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Throughout my career as a sommelier, I have received many awards, achieved many “firsts” and reached countless personal goals. I live by the motto ‘there is no such thing as problems, only challenges’ and believe this unique perception of life has gotten me where I am today.

  • 2023  > Eat Out Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 2018  > Eat Out award for Outstanding Contribution to Service

  • 1994  > Certificate for Distillation from the Brandy Association of South Africa

  • 1993  > Diploma from the Cape Wine Academy level (Level 2) 

  • 1983  > Semi-finalist at the 1983 Sommelier World Championship


Being a senior wine/spirit taster has provided me many opportunities. Amongst others, I have been invited to do tastings at many prestigious (and in some instances a once in a lifetime) establishments and events.

  • 1980  > Chevalier du Trou Normand (Approved judge for Calvados Brandy which is considered to be a distinction in 
    Normandy for being associated with Calvados Brandy)

  • 1981  >  Judged the Tastevinage Clos Vougeot in 1981, 1982 and 1983

  • 1994  >  Judged the Veritas Award

  • 1994  > I have been a senior judge at the Distell Challenge for the Young Sommelier Competition since it first started in 2014,
                 I was unable to judge in 2019 because I was working for competitive company that year, and in 2020 I judged the
                 pairing only and not for the service

  • 2015  >  Judge on food for the thrid-year students at the University of Pretoria in 2015, 2016 and 2017

  • 2016  > Judged at Michelangelo, Johannesburg on 4 occasions in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Because of the Covid19
                pandemic, all events were cancelled in 2020. In 2016, I represented France and since then I have represented
                South Africa

  • 2016  > Personally coached the South African team for the blind tasting competition at the World Championship

  • Judged 14 of the 17 Classic Trophy competitions (this competition is based on showing the ageing potential of a wine)

  • 2023  > My protege, Tapiwa Jamu at Ivory Manor Boutique Hotel, finished 3rd at the National South African
                 Sommelier Competition
                 Nadia Tshuma, another one of my protege at Ivory Manor Boutique Hotel, was awarded best wine study student 
                 of 2023 with 98% rate at the Heineken Hotel Challenge

I am proud to say that I have been a part of many "first" in my life, an achievement that not many other sommeliers, chefs and specialist can say they have done themselves.

  • Amongst other, I created the first food and wine pairing evening where people could taste different wines on offer paired with a single dish

  • 1982  > First Swiss wine tasting in Paris

  • 1983  > Created the first Swiss Sommelier Association

  • 1986  > Officially the first qualified sommelier to work in South Africa at Benny Goldberg superstore in Kew, Johannesburg.

  • I was the first certified Sommelier working in the French-speaking part of Switzerland

  • 1985  > Created the first wine list competition in South Africa (that is one year before Diners Club and Peter Devereux took the

  •              concept and created their own national competitions)

  • 1985  > Started the first Music, Food & Wine evenings in Pretoria in 1985 and 1986

  • 1986  > Created the first wine show in Pretoria supported by Pretoria News

  • 1989  > Created the biggest Bordeaux tasting in South Africa

  • 1991  > Created the first independent vintage wine auction in Pretoria

  • 1995  > The first mineral water tasting in South Africa, and only the third in the world

  • 2000  > Created the first official National Cheese Festival which welcomed 5 000 people in the first year which resulted in
                 cheese selections tripling shelf space in stores

  • 2005  > The first public salt tasting in the world open which also resulted in salt selections tripling shelf space in stores

  • 2006  > The first soya sauce tasting in South Africa

  • 2009  > I created the Cape Sommelier Course for the Cape Wine Academy

  • 2014  > The first peppercorn tasting in South Africa

  • 2015  > The first oyster tasting in South Africa

  • 2019  > Created the first food and wine pairing in a public bottle store at Makro Silver Lakes, Pretoria

  • 2021  > South Africa's first public honey tasting 


Eat Out John Psilles Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service

Eat Out Lanice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award

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