The French certainly love giving out awards. The latest local to be bestowed an official recognition from Paris is the head of hospitality services at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Fritz Sommerau (left). The native Swiss was given the Officier de l'Ordre du Merite Agricole (Officer of the Order of Agricultural Merit) during French Minister of Agriculture Dominique Bussereau's recent visit. The ceremony took place in the presence of the French consul-general, Jean-Pierre Thebault, at the Commanderie du Bontemps dinner. The award honours those who have made outstanding contributions to the support and advancement of agriculture in France. Sommerau was recognised for his years of promoting French wines, culinary arts and the 'art de table'. The Order of Agricultural Merit is France's oldest civil award, established in 1883. So, if you see Sommerau next time you're dining at the Jockey Club, don't even think about yelling 'hey, garcon!' unless you want a corkscrew smackdown.