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Chaîne des Rôtisseurs unveils 2020 winners

Published:  06 November, 2020

The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs has unveiled the winners of its Young Sommelier and Young Chef awards 2020, alongside the winner of the Gerard Basset Tasting Trophy.

Paul Robineau, head sommelier at 110 de Taillevent, was crowned Young Sommelier of the Year, with Melania Battison of Medlar awarded the Gerard Basset Tasting Trophy for scoring the highest marks in blind tasting and food elements of the finals.

Ellie Shaw of the Clink Restaurant won the Young Chef of the Year gong, with both her and Robineau going on to represent Great Britain in the world championships in France next September (Paris for the Young Chef cook-off and Bordeaux for the Young Sommelier contest).

Third in the competition last year, Robineau said he felt “very honoured” to come top this time. 

Robineau, now 27 and originally from a wine-making family in the Loire, studied viticulture in Burgundy. After a spell in Australia, he moved to the UK and joined The Fat Duck under the tutelage of renowned sommelier Isa Bal. “He took me under his wing and taught me so much about the business,” said Robineau.  

A year at two Michelin star Moor Hall in Lancashire followed, working under Alex Freguin, before returning south to The Dorchester – from where he took part in the Chaine Young Sommelier contests. 

A month ago, he was appointed head sommelier at 110 de Taillevent. 

“It’s been quite a journey. Three years ago I knew nothing about restaurants and how to carry a tray properly and now I am sitting the Master Sommelier exams, with one part already passed,” he said. 

The sommelier finalists took part in a fiercely contested final at the Gaggenau Showrooms in London in March, prior to lockdown, where they had to pass a theory test, successfully blind taste six wines and show off their service skills. 

Phillip Evins, Bailli Délégué for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs GB, said: "The challenge for us was to organise a suitable occasion where the prizes could be presented in person, and the winners’ achievements could be celebrated. In Ellie and Paul we have two very worthy winners – indicative of the amazing talent we see in our young professionals today. On behalf of all the members of the Chaine in this country, we salute them."

Coming second to Robineau was Melania Battiston of Medlar in Chelsea, and jointly in third position were Zareh Mesrobyan from Cliveden and Tony Lecuroux from Moor Hall, in Lancashire.

Shaw beat Eden Allsworth of Cliveden (and runner up in the recent Young National Chef of the Year competition) into second place, with Liam Stofer of Mosimanns Highly Commended.