Hakkasan’s senior head sommelier, Olivier Gasselin, wins Imbibe’s £5,000 Sommelier Challenge

Imbibe Live, Europe’s largest drinks trade show, hosted the annual Imbibe £5,000 Sommelier Challenge last month, crowning Olivier Gasselin from Hakkasan Restaurants as it’s worthy winner.
The prestigious on-trade competition featured an extremely high calibre of contestants from restaurants and bars around the world. Gasselin comments:



‘I took part in the Imbibe £5,000 Sommelier Challenge to test myself after a few years spent in Middle-East, where I didn’t have many opportunities to be challenged. It was also a good opportunity to meet people from the trade, and compete against some of the best sommeliers in the UK.
‘I really wasn’t expecting to win so I was overwhelmed with such an unexpected success, given the quality of the competitors. The cash prize and the other generous gifts were the cherry on the cake for sure.
‘It was also an honour and a pleasure to be handed the prizes by legends such as Ronan Sayburn MS and Chris Losh. Some of my friends were cheering in the crowd, and this victory brought me a lot of respect within the Hakkasan group and among my peers in the trade. I couldn’t have wished for a better return to the UK!’
2016’s edition of Imbibe’s £5,000 Sommelier Challenge saw the highest number of entrants ever, of which 18 sommeliers made it through to the quarter final stage. Nine hopefuls then progressed to the semi-final with just three making it through to the final, which took place on the second day of Imbibe Live 2016.
Ronan Sayburn MS was the quizmaster for the competition which tests the deepest wine knowledge and palates.
As well as the £5,000 cash prize, the winner received prizes from the Sommelier Wine Awards 2016 sponsor, Nude Glass, and Birchgrove’s latest Coravin Model Two Elite system.

For further information visit www.imbibe.com/live
Imbibe Live 2016 took place on 4th & 5th July at Olympia London. Launched in March 2007, Imbibe magazine has rapidly become the UK’s leading magazine for on-trade drinks professionals working in premium UK establishments. Imbibe is an ABC-audited bi-monthly magazine, published by Square Meal Publications. More than 15,650 drinks buyers and servers in the UK receive the magazine six
times per year.
Imbibe Live 2017 will return on 3rd & 4th of July at Olympia London with a number of stands already booked.

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