It’s been a very good year for young Clement Robert. On the 28th of April he came third in the 2010 Champagne Piper-Heidsieck UK Sommelier of the Year awards, and as youngest contestant to make the final he was named their Young Sommelier of the Year. On Thursday 27th May he then triumphed in the 3rd annual UK final of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs International Young Sommelier Competition.
Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950, is devoted to promoting fine dining and preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table. It is based on the traditions and practices of the old French royal guild of goose roasters. With a written history dating back to 1248, and granted a royal charter in 1610, it is a very venerable organisation and its awards are much coveted.
A few days after Clement won the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs award he was interviewed at Summer Lodge on what it takes to triumph in competitions of this nature. He also explained that in just two days he was flying out to Spain to compete in the world final of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs International Young Sommelier of the Year competition in Santander, Northern Spain.
Commenting after the event Clement says “The questions were very tough, very challenging. Also the other contestants were of an extremely high standard. The representative from the USA, who was placed second, he came third in their senior competition this year. And the person representing China, he is something of a celebrity back in his home country.” Despite all this he came out ahead and was named Chaîne des Rôtisseurs International Young Sommelier of the Year.
You can watch Clement’s interview here:
Clement started out as a trainee sommelier at a Michelin starred restaurant in the Loire, then became Assistant Head Sommelier of the Hotel Du Vin in Brighton, then Winchester, before becoming Head Sommelier of the Hotel Du Vin in Cambridge. In July 2009 he became Assistant Sommelier to Eric Zweibel, Master Sommelier, at the five star Summer Lodge, a member of Relais et Chateaux.
Clement’s success is just one of several prestigious awards that have been showered on Summer Lodge this year. It was voted one of the best three hotels in the UK for food in the 2010 Condé Nast Traveller Gold List and winner of the ‘Best British Cheeseboard 2010‘ by The British Cheese Awards.