Meet the finalists of Gosset Matchmakers 2023

Champagne Gosset Matchmakers competition, now in its eighth year, is set to showcase the culinary and oenological prowess of the finalists as they vie for the coveted title of Gosset Matchmaker 2023.

The live final event will take place on Monday September 18th at Cord by Le Cordon Bleu, where five talented chef and sommelier teams will go head-to-head, creating gastronomic masterpieces that pair in perfect harmony with Gosset Grande Rosé, this year’s featured champagne.

The competition not only underscores the significance of wine and food pairing but also highlights the essential collaboration between sommeliers and chefs in creating unforgettable dining experiences. The finalists, carefully selected through a rigorous competition, all have less than five years of experience as a chef or sommelier, ensuring every team will have an equal chance to win.  

Vlad Crisan (Sommelier) and Amjad (AJ) Shehata (Chef) are representing Ham Yard Hotel and Fallow Restaurant in London. This junior team hails from different restaurants, uniting their skills for a dynamic collaboration.

Matilda Tsappis (Sommelier) and Tom Tsappis (Chef) from Killecrankie House Hotel in Perthshire. Embarking on a career change, these award-winning owners have under 5 years of experience each, infusing their passion into their culinary journey.

Jiachen Lu (Sommelier) and Gail Li (Chef) from Dinings SW3, London. With high ambitions and notable achievements, this junior team is poised to make their mark in the culinary world.

Jordan Sutton (Sommelier) and Megan Montibert (Chef) from L’Enclume, Cumbria. This powerhouse duo from this 3-star Michelin restaurant is set to deliver an exceptional performance.

Rosie Oswin (Sommelier) and Arron Hassan (Chef) from Rebel restaurant in Newcastle. This junior chef and skilled restaurant manager bring their unique expertise to the table, representing a diverse culinary collaboration.

The shortlist for Gosset Matchmaker 2023 is truly impressive, with an equitable mix of five talented male and female participants, not only from London but regions beyond. The line-up also shows a commitment to culinary sustainability with three environmentally conscious restaurants – Rebel, Fallow and L’Enclume, the latter of which proudly bears a Michelin Green Star. 

Matthieu Longuere MS, Wine Director at Le Cordon Bleu London, will be leading an esteemed panel of judges on the day, including Melody Wong, Director of Wine at The Peninsula London; Luciana Berry, Top Chef Brazil winner and a Le Cordon Bleu alumna; Bertrand Verduzier, Global Business Director at Champagne Gosset; and Will Oatley, Managing Director of Louis Latour Agencies. These experts will evaluate the chef’s dishes and wine pairings, considering innovation, teamwork, and their ability to think on their feet.

On top of creating their signature dish with the accompaniment of Gosset Grande Rosé, the finalists must also prepare an impromptu dish with a mystery ingredient, paired with a surprise Gosset Cuvée. This spontaneous challenge aims to highlight their skill in crafting flavours on the fly.

The prize awaiting the winning team is an exclusive, all-expenses-paid trip to Gosset’s cellars in France and the title of Gosset Matchmaker 2023! At the winery, they will join Cellar Master team, Odilon de Varine and Gabrielle Malagu in sampling and blending wines.


Notes for editors:

Past Gosset Matchmaker winners include:

2022: Sommelier Sotir Semini and Chef Julien Deschamps for Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

2021: Sommelier Matthew Davison and Chef Adam Eyre for Fischers Baslow Hall

2020: Sommelier Joshua Castle and Chef Myles Donaldson for Noble Rot

2019: Sommelier Oskars Mickans and Chef Piero Italiano for Heritage 

2018: Sommelier Vanessa Majella Stoltz and Chef Ian Waller for Forest Side

2017: Sommelier Raphael Laurent Chef Ambra Papa for Petersham Nurseries 

2016: Sommelier Elisa Marchini and Chef Riccardo Pozzobon for The Lanesborough

Social media tags: #gossetmatchmakers @louislatouruk @champagnegossetofficiel @lecordonbleulondon @sommelieredit

Gosset Matchmakers is organised by Louis Latour Agencies (Champagne Gosset’s UK agent) in conjunction with Sommelier Edit and Le Cordon Bleu London.

If you wish to attend the final, please let us know.  We have a limited number of places available.

For further press and media information please contact Annie or Kate at Limm Communications T: 01635 202528 M: 07747 617690 E:

Everything you need to know about Champagne Gosset and tips on how to match its wines with food

Entries are now open for this year’s Gosset Matchmakers – the competition where young somms team up with young chefs to create an inspirational food pairing with these top-class champagnes.

If you were thinking of entering, or encouraging one of your colleagues to enter (and you totally should because it’s a lot of fun with great prizes), we thought you might like a few expert tips to get you started.

So we asked cellarmaster, Odilon de Varine, and head of marketing, Thibault de Mailloux, for the killer facts that prospective candidates needed to know about Gosset and its wines – and how this might affect how you go about matching them with food.

1. Gosset is the oldest wine house in champagne

Gosset was founded in 1584 – so for the first 150 years of its existence champagne didn’t even exist! But that heritage is still part of the house’s thinking today.

‘We always speak about making wines first, and then champagne,’ says Thibault. ‘The bubbles are just there to enhance the wine.’

Throughout our conversation, the word ‘vinous’ comes up again and again. It’s a useful key-word to bear in mind when you start to drill down into what’s in the glass.

2. Gosset does not do malolactic fermentation in any of its wines

Acidity is a key part of the character of any champagne. Many houses allow their wines to go through malolactic fermentation – when appley malic acid converts to softer lactic acid.  But not Gosset.

‘The way we try to explain it is that our winemaking approach preserves all the natural freshness and aromas of the grape,’ says Thibault. ‘Lactic acid is not part of the grapes when you harvest the fruit. So we block it for all the wines.’

Odilon also points out that, with climate change, there is probably the same amount of acidity in a non-malo wine now as there would have been in a malo wine 30 years ago.

3. The wines spend a long time on lees

Gosset’s wines spend much longer ageing in bottle than the stipulated minimum for the appellation. In fact, they spend six months on lees even before they are bottled! This extended contact with the dead yeast cells gives a creamy richness, rather than an overt ‘bready’ character, that wraps around the bright wire of the wine’s non-malo acidity.

‘It’s always about balance,’ says Odilon. ‘Balancing acidity, body and roundness.’

4. There’s a lot of subtlety in the wines

It’s important to distinguish between power and weight. ‘We believe our wines are powerful in terms of aroma, which doesn’t mean they are heavy,’ says Thibault. ‘The acidity opens up the palate to be able to appreciate the extreme complexity.’

Odilon, meanwhile, focuses on the nature of the perlage.

‘For us the bubbles are just there to allow the wine to express itself,’ he says. ‘We have very fine, delicate bubbles. We want the wine to be there before the bubbles.

‘The palate-cleansing aspect of our champagne is very important,’ he goes on. ‘It prepares the palate for more flavours. That’s why we work a lot with salinity – and a small bitterness that helps to clean the palate.’

Again, the term ‘vinosity’ seems appropriate.

5. Explore the balance between red and white grapes

Gosset’s Grande Réserve brut is typically evenly split between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (about 45% each) with 10% of Pinot Meunier. But It changes every year. ‘A recipe is the exact opposite of winemaking,’ says Odilon. ‘The grape varieties are tools [to create a consistent style].’

Nonetheless, the more or less equal balance of red and white grapes can make for some interesting opportunities when it comes to matching, allowing you to pull out elements of freshness, aroma or florality from the Chardonnay, or richer more red-fruit elements from the Pinots.

News Release: 2022 Finalists and Judges

GOSSET MATCHMAKERS is a competition, now in its seventh year, in which teams pair their best gastronomic hand with the finest of wines, competing for the coveted title of Gosset Matchmaker of the Year 2022.

The results are in, and the six teams below have made it through to the finals, which will take place at Le Cordon Bleu’s CORD restaurant on 20th September 2022.

Sotir Semini & Julien Deschamps from Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London

Tristan Wright & Jason Ramplin from The Dining Room at Chewton Glen

Max van Sminia & Will Golden from Fenn Restaurant in Fulham, London

Nicholas Sharp & Sean Flatley from Roots, York

Arthur Ng & Murid Laly from Spry Wines, Edinburgh

Daniele Palomba & Stefano Cilia from Zuma, London

At the Gosset Matchmakers Final, the teams will be invited to prepare a dish to perfectly pair and highlight Gosset’s Grande Reserve champagne. Their second task will be to create a dish from a set of ingredients they will be given on the day, and this dish will be expected to match a different champagne, revealed on the day.

Each team must demonstrate their ability to work together and show that they are able to deliver results under pressure.  They will present their dishes and wine pairings to a panel of expert judges, made up of some of the best master sommeliers, chefs and wine industry leaders.  The 2022 judging panel includes Matthieu Longuere MS from Le Cordon Bleu London, Odilon de Varine, Champagne Gosset Cellar Master⁠, Laetizia Keating, Head Chef at The Pem⁠, James Shaw, Head Sommelier at The Pem, and Guy Nightingale, Director at Louis Latour Agencies.

As well as being awarded the coveted title of ‘Gosset Matchmaker 2022’, the winners will visit Champagne Gosset for a money-can’t-buy experience including a blending workshop with cellar-master Odilon de Varine.

Match of the Week by Fiona Beckett

Award-winning food and wine writer Fiona Beckett attended the 2021 final of Gosset Matchmakers. Find out what she discovered and what dish she chose as ‘Match of the Week’.

Not many producers take food and wine pairing as seriously as champagne house Gosset which sponsors an annual ‘Matchmakers’ competition for young sommeliers and chefs which was held at the Cordon Bleu’s Cord restaurant in Fleet Street.


The Buyer | 2021 Winners

Fischer’s at Baslow Hall in Derbyshire won yesterday’s Gosset Matchmakers Final 2021, with its young sommelier and chef team judged to have made the perfect two dishes to match Gosset’s Grande Blanc de Blancs and Grande Reserve. Our drinks editor Peter Dean had a ringside seat to capture the rising tension as five of the UK’s best up-coming teams battled it out to see who had the chops when it came to pairing with Champagne. And who knew that caramelised celeriac was the perfect foil for a Blanc de Blancs?


2020 Finalists

The Fordwich Arms, Kent – Sommelier Elliott Ashton-Konig and sous chef Kieran
The Fat Duck, Berkshire – Sommelier Nikos Emner and chef Dawid Koszykowsk
Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Derbyshire – Sommelier Matthew Davison and chef Alice Hill
L’Enclume, Cumbria – Sommelier Lise Donier-Meroz and chef Kieran McGarrigle