food, glorious food, all year

FOOD KING: Thierry van den Bosc.  Cicra 2009. Pic. Unknown.
FOOD KING: Thierry van den Bosc. Cicra 2009. Pic. Unknown.

What do you love most about it?

What do you love most about it?

Looking for new products and tasting them.

What's the most difficult part of it?

Taking the decision to import a new line. It is often a big gamble.

What qualifies you for the job?

Experience with food. I was very fortunate to have a private chef at home in Europe and my parents took me and my brother with them to Michelin-star-rated restaurants from a very young age.

Does your personal taste come into account when buying?

My personal tastes influenced me at first, but then I had to get back to reality and make sure that local tastes would like what I buy.

Do you get to travel a lot as part of your job?

I do travel to most of the big international food shows. I travel less now because I find that although the packaging changes a lot, the products do not change much.

Are there any other perks?

Yes, I meet great people and chefs who are all passionate about their food and wines and liqueurs.

What are the biggest events on your calendar?

Anuga in Germany; Sial in Paris, the largest food show in the world; Vinexpo, the most important wine show in Bordeaux and Hong Kong. On a more specialised note, the Sirha or Bocuse d'Or in Lyon, France.

How much are you affected by trends?

They do affect the job, especially on the food side in relation to the programmes on BBC Food. Every time there is a recipe with a different, innovative product, I get inundated with phone calls about it. For example, the madness with buffalo mozzarella was inspired by a recipe on BBC Food.

What is your most expensive product?

Beluga caviar from Russia at R25000/kg and black or white winter truffles at R25000-R30000/kg

What is the most sought-after product?

Good French cheeses, a.o.c. good Spanish hams and French saucisson (salami), as well as goose and duck foie gras.