A crowdfunding campaign has been launched today to raise £14,000 to cover the costs of publishing the memoirs of the sommelier and hotelier Gerard Basset who died last week at the age of 61.
Soon after a diagnosis of oesophagus cancer in 2017, Basset sat down to write about his extraordinary life which took him from his home town of Saint-Étienne in France to being named World's Best Sommelier in 2010, as well as winner a plethora of other awards including four Cateys (the Special Award in 2010, Wine and Spirit Ambassador Award in 2014, as well as Newcomer of the Year for Hotel du Vin in 1996 and Hotel of the Year for Hotel du Vin in 2001).
is due to be published later this year by international crowdfunded publisher Unbound.
The book is designed to be an inspirational business book as well as giving an insight into Basset's unprecedented career, taking him from his role as sommelier at Chewton Glen to co-founder with Robin Hutson of Hotel du Vin and then the owner with his wife Nina of Hotel TerraVina in the New Forest. As his health became weaker, Hotel TerraVina was last year relaunched as the Spot in the Woods café, deli and bed and breakfast.
Nina said: "In a funny way, the timing of his passing and the soon-to-open pledges for his book could not have coincided better, as, judging by the hundreds and hundreds of heartfelt messages I have received, Gerard is very much in people's thoughts, hearts and minds. Ever the planner, I would like to think Gerard had a hand in orchestrating such a happy coincidence."
Editor of the book Felicity Carter of Meininger's Wine Business International added: "Gerard was a deeply kind and decent person who loved teaching. Although he didn't live to see his book come to fruition, it will enable him to keep inspiring and mentoring people through his writing."
Leading wine writer Jancis Robinson described the book as "fascinating" and added that any money raised in excess of the publication costs will go to Basset's widow and son, Nina and Romané.
Details of the fundraising campaign can be found here.Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).