The new 2022 edition of the Gault & Millau guide reveals who the best who Belgian chocolate makers are. The guide offers a wide and most exhaustive selection established on the basis of various blind tastings.
These days, chocolate makers search for the best chocolate beans around the world, and it is not uncommon for them to roast the beans themselves. Many are often experimenting, trying to find new ways to delight their customers. The Gault & Millau judges have chosen the winner of the “Discovery of the Year” award alongside the three annual “Chocolatier of the Year” awards.
1. Chocolatier of the year 2022 for Flanders: Deduytschaever – Ghent
Jannes Deduytschaever was named best chocolatier of Flanders. Deduytschaever trained with great masters such as David Maenhout of Chocolatier M in Knokke and Joost Arijs in Ghent. He claims a 100% artisanal approach, letting the raw materials speak for themselves, both in their simplicity and in their complexity. He opened his own shop in 2020.
2. Chocolatier of the year 2022 for Brussels: Vanessa Renard – Etterbeek, Brussels
Renard gave up a career in the financial sector and opened a boutique-atelier in the heart of Etterbeek in late 2018. She works with organic and fair trade chocolate, from Peru, Haiti or Madagascar. Her signature: working with spices.
3. Chocolatier of the year 2022 for Wallonia: Bernard Schobbens – Chaumont-Gistoux
Bernard Schobbens also became a chocolatier after a change of careers. He was working in the telecommunications sector when he discovered the profession of chocolate maker during a workshop. He then trained with Jérôme Grimonpon and Jean-Sébastien Jonné at L’Alchimie du Chocolat. He opened his own shop-workshop at the end of 2017.
4. Discovery of the year 2022 for Belgium: Xocolate – Schaerbeek, Brussels
Since 2019, Xavier Declerq has been making organic and fair trade chocolates in his workshop with grand cru Haitian cocoa from the Feccano cooperative. Xavier Declerq intends to contribute to a more just world that respects human rights. The cocoa butter and powder are bought at a fair price and come directly from Haiti to be transformed in the workshop.
The Gault & Millau guide will be available for purchase online in the coming days. This edition of the guide has 80 pages. It presents 114 chocolatiers in Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, that is to say more than 155 store addresses.