Karen Hardwick – Best In World!!!
BEST IN THE WORLD
It’s official! Chapters Hotel & Restaurant’s wine expert, Karen Hardwick, is the World’s Best Wine Educator.
Karen, who owns the North Yorkshire based Wine Academy, was announced as the winner of this prestigious competition & presented with her award at a glittering ceremony held in the impressive Vintners’ Hall in the Guildhall, London.
She is a firm favourite with York’s Festival goers & was stunned to be given the Award. She says, “I was so nervous, sitting in that sumptuous Hall, surrounded by so many nationally recognised wine experts. It was like a strange dream, being announced as the winner & then going up to the platform to be presented with my Award by Jancis Robinson, the internationally renowned wine critic. There was so much applause; all those well-known wine critics & TV presenters, were all smiling & clapping – at me!.”
This really is an international Award, previous winners have included the Sydney (Australia) Wine Academy and the International Wine Centre in New York, USA.
The Award is presented each year by Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) to the person or company who has achieved most in the world of education. The WSET management team select the short-listed nominees against their very strict criteria; no-one can nominate themself or be nominated. Then it’s over to an independent specialist team made up of people Laura Jewell MW who heads up the Tesco wine department, to do the judging & choose a winner. This year Karen was the only individual selected for the short list, all the others were large companies with big training & PR teams eg Ecole du Vin Paris, Enotria Wines, Majestic Wines.
When asked if this would change the way Karen teaches at her Academy, she replied “Not at all, I love teaching & this Award has given me more confidence in the way I teach. I’ll continue to treat all my students as individuals, make sure that all my training sessions are based on a practical, hands on inclusive approach to learning.” Karen’s family are delighted for her too. When her 2 sons, aged 11 & 13, heard the news of Mum’s Award, their reaction was “We’re really chuffed for Mum”. Her husband has been supportive from the day she began the Academy, and now says” I’m absolutely delighted that Karen’s work has been recognised as world class by such an important organisation.”
The Wine Academy was set up 10 years ago by Karen. “It’s not just a wine school, we don’t just teach, we provide a vocational experience for the wines and spirits industry in the Yorkshire area and are we’re accredited to teach WSET courses. We don’t sell wine and so are completely impartial in our wine recommendations”. Her courses are now so popular that she also hosts more informal and extremely popular food and wine events every month in York at Melton’s Too.
What’s next on the horizon for Karen? Not content with this Award, Karen has been accepted as a student for the internationally recognised Master of Wine qualification. After a challenging selection process, she is one of only a few new students who are beginning their studies. Master of Wine status is an international recognition of the pinnacle of professional achievement in the world of wine. Watch this space for more achievement .
Karen’s Wine Academy now has training centres in Stokesley, York & Leeds. She can be contacted on 01904 701180 & 07719432618, or by email:firstname.lastname@example.org