TOURS, France - A Frenchman was on Sunday named the world's best cheesemonger at a competition in France, maintaining national pride in a country famed for its love of fromage.
Fabien Degoulet, the son of dairy merchants, triumphed over a dozen leading candidates from around the world to capture the title at the International Best Cheesemonger Competition, organisers said.
Degoulet, 31, lives in Japan and came to the northwestern French city of Tours to battle it out against rivals hailing from the United States, Belgium, China and Israel.
An international jury of professionals picked the champion cheesemonger based on tests of theoretical knowledge, taste pairing, cutting and cheese presentation.
For their piece de resistance, the contestants created a one square metre (yard) cheese tray on the theme of the "Art of cheese".
Second place went to Guillaume Cardinet, a Frenchman, with Belgian Nathalie Vanhaver taking third place.