David Galetti, head sommelier at London's two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, has scooped the Academy of Food & Wine's prestigious Dalmore Award for Excellence.
Given to an outstanding personality in the hospitality industry, Galetti was handed the award in recognition of his contribution to sommellerie and outstanding wine and food matching skills.
Sponsored by Whyte & Mackay, as the winner of the Dalmore Award for Excellence Galetti has won prizes including a bottle of the flagship Highland malt whisky, the Dalmore 18, and a personal tasting of Dalmore whiskies with master distiller Richard Patterson.
Galetti said he was delighted to have won the award. "My aim has always been to please our customers and give them the best experience and the best service I can," he said. "For me it's about simplicity and making people feel comfortable without being intrusive."
The award was part of the Academy's Annual Awards for Excellence, held on 22 October at London's Innholder's Hall.
The full list of award winners:
The Dalmore Award for ExcellenceSponsored by Whyte & Mackay Awarded to an outstanding personality.
Winner David Galetti, head sommelier, Le Gavroche
Company of the Year Award 2010 Awarded to a company that has worked to raise the profile and standards of front-of-house service.
Winner Hyatt Regency London - the Churchill
College of the Year Award 2010 Awarded to a college that stands out in providing young people in our industry with outstanding support and encouragement.
Winner Stratford-upon-Avon College, Warwickshire
The Virgin Rising Star AwardSponsored by Virgin Limited Edition
Awarded to an up and coming star of the industry. The winner receives a "stage" at the Roof Gardens, London.
Winner Richard Hurley, conference and events service manager, the Langham, London
The Savoy Educational Trust Sommelier ScholarshipSponsored by The Savoy Educational Trust
This travel scholarship goes to someone who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to the art of sommellerie. Winner receives an educational visit to Burgundy, France.
Winner Louise Gordon, head sommelier, the Westbury Mayfair, London
The Philip Thornton AwardSponsored by The Savoy Educational Trust
This award was launched in 2005 in memory of Philip Thornton LVO, past trustee of the Savoy Educational Trust. It is given to someone who, like Philip, understands and promotes the role of food service in the hospitality business. The winner is offered work experience at the Andaz hotel, London.
Winner Katharina Praus, Isle of Eriska hotel, Argyll
The New Zealand Winegrowers AwardSponsored by the New Zealand Winegrowers Given to the entrant who submitted the most comprehensive and imaginative answers to a series of questions on New Zealand wines and an essay question on how to drive sales. The winner of this award receives a trip to Berlin to attend the New Zealand Wine Trade Tasting.
Winner Romain Audrerie, Hotel du Vin, Edinburgh
Ramos Pinto Travel AwardSponsored by Ramos Pinto
The winner submitting the best answers to a series of wine questions will travel to the Douro Valley, Portugal, to explore the quintas of Ramos Pinto.
Winner Anja Gottwald, sommelier, the Carneige Club, Skibo Castle, Sutherland
Honorary Fellowships for 2009 These are awarded to senior members of the industry who have an outstanding commitment to craft skills training and the encouragement of young people in the industry.
Recipients Derek Picot, regional general manager, Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London; and Jason Goddard, general manager, the Roof Gardens, London.
By Kerstin Kühn
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