Upon receiving their prize, Walker said: "We’re very excited but a bit shellshocked." Freeman added: "This is a brilliant competition. My and Sam’s relationship has grown since we entered, I’d definitely recommend the competition to anyone."

Basset, in his speech prior to announcing the winners, said: "I have had a wonderful time and it was a very exciting competition, the candidates showed great passion and knowledge with lots of enthusiasm."

The event was the culmination of four regional finals which took place across the UK earlier this year. The grand final took place at Westminster Kingsway College in London, while glassware and crockery for the event were supplied by Arc International.

Additional judges included the Evening Standard’s food critic Charles Campion; writer and broadcaster John Radford; Antonin Rodet, head chef of The Greenhouse restaurant; Gary Hunter of Westminster Kingsway College and Jane Parkinson of the drinks business.

Talking of the competition, Mamadou Gueye from Champagne JACQUART said: "This competition is about two things. Firstly, it’s about trying to promote the young generation of up and coming chefs and sommeliers. Secondly, it’s about promoting teamwork, not just a chef working in the restaurant and a sommelier working in the same restaurant, but the team working together."

For further details on the competition contact Accent Communications on +44 (0) 20 8661 2061

Jane Parkinson, 22.04.09

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