6th Annual StarChefs Somm Slam

6th Annual StarChefs Somm Slam

Only one somm will rise to the top (like a pristine, persistent tiny bubble in a golden glass of sparkling) to become the Champagne of somms at the 6th Annual Somm Slam, Presented by Uptown Network, a real-time, mano-a-mano pairing competition led by the Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer. After decanting the applicants, 10 of the best beverage professionals from across the country will be chosen to compete, all in the grape-soaked swirl of the 10th Annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress.



Meet the Competitors

Jeffrey Barrientos of Weekend Bistro at The Ritz Carlton | Washington, D.C.
Ashley Broshious of Arkenstone Vineyards on Howell Mountain | Napa, CA
Alexander Carlin of Fourth Wall Restaurants | New York, NY
Nicholas Daddona of Boston Harbor Hotel | Boston, MA
Michael Dolinski of Junoon Restaurant | New York, NY
Jordan Egan of The NoMad | New York, NY
Todd Lipman of Bistro Du Midi | Boston, MA
Steven McDonald of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse | Houston, TX
Winn Roberton of Bourbon Steak | Washington, D.C.
Daniel Toral of 50 Eggs | Miami, FL

Day 1

Sharpen your corkscrews! Day 1 kicks off with 10 somms answering rapid-fire questions in front of an all-somm audience and judging panel. After showing off their nerdiest wine knowledge in the most jargon-y wine-speak possible, Chef Evan Hennessey of Stages at One Washington will present a dish to pair. Then the race is on to the wine cellar to make the best selection and return to the audience of peers and judges to sell, sell, sell. The five somms who display the most poise and knowledge in defending their pairing will move on to Day 2.

Day 2

Day 2 gets cut-throat quickly. We’ll see who bleeds wine with a blind tasting that immediately cuts one competitor. The remaining four somms will be grilled on esoteric wine trivia, with only the top three moving on and plunging into two more rounds of pairings—this time the dishes are prepared by Chef Joseph Buenconsejo of NYC’s veggies-only Wassail. The somm with the biggest (wine-soaked) brain, best palate, and that little extra on-the-floor magic will win the day, saboring the 6th Annual Somm Slam title and bragging rights for a year. 


Three finalists will win iPads courtesy of Uptown Network. The grand prize winner will receive an LXGe undercounter glasswasher, courtesy of Hobart.  Additionally, Nespresso will gift the winner a Nespresso machine. 

StarChefs Somm Slam Official Terms & Conditions

The Somm Slam is open to wine professionals including sommeliers and beverage directors. Applicants must submit a completed application to be considered. Selection is determined by StarChefs 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 10th Annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress ($795 value). Each judge and competitor will be responsible for any and all travel and lodging expenses.

The competition will take place on the last two days of the Congress:

Monday, October 26

Tuesday, October 27

Competitors must be available both days and will be asked to judge when not competing.

During the event, 10 competitors will compete on Day 1. The top 5 competitors from Day 1 will advance to Day 2. Judges will be responsible for tasting a sample of the dish and wine pairings chosen by each contestant. Judges will list their feedback on a ballot provided by StarChefs.com, and cast their votes for the most successful pairing.

Presented by



With support from

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