Tom Meyer from Hotel de Ville restaurant in Crissier, near Lausanne, Switzerland, has won the distinguished Le Taittinger Prix Culinaire International. Following a closely fought final at FERRANDI Paris, the winner was announced at the Peninsula Hotel last night where Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger and his son Clovis and daughter Vitalie presented the trophy at the evening celebration.
The final saw eight contestants from France, Japan, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and the UK Finalist, Tom Scade from The Ritz compete for the first prize of €10,000. The theme of the 2017 final was venison wellington and finalists were tasked with producing a red deer wellington dish with two garnishes including croquette potatoes and a second dish of their choice, plus their interpretation of a fig and quince tartlet.
The dishes were tasted and judged blind by a prestigious international Michelin star studded panel who share 18 Michelin stars between them, including Michel Roux, Le Gavroche, London; Marcel Ravin, Monte Carlo Bay; Michel Roth, Président Wilson, Geneva; Pierre Résimont, l’Eau Vive, Belgium; Stéphane Decotterd, Pont de Brent, Switzerland; H Horita, Mange Tout, Tokyo and Sonja Frushammer from Berlin. Plus Stéphanie Le Quellec, Prince de Galles; Christophe Bacquié, Monte Cristo Le Castelet; Ulf Wagner, Sjomagasinet, Sweden; Jonathan Zandbergen, Restaurant Merlet Pays Bas and Christophe Raoux from Hotel Peninsula in Paris.
The intricate kitchen work was judged by the talented kitchen jury of Bernard Leprince, Christian Née, La Pyramide in France, Amandine Chaignot from the Rosewood in London and Lars van Galen from the Netherlands.
Tomoaki Sakata from Lake Biwa Otsu Prince Hotel – Restaurant Beausejour in Shiga, Japan came second, and received €4,800, with Romain Masset from Régis Marcon, in France, winning the third prize of €2,500.
Vitalie Taittinger comments: ‘Every year I think this competition cannot get tougher but it does. The young chefs are all so talented and work very hard and we, at Taittinger, are delighted to give them the opportunity to showcase their skills, they can all be so proud to compete, and of what they achieved. I am glad I am not a judge … I would want them all to be the number one!’
The competition, which was set up 51 years ago, is open to chefs between the ages of 24 and 39, with over five years’ experience. Often referred to as the ‘Everest of Gastronomy’, it demonstrates Champagne Taittinger’s commitment to the promotion of young, upcoming chefs.