Noemie Favrat, head sommelier Le Comptoir Robuchon, London, talks about what’s new this season: Champagne, Swiss wine, the Savoie and black cod.
Being head sommelier at the a Robuchon restaurant, perhaps one of the world’s most famous Michelin-starred names, has its responsibilities. Noemi Favrat has the aplomb to not let it phase her.
Starting her career as a commis sommelier at Epicure, within the legendary Le Bristol Hotel, Paris, means that she learnt from the very best. The “classic sequence of service, mise en place with white gloves, taking an order properly, the skill of introducing and serving from a champagne trolley gave me precision, commitment, team spirit and modesty,” explains Favrat. “This experience helped me to adapt to any style of service and my Head Sommelier at the time, Marco Pelletier, always taught me to push my limits and to never stop.”
She reveals that what she loves most about service is very simple; to make people happy. “I love to give them memorable experiences and help them discover new wines,” she reveals, “What I love the most about being sommelier is the fact I never stop learning. I never stop discovering new wines, new winemakers, new products.”
Le Comptoir Robuchon is one Mayfair’s top destination spots for a luxury gastronomic experience. According to Favrat this season customers are drinking, “Champagne and English sparkling, Burgundy and Bordeaux. We are located in Mayfair so it stays very classic.” That being said, her roots are strong, “Being from Haute-Savoie, I love to recommend Alpine wine,” she boasts.
Favrat loves regions like Jura, Savoie, Bugey, explaining, “you have a lot of different styles at a very affordable prices. For me, Swiss wine and Trentino/Alto Adige are the new hot spots. They are the kind of wines people are starting to take a look at. Swiss wine can be a bit more pricey, the other regions are, what I would call, “good value for pleasure”, and importantly have lower levels of alcohol.
Obviously the sommeliers job is to suggest the very best food and wine match of moment.
“I do not have a favourite pairing,” she says, “I like to discover new style and different flavours. The last pairing I suggested was a Barbera Benevento “Cappacorte” from Cantina Bosco Sant’Agnese 2019 with our caramelised Black Cod served with a Malabar pepper sauce and coconut mousse. A very light, but fragrant, red from Campania (Italy). It balances the spiciness and richness of the Malabar sauce which helps to lift the flavours of the dish.”