The IWSC Emerging Talent in Hospitality aims to recognise the dedication and innovation of an individual in the hospitality industry towards helping it maintain fantastic customer service, looking after the employees within and finding new ways and means to draw people to once again going out! Last week our judging panel gathered to discuss entries and agree a shortlist.
The judges were looking for someone who demonstrates a real dedication and passion within their role, as well as disrupting the norms of front of house to bring consumers a unique experience.
Entries were received from several countries including the Czech Republic, South Africa, Russia and Hong Kong.
Following the completion of judging, the IWSC is delighted to announce its 2022 shortlisted entrants:
Daniel is the Head Sommelier at The Raby Hunt, a two Michelin star restaurant located in Summerhouse, County Durham. He joined the hospitality industry in 2013 following a 10-year career in tech, which lacked the human interaction he craved. He landed his first role as a sommelier in 2021 and relocated with his fiancée in order to take on his role at The Raby Hunt.
A real ambassador for sharing knowledge and investment in staff education and training, he feels a downside of the hospitality industry for many is the expectation to learn on the job. Daniel sees it as his role to continue to build his knowledge and experience in order to share it with his team and members of the wider industry.
Daniel was recently awarded the prestigious Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship.
Our judges were incredibly impressed by Daniel’s entry, which highlighted his dedication to his trade and to his co-workers, as well as the incredible amount Daniel has achieved in such a short space of time.
Kristyna is Head Sommelier at Ugly Butterfly in Cornwall’s St Ives. She justly sees the role of sommelier as so much more than a wine expert. “A good somm needs a true dedication to the craft, with abilities as a historian, a storyteller and passionate ambassador.” She is also a practitioner of NLP (neuro linguistic programming) reading the body language of customers in order to help them feel more comfortable and engaged.
The language on a wine menu can often be a real barrier to helping customers feel comfortable, and so the wine lists at Ugly Butterfly are designed to ensure they are easy to navigate.
Sustainability has a central role at Ugly Butterfly. The wine list includes several local wineries in order to minimise the restaurants carbon footprint. The wine is also a celebration of producers who are producing their wines with minimal intervention and Kristynaenjoys changing customers perceptions.
Our judges were impressed by Kristyna’sdedication to sustainability, eschewing imported citrus fruits for locally sourced lemons, and using carrot heads and strawberry tops for cocktail dressing. They were also impressed by her consideration of NLP and the thought put into the language around wine. Her approach to the way a wine list is created was appreciated and her creativity was apparent.
Philipp isHead Sommelier at Trivet Restaurant, moving there in 2021 following five years at Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner restaurant. With Trivet recently awarded its first Michelin star, Philipp count’s this as one of his greatest career achievements to date.
The restaurant’s wine list is based on the history and revolution of wine, celebrating some of the oldest wine producing countries in the world including Turkey, Georgia and Armenia.
An advocate for moving away from the unhealthy work-life balance many perceive the hospitality industry as being fuelled by, Philipp tells us we need to stop glamourising overworking.
A solid CV and great experience, the judges felt that Philipp was a very impressive candidate for someone so young.
Stefan is the Head Sommelier at Stellenbosch’s Oldenburg Vineyards where he’s worked since 2019. As well as managing a team of six at the winery, his role requires him to represent the business at national and international trade fairs.
His career started as a tasting room assistant before it took a slight swerve while he tried his hand at acting. Following what he describes as a somewhat successful run of it, wine beckoned him back and after four years working for a wine retailer, he joined Oldenburg Vineyards.
He is passionate about the requirement to improve wine education in South Africa. He sees that as a country with so many fine dining experiences and countless international travellers, education needs to be more on an international level rather than simply local. Stefan is on a mission to make Oldenburg Vineyards the best tasting room experience in South Africa.
Our judges loved Stefan’s passion and his mission to put Oldenburg Vineyards on the map. With his thespian credentials, they commented his social media content is engaging and educational. A finalist with drive and enthusiasm, we wish Stefan and all our other shortlisted finalists the very best of luck.
The winner for the IWSC Emerging Talent in Hospitality Award will be announced on Tuesday 8 March.