Harpers' Hot 100: Celebrating the most influential people in the on-trade

Welcome to the launch of Harpers’ Hot 100, a new annual feature that looks to identify and celebrate the most influential people in the quality drinks-focused on-trade.

These are the managing directors, chief executives, F&B managers, buyers, sommeliers, independent operators and others who are at the forefront in shaping and driving the drinks scene, using their offer to engage with customers in fresh and innovative ways, and providing inspiration to others in the trade as they do so.

On another note, these are also people that are helping to ensure that the trade makes the most out of any drinking occasion. Not simply through pushing to upsell, but rather by creating a fantastic and appealing offer, and then communicating this through a conversation, with conviction, knowledge and grace.

With just under 125,000 pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels across the UK, employing many thousands more in the drinks-related side of the hospitality trade, inclusion in our Hot 100 is certainly an honour.

Moreover, we believe the on-trade drinks scene has never been more exciting, professional, diverse and innovative. We’d love to be able to list more of you - we know you are playing your part. So here’s hoping that our Hot 100 is inspiration to make it in next year!

 

A word on how we compiled this list

Harpers invited a 100-strong, countrywide judging academy, carefully balanced from across all regions of the UK, to each nominate two people within their designated region and make a further three countrywide choices for inclusion in our Hot 100 list. All that remained for us to do was count the votes, tally the results and compile our Hot 100 on-trade influencers for 2017.

 

 The Hot 100

 

1.

Henry Boyes, wine procurement manager, Mitchells & Butlers, nationwide

As the chap responsible for buying wine across Mitchells & Butlers’ 1,700 outlets, spread across a swathe of differing estates, Henry Boyes exercises formidable buying power, measured in the 35,000 bottles of wine that the company sells in an average day. But it is his dedication to bringing a mix of quality and affordability, putting the customer first and being unafraid to lead, that brings him to the head of this list of influencers.

His decisions as to what to list – and what not to list – affect and influence the drinking habits of a large number of Britons, bringing a mix of less-is-more philosophy coupled with innovation and focus on the drinks to ensure accessibility and enjoyment are to the fore with any given list.

Boyes looks to achieve a balance between capitalising on trends, focusing on the new and providing reliable favourites “to keep it healthy for both the industry and consumers”, resulting in a collection of engaging drinks lists, all exceedingly well pitched for their respective outlets and customers, which clearly has them coming back for more.

 

Henry Boyes, wine procurement manager, Mitchells & Butlers, nationwide

Henry Boyes, wine procurement manager, Mitchells & Butlers, nationwide

 

2.

Des Gunewardena and David Loewi, co-founders, D&D Restaurants, London

In D&D Restaurants, Des Gunewardena and David Loewi (the D and D of the name) have driven forward a standout group of quality-driven, highly individual outlets, including several of the best-known names and iconic venues in London, with Leeds, Paris, New York and Tokyo also playing host to this high-end collection.

On the drinks side, as you’d expect, the D&D teams of sommeliers and front-of-house staff, under group category manager Michael Patterson, are second to none, with many of the finest in the trade working here and often then climbing to great heights.

Collectively the wine and drinks lists are innovative, interesting, ever evolving and highly engaging for the customer – so much so, that a few years ago D&D set up the New Street Wine Shop in London as an off-trade outlet to allow wine lovers to buy from its extensive portfolio. A smart and savvy operation, reflecting the D and D of its name.

 

David Loewi, co-founder, D&D Restaurants, London

David Loewi, co-founder, D&D Restaurants, London

 

Des Gunewardena, co-founder, D&D Restaurants, London

Des Gunewardena, co-founder, D&D Restaurants, London

 

3.

Kane Brooks, beverage manager, ETM Group, London

Under Kane Brooks’ more than capable direction, the ETM group of a dozen London-based gastropubs continues to thrive, pushing ever forward on the quality and interest of the drinks offer, across wines, beers and spirits.

These are seriously high quality boozers, with menus, drinks lists and décor to match, and Brooks has embraced the individuality and quality of each and clearly reflected that in the drinks offer, while ensuring that it is also kept fresh.

Brooks and the wider ETM team continue to show how it should be done and have seriously raised the bar as to what makes a worthy gastropub. With a foothold now in Suffolk and another London opening planned soon, expect to see more of this fine operator in the near future.

 

Kane Brooks, beverage manager, ETM Group, London

Kane Brooks, beverage manager, ETM Group, London

 

4.

Darren Blackburn, head of bar/beverage operations, G1 Group, Scotland

Drafted in from the iconoclastic BrewDog in the summer of 2016, Darren Blackburn now presides over the drinks side of things at G1. Scotland’s largest quality on-trade operator has over 50 venues spread across Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Aberdeen and elsewhere, making him perhaps the most powerful buyer north of the border.

What makes G1 stand out from its many competitors around the UK is the sheer scope and individuality of its various outlets, with bars ranging from the cavernous to the cosy, plus a mix of restaurants, hotels, delis and more, all boasting a well-honed drinks list for the site, putting quality ahead of volume sales.

That’s quite a feat when dealing with a portfolio of this size, and Blackburn and his team manage this task exceedingly well.

 

Darren Blackburn, head of bar/beverage operations, G1 Group, Scotland

Darren Blackburn, head of bar/beverage operations, G1 Group, Scotland

 

5.

Jeremy Roberts, chief executive, Living Ventures Group, nationwide

Despite the sadness surrounding the passing away of co-founder Tim Bacon, Living Ventures has continued with its plans to roll out its various concepts to further corners of the UK, with names such as The Alchemist, Gusto, Artisan, The Botanist, Smugglers Cove and Australasia becoming ever better known across British towns and cities.

With such a broad portfolio, it could be easy to lose focus on the food and drinks offer, but Roberts and his team have continued to ensure that quality is not only maintained, but that the various wine, spirit and beer lists are kept innovative, fresh and dynamic, recognising the importance of over-delivering and engaging the customer.

It’s a well-run operation and much of the credit goes to the man at the helm, not least for allowing his team the freedom to chase quality and encourage that practice across the group.

 

Jeremy Roberts, chief executive, Living Ventures Group, nationwide

Jeremy Roberts, chief executive, Living Ventures Group, nationwide

 

6.

Jillian MacLean, managing director, Drake & Morgan, London

With the acquisition of Corney & Barrow Bars, the Drake & Morgan Group, with the innovative and quality-driven founder Jillian MacLean still at the helm, has become a serious player at the forefront of the quality restaurant and bar scene with a well-honed collective drinks offer covering all the bases from cool cocktails to fine wine, plus all points between.

The group has also been expanding its influence beyond London, with 2016 seeing the openings of The Refinery in Edinburgh and Manchester, plus The Commission in Heathrow’s T4, along with The Pagination in London. More openings are planned for this year, bringing a further roll-out of the D&M trademark mix of local and seasonally rooted cooking with an interesting mix of carefully sourced wine and drinks to match.

 

Jillian MacLean, managing director, Drake & Morgan, London

Jillian MacLean, managing director, Drake & Morgan, London

 

 7.

Gerard Basset MW MS OBE, proprietor, Hotel TerraVina, Hampshire

As the illustrious string of initials after his name suggests, Monsieur Basset has spent his life immersed in wine and remains peerless among sommeliers for the influence he has wielded and respect that he still brings to the profession.

As the one-time “nose” and business partner that helped set up Hotel du Vin, Basset continues to inspire and spread the gospel of good wine service to the UK trade and beyond from the impeccably tasteful wine oasis that is Hotel TerraVina in Hampshire. This he set up with his wife Nina as an expression of all that they liked about hotels, food and wine.

 

Gerard Basset MW MS OBE, proprietor, Hotel TerraVina, Hampshire

Gerard Basset MW MS OBE, proprietor, Hotel TerraVina, Hampshire

 

8.

Simon Bardsley, director of procurement, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin group, nationwide

Presiding over the purchasing for 15 Malmaisons and 16 Hotel du Vins since 2014, Bardsley has taken up the baton at two of the most prominent and tastefully influential boutique hotel groups in the UK, charged with keeping food and drink standards high. As such, he follows in the footsteps of some top names in this list, and has done so with aplomb, ensuring that his team continues to offer an exemplary mix of eating, drinking and rooms across Britain’s most happening cities. It’s a testimony to the management behind both of these quality brands that they remain a fertile nursery for sommeliers, drinks buyers and F&B managers, who pepper the wider industry, raising the standard for all.

 

Simon Bardsley, director of procurement, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin group, nationwide

Simon Bardsley, director of procurement, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin group, nationwide

 

9.

Charlie Young and Brett Woonton, co-owners, Vinoteca, London

With five London sites now under the Vinoteca banner, Charlie Young and Brett Woonton’s seminal wine bar–shop hybrid continues to grow its appeal with a fantastic blend of often sublime and frequently off-piste wines, together with a memorably moreish, evolving menu with more than a flavour of Italy and Spain.

The concept remains simple – an ever-changing selection of 25 wines are offered by the glass, drawn from a list of 285 wines that is refreshed twice a year, aiming to show the best of the myriad styles and varieties available around the world.

Copied but never bettered, Vinoteca’s reputation is firmly rooted in Young and Woonton’s unwavering quest for quality, coupled with an easy-going, relaxed ethos that continues to set the bar for any wine oasis with food.

 

Brett Woonton, co-owner, Vinoteca, London

Brett Woonton, co-owner, Vinoteca, London

 

Charlie Young, co-owner, Vinoteca, London

Charlie Young, co-owner, Vinoteca, London

 

10.

Ronan Sayburn MS, head of wine, 67 Pall Mall, London

As a central driving force behind 67 Pall Mall, “a private members’ club like no other, founded by wine lovers for wine lovers”, down-to-earth Yorkshireman Ronan Sayburn has created a calm and unrivalled oasis of vino-worship in the heart of St James’s.

Sayburn, who rose to prominence as head sommelier at Gordon Ramsay’s three-star Royal Hospital Road flagship, going on to buy for the growing Ramsay group before becoming director of wines and spirits at Hotel du Vin, then head of wines at the Dorchester Collection, has also set up his own training and consultancy business, the RS Wine Academy. This modest powerhouse of the on-trade wine world somehow also finds time to be chief operations officer at the Court of Master Sommeliers Europe.

 

Ronan Sayburn MS, head of wine, 67 Pall Mall, London

Ronan Sayburn MS, head of wine, 67 Pall Mall, London

 

11.

Paul Jenkins, purchasing director, Caprice Holdings and Birley Clubs, London

Former chef turned gamekeeper, Paul Jenkins has, in his 15 years on the buying side of the hospitality industry, presided over the F&B success of D&D Restaurants’ quality eateries, before recently joining the impressive collection of restaurants, bars and members’ clubs that make up Caprice Holdings’ high-rolling London empire.

Jenkins’ commitment to running a well-trimmed ship, working closely with the head sommelier and buying teams, while never cutting corners on quality, has shown him to one of the best in the business.

 

12.

Laure Patry, executive head sommelier, The Social Company, London

Laure Patry is a familiar and well-respected face on the London restaurant scene, having worked with Jason Atherton for a decade, rising from head sommelier at Maze to her current role overseeing the drinks across the Social group, where her lists are among the best in the business. One of the most respected somms at work in the UK.

 

Laure Patry, executive head sommelier, The Social Company, London

Laure Patry, executive head sommelier, The Social Company, London

 

13.

Ryan Chetiyawardana, owner, White Lyan, London

“That most studious of bartending gentlemen”, opens his website, giving lie to the character behind some of the most innovative, inventive and thoughtful cocktails ever witnessed – or consumed. Ryan Chet (aka Mr Lyan) is a master of creativity, bringing his Saint Martins fine arts degree background to bear on the cutting edge of the world of drinks.

 

Ryan Chetiyawardana, owner, White Lyan, London

Ryan Chetiyawardana, owner, White Lyan, London

 

14.

Mark Andrew and 
Dan Keeling, founders, Noble Rot, London

The collaboration of passionate ex-Robersons merchant Andrews and ex-music-industry-bod-turned-wine-writer Keeling has sent ripples through the trade. Their launch of Noble Rot magazine showed that people are still hungry for an irreverent and in-depth mix of wine and culture, while the 2015 opening of the award-winning Noble Rot wine bar proved one of the most exciting additions to the dining winescape in years.

 

15.

Hamish Anderson, 
wine buyer, Tate restaurants, nationwide

Responsible for the drinks lists across the Tate group of galleries, Hamish Anderson has an enviable role, mixing up cutting-edge art with contemporary and fine dining, pairing it all off against the many drinks lists that he oversees. With a great palate and a ready eye for interesting wines and craft beers, this is a buyer that reaches the thinking classes of the 
UK and beyond.

 

Hamish Anderson, ?wine buyer, Tate restaurants, nationwide

Hamish Anderson, wine buyer, Tate restaurants, nationwide

 

16.

Nigel Platts-Martin, restaurateur, The Square, The Ledbury, Chez Bruce, La Trompette and The Glasshouse, London

Nigel Platts-Martin and his collection of exemplary restaurants may have been on the scene for a good many years, but they continue to provide 
a benchmark against which others 
in the Capital must aspire. Great 
wine lists, offering quality, value 
and excitement, serve as the garnish to similarly sublime food across 
his restaurants, which continue to attract and retain many of the best front-of-house staff and sommeliers in the business.

 

17.

Martin Williams, founder, M Restaurants, London

Ex-Gaucho managing director 
Martin Williams wowed the wine 
and restaurant world with his quality and attention to detail when he opened his M Restaurants in Victoria and the City, combining glamorous and slickly run operations with fantastic wine retail areas that front the entrances to the eateries. Currently rolling out new, more casual outlets in farther-flung neighbourhoods under the 
M Social banner, his influence 
and reach continues to grow.

 

M Restaurants' Martin Williams

Martin Williams, founder, M Restaurants, London

 

18.

Terry Kandylis, 
head sommelier, 
67 Pall Mall, London

Greek-born Terry Kandylis worked as a chef du rang at the Fat Duck before the wine bug truly bit, leading him down a path to sommelier-dom. This took him to The Ledbury, where he won the coveted Moët UK sommelier of the year 2016, before joining 67 Pall Mall as head sommelier, where his knowledge and passion are experienced by some of the most dedicated wine lovers in the UK.

 

Terry Kandylis, ?head sommelier, ?67 Pall Mall, London

Terry Kandylis, head sommelier, 67 Pall Mall, London

 

19.

Chris Hill, chief executive, New World Trading Company, nationwide

Hived off from Living Ventures, the New World Trading Company, under the stewardship of Chris Hill, continues to go from strength to strength, rolling out its quality-focused brands such as The Botanist and the Trading House around the 
UK. This is a group that continues 
to seriously raise the bar for quality drinks in provincial towns and cities.

 

20.

Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale, drinks industry consultants

As the slick and frequently awarded team behind Artesian, Alex Kratena and Simon Caporale became synonymous with the effortlessly stylish atmosphere and drinks offer that infused their bar. Setting themselves free, the pair have now created a new “multidisciplinary collective that will seek to re-imagine what drinks and bars can be”. Watch this space!

 

21.

Charlotte and Michael Sager-Wilde, Sager + Wilde, London

The original hipster wine couple remain at the forefront of the modish wine scene. Mixing it up with a simple but hard-to-follow offer of great, individually chosen, quality vino, alongside complementary bites. In an unpretentious East End fashion, they have delighted and inspired a host of new-generation wine drinkers via their inimitable wine bar and nearby restaurant.

 

22.

Tony Conigliaro, consultant and creative, 
Drink Factory, London 

Renowned mixologist Tony Conigliaro continues to help shape the cocktail world, with new bar Untitled joining his roster of cool and cutting-edge outlets such as 69 Colebrooke Row and Bar Termini, plus the Drinks Factory project, where R&D has been taken to new levels. Via the latter, Conigliaro also consults to the likes of Zetter and Heston Blumenthal.

 

Tony Conigliaro, owner, ?Drink Factory, London

Tony Conigliaro, consultant, Drink Factory, London

 

23.

Christine Parkinson, group head of wine, Hakkasan Group, London and international

Christine Parkinson not only has a fantastic palate, but the buying acumen and team leadership skills that have ensured the now global Hakkasan Group has maintained and driven an exemplary offer across its entire drinks portfolio, from sublime cocktails to fantastic and eclectic wines. A true inspiration in the restaurant world.

 

Christine Parkinson, group head of wine, Hakkasan Group, London and international

Christine Parkinson, group head of wine, Hakkasan Group, London and international

 

24.

Will Beckett and Huw Gott, founders, Hawksmoor, London and Manchester

From the opening of their first steakhouse and cocktail bar in Spitalfields, close to Hawksmoor’s beguiling Christ Church, it was clear that these characters meant business, and that business was quality in all they do. With a fifth site now in Manchester and more openings beyond the capital likely, steak, chips and wine has been elevated to a sophisticated affair wholly in keeping with pared-back modern dining trends.

 

25.

Craig Bancroft, managing director, Northcote Group, Lancashire

Craig Bancroft, along with business partner and chef Nigel Haworth, 
have long created an oasis of quality at Lancashire’s Michelin-starred Northcote Manor, along with its growing offshoot of gastronomically focused Ribble Valley Inns. But it is 
the drinks side where Bancroft 
has been a huge influence, as 
the wine lists and roll-call of top sommeliers that have worked 
with him testifies.

 

26.

Richard Bigg, founder, Camino Group, London

From early Shoreditch bar operator 
to champion of Spanish food and wines via his Camino Group, including a dedicated sherry bar and Cava bar, Richard Bigg has done more than anyone to raise the awareness and passion for the fabulous drinks of Spain.

 

27.

Phil Crozier, director of wines, Gaucho Restaurants and Cau, London and nationwide

Phil Crozier is another that has taken the best of one country and run with it, creating at Gaucho an unbelievable Argentinian wine list, tirelessly championing the best the country has to offer and, increasingly, being involved in making his own wine.

 

28.

Doug Wregg, partner, Terroirs & Soif, London

Doug Wregg may be an importer and supplier by day (at Les Caves de Pyrene), but his influence over the UK wine scene, and especially the natural wine movement, has been immense. Terroirs was the seminal natural wine bar, and is still among the best, and Wregg is also the driving force behind The Real Wine Fair, all of which has helped to change the way we think about wine today.

 

Doug Wregg, partner, Terroirs & Soif, London

Doug Wregg, partner, Terroirs & Soif, London

 

29.

Martin Hayes, managing director, Craft Beer Co, London and Brighton

Even people living on the moon would have noticed the explosion in craft beers over the past decade, but Martin Hayes, with his expanding collection of Craft Beer Co pubs, was early on the scene, and has done much to dispel its hipster image and take great craft products to the mainstream.

 

30.

Nathan Lee, owner, Hyde and Co, Milk Thistle, The Ox and Pata Negra, Bristol

This Bristol bar entrepreneur has been at 
the forefront of transforming the drinking 
and eating landscape of the city, with the coolest of cocktail bars to more recent additions including the food-focused Pata Negra, where the exciting side of wines from 
Spain have a starring role.

 

31.

Chris Eigelaar, group director for food and beverages, QHotels, nationwide

With 26 individual four-star hotels across the UK, the energetic Eigelaar makes the most of his role to deliver a fantastic mix of seasonally and often locally focused food, along with a well-honed drinks and wine list that really delivers the goods.

 

32.

Lee Cash, co-founder, Peach Pubs, nationwide

Dubbed “Mr Gastropub”, Lee Cash took early experiences with Raymond Blanc and Robin Sheppard and applied the same conviction and dedication to food and drink to the pub world. The result is a group of market town-based food-led pubs that excel in showing the best of both in a laid-back way.

 

33.

Simon Potts, managing director, The Alchemist, Manchester

Living Venture Group’s The Alchemist has, under the direction of Simon Potts, spread its mix of molecular cocktail malarkey and smart wholesome nosh across the country, from its northern stronghold to reach London. A class act.

 

34.

Roger Jones, chef-proprietor, The Harrow Inn at Little Bedwyn, Wiltshire

The wine chef bar none, Roger Jones has turned his passion for wine into a headline act, bringing great cooking and a deep knowledge of the wines of South Africa, Australia and elsewhere to the table, doing much for the profile of New World wine and food compatibility.

 

35.

Jason Scott and Mike Aikman, owners, Bramble and Lucky Liquor Co, Edinburgh

Descending into the unmarked basement that is Bramble is one of the highlights of Edinburgh and this seminal underground cocktail venue has lost none of its ability to charm and please. It’s the calibre of the mixologists and total dedication to the little details that keeps this gem at the forefront of the drinks world.

 

Jason Scott and Mike Aikman, owners, Bramble and Lucky Liquor Co, Edinburgh

Jason Scott and Mike Aikman, owners, Bramble and Lucky Liquor Co, Edinburgh

 

36.

Xavier Rousset MS, Blandford Comptoir, Cabotte and Greenwich Kitchen, London

When Xavier Rousset moved on from 28º–50º, where he created a mouth-watering list of sparkling and still wines in a wholly contemporary wine bar environment, few doubted that he would go on to new heights. His growing collection of restaurants continue to impress and we expect 
more to come.

 

Xavier Rousset MS, Blandford Comptoir, Cabotte and Greenwich Kitchen, London

Xavier Rousset MS, Blandford Comptoir, Cabotte and Greenwich Kitchen, London

 

37.

Mark Sainsbury, co-owner, Grain Store and Zetter Group, London

From his early days as a co-founder of Moro, Mark Sainsbury, who in partnership with Michael Benyan went on to create the boutique hotel experiences that are the Zetter Group and Grain Store restaurant, continues to gauge the hospitality pulse just right and dish it up with exemplary food and drinks.

 

38.

Zack Charilaou, wine director, 
M Restaurants, London

Overseeing drinks at Martin Williams’ growing M mini-empire is head sommelier and buyer Zack Charilaou, whose knowledge and enthusiasm propel his dedication to passing that on through his ever-imaginative, holistic approach to wine in the restaurant world.

 

39.

José Pizarro, chef-proprietor, José Tapas Bar, Pizarro and José Pizarro Broadgate, London

Another chef that has championed wine, bringing the very best of Spain’s far-flung and diverse regions 
to meet his fantastic food, 
all done in an inspiring, accessible and unpretentious way. This is how food and wine should be done.

 

40.

Jake Burger, owner, Ginstitute, Portobello 
Star, Jake’s Bar

From his early induction at the age of 18 into the bartending world, by way of The Townhouse, to creating legends including Jake’s Bar and Portobello Star, and more recently expanding with The Ginstitute and The Still Room, Jake Burger has been a force behind the booming bar world.

 

Jake Burger, owner, Ginstitute, Portobello ?Star, Jake’s Bar

Jake Burger, owner, Ginstitute, Portobello Star, Jake’s Bar

 

41.

Becca Goodall, wine buyer, Hawksmoor, London

Hawksmoor’s Becca Goodall is part of the younger generation of passionate, knowledgeable and down-to-earth wine people that are bringing change in the way wine is bought, sold and communicated.

 

42.

Steve Locke, co-founder, 
Be At One, nationwide

Be At One, with its focus on great training programmes for its bar staff combined with the offering of 150 different cocktails at each of its 30-plus outlets has, with Steve Locke at the helm, consistently raised the game across the rapidly expanding company.

 

43.

Clement Robert MS, group head sommelier and wine buyer, 28º–50º, London

Stepping into the shoes of Xavier Rousset MS may have daunted a lesser sommelier, but Clement 
Robert MS has brought his mix of personal passion and professionally unbiased buying to bear at 28º–50º 
to great effect, keeping standards impeccably high.

 

44.

George Bergier, wine buyer and head sommelier, The Victorian Chop House Company, Leeds and Manchester

A consummate professional and gentleman to boot, George Bergier, has spent the past 10 years of his 
45 years in the hospitality business at The Victorian Chop House Company, where his name has become synonymous with high standards, dished up with humour and charm.

 

George Bergier, wine buyer and head sommelier, The Victorian Chop House Company, Leeds and Manchester

George Bergier, wine buyer and head sommelier, The Victorian Chop House Company, Leeds and Manchester

 

45.

Andrew McKenzie, managing director, The Vineyard at Stockcross, Berkshire

The calibre of the operation that Andrew McKenzie runs at The Vineyard at Stockcross provides 
the perfect backdrop against which The Vineyard’s multiple award-winning California wine list, presided over by director of wine James Hocking, can shine.

 

46.

Stuart McCluskey, owner, Bon Vivant and Devil’s Advocate, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s Bon Vivant unerringly delivers on its name, mixing up a fine menu of cocktails, whisky and wine with eclectic, locally sourced dishes, to the pleasure of the city’s lucky inhabitants and visitors.

 

47.

Gearoid Devaney MS, director, Flint Wines; owner and director, Cabotte, London

As an Irish-born Master Sommelier and self-confessed Burgundy-phile, Gearoid Devaney MS has morphed from sommelier to specialist importer to restaurateur and remains one of the most respected faces in the business today.

 

Gearoid Devaney MS, director, Flint Wines; owner and director, Cabotte, London

Gearoid Devaney MS, director, Flint Wines; owner and director, Cabotte, London

 

48.

Guillem Kerambrun, group head sommelier and wine buyer, Caprice Holdings and Birley Clubs, London

Following a long stint at Alain Ducasse, where he rose to be head wine buyer in New York City, Guillem Kerambrun has recently returned to Europe to oversee the myriad lists 
at Caprice Holdings and the Birley Clubs. NYC’s loss is London’s gain.

 

49.

Marty Grant, owner, Corkage, Bath

 

Corkage is pretty close to the perfect wine bar – intimate, slightly chaotic, crammed with fantastic bottles of great wines and intriguing finds, and fully reflecting the boundless enthusiasm of owner Marty Grant, who joyfully dishes out the pleasure.

 

50.

Neil Bruce, head of wine, Fuller’s, London

One of the most level-headed and pragmatic buyers in the wine business, Neil Bruce has injected a new verve and energy into the lists of Fuller’s 400-odd pubs, building on the good work done by his predecessor Mark Dally.

 

51.

Eddie and Sam Hart, co-founders, Hart Brothers Group, London

Originally known for high-end Spanish restaurants Fino and Barrafina, the Hart Brothers Group continues to wield much influence on the wining and dining scene, with the impeccably revamped Quo Vadis, Hambleton Hall, Hart’s Nottingham and Barrafina in their portfolio.

 

52.

Matthieu Longuere MS, wine development manager, Le Cordon Bleu, London

Stints at Lucknam Park, Hotel du Vin and La Trompette – where the superb list drew people from far afield – 
have supported Matthieu Longuere’s reputation as one of the best sommeliers in the business; skills 
he is now bringing to education.

 

53.

Isa Bal MS, head sommelier, 
The Fat Duck, Berkshire

Having learned his craft under luminaries such as Gerard Basset OBE, Turkish-born 
Isa Bal has been with Heston for over a decade, where he has delivered an outstanding and inspirational liquid counterpart to the cooking.

 

Isa Bal MS, head sommelier, ?The Fat Duck, Berkshire

Isa Bal MS, head sommelier, The Fat Duck, Berkshire

 

54.

Lyndon Higginson, founder and director, B.Eat Street, 
Cane & Grain, Crazy Pedro’s, Junkyard Golf Club, The Liars Club, Science & Industry

The list of bars says it all about this tireless and ever-imaginative bar operator. Lyndon Higginson remains at the top of his game and an inspiration for many in the bar world.

 

55.

Christopher Cooper, consultant, Drinkonomics

Outspoken, off-piste but talking a lot of sense, Christopher Cooper is at the forefront of a new breed of drinks consultants that are shaking up the way we look at and present the liquid offer, inspiring groups like Living Ventures to employ his services.

 

56.

Stephen Nisbet, 
head sommelier, 
The Square, London

Stephen Nisbet’s rise as a sommelier has taken him from The Balmoral Hotel and The Fat Duck, by way of Ulaanbaatar, to The Square, where his professional approach continues to uphold the impeccable reputation 
of this great London restaurant.

 

57.

Christopher Delalonde MS, wine director, Bleeding Heart Group, London

It’s great to see the experienced Christopher Delalonde taking in hand the list and buying at one of the trade’s favoured water holes, the Bleeding Heart restaurant and its sibling bistro and tavern, which we expect to rise to new heights.

 

58.

Philippe Nublat, food 
and beverage director, 
The Kitchin, Edinburgh

Chef Tom Kitchin’s nature-to-plate philosophy has put his restaurant at the forefront of modern British (and Scottish) gastronomy, and Philippe Nublat’s mastery of the drinks offer reflects that perfectly.

 

59.

Martin Lam, food, wine 
and restaurant consultant

Formerly as chef-proprietor of Ransome’s Dock in London, and more recently as a roving consultant on food and wine, advising companies such as Zetter, Lam is the most wine-intelligent and knowledgeable chef in the UK.

 

Martin Lam, food, wine ?and restaurant consultant

Martin Lam, food, wine and restaurant consultant

 

60.

Sean Jarvis, purchasing manager drinks, St Austell Brewery, Cornwall

With 180 pubs, inns and hotels to its name, dotted around the West Country, not to mention a wide wholesale reach through the south west, Saint Austell’s Sean Jarvis’ buying has a big impact on the region.

 

61.

Peter Horton, general manager, China Tang at The Dorchester, London

With an experienced background that spans places as diverse as Smiths of Smithfield and London Capital Club, Peter Horton brings a mix of pure professionalism and subtle charm to his Dorchester domain at China Tang.

 

Peter Horton, general manager, China Tang at The Dorchester, London

Peter Horton, general manager, China Tang at The Dorchester, London

 

62.

Jarryd James, restaurant manager, Riverstation, Bristol

Describing himself as “a lover of travel, dry Riesling and Parmesan” 
on his “Mr Albariño” Twitter account, Jarryd spreads his passion for wine and food far and wide from his 
Bristol base.

 

63.

Mark Dorber, co-owner, 
The Anchor, Walberswick

As a drinks beacon for other publicans, Mark Dorber has few peers, being co-founder of educational establishment The Beer Academy, while also picking up awards for his attention to the wine list along the way.

 

64.

Kate Hawkings, consultant Bellita and Bell’s Diner, Bristol

Restaurateur and wine consultant Kate Hawkings has long had a positive influence on Bristol’s ever-burgeoning restaurant scene, being behind the eclectic and moreish lists at Bell’s and Bellita.

 

Kate Hawkings, consultant Bellita and Bell’s Diner, Bristol

Kate Hawkings, consultant Bellita and Bell’s Diner, Bristol

 

65.

Virgilio Gennaro, wine development director, Giorgio Locatelli, London

Sicilian Virgilio Gennaro has fashioned an outstanding Italian list, sweeping through the big-hitting names, but also delving deep into the eclectic and intriguing corners of The Boot, delivering an award-winning showcase of the best of Italy.

 

66.

Pedro Paulo, lobby bar and lounge manager, One Aldwych, London

Pedro Paulo began bartending at the age of 16 in his native Portugal, before moving to London, and polished his hosting and notable cocktails skills at several leading 
bars and clubs, fast rising to his current position.

 

67.

Jo Radford, director, Timberyard, Edinburgh

By focusing on natural wines from small producers across Europe, along with smaller-batch spirits and craft beers, reflecting the foraged and artisanal sourcing of Timberyard’s food, Jo Radford and his family have created an exemplary drinks offer, fully embracing and at the forefront of modern dining trends.

 

68.

Seamus Sharkey, head sommelier, The Ledbury, London

From his first foray into restaurant work aged 19, Seamus Sharkey fast developed a passion for the drinks world that drove him to become head somm at Restaurant Story aged just 24. Now firmly ensconced at Brett Graham’s The Ledbury, he remains a serious rising star.

 

Seamus Sharkey, head sommelier, The Ledbury, London

Seamus Sharkey, head sommelier, The Ledbury, London

 

69.

James Picton, manager, Norte by Grupo Bilbao Berria, London

Having successfully repositioned Norte by Grupo Bilbao Berria to reflect the quality and passion of cooking in northern Spain, ex-La Tasca operations director James Picton has delivered an exemplary drinks offer to match, while also launching Enrique Tomas, retailing Iberian hams in the UK.

 

70.

Arnaud Goubet, director of wine, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Oxfordshire

A pillar of the wine establishment yet down to earth and charming in his delivery of quite immense knowledge and experience, Arnaud Goubet leads his team at Le Manoir with aplomb.

 

71.

Simon Broad and Sam Devaney, co-owners, Ten Green Bottles, Brighton

It seems incredible that a decade has passed since Simon Broad and Sam Devaney opened the doors to their hybrid wine bar-come-retail space, but Ten Green Bottles still shines as an example of how it should be done.

 

72.

Andrea Briccarello, head sommelier, Galvin la Chapelle, London

A familiar face on the London tasting scene, Piedmont-raised Andrea Briccarello has one the best palates in the business, bringing his experience and insight to bear both at the table and while judging wines.

 

Andrea Briccarello, head sommelier, Galvin la Chapelle, London

Andrea Briccarello, head sommelier, Galvin la Chapelle, London

 

73.

Jan Konetzki, Independent Sommelier

German-born Jan Konetzki successfully headed up the buying at Gordon Ramsay Restaurants for several years before heading off to set up his Independent Sommelier, offering a range of services from consultancy to managing bespoke private cellars.

 

74.

Laurent Richet MS, head sommelier, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

The ever-cheerful Laurent Richet is the inspiration behind the drinks list at the eponymous Restaurant Sat Bains, where the innovative list and ever-dynamic pairing suggestions are an inspiration, perfectly complementing chef’s food.

 

Laurent Richet MS, head sommelier, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

Laurent Richet MS, head sommelier, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

 

75.

Louise and Sarah Hawkins, co-owners, The Library, Bristol

When sisters Louise and Sarah Hawkins decided to change course and open a wine bar, they poured in passion and a fresh vision, delivering this popular customer-focused oasis on Bristol’s increasingly happening Gloucester Road.

  

 

76-100

76 Rupert Clevely, managing director, Geronimo Inns, London

77 Stephen Finch, managing director, Vagabond Wines, London

78 Aidan Bowie, senior bartender, Dandelyan, London

79 Jonathan Kleeman, head sommelier, Social Eating Group, London

80 John Power, buyer, Prestonfield House, Edinburgh

81 Ged Feltham, founder and owner, The Distillery, London

82 Olivier Marie, head sommelier, Coq d’Argent, London

83 Lionel Periner, head sommelier, Adam’s, Birmingham

84 Jade Koch, consultant

85 Alan Holmes, restaurant manager and sommelier, Kings Head, Cirencenster

86 Steven Auld, Stravaigin, Glasgow

87 James Kemp, Finnieston, Glasgow

88 Marianna Toro, head sommelier, Petrus, London

89 Owen Morgan, Bar 44 group, Wales

90 Debbie Smith, consultant sommelier, Scotland

91 Peter Creed, drinks buyer, Lucky Onion, Gloucestershire

92 Trevor Gulliver, co-owner, St Johns, London

93 Paul Morgan and Sam Pryor, chef-proprietors, Fourth & Church, Brighton

94 Gareth Ferreira, 67 Pall Mall, London

95 Sara Bachiorri, head sommelier, Chez Bruce, London

96 Omar Allibhoy, Tapas Revolution, nationwide

97 Neleen Strauss, manager, High Timber, London

98 James Ramsden, co-owner, Pidgin, London

99 Andrew Edmunds, owner, Andrew Edmunds, London

100 Alessandro Palazzi, Dukes Bar, London

 

 

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • N 56: Stephen Nisbet never been an MS.....
    2nd The square doesnt belong to Nigel but been bought by the MARC group (Greenhouse **, UMU **....)
    have a nice day

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