Matteo Montone, wine director at the London Edition hotel, won the world final of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs young sommelier of the year – the third year in a row that a sommelier working in Britain has claimed the title.
Montone won the British final back in March when the winners were announced at a ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel.
In a tense final held in South Korea, Montone fought off competition from the likes of Russia, Canada and Germany to claim the world title after two days of competition. Born in Milan, Montone, 30, triumphed over Jonathan Eichholz from the USA by just a few marks, and Australia’s Andres Aragon, who came in third place.
Commenting on his victory, he said: “This is probably the greatest achievement of my life. I’ve worked very hard to prepare for this, and to win was a dream come true!”
A sommelier working in Great Britain has now finished in first or second place in the last nine out of 10 years.
Philip Evins, bailli délégué for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs GB, added: “With Matteo’s superb effort, we have kept up our outstanding track record in the event. My sincere thanks to those who encouraged him in our national competition – judges Steven Spurrier, Christelle Guibert, Dimitri Mesnard, Isa Bal and Nicholas Clerc – and our partners with whose help we are able to run this event.
Montone wasn’t the only GB representative to pick up an accolade. Chef Jordon Powell, 21, from South Lodge Hotel, Sussex, finished in second place in the world finals of young chef of the year. Facing stiff competition from 22 countries, Powell impressed with his three-course meal produced from a mystery basket of ingredients at the final held in Calgary, Canada.
His achievement marked the highest placing of a British chef in the global competition for almost 40 years.
Evins added: “We were delighted with Jordon’s brilliant cook-off too. Congratulations to him as he furthers his career, and to the team who helped in his preparation for the contest – Vic Laws, Ben Purton and Daniel Ayton – as well as those who hosted stages, Mosimanns & the Royal Lancaster London Hotel.
“It goes to show that Britain really does produce young hospitality talent that is the best in the world.”