The first time I met Gérard, being a young and upcoming sommelier, I was star struck and impressed. Over the years, I got to know him better as we met during the various competitions we took part in. The first time we really sat down tête à tête was backstage during the final of the Meilleur Sommelier du Monde 2007. We both agreed on not discussing the competition. Instead while Paolo Basso and Eric Zwiebel were onstage, we had a fantastic conversation about gastronomy, great wines and memories. We laughed and laughed and finally almost forgot we were in the competition. I’m sure we all agree that this kind of friendship is way more important that the competition itself. RIP, my friend.