The Meilleur Ouvrier de France competitors takes place close to Perpignan: “the Grail”, for Gilles Goujon


Starred cooks and greatest staff in France shaped a prestigious jury through the semi-final of the 2022 version, this week in Argelès-sur-Mer. (© Emilien Vicens/Actu Perpignan)

Of the blue-white-red collar and some stars embroidered on the jackets. For the previous two days, the gratin of regional gastronomy has gathered at Argeles-sur-Mer, near Perpignan (Pyrenees-Orientales). Like 4 years in the past, the Christian Bourquin highschool, its kitchens and ultra-modern tools are internet hosting the semi-finals of the greatest employee of France 2022.

A semi-final of the “MOF” in Argelès-sur-Mer, Gilles Goujon president


Probably the most prestigious gastronomic competitors in France is celebrating its 27e modifying. Whereas they had been greater than 500 registered, 150 candidates are nonetheless within the operating and are enjoying this week, throughout France, the final stage of choice earlier than the grand ultimate.

The requirement, the rigor, the self-discipline… And naturally the expertise, listed below are the uncommon qualities which make it potential to win this well-known tricolor go. “The Grail” to prepare dinner all the things, in accordance with the phrases of the president of the occasion Gilles Goujon, with whom Information Perpignan was capable of trade between two tastings.

Gilles Goujon knows the Pyrénées-Orientales department very well.
Gilles Goujon is aware of the Pyrénées-Orientales division very effectively. (©M6)

“We’re right here for them to understand themselves as leaders”

Designated “MOF” in 1996, whereas his well-known restaurant “The Inn of the Outdated Properly”at Fontjoncouse, in the Aude, was not but distinguished by the slightest star within the Michelin information, Gilles Goujon watched with consideration and benevolence sixteen of his friends, then in competition for 2 days, in Argelès-sur-Mer.

Skilled and already starred cooks, but additionally younger cooks or easy kitchen assistants, the Meilleur Ouvrier de France competitors is open to all cooks. “We do not need to punish them. Quite the opposite, we’re there for them to understand themselves as a pacesetter”summarizes Gilles Goujon, who explains the philosophy and the problem of this competitors.

A really demanding competitors

A contest that’s nonetheless significantly formidable, and simply as feared. In Argelès-sur-Mer, as on the eight different websites the place the semi-finals happened, this week, the candidates needed to face a intense stress, and really excessive stage necessities, as detailed by Gilles Goujon:

The candidates develop into acquainted with the topics of the competitors solely two weeks earlier than the check. They need to discover the merchandise requested and supply themselves, as a result of that is the primary job of a prepare dinner. They then solely have just a few days to coach on the dishes requested, then struggle for 4 hours, on the day of the occasion, to make 4 equivalent starters and 4 equivalent dishes. It takes a whole lot of exhausting work and loopy vitality. You must be stable.

Gilles Goujon, 3-star chefPresident of the jury, “MOF” semi-final in Argelès-sur-Mer
Compulsory entry for candidates for the semi-final of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
Obligatory entry for candidates for the semi-final of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France. (©DR)

Comes, Bajard, Prochasson… Stunning folks within the Pyrénées-Orientales

This 12 months, the candidates needed to work on a herring fillet candy smoked and a poached egg for the starter, then on a double Noir de Bigorre pork chop for the dish. All whereas respecting to the letter, all of the directions of the jury in addition to the totally different cooking methods.

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As a result of it’s first kitchen that blue-white-red collar suitors are evaluated, by a first jury. Then a second jury in flip tastes the dishes to be able to award a mark on the tasting. Supreme issue, the cooks have simply the amount of merchandise needed for the eight plates requested. A damaged egg or a solely mistake cooking can subsequently be deadly.

On the Argelès-sur-Mer facet, the candidates had been evaluated by well-known names in Catalan and regional gastronomy: the Perpignanais Christopher Comes of La Galinette and Olivier Bajard, greatest employee in France in pastry, but additionally Fabrice Prochasson “MOF” and Bocuse d’Or winner, vice-president of the competitors, and even the starred Biterrois Fabien Lefebvre…

The imposed dish for the candidates of the semi-final of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
The imposed dish for the candidates of the semi-final of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France. (©DR)

The ultimate of the following version in Argelès-sur-Mer?

For 2 days, these kitchen pundits had the daunting activity of evaluating their potential successors. And Gilles Goujon entrusts him to be relatively optimistic for the candidates current in Argelès-sur-Mer: “From what I’ve seen since yesterday (Tuesday), I believe that we’ll have some finalists right here. The usual may be very excessive”is happy the Aude chef, who simply plunges again just a few years and even a long time again, to the time when the three macaroons weren’t but floating on the facade of his institution:

After I was 17, I had two desires: to develop into Meilleur Ouvrier de France and to acquire three stars within the Michelin Information. Being “MOF” is… It is an achievement. It is about being acknowledged by your friends.

Gilles Goujon, 3-star chefPresident of the jury, “MOF” semi-final in Argelès-sur-Mer

After two days of ordeals, in every single place in France, roughly 40 to 50 counts within the operating will probably be certified for the ultimate, which will probably be held in Grenoble in mid-November. For its half, the Christian Bourquin highschool in Argelès-sur-Mer and its infrastructures are able to host the ultimate of the following version, in three years. A file has additionally been filed on this regard.

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