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The Interview: Jeremy Cowen, Head sommelier, Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, London W1

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jeremy grew up on the Wirral, trying his first wine, a 1967 Chateau d'Yquem, when he was 11, and joining The Wine Society at the age of 14. After failing to complete an engineering degree, he began a career in wine at Oddbins in 1999. He left in 2002 to join an outside catering firm in Cheshire, moving a year later to the Establishment, a restaurant he helped open in Manchester, devising a list of 400 wines. However, he struggled to sell wines to the locals and the following year started at the London Carriage Works in Liverpool, spending just two months there before moving to the Galvin brothers' Bistrot de Luxe, at the start of 2006. Suppliers at Galvin include Le Cave de Pyrene, Vine Trail, Taittinger and Billecart-Salmon.

It was a bit awkward because I came to eat at Galvin with my brother and just loved it. Then in the New Year, when I'd been two months with Paul, the manager at Galvin called to say that they had an opening there. I hated telling Paul, I felt like I was kicking him in the guts. But I knew I had to come south or I would always regret it.