Meet Vincent Marcilhac

15 Jan 2014


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Interview Vincent Marcilhac - Wine and Cheese conference - Le Cordon Bleu ParisVincent Marcilhac is professor at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, author of many publications and  the President of Geofood Association. Specialized in luxury foods and geography, he has opted for a cultural approach of gastronomy. He has obtained numerous awards for his publications, especially for his geography thesis on luxury foods, carried out as part of his Ph.D in 2011. We met him…

What made you want to write your thesis on luxury foods?
Writing a geography thesis on luxury foods is indeed something quite unique. I owe a great deal to my teacher, Professor Jean-Robert Pitte who played a major role in my becoming a geographer.  I was also very lucky to have parents who taught me a lot about food.  It was very important to me to write a thesis that was useful for society:  The luxury food industry is booming both from an economic point of view and in terms of employment.  I worked closely with professionals from the industry when writing my thesis.

What is your favorite cheese and why?
Salers tradition is my favorite cheese because of its taste but also because it is part of my identity.  It is part of my identity because I spent my childhood in the Auvergne region and it was often on the cheese platter as part of a Sunday meal.  As a geographer, it illustrates a notion that is very important to me:  Local products.

Is there something you have eaten that made a lasting impression on you?
Truffles with salt.  I first tasted truffles in this way when visiting a truffle cultivator in the Drôme and discovered the extraordinary black truffle melanosporum.  I am extremely passionate about truffles, which can sometimes be paired with cheese (during the festive period, brie with truffles can be found at Fauchon or at the François Robin cheese store).

How do you want your students to see gastronomy?
When I am teaching, I try to share the hedonistic and emotional dimension with my students, but also through conferences/tastings that I organize for my Geofood association.

Can you tell us a quote or a phrase which characterizes you ?
“Mankind receives nourishment from food, but also from symbols and dreams”
(opening lines of my book Le luxe alimentaire : une singularité française).

Vincent Marcilhac belongs to the group of experts who contribute to the series of culinary conferences at Le Cordon Bleu Paris

Institut des Hautes Etudes du Goût, de la Gastronomie et des des Arts de la Table

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