Mathias Camilleri named UK Sommelier of the Year 2017

Five Fields head sommelier Mathias Camilleri has been named the 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..

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.https://zoom.us/j/599390484https://zoom.us/j/599390484

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  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.

“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.”

Mathias Camilleri head sommelier Five Fields, Chelsea, London

2017 Semi-finalists

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

Entry deadline