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Mathias Camilleri named Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2017

Five Fields head sommelier Mathias Camilleri has been named the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2017.

Camilleri won having beaten Gareth Ferreira and Julia Sewell in a close fought final at the Savoy hotel today.

Core by Clare Smyth head sommelier Ferreira placed second, while Fat Duck sommelier Sewell was third in the competition, organised by The Caterer and sponsored by Moët & Chandon Champagne.

Commenting on his win, Five Fields London head sommelier Camilleri said: “It’s been a long journey. Those that know me know how important this is to me.

“I arrived in the UK five years ago from Paris and I thought I’d stay one year to improve my English.

“But I’ve met fantastic people that have believed in me and trained me and I’ve managed to achieve this. This is true happiness. I just wanted to show everyone how much I love this job. It’s a true passion.”

At the beginning of the day 12 sommeliers completed three tests, before being reduced to six. After more assessments, the six were whittled down to final three, who competed in the grand final in front of a live audience.

They were submitted to a gruelling three-hour competition in front of invited guests and a judging panel chaired by Gerard Basset winner of the 2010 Best Sommelier in the World competition.

As part of the competition the finalists were required to inspect a wine list and identify a number of errors (that were not to do with spelling or pricing), undergo blind taste tests of wines and spirits, serve tables of former winners in a restaurant role play situation, and finally to pour a magnum of Moët & Chandon Champagne into 16 glasses.

Each of the finalists showed different strengths but the judges, including Gearoid Devaney, Ronan Sayburn and last year’s winner Terry Kandylis, chose Camilleri as the overall winner.

Having won, Camilleri will benefit from mentoring programme and an all-expenses-paid educational trip to one of Europe’s top vineyards provided by Matthew Clark, and a Coravin wine preservation system.

The finalists were:

• Serdar Balkaya, head sommelier, the Royal Automobile Club, London
• Romain Bourger, head sommelier, the Vineyard, Stockcross, Berkshire
• Mathias Camilleri, head sommelier, Five Fields, Chelsea, London
• Tamas Czinki, head sommelier, Northcote, Langho, Lancashire
• Gareth Ferreira, head sommelier, Core by Clare Smyth, London
• Olivier Frayssinet, assistant head sommelier, La Trompette, London
• Alexandre Freguin, head sommelier, Moor Hall, Aughton, Lancashire
• Corin Ireland, assistant sommelier, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
• Rudy Le Metayer, sommelier, Summer Lodge, Evershot, Dorset
• Chris Parker, assistant head sommelier, Lime Wood, Hampshire
• Julia Sewell, sommelier, the Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire
• Pierre-Marie Faure, head sommelier, the Lanesborough, London

The Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2017 is sponsored by AdVini, Coravin, Matthew Clark, Searcy’s, UCC Coffee, Robert Welch, Winterhalter, and WSET.


The Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition is organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service and has been running since 1980.

Past winners include some of the UK’s best-known sommeliers including Gerard Basset, Ronan Sayburn, Alan Holmes, Matt Wilkin, Gearoid Devaney and Laura Rhys – to name just a few.

Many of our past winners took part in the competition for several years before they finally won it including last year’s winner, Terry Kandalis.

Taking part is a great education in itself – and of course, if you get through to the final or even win, it’s a fabulous way to boost the profile of yourself and the establishment you work for.

The Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition is open to professional sommeliers and waiting staff working in the UK and all entries must be supported by their employer.  You will supply a current CV and a short (maximum 200 words) paragraph on why you are a Sommelier, what your greatest wine experience has been to date and what winning the title of UK Sommelier of the Year 2017 would mean to you. These will be deliberated on by the judges and the successful entries will get through to the regional finals.

The regional finals are to take place in on April 3rd 2017  and to be held in 3 locations –  Manchester, Bristol, and London – and entrants will undertake a written paper, a blind tasting and an oral service element. The three highest scoring entries will then complete in two practical service elements and an oral food and wine matching sessions.

The five regional winners and the five highest scoring candidates, the 2016 runner up and the Chaine de Rotisseur winner then make up the 12 candidates who will be invited to Epernay in May 10th & 11th 2017 before competing in finals in London at The Savoy Hotel, London on 17th July 2017.

Entries open Friday 17th February 2017


At the final the sommeliers will complete three tests, before being reduced to six. After more assessments, the six will be whittled down to three, who will compete in the grand final that afternoon in front of an audience of invited guests and a judging panel chaired by Gerard Basset OBE, MW, MS, winner of the 2010 Best Sommelier in the World competition and the recipient of the inaugural Wine and Spirit Ambassador Award at the 2014 Cateys.


The Caterer logo 2014



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Keep up the studies and we look forward to your entries!

Suzanne Weekes
Academy of Food & Wine Service

Telephone: 07771 998112