The Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa, Joburg, scored a hat-trick when Jeff Lopes won the Jeunes Sommeliers national competition of the international gastronomic association, Chaine des Rotisseurs. The competition is for wine experts between the ages of 21 and 35.
Having joined The Saxon just over a year ago, Lopes is recognised as a certified sommelier by the Court of Masters in the UK. Preceding champions, Gareth Ferreira (2011) and Francis Krone (2010) are also Certified Court of Masters and remain part of The Saxon's award-winning sommeliers team.
"It is not simply luck that has contributed towards The Saxon winning this award year after year," said MD George Cohen. "Our food and beverage offering is a point of pride at The Saxon, particularly our focus on food and wine pairing. However, as the demands of our clientele grow, it has become critically important not only to expand our wine list, but also to ensure that we have the best knowledge and service the hospitality industry has to offer."A whole new gastronomic experience
Newly appointed executive chef David Higgs has dubbed the victorious team the "three musketeers complemented by one lovely lady": Francis Krone, Gareth Ferreira, Jeffery Lopes and Simone Moegel. He added: "With such a dynamic team, I am looking forward to introducing a whole new gastronomic experience at the hotel."
This year, the international finals of the Jeunes Sommelier Competition will be held in Cape Town on the 21 September. Lopes will, without doubt, be a veritable contender as his extensive wine knowledge is complemented by other accolades, including whiskey training in Scotland with Chivas Regal.
For further information contact The Saxon Boutique Hotels, Villas & Spa directly on +27 (0) 11 292 6000 or go to www.saxon.co.za