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Champagne Academy Names Ampersand Operations Director as Chairman

Ampersand Director of Operations, Martin Dibben, was today installed as Chairman of the Champagne Academy – an organisation of more than 50 years’ standing and with over 600 members devoted to promoting Grand Marque Champagne in the UK. 
Originally founded in 1957, The Champagne Academy represents the most famous producers of Champagne, the 16 Grand Marque Champagne houses, and uses its collective knowledge to educate younger members of the wine trade and promote Grand Marque Champagne through a series of initiatives through the year, including lectures, tutored tastings, and associated events. Its most coveted enterprise is an annual, invitation-only Champagne-based training course for 16 enthusiasts in the hospitality and drinks trade.

The Law Society hosted the Academy’s Annual Vintage Champagne tasting on the 11th of February, during which Martin’s appointment was announced. In his first role Martin partnered this year’s Presidential House, the House of GH Mumm, and President of the Academy, Hugues Le Marie, to brief Academicians about the 2012 vintage and host a tutored tasting of the most recently released vintage
I am genuinely humbled and honoured to hold the Chairmanship of the Academy and follow in the footsteps of other advocates of Grande Marque Champagne.

Ampersand’s Executive Chef, Gary Devereaux, in consultation with Joséphine Jonot, Head Chef of GH Mumm, created a menu to pair with the subtle flavours of Champagne. Dishes included asparagus and winter truffle tart, cep risotto, popcorn chicken with sweetcorn mousse, foie gras paté with candied orange peel, Romney mash lamb with Scottish chanterelles, Brogdale Farm apple Tatin with confit duck, scallop with fennel purée and aniseed butter, lobster Florentine, and lemon goat’s cheese beetroot ravioli.

Commenting on his new position, which he will hold for 12 months, Martin said: “I am genuinely humbled and honoured to hold the Chairmanship of the Academy and follow in the footsteps of other advocates of Grande Marque Champagne. I have always brought my passion for these wines into the Ampersand business, where we champion the finest of food and in ensuring perfect service standards every time. With clients like Hampton Court Palace, The Guildhall, The Tower of London, Kensington Palace, and The Royal Institute of British Architects we have to ensure we serve the very best.”
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