He came to the UK 18 months ago to improve his English, now Aymeric Pollenne has scooped the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Sommelier of the Year award.
He picked up the gong at a formal awards dinner held at The Dorchester on Friday, having impressed an array of judges including Gerard Basset MW OBE, Nicolas Clerc MS, Matthieu Longuere MS and last year’s winner, Piotr Pietras MS.
‘This is a great honour and I am very excited and proud to win,’ said Pollenne. ‘The competition was very tight, with just a small number of marks between us all.’
Despite his youth, Pollenne, aged 24, has a strong track record. He had previously worked at the three Michelin starred-restaurant, Le Pré Catelan in Paris, before moving to the Lanesborough in 2016. ‘I should like to thank the team [there] for all their help and encouragement in getting me here today,’ he said.
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs ‘Young Sommelier of the Year’ competition is open to sommeliers under the age of 30 at any of the restaurants who are members of the Chaîne. Entrants have to carry out a series of practical activities, service tests and blind tastings.
Though Pollenne has recently left the Lanesborough, joining the large sommelier team at Ollie Dabbous’ Hide on Piccadilly, he will still go on to represent the UK in the world final in Mexico City in September.