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Chewton Glen team wins gastronomy competition

Published:  29 July, 2009

A two-man sommelier and chef team from Chewton Glen have become winners of the Academy of Food & Wine's Gastronomy Team of the Year competition 2009.

The duo from the luxury hotel and spa in New Milton, Hampshire, won the competition following the final at London's Westminster Kingsway College on July 27.

Head sommelier Alan Holmes and junior sous chef Nick Hewitt, beat the team from Andaz Hotel, London who won second place. The other finalists were: Bovey Castle, Dartmoor, the East India Club, London and and the George Hotel & Brasserie, Buckden, Cambridgeshire.

The Gastronomy Team of the Year competition is organised by AFW in association with food and drink campaign Discover the Origin and aims to encourage good teamwork between kitchen and service professionals.

The final involved creating, cooking and serving a two-course menu using Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as ingredients matched with Burgundy wines, Port and Douro Valley wines - all part of the Discover the Origin PDO (protected designation of origin) campaign.

Sophie Roberts-Brown, executive director of AFW, said: "With every restaurant operation currently under pressure to retain customers and maintain sales it's becoming more vital that front-of-house and the kitchen have a thorough understanding of each other's departments in order to ensure customers receive the best service possible."

The Chewton Glen team receive a 10-day trip courtesy of Discover the Origin to Burgundy, Parma and the Douro Valley to deepen their understanding of the history and provenance behind the products of the campaign.