Having fallen in love with wine at the age of 16 after visiting a winery in Collioure, I was lucky enough to come across an article in the local paper near St Etienne a few years later about a famous sommelier called Gerard Basset, founder of Hotel Du Vin. I wrote to Gerard for a one-month summer job (this was before email existed) and the rest is history…
My restaurant career now spans over 20 years, at 23 I won the Master Sommelier of the Year, becoming the youngest ever.
I have been lucky enough to work with some of the most prestigious restaurants around the country; such as Hotel du Vin in Bristol and Raymond Blanc’s 2 Michelin star ‘Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons.
I opened my first restaurant empire – Texture, in 2007 which went on to win a Michelin Star. Closely followed by 28-50 Wine Bars in 2010.
Following this, I spent some time travelling, judged on a key industry panel and taught at the Court of Master Sommeliers.
In 2015 I opened Blandford Comptoir in Marylebone, closely followed by Comptoir Café & Wine in Mayfair.
2016 also saw the launch of Cabotte – Burgundy Wine Restaurant in the City, which I opened with business partner Gearoid Devaney.
Together we went on to launch TRADE – the hospitality industry’s first-ever private members’ club, which was converted into digital form and is now downloadable as an app.
TRADE app is an all-encompassing ecosystem of perks, news, events, webinars, and a marketplace for the hospitality community.
The space where TRADE once sat has just re-opened as The Black Book, a wine bar on Frith St, Soho. My most recent venture is Old Brompton, a wine and cheese bar in South Kensington.
“Passion & curiosity are the first step to learn about wines, sharing a glass is the second, knowledge is the result of the first two.”