Winners announced for Young Chef and Young Sommelier of the Year 2023

15 May 2023 by
Winners announced for Young Chef and Young Sommelier of the Year 2023

The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs GB Young Professional Awards 2023 crowned Maciej Pisarek of the Savoy, London, as Young Chef of the Year, and Melania Battiston of Medlar, London, as Young Sommelier of the Year.

The winners were announced on Friday evening at a five-course awards dinner, attended by over 80 guests at the Churchill in London. The dinner was created by executive chef Carlo Martino.

Pisarek and Battiston, both aged 26, will go on to compete for the UK at the Chaîne's worldwide finals in Istanbul in the autumn.

Alongside winning Young Chef of the Year, the demi chef de partie also won Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC) trophy. The trophy is presented to the chef who makes best use of the macadamia nuts from the ‘mystery box ‘of ingredients during the culinary competition at the Knorr development kitchens. Pisarek's creation, chicken breast stuffed with chicken thigh, chestnut mushrooms, and macadamia nuts, won the judges' unanimous vote.

Before coming to the UK two and a half years ago, Pisarek won accolades in his native Poland as a commis chef, including the Bocusse d'Or and the country's Culinary Cup. He said he credits Nicolas Houchet, the Savoy's executive pastry chef, as his mentor.

"I am very honoured to be representing Great Britain in the international finals in Istanbul this October," Pisarek said.

"I know I have a lot to do to achieve the best result, so I will be working hard with Nicolas and other inspiring chefs over the summer."

As for Battiston, who is head sommelier and wine buyer, she scored the highest points in all disciplines (wine knowledge, blind tasting, and table service) to take the title.

Battiston also took the top score to win the Gerard Basset Tasting Trophy. She said: "I also won this trophy three years ago. It just shows how important it is to be consistent and keep up tasting disciplines. You never stop learning."

Originally from Pavia in Italy, Battiston becomes a UK citizen next month. She has been at Medlar for five years.

Philip Evins, bailli délégué for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and who presented the awards, said: "Once again, we have had some exceptional young talent in this year's competitions.

"We know how important it is to nurture the future stars of the industry. We wish them every success this autumn when they compete for us on the global stage. We have so much confidence in their talent we are sure they will smash it!"

Michalis Kashis from the Harrods kitchens came second in the Chef competition, and runner up to Battiston was French sommelier Melina Soulavie working at Helene Darroze at the Connaught.

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TagsChef and sommelier
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