The inaugural Gerard Basset Tasting Trophy has been awarded to Paul Flauvel of the Lanesborough hotel, London.
Flauvel (pictured centre, with Nina and Romané Basset) received the accolade at the international gastronomic society Chaîne des Rôtisseurs' Young Professional awards dinner at London's Dorchester hotel in memory of the late sommelier who died in January. Basset was a revered Master of Wine, former World's Best Sommelier and co-founder of the Hotel du Vin chain.
The event also saw the presentation of the GB Young Chef and GB Young Sommelier titles to Jordon Powell, chef de partie of South Lodge, near Horsham, West Sussex, and Matteo Montone, wine director of the London Edition hotel respectively.
Powell will now go on to compete at the Chaîne's international Young Chef final in Calgary, Canada, while Montone will represent GB in the international Young Sommelier final in Seoul, South Korea, later this year. Last year's Young Sommelier GB, Aymeric Pollene, then of Hide, London, went on to win the global title in Mexico City.
Flauvel, who received the Gerard Basset Tasting Trophy from Gerard's widow Nina, won the award after scoring the highest marks in the blind tasting and food matching sections of the GB Young Sommelier final. He said: "I had a very good day at the competition and went for the big markers on the wines. I met Gerard met once in Bordeaux and it is fantastic to be the first to win this award."
During the Young Chef finals, the chefs had to prepare a three-course menu for four people. Powell's winning dishes comprised cured trout, mint mayonnaise, burnt onion, pickled beetroot, celery; roast flank steak, seared ox, pomme puree, sweetcorn, blanquette sauce; lemon and vanilla posset, poached pineapple, candied almonds and thyme.
Montone triumphed after completing a written theory test, blind tasting six wines and six spirits and undertaking a practical test involving decanting, Champagne service, food and wine pairing, and wine list correction.
The GB Young Chef and GB Young Sommelier competitions were launched by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs to nurture young talent in the hospitality industry and to mentor winners to compete in the international finals.Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).