A judging panel made up of experts and professionals for 2022 edition
As a barometer for the latest trends in fine food, the Gourmet Selection “Best Of” awards distinguish products and services offering genuine added value. The judging panel, made up of experts and professionals selected for their love of good products, tastes the products and inspect them from all angles to single out the “must-have” stars of the show.
Vincent Ferniot, Chairman of the “Best Of” judging panel
Vincent Ferniot, the gourmet food journalist of many talents, does us the honour each year of chairing the competition’s judging panel. Want to know a bit more about him??
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Daylight, as I get up early, generally around 6.00am, and the “invitation of coffee.” This is a hallowed moment of the day when I make myself a triple expresso. A moment of calm before the day’s hectic bustle (even during lockdown).
What is your motto?
I have several, depending on what part of my life we’re talking about. In my job, “Imagination is more important than knowledge” (Einstein). In my private life: “Love conquers all”; at the table: “Hunger is the best sauce”. It’s not easy to make up a single one by combining those three!
What is your greatest culinary discovery?
Hard to give you one, because my job is to discover things endlessly. But I’d say: the most recent one.
Who is your mentor?
I owe a great deal both in terms of cooking and the table to my father Jean Ferniot who was a gastronome and a great journalist (political and gastronomic). He was behind my taste for what’s good.
What is on your wish list for this year?
Shedding the five kilos I put on during the lockdown! More seriously, my wish is that hospitality and food professions learn thelessons from the Covid crisis and become capable of reinventing themselves to bounce back into business even stronger..
What is your most unusual gastronomic encounter?
The encounter of the year… I am very aware of the need to reduce the consumption of meat-based products in our diet, so I look favourably upon vegetarians and vegans, but I am strongly against overly radical and extremist vegans and antispeciesists. I am an assumed reasoned omnivore, and I am keenly interested in solutions that replace meat with plant protein. For the first time, this year I discovered a “plant-based white meat’ which was quite an accomplishment. This was unusual for me, as I always favour vegetable-based cuisine..
What are you most proud of?
Obviously the invention of the first coffee in chocolate bar format: Le Carré de Café. Looks like chocolate, but no chocolate. I had this intuition when I was small and always preferred coffee to chocolate in cakes. I conceived it with my friend, the master chocolate chef François Pralus, who makes it with talent..
In 3 words, how would you define Gourmet Selection?
The Exhibition for professionals of fine food and specialities. A selection of high-quality products, unique in its diversity. The annual meeting for all sourcing people with a passion for new taste sensations and a snapshot of the health of the sector.
They are the juries for the 2022 edition:
Frédéric SIMONIN (@fredericsimonin): Starred chef, Meilleur Ouvrier de France and author of culinary books, Frédéric Simonin is the Honorary President of this 2022 edition.
Vanessa BESNARD (@vanessabesnard): Initially a professional in the publishing of tourist guides, Vanessa left everything behind to devote herself to her passion and become an author, blogger and influencer specialized in gastronomy.
Victoire FINAZ (@lachocologue): Coming from a family of chocolate makers, Victoire herself became a Chocologist®. Since she joined the French Academy of Chocolate and Confectionery, she has put her expertise in cocoa at the service of everyone through events, conferences and other competitions.
Cyrine JARRETIE (@cyrinejarretie): Chef Cyrine reinvents traditional French cuisine with an instinctive, daring and high-flying signature.
Stéphane MEJANES (@smejanes): A former sports journalist, Stéphane Méjanès has been talking about gastronomy since 2012, in all its dimensions, for a sustainable food from the seed to the garbage can.
Laurent TREGARO (@smejanes): A key figure at La Grande Epicerie de Paris, expert Laurent Tregaro, Purchasing Manager, has selected more than 10,000 grocery products in 33 years of business.