Bay Area Chef and Sommelier Win International Gold Medals

Sommelier Ian Cauble, 31, Wine Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California and Chef Reilly Meehan, 20, chef at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California

Two young Bay Area rising stars, Chef Reilly Meehan, 20, chef at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California, and Sommelier Ian Cauble, 31, Wine Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California brought home the gold as International Best Young Chef and International Best Young Sommelier, respectively, at prestigious international competitions sponsored by the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.  The talents of these rising food and beverage stars will be showcased on Saturday, February 18, at a black-tie Gold Medal Dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.

Founded in France in 1248, and re-established in 1950, the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the world’s oldest food and wine society and has chapters throughout the world, with 130 in the United States.

Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Meehan is the youngest competitor and first American to win the prestigious Concours International des Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs in its 35-year history. The contest was held September 9 in Istanbul, Turkey, with young chefs from 21 nations competing.  Cauble, who hails from Huntington Beach, California, is the third American to win the wine competition, the Concours International des Jeunes Sommeliers, in its five-year history. The competition was held September 16 in Athens, Greece, with representatives from nine nations vying for the honor.

Meehan will present three of his winning courses for the dinner, with Cauble pairing the wines for them, as well as for the other three courses prepared by the Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, Nathan Beriau.  The dinner will raise funds for the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Foundation, Inc., a New Jersey-based not-for-profit corporation, to be used for scholarships for aspiring young professionals in the culinary, wine, and hospitality industries.

A graduate of the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute in Coos Bay, Meehan received a Cordon Bleu Scholarship Award to study in Paris, sponsored by Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, with transportation and accommodations provided by La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the late Swiss Chef Arthur Bolli Memorial Trophy, and a Wüsthof Culinary Attaché case.

In addition to his gold medal, Caudle received a ceremonial Champagne “sabering” sword.  He attended Sonoma State University where he majored in international wine business with a minor in Spanish. That combination led him to Chile, then to Portugal to work harvest at the Royal Oporto/Real Companhia Velha. Following harvest, he traveled for a year in Europe, taking in as much wine and food culture as he could. Returning to the States, he went to work at the Wine Merchant of Beverly Hills, then advanced his career at several prestige restaurants before moving to Las Vegas as Sommelier at Fleur de Lys.

Centre (left to right): Christian Holthausen; Ian Cauble, 2011 Winner from the USA; George Brown, Bailli Délégué of the Bailliage des Etats-Unis of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs; Klaus Tritschler, International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition Committee; Marie Jones, International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition Committee.

In 2008, he was voted one of the “Best New Sommeliers” in the U.S. by Wine and Spirits magazine; and, in April 2009, he passed the Advanced Sommelier exam and also received the Rudd Scholarship, awarded to the top scorer at the exam.  In June 2011, Cauble was named the U.S. Chaîne’s Best Young Sommelier.   In August, he was chosen as Top Sommelier in America by the Guild of Sommeliers. In that contest, he bested ten finalists from among the country’s most talented wine professionals.

Chaîne members include professionals from the food, wine, and hospitality industries as well as amateur gourmands.  It sponsors annual local, regional, national, and international contests for young chefs and young sommeliers. Contestants in the United States begin at either the local or regional level, with 10 regional winners advancing to a national contest before that winner competes internationally.  Additional information about Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is available at www.chaineus.org.