The week in pictures
This week in the world of drinks: Douglas Blyde visits Maison François for its “Croûte-Off” competition, Lidia Ceseri of Ruffino presents wines at a Chianti Classico tasting in London, and Chef James Martin launched his new Signature Chef range of wines at an exclusive event in Kensington.
François O’Neill and the team behind contemporary French brasserie, Maison François once again hosted the annual “Croûte-Off” competition which invites some of the industry’s most compelling chefs to create their unique take on pâte en croûte. Following the success of last year’s inaugural competition, the Croûte Off took place at Frank’s Bar à Vin beneath the dining room. Judging the competition were the esteemed Loyd Grossman CBE and Matthew Fort, Matt Tebbutt, Ravneet Gill and Tom Parker-Bowles. This year’s competitors included wine producer, Ben Walgate and his chef Tom Ryalls of Tillingham wines, Sam White of 45 Jermyn St, Fred Smith (Flat Iron), George Jehpson (Cadet), Harneet Baweja (Gunpowder), Jesse Dunford Wood (Parlour), Pascal Weidemann (Pompette), Fabien Spagnolo and Lewis de Haas (Crispin), Tom Noest (The Bell), Ben Tish (The Barley Mow), and George Brown (Café Cecilia). The victor: Pascal Wiedmann who runs Pompette, an indie restaurant and wine bar in Summertown, Oxford with his wife, Laura. The husband and wife duo took home the sought-after Croûte Off cup, plus a case of wine selected by Theatre of Wine, and highly sought-after Maison François x Novel Mart merch. Sam White of 45 Jermyn St, came second and George Brown of Café Cecilia took third, walking away laden with French-inspired goods including Louis Roque’s La Vielle Prune.
Lidia Ceseri of Ruffino presented the Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale 2019, the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Riserva Ducale Oro 2018 and the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Romitorio di Santedame 2016, at a tasting
organised by Consorzio Chianti Classico in London.
This week, Chef James Martin launched his new Signature Chef range of wines at a VIP event held at the Institut Français in South Kensington on Monday night. Hosted by official agent Buckingham Schenk, the event gathered selected members of the trade and a number of high-profile Celebrity Chefs such as Atul Kochhar, Dipna Anand and Gulu Anand. Wine critic Oz Clarke was also in attendance. James Martin’s range of wines includes a red Corbières, a white and a rosé Vin de Pays d’Oc. James has been heavily involved in sourcing, selecting and blending the wines over the last 18 months which are part of the Signature Chefs range imported by Buckingham Schenk.
New Zealand premium wine producer, Yealands Wine Group, has won two golds at the 2022 International Green Apple Awards for its ground-breaking Biodiversity Plan. Yealands attended a special awards ceremony at London’s Houses of Parliament on November 21 to acknowledge the company’s pioneering work to create a more biodiverse environment.
The World Bulk Wine Exhibition has wrapped up, with over 220 wineries from 24 different countries and 6,000 visits from 57 countries.
Have you been out and about this week? Got a hot tip for us? Let us know.