After a morning of fierce competition that saw five chef and sommelier teams battling to claim the title of Gosset Matchmakers 2016, the competition was won by sommelier Elisa Marchini and chef Riccardo Pozzobon from The Lanesborough. The duo prepared a dish of veal sirloin carpaccio, pickled cucumber and smoked oyster mayonnaise paired with Gosset Grand Blanc de Blancs Brut, which judge Laure Patry of Social Wine & Tapas praised for its 'elegant presentation and good ingredients'.
Jean-Pierre Cointreau, the chairman of Champagne Gosset, headed up the tasting panel which also included Xavier Rousset MS, Igor Sotric of China Tang at The Dorchester, Stefan Neumann of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Imbibe's Julie Sheppard and Will Oatley, MD of Louis Latour Agencies. Cointreau praised the considerable efforts of the sommeliers and chefs who had taken part in the competition.
Also competing were sommelier Benedict Norton and chef Jason Shum from Oxo Tower Restaurant, who prepared a dish of pan-roasted scallops, parsnip purée, hazelnut sand, sea-shore veg and apple cider foam paired with Gosset's latest release 15 Ans.
Sommelier Lorenzo Giancintucci and chef Reece Kallah from Galvin at Windows paired the 15 Ans with a beautifully presented dish of mackerel tartar, brown crab ice cream, Granny Smith apple and pickled mooli. While sommelier Kevin Dupont and chef Eva Uzunova from Yauatcha Soho chose to match the 15 Ans with a dessert of poached pineapple on Breton biscuit with brown butter cream, thyme and pineapple ice cream.
Finally sommelier Enora Hermouet and chef Rakesh Nair from The Cinnamon Club received a special commendation from the judges for their pairing of pan-seared Gressingham duck breast with coconut vinegar sauce and spiced hazelnut crumble with Gosset 15 Ans.
Marchini and Pozzobon were delighted with their win. 'All of the other dishes were very good, so we weren't sure we'd win,' said Pozzobon. The duo wins an exclusive trip to Champagne to visit Gosset and spend time with chef de cave Jean-Pierre Mareigner to gain a real insight intro the house's range. 'It will take time to realise that we've won,' said an excited Marchini. Today was a great experience and I'm looking forward to visiting Champgane Gosset, as I've never been there before.'