His name was announced on May 9th in Deajeon, South Korea, the city hosting the 2nd Contest of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale organized for this part of the world after a very tough series of final tests.
Franck is following Satoru Mori’s path, the Japanese sommelier of La Tour d’Argent in Tokyo had won this first ever competition in Osaka, Japan in 2009.
Japan did once again a very good job thanks to the two candidates from Tokyo Nobuhide Tani, La Tour d’Argent, and Yoichi Sato, Maxivin, respectively 2nd and 3rd.
Apart from the three finalists, we need to specially mention the performance of the Chinese candidate, Ka Lun Terence Wong, 4th, and of the two young Korean, Ju Wang Kim, 5th and Lee Yong Moon, 6th after the semi-final.
Nineteen sommeliers, including a young lady, from ten different Asia-Oceania countries were fighting for the 2012 title. Each country is allowed to send one or two, maximum, representatives duly selected by their National association.
Australie / Australia :
- Franck Moreau, Merivale, Sidney
- Mark Protheroe, Grossi Group, Melbourne
Chine / China :
- Sam Chong, Hôtel Nikko, Hong Kong
- Ka Lun Terence Wong, Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong
Indonésie / Indonesia :
- Hezron Febriando, Amuz Gourmet, Jakarta
- Pamor Budi Kurniawan, Hôtel Indonesia Kempinski, Jakarta
Japon / Japan :
- Nobuhide Tani, La Tour d’Argent, Tokyo
- Yoichi Sato, Maxivin, Tokyo
Corée du Sud / South Korea :
- Ju Wan Kim, Bar Plus Wine Code, Séoul
- Lee Yong Moon, Lotte Hotel, Séoul
Malaisie / Malaysia :
- Liew Chien Hearn Edmund,
- Rajeshwaran Raja Gopal, db Bistro Moderne, Singapour
Nouvelle-Zélande / New Zealand :
- Joe Wang, The Northern Club, Auckland
Singapour / Singapore :
- Kok Hoong Au, Marina Bay Sands, Singapour
- Weuie Alvin Gho, Jean-Georges, Shangaï, Chine
Taïwan / Taiwan :
- Meng-Yi (Xavier) Tzeng, Le Moût French Restaurant, Taiwan
- Hsin-Wei (Thomas) Ho, Le Moût French Restaurant, Taiwan
Thaïlande / Thailand :
- Miss Krongtong Namtiwon, Anantara Lawana Koh, Samui
- Peetiwat Manapim, Anantara Kihavah Villas, Maldives
A big thank you to KISA, the Korean association of sommeliers, official member of A.S.I., and its president, Jayoun Ko, who had hosted this important event and took in charge all the logistics. Let us point out the great flexibility and kindness of the whole staff !
A big thank you also to the city of Daejeon which greatly supported this contest. The lord mayor, Yum, Hong-Chul, took part himself to the fantastic opening ceremony, then during the competition and during the prizegiving offering a trophy to each of the finalists and a certificate to every candidate.
The partners of A.S.I., ARC International and Entaste, also presented the finalists with prizes. Moët & Chandon offered the cocktail, Wines of Austria, a Wiener Gemischter Satz, Fritz Wieninge which matched perfectly with the appetizers. Of course, SanPellegrino & Acqua Panna and Nespresso were offered during the three days in Daejeon.
The highly selective tests were prepared and set up by the Technical Committee of A.S.I. who supervises the panel of judges guided by Serge Dubs, the 1989 Best Sommelier of the World. The president of honor was Shinya Tasaki, the 1995 Best Sommelier of the World and president of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale.
Let us add that the winner of the A.S.I. Contest of the 2012 Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania is automatically selected to represent his country for the 2013 Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World, in Tokyo, at the end of March, next year. His National association is free to select another candidate, giving Australia a double chance in the competition.
« Of course, the title of Best Sommelier of the World is a dream, but I am already very happy to have won this superb Asia-Oceania Contest, today. I have been working hard for years to meet my goal, and now, after becoming Master Sommelier last year and with my first child’s birth seven months ago, I would like to breathe somehow and enjoy the family life ! I am very lucky of having a fantastic wife who is always supporting me in my job and also in my projects… It is too good to be wasted !» Franck said with his A.S.I. gold medal around his neck, after the wonderful gala evening at the Convention Center of Daejeon.