British sommelier Arnaud Baudary from Maze in London achieved second place at the grand final of this year's Chaîne des Rôtisseurs' International Young Sommelier of the Year competition in Cape Town, South Africa.
Chris Moore of the USA was the overall winner of the competition, with Australian Yuki Hirose taking third place.
The finalists demonstrated their skills before an expert panel of judges. Based on the Master Sommelier advanced examination, the competition combined theory and service skills and challenged finalists to demonstrate composure, knowledge and tasting skills.
All finalists took part in a week of visits to wineries and restaurants.
"Competitions such as these serve to improve understanding and appreciation of the dedication it requires to excel as a sommelier. By nurturing and harnessing our young talent, we can continue to produce outstanding sommeliers who add so much to the front-of-house service in our better restaurants," said Philip Evins, bailli délégué, of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
"Arnaud achieved a great result and it's a true reward for the consistent effort he has put in over the past year since he first entered the national stages of the competition. This is a real accolade for Maze and our congratulations to general manager Sid Clark, and his team."
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950.
By Neil Gerrard
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