The man labelled by no less than the Grand Maitre of Les Chevaliers du Goute Boudin Noir as the best black pudding maker in the world. The grandson of a farmer, Jacques had his induction into the bloody world of the charcutier as a boy when he helped his pere by killing pigs twice a year. It sowed the seeds for what was to become his life’s work.
Jacques Guisembert at work – Mortagne 2009
He began making black pudding at the age of 14 when he became an apprentice to a master butcher, making the incomparable boudin Mortagnais in the heart of Le Perche and still makes the puddings exactly the way he was taught. He says that although the make-up of the classic boudin is very simple – one third blood, one third, onions, one third fat – the key to making a great black pudding is in the quality of the ingredients.
Jacques became a charcutier and restaurateur and displayed such craft in his making of the pudding that he was recognised as the best in the business and inducted into the Confrerie as a knight of the black pudding. Jacques Guisembert is a solemn man who takes black pudding very seriously. He promotes the tradition and quality of the boudin both in France and abroad.
In November 2008, he travelled to Ile de Madeleine in Quebec where hundreds of people had emigrated from Mortagne 450 years before, to re-teach them how to make black pudding in the style of the old country. He said it felt as if he were giving back an heirloom to the people of Quebec.