Chefs and restaurateurs Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke have appointed Albert Blaize as the new sommelier and beverage director for their two restaurants, St Leonards and Brunswick House, as well as the recently opened Orasay in Notting Hill.
Blaize’s primary focus will be on the bar at St Leonards, with the intention of establishing the venue as Shoreditch’s number one destination to try rare wines by the glass.
Alongside his work at St Leonards, Blaize will continue to develop and grow the wine lists at Brunswick House and Orasay, ensuring a choice of unique bottles remain at the core of each restaurant.
Blaize will also be curating a number of events taking place throughout the year. A series of wine tasting evenings will showcase lesser known regions and producers while a weekly food and wine pairing evening, taking place on Tuesdays, will give guests the opportunity to bring their own bottle for a reduced corkage fee, with Blaize on hand to suggest snacks and small plates to pair with the wine.
Joining the team from his most recent position as head of wine at The Mandrake in Fitzrovia, Blaize brings with him a wealth of international industry experience, with stints at The Clove Club, Trullo and Le Manoir Aux-Quat Saisons.
Appointed as sommelier for Dan Barber’s groundbreaking WastED series on the Selfridges rooftop, Blaize worked alongside a host of leading chefs from around the world at the sell-out three month pop-up.
In 2019, Blaize was nominated for the Flint Wines Top Young Sommelier of The Year Award, shortlisted for the Imbibe Sommelier of The Year Award 2019 and nominated by GQ in their prestigious Sommelier of The Year category for their annual Food & Drink Awards.
Blaize said: “It’s wonderful to be able to join the team at such an exciting time, with some of London’s most loved restaurants and anticipated new projects under one roof.
“I’m particularly excited about the opportunity we have to craft St Leonards into a real destination for rare wines by the glass that guests can enjoy anytime. I can’t wait to get started.”