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Chaîne des Rôtisseurs unveils top young somm, chef and winner of Gerard Basset Tasting Trophy

Published:  26 March, 2019

The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs has unveiled the winners of its Young Sommelier and Young Chef awards 2019, alongside the winner of the first Gerard Basset Tasting Trophy.

Matteo Montone, current wine director of wine at Jason Atherton’s Berners Tavern at The London Edition, was crowned Young Sommelier of the Year, with head Sommelier at The Lanesborough, Frenchman Paul Fauvel, picking up the Gerard Basset Tasting Trophy.

Originally from Milan, Montone has been in London for six years working at The Shard, The Ritz and Locanda Locatelli before joining Berners Tavern.

Montone said: “The competition was very close but all that hard work paid off. I have an understanding wife, Eloisa, who put up with those long hours of extra studying! I would like to thank her, and the team at Edition, for all their help and encouragement to get me here today. Now I want to start on my Master Sommelier qualification."

Awarded the Gerard Basset Tasting Trophy for scoring the highest marks in blind tasting and food elements of the finals, Fauvel was presented with his award by Basset’s widow Nina, who said: “‘Gerard always loved blind tastings. In fact it was his favourite part of any competition. I know he would have been very proud of this choice. It is so fitting to have a tasting trophy like this in his name”.

Paying tribute to Basset, Philip Wvins, Bailli Délégué for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, who was also one of the Young Sommelier judges, echoed this. “Gerard was not only a good friend to us all, but also an enthusiastic contributor to the Chaîne, helping us to create the GB competition back in 2008. He remained chair of the judges until this year, and we have so much to thank him for. Gerard was life-enhancing, and a wonderful mentor of young people, encouraging them in their careers.”

Sussex boy Jordon Powell from South Lodge Hotel, Horsham, was named Young Chef of the Year 2019, beating off stiff competition from establishments around the country, including top London restaurants. 

Powell said: “Chef contests have always been an important part in my career. I love them, and am very excited to represent Great Britain at the World Championships. It won’t be a holiday, so I intend to take every opportunity offered between now and then to learn and train.”

The Young Chef of the Year 2019 and the Young Sommelier of the Year 2019 will both represent Great Britain at the World Championships in September (Calgary, Canada for the chefs and Seoul, South Korea for the Sommeliers).