aldosohm.com, April 20th 2011, by Aldo Sohm
…Alexander LaPratt, of New York’s db Bistro Moderne, won the coveted title on Sunday night. It was a close competition. 30 candidates competed for the title of Best Sommelier in America, including my apprentice sommelier at Le Bernardin, Jared Fischer who reached the final four alongside LaPratt, Christopher Bates of the Hotel Fauchere in Milford, Pennsylvania and Michael Meagher of Treasury Wine Estates in Waltham, Massachusetts who were all put through thier paces via rigorous tests and obstacles including: food and wine pairings, a blind spirits tasting, cigar service test, navigating a ‘mock dining room’ as well as a written exam.
It was an honor to judge the awards alongside Andrew Bell, co-founder of ASA, Rajat Parr, wine director of Mina Group and Andre Compeyre, Chief Sommelier of Ardour Alain Ducasse. To add to what was a wonderful and exciting weekend of judging, Le Bernardin was presented with the ASA’s inagural Art of Service Award for embracing the importance of impeccable service and providing the highest-quality dining and wine experience. The award honors an establishment that provides a platform for trained sommeliers to exercise their craft.
Thank you to all at the ASA for a great weekend and evening and congratulations to Alexander!