Loic Avril was destined to work with wine, considering he grew up in one of France’s most historic wine regions, and sharing of great wine and food was always important to his family. His love of hospitality and restaurants came very early, from the age of ten in fact, and he was determined to follow a path in fine dining. After gaining experience in restaurants in the Loire Valley and northern England, he joined the team at The Fat Duck – at one point considered the best restaurant in the world – and soon received significant attention when he was named the global best young sommelier. When the restaurant relocated to Melbourne for six months he relocated, and decided to stay and run the wine program when it transitioned to Dinner by Heston.
The 2016 Sommeliers Australia Ball was held recently, and I thought it might be fun to take my recording gear along and chat with a few sommeliers working in Melbourne. The first sommelier I spoke to was Kara Maisano from Masani Restaurant, the second was Tom Beattie who works at Dinner by Heston, and the third was Kayleen Reynolds, who not only works at CIty Wine Shop, but was also named the co-dux of the Sommeliers Scholarship. I asked them about how they got into wine and hospitality, their influences, and the challenges and rewards of being a somm.
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