Head sommelier – Chez Bruce
Arnaud Pasdeloup is in charge of wine at Wandsworth Common’s Chez Bruce. He grew up in Le Plessis-Bouchard, just north of Paris, and studied hospitality in the French capital before quickly gravitating towards wine. “After studying wine for three years, I began travelling to learn other languages and earn experience,” he says. In 2011 Pasdeloup started out as assistant sommelier at The Star, a five-star hotel complex in Sydney before moving to restaurant chain Merivale, also based in the city. In 2014 he made the journey to London, and after a short stint at Sketch, joined La Trompette – the first restaurant in Chiswick to gain a Michelin star, which it was awarded in 2008 and has retained ever since – as its sommelier, alongside Master Sommelier Laura Rhys.
From there, Pasdeloup took the reins as head sommelier of sister restaurant Glasshouse in 2016, later joining the Michelin-starred Chez Bruce in November 2017. A longstanding south London fine-dining outpost, Chez Bruce was opened by Bruce Poole and Nigel Platts-Martin in 1995. In 1999 the pair opened the Glasshouse in Kew, which was followed by La Trompette, in Chiswick in 2001. From the outset, the pair set out to serve “the very best food and drink” but in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
Poole, who can regularly be seen gracing the restaurant’s front of house, started cooking professionally in his mid-twenties, with stints at Bibendum Restaurant, The Square, Racine and Chez Max. Poole works closely with head chef Matt Christmas to produce a collaborative menu that is loosely based on classical and regional French/Mediterranean cuisine. While the restaurant and its 28-page wine list has picked up its fair share of awards over the years, it has attempted to remain true to its neighbourhood origins.
In 2010, however, Poole was forced to extend the original site with an additional 20 covers to cater for increasing demand. Chez Bruce has been praised by Wine List Confidential for its “admirable section for off-dry Rieslings” and for its “even-keeled, kindly-priced list”. “My favourite countries are Italy and France, although I am starting to be amazed by the value and quality of wines from the Balkans,” says Pasdeloup.