5 Minutes with...Beatrice Bessi

We're very proud of our heritage of working closely with some of the UK's top restaurants - and the people who help bring them to life, like photographers. We're also very strongly of the belief that wine lies in a cross-cultural realm, pulling together art, music, language, design and culinary creativity in one synaesthetic sipping experience. Dramatic? Maybe. True? Most certainly. 
We'll be introducing you to some of our friends from all corners of culture - in 5 minute segments, perfect for pouring over as you pour your first glass.


Our guest: Beatrice Bessi
Role: Head Sommelier, Chiltern Firehouse 
Find our friend: @beatricebessi_somm


Bea Chiltern Firehouse

With an incredibly impressive number of accolades to her name, Bea is not only a big voice and talent within the wine industry - now Head Sommelier at Chiltern, previously Assistant Head Sommelier at 67 Mall Pall, no less - but she's hard to beat when it comes to finding great company for lunch. And, as an Advanced CMS Sommelier and a Decanter Judge, we trust her to pick the wines. We sat down with Bea for five minutes (well, a few hours in reality...) to get to know a little more about her.


Quickfire Questions:

1.      Aperitivo or pint? Aperitivo

2.      Eating out or cooking in? BOTH!!

3.      Pasta or pastry? Pasta, of course! 

4.      Sparkling or still? Still

5.      Sweet or savoury? Sweet

6.      Lunch or dinner? Lunch before work, dinner on the day off !! 

7.      Mars or Snickers? Snickers


5 Minutes with Bea:

1.What's your favourite thing about working in hospitality and wine?

Hospitality gave a purpose to my life. Seems very cheesy, but it is true. The best part for me is having the "power" to make people happy, and to connect with them, sharing experiences, food, wine..The best!


Bea Chiltern Firehouse Sommelier


2. Is there someone you admire in the world of wine/food?

Fortunately I have met a lot of great personalities in the industry.. As Chef, I would say my last encounter with Rasmus Kofoed, Chef/Owner of Geranium***, in Copenhagen. A wonderful experience.

 As a wine professional, I will always mention Heidi Makinen MW, my true hero.


Sociovino wines chiltern firehouse

 A stellar line up of Sociovino Alto-Piemonte gems at Chiltern Firehouse.

3. Where is somewhere you've eaten or drunk recently that blew your mind - what did you have?

 I must mention my recent lunch at Pollen Street Social, all the food there was spectacular! Highly recommended!


4. We love wines that come with stories - of their producers, yes, but also in terms of when and where you enjoyed them. Tell us one of your favourite wine memories and why it's stuck with you

I have a lot of wine memories, from the first wine that convinced me to become a Sommelier - Barolo Percristina 2009 en Magnum from Domenico Clerico - , to my first bottle of iconic wines, like Yquem 1945, or Conterno 1938...or when my mother cried over a wine that I gave her...Every day I have new wine memories!


 4. Can you see any key trends emerging in your industry?

Zero alcohol, low alcohol, lighter approach/winemaking/oak ageing, are all trends that for me will keep be in demand.


5. Do you have a guilty pleasure when it comes to food and wine?

Give me cheese, salami, pizza and a glass of Nebbiolo or Pinot Noir, and I'm happy!!!


Make sure you check out Bea's Instagram for insights into some of the best bottles in town - and head to Chiltern Firehouse for some guaranteed good mood food.



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