Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Gosset Matchmakers 2022 winners announced

Published:  30 September, 2022

A chef and sommelier team from Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has been crowned the winners of Gosset Matchmakers 2022, beating out tough competition from peers in Hampshire and Edinburgh.

Chef Julien Deschamps and sommelier Sotir Semini were victorious in their battle for the top spot at this year’s final, which took place at its regular home at Le Cordon Bleu London’s Cord Restaurant in Fleet Street.

This year’s finalists also included sommelier Tristan Wright and chef, Jason Ramplin from The Dining Room at Chewton Glen in Hampshire, who competed alongside sommelier Arthur Ng and chef Murid Laly from Spry Wines in Edinburgh.

However, it was Semini and Deschamps of Alain Ducasse who won the judges over with a pairing of Langoustine and Champagne emulsion with a marmalade of peach and pink peppercorn. The dish was ‘carefully designed’ to pair with Gosset Grande Reserve.

Chair of the panel, Melody Wong said, “It was a fierce competition this year, with all the finalists delivering on quality cooking, service skills, creativity and above all outstanding teamwork. It was hard to choose a winner.”

Now in its seventh year, the Gosset Matchmakers competition is supported by Le Cordon Bleu in London, where finalists are invited to compete to create a pairing with a Gosset Champagne. A popular part of the competition is also the ‘mystery box’ feature.

This year, judge Laetizia Keating, challenged the teams to create a dish from this box of mystery ingredients, which included pork loin, to match with the new Gosset Celebris Blanc de Blancs 2012.

“Pork is a humble, yet challenging ingredient, with many ways to handle and cook it; and the teams did not have much time to plan or create a dish to pair with the newly released Celebris Blanc de Blanc. The winners are very talented, they are the rising stars to look out for,” Wong said.

Chef de Cave, Odilon de Varine, added: “Gosset Champagnes are fine wines enhanced with bubbles, which lend themselves well to be served with food. All the teams showed a good understanding of this. But the winning team really showed thought and creativity in both their dishes in producing something that elevated both the Champagne and the dishes they served.”

Gosset Matchmakers competition was launched back in 2016 to focus on the interaction of fine wine and cuisine via the teamwork of chef and sommelier. The competition also aims to give a platform to those with less than five years’ professional experience, by offering what might perhaps be their first experience of a culinary competition.

The judging panel was made up of sommeliers Melody Wong and James Shaw, Laetizia Keating, head chef of The Pem, Gosset’s chef de caves Odilon de Varine and Guy Nightingale from Louis Latour Agencies, Gosset’s UK distributor.

The winners join a growing list of Matchmakers alumni who hold the ‘Matchmakers’ title for the next year, along with receiving a magnum each of Gosset Champagne. They also win a two-night VIP trip to visit Gosset’s headquarters in Epernay.

The previous two winning teams headed off to the region earlier in September as their initial trip was pushed back due to Covid. The teams were sommelier Joshua Castle and chef Myles Donaldson for Noble Rot (2020 winners); and sommelier Matthew Davison and chef Adam Eyre for Fischers, Baslow Hall (2021).