Master of Port 2021, Bastien Debono crowned! – Kiss My Chef

He presented the competition for the second time and was among the eight candidates selected last June to face each other in the final. On Monday, November 8, Bastien Debono was crowned Master of Port 2021, after two days of exceptionally intense trials at the Cercle National des Armées and thus succeeding Gaëtan Bouvier, Master of Port 2019.

Originally from Bouches-du-Rhône and semi-finalist of the Master of Port in 2019, Damien Debono is the young 29-year-old sommelier of the tables of Yoann Conte, star chef of La Maison Bleue at Veyrier du Lac (74). For this 19th edition of the biennial competition, crowning the best expert sommelier in Port wines, the 8 finalist candidates confronted their talents, during the first day, during a succession of theoretical and practical workshops of very high level, orchestrated by Bertrand Bijasson, head of the Technical Committee of the competition.

The next day, the final brought together, in addition to Bastien Debono, two other candidates: Antoine Lehebel, 39, head sommelier at the Bon-Bon restaurant (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Belgium), who was also trying the competition for the second time, and the youngest of the eight semi-finalists, Maxim Plumier, 22, apprentice sommelier at the La Palme d’Or restaurant at the Martinez hotel in Cannes. Concentration, capacity for analysis and argumentation, passion for the product, richness of expression or even mastery of the codes of prestigious catering were measured in this latest round of trials to reach the supreme title.

Master of Port candidates

Faced with a large audience and a high-flying jury, made up among others by several Master of Ports, the three finalists had, for example, to give the order and the serving temperatures of different ports, to propose food-port pairings. first from a selection of wines, then from a precise menu, carry out a sensory analysis (partly in English) of several ports and identify them, or even decant a bottle and serve.

“Competitions are a challenge and always allow you to get out of your comfort zone by confronting the unknown. Once these fears are overcome, we discover the pleasure of going deeper into a subject, of dissecting it to discover its essence.

Port is one of the most complex and richest wines I have studied. It is a fascinating world where the vine meets a unique place and seals an intimate story with the men who cultivate it. I wanted to register for the Master of Port in order to better MaŷTriser for the other competitions this region and I really took a passion for Port wines and Portuguese culture.

The Master of Port was for me a high-flying competition that I wanted to win one day. It will allow me to tĥTo be an ambassador committed to the defense of Port and Douro wines and thus to return several times to this wine-growing area that I particularly like. ”

Bastien Debono

winning port cocktail

On the sidelines of the Master of Port competition, a Special Jury Prize for the creation of an original cocktail based on Port wine was awarded to Anthony Bouitka, head sommelier at the restaurant Le Clair de la Plume in Grignan (26), for his “Honey Portomme” recipe. The other two finalists for this award were Paul Finck, apprentice sommelier at the Saisons restaurant of the Paul Bocuse Institute (Écully) and Antoine Lehebel, also finalist for the Master of Port.

© Maxime Douziech

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Master of Port 2021, Bastien Debono crowned! – Kiss My Chef