Young Sommeliers Compete

Le ChaineOn Monday May 26 the national winner of Australia’s Young Sommeliers’ Competition will be announced at a presentation event at Sydney’s Intercontinental Hotel in front of a small but elite gathering of wine and food professionals. The winner will compete in the international competition in Copenhagen later this year.  The competition is run by La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs (La Chaîne) an international gastronomic association, headquartered in Paris. La Chaîne has over 25,000 members in 70 countries worldwide.  It comprises both professional members (including hotel and restaurant owners, chefs, sommeliers and so on) and non-professional members (persons who do not own or work in a hotel or restaurant). In Australia, La Chaîne has representation in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Townsville and Cairns.

The Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers is proud to be a sponsor of this event.

The principal goal of La Chaîne is to bring professional and non-professional members together to celebrate their passion for fine cuisine and wine and to aid and encourage the development of young chefs and sommeliers worldwide through its national and international competitions. In turn this supports Australia’s reputation for chefs and sommeliers and as a destination for fine food and wine.

The Young Sommeliers’ Competition

Since 2007, La Chaîne has held an annual International Jeunes (Young) Sommeliers Competition to offer young sommeliers (up to 30 years of age) an opportunity to present their skills under highly competitive, intense and gruelling test conditions.

There are three levels in the competition:

  • a regional (State-based) competition which consists of a written examination;
  • a national (Australian) final where the winners of regional competitions are invited to compete in a written theory test, a blind test and a service test; and
  • an international final where the national winner is invited to again compete in a written theory test, a blind wine identification tests and service tests.

The competition is based on the Court of Master Sommelier procedures.

Who are the Australian Finalists?

Following a series of regional examinations held around Australia in April and May, the five finalists competing on 26 May are:

James Audas ( formerly Black at The Star Sydney), Mattia Cianca (Attica Melbourne), Adrian Filiuta (Felix Sydney), Julia Sewell (Rockpool Bar and Grill Sydney) and Pier-Alexis Souliere (Est Sydney). One of these five will be the Australian Young Sommelier for 2014.

Australian National Competition Judges

Franck Moreau MS, Group Sommelier Merivale, NSW

Michael Engelmann MS, Head Sommelier, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney, NSW

John Studdert, Echanson, La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Australia, NSW

Mark Protheroe, Group Sommelier, Grossi Group Melbourne (Marker Judge for Regional competitions)

Australian National Competition Officers

Sam Giddings, Chancelier, La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Australia  (National Finals Manager), NSW

Dennis Mather, Officier, La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, NSW

If you have a passion for fine food and wine and would like to attend wonderful dinners and meet like-minded people membership is available.

Read more about La Chaine here.