About Gourmet Hunters
Gourmet Hunters was created in 2012 as a result of the joining of the three founding partners: Claudio Comella, sommelier, oenologist and occasional chef in his free time, who has taken part in many gastronomic competitions along with working for several restaurants as wine and spirits advisor; Iván Babitsch, website development and usability expert; and Lluís Pablo, worldwide wine importer and distributor.
Which bond links us together? The main idea is the specialized on-line sale of wines and gourmet products, starting from a wide selection of Spanish and international wines at very competitive prices in a comfortable and safe environment. Quite logically, we cannot deny companies have profit as its principal aim, but the “how to achieve it” philosophy may differ substantially. Gourmet Hunters is our gourmet way of life, where we continuously search for new, revolutionary and exclusive products and at the same time we enjoy our work. And because we are aware that, after all, work is where you spend most hours, there is no such pleasure as doing what you really like. A recipe perhaps whimsical which unmindfully makes your day, arising into energy and positive attitude towards people around you (family, friends, suppliers, customers…).
We decided to create Gourmet Hunters because we couldn’t find any on-line site specialized in wines that would also offer real expertise with quality contents, opinion and weekly recommendations, as the vast majority only had an impersonal and cold wine brochure without any guidance or tuition, focused only in sales and with no thought for the user. Because we care about you, and because thanks to people like you we can keep on selecting the best wines within reach.
Why Gourmet Hunters?
Best known to all his friends as Doctor No “I am not an oenologist, I am not an agronomist and I am not a sommelier”, Lluís is a charming person, with a gentle and warm-hearted inner nature, tender as a marshmallow. He is the archetype person anyone would wish as a friend: faithful, patient, bold, conservative and with a caricatural and mocking yet accurate rhetoric about gastronomy, people and life. How right you are Lluís!
His first steps took him to take up computing engineering studies as his family business was engaged in computer systems and industrial automation, where he is soon devoted body and soul. Over the years, an extraneous force dragged him to invest any free time and money in gastronomic getaways as well as important quantities of wine stockpile for his friends and him. One day, a distinguished restaurateur simply commented: “Considering the quantity of wines you are purchasing, the idea of starting up a distribution company has never crossed your mind?”
That’s the very moment when Doctor No specializes in German wines and launches his own company for wines import and distribution, mainly German. This obviously requires him to travel tirelessly to all the corners of Europe, in search of the best specimens of the great white diva: Riesling grape! Sooner Lluís is referred to as Herr Direktor and he gains the respect of wine gurus: the great newscaster now travels the length and breadth of Spain giving speeches about the German wine scene, while the wines he imports start appearing in the best Spanish restaurants’ wine list. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to meet him on any forum, acting out…
Lluís, why Gourmet Hunters?
“I consider myself as a humble and thankful wine drinker. I am an absolute enthusiast of white wines because of their broad range of registers. In contrast with our human expression ability, vines cannot use words… that’s why I like those wines that transmit where they come from and the personality of the wine maker that produced them.
I am a part of Gourmet Hunters’ seed, always having the final consumer as key focus, the wine lover who uncorks the bottle and shares it with his friends because he truly and distinctly appreciates the value of the wine. Because of that and because I started in this world just like them, as an amateur (I still regard myself as one of them!) I am fascinated with the idea of having a good time sharing experiences, advice and wine, always wine!”
Once upon a time, among wine pallets and computers, in the middle of a move, Gourmet Hunters’ founders decided that the best nickname for Ivan was Mr. Google. Indeed Iván was born between bits and bauds, at the dawn of the network of networks. Some sort of digital entity that turned his hobby into a full time job as computer engineer, keeping the flame of enchantment for the ever-changing Internet universe.
He is the key part, essential in every online business; analytical, scheming, perceptive… A synthesis man, cold as ice. However, he is constantly updated about the technological changes and surprises us with novelties and strategies. He always anticipates what is going to happen! Sharing a glass of wine with Iván is quite peculiar, as his analytic skills make him taste wines following similarities and rejections as if it were a high precision server, actually he hits the bull’s-eye many times. A further proof that the wine world is suitable for all audiences!
Inquisitive and with a restless mind, he is always ready to scan new fields of human activity to take pleasure in the thrill of exploration and discovery. Not long ago he learned a new way to seize something deeply rooted in the Mediterranean culture: the world of wine. “To fully appreciate and enjoy it there is a learning process, but the path to take is always pleasant and amusing, who could ask for anything more?”
Iván, why Gourmet Hunters?
“My career has leaded me to technical consultancy, analysis and IT development for small and medium-sized enterprises, so all the time I have interacted with intermediate layers, never getting to know the impact on final users. Sometimes the excessive compartmentalization of expertises makes us lose perspective; we cannot see the wood for the trees.
Gourmet Hunters is an exhaust valve where my technological job interacts with the final customer, offering constant improvements so the user has a positive experience from direct communication.
My adventure fellows, with their catching enthusiasm and experience have given me the opportunity to enter an exciting world that now I would like to share with you. I wish that, as it happened to me, you participate in our emotion and passions, feel the thrill of discovery, experiences and pleasure, believe me… it is worth exploring it.”
Closest people define Claudio as an “overwhelming whirl”. He is a man in search for the truth, the very essence and the authentic, with a challenging personality: “I like to see people’s reactions”. Because of that he is constantly training, to trace the origin and the why of everything.
He quit early his studies on Administration and Business Management to focus in his oenology and sommelier career. At the same time, he broadens his gastronomic knowledge obtaining a chef degree at the Escuela de Hostelería Hofmann, a prestigious restaurant and catering school located at the Born district in Barcelona. After finishing his education, he starts his professional lifework as oenologist assistant working in: Castell de Perelada (Empordà), Domaine de Chevalier (Pessac-Léognan), Pikes Wines (Clare Valley, Australia) and Didier Dagueneau (Pouilly-Fumé). In addition to all the travelling, he learns about grapevine growing and wine making processes, discovering his mentor’s best kept secrets. Maybe someday he will produce his own wine?
His unbridled passion for good eating and better drinking lead him to meddling in kitchens and terroirs, hunting the most precious and newest products. Gourmet Hunters is born accordingly to Claudio and his partners’ life style, to highlight their knowledge and share them with other wine enthusiasts through Gourmethunters.com and GourmethuntersTV.
Claudio, why Gourmet Hunters?
“Human learning stage is never-ending. Over time, we gain experiences and our tastes do change: what at the beginning surprised us, any wine or dish, after enjoying different elaborations, changing recipes or diverse ways of handling ingredients, we realize that what seemed to be perfect is not so excellent. Why? Perhaps as a result of the accumulated experiences our taste memory gathers references and values that can be used later to contrast with former ones… This is how tasting art works, because we all have to learn!
I wish I have had the right person with me from the very first moment to guide me through the tasting training and who quickly unveiled me how to appreciate worthy stuff, but that was not the case…
Gourmet Hunters for me is a lifestyle, a culture, where I try again and again to seize hold of the wisdom of people around me (vintners, oenologists, vine growers, wine tasters and chefs) and then getting to my own judgements. Considering this circumstances, I feel excited to share what I have learned with other gastronomy and wine lovers who might be tempted to venture. How? Internet is a powerful tool, direct and effective, within the reach of all, where many sites present impersonal wine catalogues. Why shouldn’t we turn Gourmet Hunters into a big brother through some sort of gastronomic jewellery that provides the coolest products? Expertise, trends, novelties and talent is what you will find in the social network, blog, wine tasting and Gourmethunters.tv.
Gourmet Hunters is the association of three top- gastronomy hunting partners!