Christine Parkinson, group wine buyer for Hakkasan, has won the Wine and Spirits Ambassador award at the Cateys, run by The Caterer magazine.
She beat off Andrew McKenzie from the Vineyard at Stockcross and The Social Company’s Laure Patry to take the gong at last night’s awards ceremony, where guests toasted the winners with prosecco, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and, er, Limoncello.
'I’m thrilled to win a Catey,' said Parkinson. 'From the very start, wine culture has been cherished at Hakkasan, and this fantastic award is down to the great work of our Wine Team over the years – my thanks to everyone who has been part of it.'
Parkinson’s reputation has been established for many years, with her work on staff training, and innovation in drinks lists particularly eye-catching. She is also recognised as having one of the best, and most imaginative, palates when it comes to food-matching.
One wine exhibitor at Imbibe Live this week (before the award was announced) described her as a 'different class'.
As well as the Catey, she won Imbibe’s Restaurant Personality of the Year in 2011, when she was described as the ‘undisputed queen of the winocracy’, and has been Head of Judging at the Sommelier Wine Awards since 2015.