Gault & Millau


Burnout is something people in the Financial sector are familiar with, but not many leave those careers and go on to become award-winning chocolatiers instead. But that is exactly what Vanessa Renard did. Only three years later, she has won a prestigious award. 

After training as a chocolatier and leaving my job in the finance sector, this consuming passion has become my profession, that of an artisan chocolatier.

In my creations, I try to convey my love for chocolate. I like to combine chocolate with other flavours such as spices or fruits but without distorting their taste. – Vanesa Renard explains on her website

Renard opened a chocolate shop in Etterbeek in 2018 – the year of the financial crisis that left many in the sector in shock after losing their jobs. 

Renard had already set about learning to make chocolate – and her use of ingredients caught the attention of the judges. Using cardamom and pistachio, or a bergamot jelly, her pralines stood out from the competition.

With a minimum of sugar and lactose, it is the fruitiness of the cocoa combined with almonds, pecans or fleur de sel that transforms her praline bites into real little explosive bombs… As such, we choose Vanessa Renard as our Best Chocolatier for Brussels 2022. – write the judges in the French restaurant guide Gault & Millau

Renard looks to have a promising career ahead of her, and another waypoint is added to my GPS when I next visit Brussels!

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