Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Xavier Faber

Our next sommelier we interviewed is a special case as he isn’t really a sommelier anymore… although once a sommelier, always a sommelier?! I’m talking about our dear friend Xavier Faber former sommelier with more than 15years experience in restaurants like that brought him to restaurants like Seagrill **, La maison du boeuf, etc.. and managing several restaurant. Let’s also not forget to mentioned that in 1999 he won the title of Best Sommelier of Belgium!! After all those years he traded all that wine for water as for the past 10years he’s been working as sales manager for Spadel which is the group that owns BRU and Spa water brands. What must also be said is whenever Xavier is around th

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Andy De Brouwer

It is time to put another sommelier in the spotlight! This time we’ll get to know more about Belgian Top sommelier Andy De Brouwer owner ( 4th generation ) of restaurant/hotel Les Eleveurs in Halle (just outside of Brussels). After years working at a Michelin star level in 2015 Andy thought it was time for something different… basically he wanted to get rid of the ‘stiff’ way of working and table cloths and go for Bistronomie, classical dishes with a twist . Next to that he has published a few books and writes a wine column for the weekend edition from De Morgen newspaper … to name a few things that is When I think of Andy the words (next to wine) Rock ‘n roll and vintage are the first one

Time to put the finalists for Best sommelier of Belgium in the spotlight: Stéphane Dardenne

Last but not least we have look into the world of the 3rd finalist for the title of Best Sommelier Of Belgium 2016 Stephane Dardenne. Stephane is sommelier of the Michelin starred restaurant La table de Maxime where I was already fortunate enough to have passed a wonderful evening!! Unfortunately back then Stéphane was not yet working there, but if he was I’m sure my meal would have been even more mythical!! ​​​​ Just like Gianluca for Stephane it is the first time in the finals of Best Sommelier of Belgium. Not that I want to discourage them, but until now not too many people or non for as far as I remember have won Best Sommelier of Belgium at their first participation… so maybe it is up

Time to put the finalists for Best Sommelier of Belgium 2016 in the spotlight: Gianluca Di Taranto

Now we know who the finalists for the title of Best Sommelier of Belgium are it is time to get to know them better and have a sneak peak in their life as sommelier. The second semi finalist I want to put in the spotlight is my dear friend Gianluca Di Taranto. I met Gianluca a few years (I think about 5 years) ago during Apéro Vintage Leuven an event from Bordeaux wines and we’ve had lots of meals together ever since. :-) :-) At that time Gianluca still worked at his dad’s restaurant. Which I think that was one of the reasons (next to our love for good food and wine and the fact that we’re both Italian ) why it connected between us…my dad also used to have a restaurant where I worked every

Time to put the finalists for Best Sommelier of Belgium 2016 in the spotlight: Joery De Lille

Now we know who the finalists for the title of Best Sommelier of Belgium are it is time to get to know them better and have a sneak peak in their life as sommelier. The first semi-finalist I’m putting in the spotlight is Joery De Lille. Joery is sommelier of the Michelin starred restaurant Horseele that is located in the football stadium of AA GENT aka Ghelamco Arena . This is not the first time Joery will be competing for the title as last year he was also in the finals. I wish him the best of luck for this year’s competition!! I’ve asked Joery the same questions as all the other top sommeliers I’ve interviewed. Also because Joery and the other contestants are the next generation of top s

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Gerard Basset

Gerard Basset is from all the sommeliers I’ve interviewed, without any doubt the most admired sommelier from within as from outside the ‘world of sommeliers’. Most top sommeliers I’ve interviewed so far gave his name as THE person they admire the most… Which made me wonder who Gerard himself admires …. To make a long story short, Gerard Basset is the only sommelier in the world who has won every International sommelier competition there is to win :-) . In case you were doubting which titles: Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, Wine MBA and World’s Best Sommelier and the list goes on and on . He’s also been appointed as Officer of the Order of the British Empire So he’s practically royalty ;-)

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Pedro Ballesteros

Pedro Ballesteros also know as a human encyclopedia when it comes to Spanish wines (even for all other wines I must admit). Yes indeed, we pulled out the big guns again… And yet I can confirm that Pedro is a very humble and modest man!! I already had the pleasure to dine together with Pedro as we sat next to each other during a dinner from the Spanish Cava association at Chalet de la Forêt. The least you can say is that for the past 25 years Pedro has been a very busy bee :-) He has studied all over the world (Spain, France, Belgium, US, Austria and Germany) with as some accomplishments his WSET Diploma, Weinakademiker and became Master of Wine (1 of 3 in Belgium) and I’m not even mentioning

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Arvid Rosengren

There are a lot of sommeliers that I had on my list that I wanted to ‘interview’ and one that absolutely had to be on the list was this year’s winner of the title ‘Best Sommelier of the world’ Arvid Rosengren. I have never witnessed the World Championship, but if I already see the difficulty level on country level (in Belgium)… I can only imagine how difficult it must be on the international level. What surprises me even more is that Arvid is only 31 years old!!! An impressive age to already be working on this level… Arvid currently works (already some years) in the trendy NYC restaurant Chalie Bird (a neighborhood restaurant that combines great food and a fun and in my eyes has something S

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