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Chaîne de Rotisseurs names GB’s Young Somm of 2018

24 year-old French national Aymeric Pollenne has won a leading title for young sommeliers in the UK just weeks before he takes to the floor at an almost-complete London-based haven for fine wine lovers.

Chaine des Rotisseurs winning sommelier 2018 Aymeric Pollenne, together with (left) Philip Evins and Piotr Pietras MS and (right) Isa Bal MS

Pollenne, who came to London’s Lanesborough Hotel 18 months ago to hone his sommelier skills in English, has just moved to the capital’s soon-to-be-opened Hide in Piccadilly – a fine dining project from Mayfair’s Hedonism Wines that’s due to welcome guests from next month.

Before he takes to the floor along with a team of 16 other sommeliers led by Piotr Pietras MS, Pollenne has been awarded the title of Chaîne de Rotisseurs’ Young Sommelier of the Year Award GB for 2018.

The honour was announced at The Dorchester during a dinner on Friday, where he was joined by other contestants in the competition, as well as his new boss, Pietras, who was last year’s winner.

Aymeric, who had previously worked in Paris at the 3-star Michelin Le Pre Catelan, commented: “This is a great honour and I am very excited and proud to win. The competition was very tight, with just a small number of marks between us all. I would like to thank the strong team at the Lanesborough for all their help and encouragement to get me here today.”

Coming a close second in the contest was Alexandre Freguin of Moor Hall, near Liverpool, with Tony Le Curoux from Northcote Manor in Blackburn and Matteo Montone from Edition in London tying for third place.

The Chaîne de Rotisseurs’ Young Sommelier of the Year Award is a contest where young sommeliers in Britain, aged between 21 and 30, and from the Chaine member establishments nationwide, compete at the Gaggenau Showrooms, Wigmore Street in a series of practical activities, testing their wine knowledge, palate (including blind tastings) and service skills.

Under the chairmanship of Gerard Basset MS MW, judges for the event this year were Nicolas Clerc MS, Piotr Pietras MS (last year’s winner) Matthieu Longuere MS, Stephen Spurrier, Christelle Guibert – alongside Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

Pollenne will now go on to represent Great Britain in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ International Young Sommelier Finals which take place in Mexico City on 1820 September this year. His new boss, Piotr Pietras, actually won this competition in 2017 in Budapest – so he now has the opportunity of some top coaching and tips prior to the Finals. Great Britain has experienced unprecedented success at the International Finals, taking first or second spot in 7 out of 9 years. Aymeric will now face around 20 sommelier peers from around the globe to vye for another victory.

Hide intends to offer London’s largest restaurant wine offering when the new concept at 85 Piccadilly opens next month.

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