At the opening, SOMM360’s guest of honor, the sommelier and author Ferran Centelles, from the elBullifoundation, welcomed the audience by video conference, as he was launching another volume of his wine encyclopedia in Catalonia that day. His message resonated strongly with the participants: “A sommelier must try to be the most complete human being he could possibly be.” A few minutes later, when his great friend François Chartier took to the stage to give a lecture, the image struck more than one: no doubt the Quebec sommelier—who calls himself a “Créateur d’harmonies” thanks to his revolutionary scientific aromatic research on the molecular affinities between wine and food and who continues to push the limits of knowledge in his field—is exactly the kind of complete and bold human being described by Centelles in his opening address. The two met at elBulli and became close friends, united by their rejection of conventions and their belief in cutting-edge research.

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