A day in the life of a Head Sommelier07/02/2019
Discover more about the wine cellar at Royal Palm Beachcomber and what a day in the life of a Head Sommelier is truly like as you prepare to embark on a journey of wine and gastronomy with Julien Laugier the Head Sommelier at Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury....
Developing a passion
Julien has always had a passion for food initially wanting to work as a Chef “in my family meals are very important for sharing recipes and spending pleasant moments together. As expected, it always involved nice bottles of wine.” Whilst learning how to cook Julien developed more knowledge for wine “slowly my passion for wine became an obvious choice of career. Since 2002 I have been travelling around the world from my own town in the Luberon to Marseille, Valence, Shanghai, Dubai, the Maldives and now Mauritius. It has been an enriching journey discovering many cultures, lifestyles and wines!”
In September 2017, Julien took on a new challenge as Head Sommelier at the Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury “The property had been without a Sommelier for a few months, so my main target was to reintroduce the concept around food and wine pairing by working closely with the award-winning Chef Michel De Matteis.” Opening a new wine cellar has also been a focus for Julien to create a dedicated space for guests to enjoy an epicurean experience ultimately though his passion is for “sharing knowledge and experience, bilaterally with guests with different countries.”
There is a lot to do on a daily basis as the Head Sommelier including stock taking, discovering new products and making changes to the wine list “I meet with suppliers and do some wine tasting, at lunch service I welcome new guests and find out what their wine preferences are. Then at dinner time I suggest wine based on their preferences or choice of menu.” Working closely with Chef Michel De Matteis, Julien says the most interesting part of his job is when they work together to create food and wine pairing menus “we share, taste and understand the complexity of the wine and dissect his recipes to acknowledge each texture, sensation and perfume.”
Making guests stay extra special
Wine pairing at Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury is a vital part of the fantastic Beachcomber Experience that guests have during their stay. Julien enjoys personal interaction with guests on a daily basis which helps him to understand their preferences even better “I love seeing the guests’ reaction as they experience the match that we have done. It drives me to do it again and even better.” To make guests stays extra special Julien aims to provide infinite possibilities and choices to satisfy our guests, to achieve this he “is constantly on the lookout for new wines and ensuring that we keep a diversified choice of wine with a focus on quality but also matching all budgets.”
The new exciting development at the hotel is the wine cellar – a master piece, illuminated and luxurious made of wood, brass and white granite. Here curious epicureans will find 370 references on display, bottles, magnums, Jeroboam, famous names and discoveries from around the world which is as Julien says, “a new way to express our commitment to wine and gastronomy.” The Sommelier’s Table is the new place to spend precious time with family and friends whilst enjoying “aperitifs, blind tastings or master classes which will be organised throughout the year.”
With extensive knowledge of wine and food parings we asked Julien what his ultimate favourite would be without hesitation he replies “one of the signature dishes of Chef Michel de Matteis – the smoked marlin cigar and coconut heart salad paired with a Stellenbosch Waterkloof Circle of Life Sauvigon Blanc Chenin Blanc 2013.” Which he describes as “ a beautiful marriage between the citrus touch and the perfume of the smoked marlin, as well as the creamy sauce associated with the crisp of the coconut!”
Do you fancy indulging your taste buds with gastronomical delights and exquisite wine paring experiences including the superb wine cellar at Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury? Give our Reservation team a call to start planning your luxury getaway.