Gelato Festival World Masters - Announcing Belgium’s 3 Best Gelato Artisans that Will Represent the Country at the European Finals In 2025

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The gelato artisan will go on to the next step of the Gelato Festival World Masters, the world championship in search of the best gelato flavors in the 5 continents

Gelato Festival World Masters, the main category tournament with partners Carpigiani and Sigep - Italian Exhibition Group, is on its new journey around the world for the period of time 2022-2025 searching for the world’s best gelato. The first Belgium stop was in Zandhoven where 22 Belgian gelato artisans took part in the sweetest competition of the year hosted at the Carpigiani Benelux Headquarters in Zandhoven.
The winning gelato artisans and the best gelato artisans in Belgium for 2024 are:

First place
Christian Wu of Gelateria Giotto in Ixelles with the flavor "Il Bosco dei Cento Acri," an aromatic gelato with wildhoney and Scots pine with a porcini mushroom crumble and a variegated lemon and honey sauce. 

Second place
Fabio Marasti of La Gourmand'Ice in Verviers with the flavor "Nessun Dorma ", a Mediterranean-flavored gelato with olive oil, rosemary and lemon zest.

Third place
José Romero of Pepe's in Brussels with the flavor "Ouvre-Toi Sésame," a scenic gelato with Asian notes thanks to the presence of black sesame and azuki beans.

The selected gelato artisans will go on to the European Finals of Gelato Festival World Masters scheduled for 2025. Flavor, structure, creativity and presentation are the four parameters used for the evaluation, highlighting the choice of ingredients, the craftsmanship in elaborating the recipe and the visual impact of the gelato (see below the full list of participants). 

The jury was composed of: 
- Bruno Van Vaerenbergh, Pastry chef and International culinary consultant for DEBIC België;
- Bram Hullebroeck, Chef chocolatier and teacher at the Belgian Chocolate School;
- Dylan Vandenberge, Sous chef and Chef-patissier at three-starred Boury restaurant in Roeselare;
- Gill Walschap, Pastry chef and owner of Zoet by Gill.

Gelato Festival debuted in Florence in 2010, inspired by the creation of the first gelato recipe by the versatile architect Bernardo Buontalenti in 1559. Since then the event has expanded its borders, first to the rest of Italy, then to Europe and – starting in 2017 – the United States, with a total of 80 Festivals held, before embracing the entire planet with the world championship of Gelato Festival World Masters 2021, which concluded in December 2021 - with the victory of Adam Fazekas from Budapest - and saw a record of 3,500 gelato artisans judged by international juries. 

Belgium Challenge 
February, 27th 2023

List of the other participants:

•    Bjorn Boudin of Bjornies in Kontich with the flavor “Koekjesdeeg”;
•    Sarah Van den Broek of Isidoor ijsatelier in Poppel with the flavor “Pornstar Martini”; 
•    Dennis Roelands of Manus in Brasschaat with the flavor “Basilicum-Limoen”; 
•    Kurt Florkin of Gritje Kokx in Merksem with the flavor “Baraquita”; 
•    Roberto Milanese of Milanese Gelato in Antwerp with the flavor “Dessert di fine cena italiana”;
•    Hilde Gos of IceLab NiceCream Creations in Antwerp with the flavor “Tiramisù”; 
•    Sofie Wouters of Tivoli Boutique in Kortenberg with the flavor “Ivory Maracuja”; 
•    Rob Proost of Barijs in Lichtaart with the flavor “Duindoornbes Venkel”; 
•    Jelle Haven of Gelato Queen in Oostkamp with the flavor “Lemon Queen Pie”; 
•    Anthony Cordaro of Il Gusto della passione in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw with the flavor “Kriek, Diospyros & Sambucus”;
•    Anne-Chantal Dupont of Mystère et Boule de Glace in Lesdain with the flavor “Chicorée variegato chocolat blanc et caramel”; 
•    Mathieu Eyckmans of oyya in Brugge with the flavor “Pandan Strawberry”;
•    Maryne Poppe of Tendance Glacée in Flawinne with the flavor “Pumpkin Seed”; 
•    Jasper Braeckman of Cremerie Kreem in Nazareth with the flavor “Camambert - Zwatre Truffel”; 
•    Tom Van Den Berge of Delicioso in Burst with the flavor “Peanuts Chilli and Lime”; 
•    Peter Roman of Atelier du Trieu in Pecq with the flavor “Limoen Roomijs met Miso Caramel & Pecannoten”; 
•    Gert Verschelde of 't Zoet Gemoed in Zomergem with the flavor “Vijgen-Geitenkaas-Honing”; 
•    Jelle Bories of Sorbetes Ni Manong Jelle in Sint-Niklaas with the flavor “Durian Tiramisù”; 
•    Kim Smet of Luca's ijs & Leano's bakkerij in Hamme with the flavor “Bounty”.

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