A South African book on food pairing voted best in the world

Monday, 15 February, 2021
Kim Williams
“Passion for Pairing”, written by sommeliers Jean-Vincent Ridon and acclaimed photograph Gerda Louw received a Gourmand Best in the World Book Award in the Food & Drink category.

1288 publications from 175 countries and regions registered for the Gourmand Awards with a jury led by Edouard Cointreau. The first stage of selection awarded the best national publication. Passion for Pairing was declared winner of this National Gourmand Award. Needless to say, the author Jean-Vincent Ridon was delighted that his book had gotten this recognition in December 2020.

“Passion for Pairing” is a beautiful coffee table reference book focusing on the diversity of South African cuisine, paired with the best drinks the country has to offer, mostly Cape wines. As a French winemaker and sommelier who landed in South Africa in 1996, Jean Vincent Ridon always believed in the artistic alchemy of food & wine and how a great dish is made sublime by the appropriate match.

“There is always more than one perfect pairing, but there are potentially many poor options” declared Ridon who always tries to demystify the art of food pairing.

The big surprise came with the publication of the Best in the World Gourmand Awards list that included Passion for Pairing for the category Food & Drink! This Best in the World awards palmarès lists the handful of authors invited for the grand award ceremony taking place in Paris on the 5th of June 2021.   

“This is a great achievement for South Africa to attract this international attention at a time when local restaurants and wineries’ future is threatened by the consequences of the pandemic, hopefully it will help boost global interest in what South Africa can offer” Ridon further added.

Some of the most famous South African chefs have been part of this journey through flavours, scents, textures and emotions. The likes of Liam Tomlin, Chantel Dartnall, Harald Bresselschmidt, Peter Goff-Wood, Franck Dangereux and many other talented creative chefs who brought their recipes to the sommelier to enhance the experience, offering the reader an exciting snapshot of this combination are featured in the book.

“Being Voted the Best in the World is an immense privilege, making me share the awards list alongside some of my role models like Ronan Sayburn MS from London or Jacques Orhon from Canada. I can’t wait to walk on stage in Paris with them, even if I don’t win the Book of the Year title. Being Best in the World is a great achievement for my first published book” Ridon finished off, with a big smile on his face.

Passion for Pairing is available at selected wine farms, book shops and online on shop.winery.co.za

Gerda Louw and Jean-Vincent Ridon
Gerda Louw and Jean-Vincent Ridon

Gourmand Best in the World Awards
Gourmand Best in the World Awards

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