Sarah Frankland and Robert Giorgione, pastry chef and sommelier at William Curley, London, have won this year's Wines of Roussillon Dessert Trophy.
The duo beat off three other finalists to gain the title from L'Atelier Joël Robuchon and Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's in London, and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Scotland.
The challenge was to serve a dessert incorporating dried fruit and/or honey paired with a Roussillon Vin Doux Naturel from AOC Banyuls, Maury, Muscat de Rivesaltes, or Rivesaltes.
Frankland, a 2012 Acorn winner, and Giorgione's winning combination comprised apricot, pistachio and chocolate pave paired with Rivesaltes Ambré, Domaine Fontanel 1999.
Giorgione commented: "I wanted to give William Curley a platform for our new VDN list, which is about to launch, and I am dedicating today's win at the UK final of the 2012 Wines of Roussillon Dessert Trophy to my grandfather, who sadly passed away last week."
President of the jury Benoit Blin, executive pastry chef at Raymond Blanc's two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire, added: "2012 saw the highest level of entries yet. The decision came down to which team demonstrated a craftsmanship which would allow a very real chance of winning the European Final. It was a close-run competition, but all factors considered, in the end it came down to one big differentiating factor: which team worked best together, and this was William Curley."
This year's judging panel included Sara Jayne Stanes, chief executive of the Academy of Culinary Arts, Jennifer Docherty, wine buyer at Liberty Wines, food and wine writer Sarah Jane Evans, and Anne Coquelin, pâtissier at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and 2009 Wines of Roussillon Dessert Trophy winner.
By Kerstin Kühn
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