A humble achiever, Leanne has quietly been pocketing numerous accolades and awards over the years. With an uncanny ability to gauge how much (or how little) you know about wine, what you like to drink and when to just pour, Leanne was recently crowned Gourmet Traveller’s 2020 Sommelier of the year. A 2009 Len Evans scholar, she holds the WSET Diploma, where she was the top Australian graduate, and duxed the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Certificate. She has continued her practical wine and service education as the recipient of the Negociants Australia Working with Wine Fellowship, the Ruinart Sommelier Challenge and, in 2018 as the professional winner of the Vin de Champagne Award.
Experienced on the floor, Leanne believes, “Hospitality is all about the connection between people. It’s the feeling of being welcomed into the room as if it were a home, the feeling of genuine connection and communication. Where service is simply the provision of food and beverage, hospitality elevates a restaurant, bar or hotel to an experience.”
“Smaller teams & shorter opening hours gives standalone restaurants & bars more agility. There’s also a common focus amongst top venues: a pursuit of excellence, consistency, & personalised service through engaged, comprehensively trained staff. In a quality restaurant environment, each step of the guest experience is considered, trained and upheld – to the point that the staff are empowered to break the rules in order to exceed guest expectations .It’s always an honour when a guest chooses your venue over others, and returns to dine again and again.”