As a sommelier, Timothy's job requires him to live, breathe and taste wines. This hobby, which eventually turned into a passion and career for this young man started when he was 21. Amazed at how the cognoscenti could describe a wine so gracefully, he went on to explore the different complexities of wines during his time in SHATEC.
His burgeoning interest saw him winning the Shatec Austrade Wine Education Awards (SAWEA) in 2002. Upon graduation from SHATEC in 2003, he joined the historical Raffles Hotel as the Sommelier of their fine dining room, The Raffles Grill, where he further honed his palate for wines. During the 2004 World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence, the F&B professionals of Singapore gave Timothy their vote of confidence by awarding him the Bodegas Torres Wine Scholarship. Timothy stayed in the Miguel Torres winery in Spain for a month to learn the ins and outs of the vineyard.
In 2008 and 2009, he was twice voted the Sommelier of the Year at the World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence, continuing a tradition that saw this award going to sommeliers working in the Group since the award's inception. To add another feather to his cap, he was also awarded Manager of the Year at the 2009 World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence. Suffice it to say, his is a career that requires passion and hard work, but with plenty of rewards to show for it.
After a two year hiatus to fulfil his National Service obligation, Timothy, drawn by one of the best cellars in Asia, joined the Les Amis Group's flagship restaurant in 2006. He immediately rose through the ranks with his diligence and thirst for knowledge. It certainly helps that the directors of Les Amis encourage their staff to, quite literally, taste the good life. Sommeliers are often despatched to wine producing regions around France to learn about wines first hand from the winemakers.
Today as the Director of Wines for the Les Amis Group, Tim focuses on grooming sommeliers in the group, developing the wine programmes in the various outlets as well as growing the wine lists in terms of quality and quantity.
Interview with Timothy Goh
What does being in the hall of fame mean to you?
It is an honour to be in the hall of fame and I feel very humbled to be part of it.
How did you realise you interest in wine?
I gained the interest in wines about 11 years ago. It started out as a hobby and progressively it developed into a career which I couldn't have asked for more; working with your hobby.
Are there any other wines regions in the world which you would like to explore but have not?
Yes for sure. Wine as a subject has a never ending story to it. You would always want to explore new regions and also revisit the old ones. It just never stops changing. What comes to my mind now is perhaps regions in the eastern part of Europe!
How do you like to see yourself ten years from today?
That I am still working with Wines!
Do you look up to anyone from the industry? Do you have a mentor?
In my line of work, I have had great opportunities to meet many great Sommeliers. I have learnt plenty from them. However my real mentors are not Sommeliers. They are 2 very passionate people who love wines; Dr N.K Yong, and my Chairman, Desmond Lim. Both of whom I have learnt a lot from and not just wines, but business.