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Lendl Mijnhijmer is the best sommelier in the Netherlands


Lendl Mijnhijmer

Lendl Mijnhijmer of Restaurant TwentySeven has recently won the Dutch Championship for Sommeliers, the Trophée Henriot, at the Leerhotel het Klooster in Amersfoort. During a grand gala dinner that was being cooked by various 1-, 2- and 3-star chefs, this was announced by jury chairwoman Magda van der Rijst. Sommeliers Adriaan Visser and Richelle van Gemert became second and third respectively. Lendl Mijnhijmer can now carry the title ‘Best sommelier of the Netherlands’ for two years. For the first time this year, the René van Heusden Prize was also awarded, the prize for the candidate who succeeded best in the subject ‘blind tasting’. This award was won by Tristan van Doorn of Restaurant Vermeer in Amsterdam.

The Dutch Championship is organized once every two years by the Dutch Guild of Sommeliers. In addition to the coveted trophée and accompanying silver broche, Lendl Mijnhijmer received a large format bottle Henriot Champagne, he was offered a wine tour to South Africa by Wines of South Africa and he received a glass package from glass manufacturer Riedel. Lendl Mijnhijmer will most likely represent the Netherlands at the World Cup sommeliers 2019 in Belgium. Lendl has participated in the Dutch Championships before and became third two years ago. He is training with the Court of Master Sommeliers, holds WSET level 4, is Weinacademiker, won the WSET McNie Tasting Trophy and is know on Dutch TV for his involvement in TV-show Binnenstebuiten.

On Sunday afternoon, May 13, no fewer than 16 candidates started the Dutch Championship from all ranks of the gastronomy, from star restaurants to bistros and wine taverns. The preliminary round consisted of a theoretical exam and three practical components such as a wine blind tasting, a wine-food combination and a decanting of wine. In addition to chairwoman Magda Van der Rijst, the jury consisted, among others, of wine celebrity Thérèse Boer from 3-star restaurant De Librije, Hilary Akers from the Dutch Financial Times and masterchef Theus de Kok. After the preliminary round, three candidates remained who entered the final. Here again a number of practical parts were taken.

The announcement was made during a grand gala dinner where Jonnie Boer (De Librije ***), Onno Kokmeijer (Ciel Bleu **), Jarno Eggen (The Green Lantern **), Adrian Zarzo (Zarzo *) and Raoul Meuwese (HFSLG *) ) provided a hall of 180 guests with a great meal. The initiator Paul Frankhuizen of Wijnkooperij De Lange also saw a very well-arranged wine arrangement.

The organization was in the hands of chairman Edwin Raben and Heleen Boom on behalf of the Dutch Guild of Sommeliers. The Dutch Guild of Sommeliers (NGS), founded in 1986, is a joint venture with approximately 250 Dutch sommeliers. Through tastings, meetings, trainings and online information provision NGS offers a platform for sommeliers to come together and develop themselves. In addition, the NGS also tries to raise the level of wine service and thus the overall level of the Dutch catering industry and specifically the gastronomy to a higher level. The NGS is not an exclusive club. Anyone who works as a sommelier in the Netherlands can join the Guild of Sommeliers. The NGS is affiliated to the international Association de la Sommelerie Interationale (ASI) and is the only organization in the Netherlands officially organizing the Dutch Championship for Sommeliers, in the Netherlands called the Trophée Henriot. The NGS also sends a delegation on behalf of the Netherlands to the European and World Championships for Sommeliers.