The 1st Annual StarChefs.com Somm Slam

The 1st Annual StarChefs.com Somm Slam
  • The 1st annual StarChefs.com Somm Slam will give sommeliers, so very polite by profession, the opportunity to grit their grape-stained teeth in a real-time pairing competition. Taking place at the StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress in the historic Park Avenue Armory, the Somm Slam is a multi-day contest putting world class sommeliers head to head to see who creates the best pairings on the fly.

    With a Grand Prize trip to Italy to visit three of the vineyards of the Ruffino Estate Vineyards in Tuscany, we can imagine the competition will be fierce.

    The Somm Slam begins with an online application consisting of questions about work experience, pairing philosophy, and specific wine pairings. Sommeliers will be chosen from among the applicants to come to New York to judge or compete in the competition. Participants will be selected by our committee of non-competing sommeliers and wine experts.

    A different guest chef will cook three courses for each session of the Somm Slam. Sommeliers will not have advance knowledge of the dishes but will know who the chef is. In each session, the competing sommeliers will have 10 minutes to taste the dish and select a wine from the on-site wine "cellar" of pre-selected wines, which will change daily.

    Each Slam will be judged by an audience of approximately 40 sommeliers and wine professionals. Every judge will receive a tasting portion of food and each sommelier's wine selection. They will then submit a ballot that includes their top pick for each course. The votes will be counted and the sommelier with the winning wine selections will move on to the next round. The two sommeliers who make it to the final round will compete to determine who will be the winner of the Somm Slam and the recipient of the Grand Prize.

  • WINNER

    Andrew Myers
    Andrew Myers

    CityZen

    Washington, DC
    Winner - Round Two Winner - Round One
    William Shere
    William Sherer
    Aureole
    Las Vegas, NV
    Andrew Myers
    Andrew Myers

    CityZen

    Washington, DC
  • Competitors

    Andrew Myers
    Andrew Myers

    CityZen

    Washington, DC
    Christopher Bates
    Hotel Fauchere
    Milford, PA
    Alexis Kahn
    Alexis Kahn
    FCI F&B Educator

    New York, NY
    Brent Kroll
    Brent Kroll
    The Oval Room
    Washington, DC
    Alexander LaPratt
    Alexander LaPratt
    DB Bistro Moderne
    New York, NY
    Kate Moore
    Kate Moore
    L’Espalier
    Boston, MA
    Jesse Rodriquez
    Jesse Rodriguez
    Addison
    San Diego, CA
    William Shere
    William Sherer
    Aureole
    Las Vegas, NV
  • StarChefs.com Somm Slam Official Terms & Conditions  
    The Somm Slam is open to wine professionals including sommeliers and beverage directors. StarChefs.com is accepting judging applications until September 10th. Applicants must submit a completed application in order to be considered. Selection will be determined by StarChefs.com and will be based on work experience, pairing philosophy, and examples of specific wine pairings. Those chosen to judge will receive a complimentary pass to all three days of the International Chefs Congress ($500 value). Each judge and competitor will be responsible for any and all travel and lodging expenses.

    The competition will take place on all three days of the Congress:

    Monday, September 20 1:00 - 3:00pm
    Tuesday, September 21 1:00pm-3:00pm
    Wednesday, September 22 11:20am - 1:20pm

    Competitors must be available all three days and will be asked to judge when not competing. Judges should be available all three days. If for any reason this is not possible, please contact Erica@starchefsinc.com.

    During the event, eight competitors will be divided into groups of four to compete on day one and day two. Competitors must choose wines from the available “cellar” to pair with three composed dish. Contestant pairings will be judged by an audience of 30-50 peers who will receive a sample of each dish and wine pairing. Judges will list their feedback on a ballot provided by StarChefs and cast their vote for the most successful pairing. The top competitors from each day will advance to the final, third day of the competition.

    The winner of the contest will receive a trip to Italy to visit the Ruffino Estate Vineyards in Tuscany.