Raphaël Rodriguez is a judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017

Raphaël Rodriguez

Originally an engineer in the French Air Force, Raphaël Rodriguez switched careers after taking a restaurant job on a short sabbatical in London. After re-training at the prestigious Université du Vin de Suze-la-Rousse, in his home of Provence, he has worked in many of the best restaurants in the world, including L’Oustau de Baumanière (Provence), The Square (London), Sketch (London) and Quay (Sydney). He retuned to London to open the Corinthia Hotel and re-launch Tom Aikens in Chelsea.

In 2014 Raphaël opened FERA at Claridge’s, and was the Restaurant Director and Wine Buyer, looking after the Front of House operation as well as the extensive cellar and beverage offer. He is a passionate advocate of natural and low intervention wines and has been instrumental in bringing this movement to the London restaurant scene, as well as developing an ambitious tea and coffee programme.

In 2015 he founded Wine Bantz, an event and social platform for London based sommeliers.

Follow Raphael on Twitter @rodriguez_rapha