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Academy announce Sommelier of the Year semi-finalists

Published:  25 February, 2010

The Academy of Food & Wine's 2010 Sommelier of the Year competition has announced its semi-finalists.

The Academy of Food & Wine's 2010 Sommelier of the Year competition has announced its semi-finalists.

Fifteen sommeliers from the UK's top restaurants will pit their skills against one another in April, following the four regional finals held across the country in the week of February 22.

Semi-finalists include representatives from two Gordon Ramsay restaurants, The Fat Duck, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Hotel TerraVina and La Trompette.

The competition, sponsored by House of Champagne Piper-Heidsieck, seeks to find the best sommelier or wine waiter in the UK based on wine knowledge, serving skills, customer service skills and tasting ability.

The following 15 sommeliers will go forward to the semi final,

Garry Clark, sommelier, Chester Grosvenor, Chester
Remi Cousin, assistant head sommelier, The Fat Duck, Bray
Christopher Delalonde, sommelier, Sarment Wines, London
Sergio Dos Santos, head sommelier, Atlantic Hotel, Jersey
Bavand Foroughi, sommelier, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, London W1
Yohann Jousselin, head sommelier, Vineyard at Stockcross, Newbury
Jan Konetzki, assistant head sommelier, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London SW3
David Kubler, assistant sommelier, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxford
Erica Laler, sommelier, Texture, London W1
Phillippe Moranges, deputy head sommelier, Hakkasan, London W1
Mark Perlaki, head sommelier, Hotel du Vin et Bistro, Harrogate
Stephen Raducki, assistant sommelier, Le Pont de la Tour, London SE1
Laurent Richet, sommelier, Hotel TerraVina, Southampton
Clement Robert, head sommelier, Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Evershot
Magda Saleh, assistant sommelier, La Trompette, London W4

The semi finals will take place on 28 April 2010 at the new Westbury Gallery at the Westbury Mayfair hotel, London, from which the top three will qualify for the final being held the same afternoon.

This year's judging panel is headed by the Academy's technical director Gerard Basset MW, MS, alongside Matt Wilkin MS, Ronan Sayburn MS, and Ian Harris of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

Last year's UK Sommelier of the Year Laura Rhys, head sommelier at Hotel TerraVina in Hampshire. In 2008 Gearoid Devaney, then head sommelier of Tom Aikens in London, scooped the top prize.