Larsen wins Sommelier of the Year title

Kathrine Larsen has been named the UK Sommelier of the Year after beating 11 other finalists to the prize.

Held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London, the final was organised by the Academy of Food and Wine Service and saw Larsen beat Loic Avril, of The Fat Duck in Bray, into second place.

However, Avril is unlikely to be too disappointed, as he took home the title of Young Sommelier of the Year, which was sponsored by The Wine Guild of the United Kingdom.

Formerly head sommelier at Zuma in London, Larsen trained in various hospitality jobs at one and two Michelin-starred restaurants in Copenhagen before moving to London in 2007 to work at Pont de la Tour and Orrery.

Larsen’s win is the first time she has picked up the prize although she has competed four time, finishing third in 2013 when she also won the Young Sommelier award.

She said: “Winning this competition is a fantastic achievement. It feels like all the hard work has paid off and that’s an amazing feeling. I have been studying wine for ten years, and preparing for this competition has been very intense.”

To win the title, she had to complete a series of tasks including blind tastings, a question and answer round and the Moët Champagne pour, where the finalists had to transfer a magnum of champagne into 16 flutes in seven minutes without returning to any of the glasses.

Tanguy Martin, from Hotel TerraVina in Hampshire, took third place, while the rest of the final was made up of Stefan Neumann from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London, Adam Pawlowski from Northcote in Blackburn, Tobias Brauweiler from The Ritz in London, Olivier Marie from Coq d’Argent in London, Damien Trinquel from Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa in Chippenham, Roberto Zanca from Hotel du Vin in Cheltenham, Emanuel Pesqueira from Summer Lodge in Dorchester, Romain Bourger from The Vineyard at Stockcross in Newbury, and Lukas Kolodziejczyk from Pollen Street Social in London.

By Owen Mckeon
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