Toques Blanches celebrated their 70 years of devotion to gastronomy at the third edition of the Challenge Culinaire Jeunes Talents at the Hotel School in Cannes.
The International Club Les Toques Blanches, Section French Riviera, organized the third edition of the Young Talents Culinary Chalenge on February 5, 2016 at the Hotel School of the Faculty of Trades in Cannes to a backdrop of 70th anniversary of the club. Around the honorary president, Jean-Claude Brugel, MOF and chef of the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo, chefs from prestigious institutions were gathered, all members of the International Club Les Toques Blanches, from the four corners of France.
The Young Talents Culinary Chalenge
The Toques Blanches culinary competition is open to all apprentices and students in cooking from C.F.A. and hotel schools in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. It was created by chef Pierrick Thomas to help young talents wishing to embrace this profession of passion and to promote and defend the values of the occupation of chef with the public, at national and international level.
Recipes based on creativity
Following a first selection from the applications received, the committee had selected six candidates (3 apprentices from the Cannes hotel school, 2 apprentices of that of Nice and a young girl, apprentice in Montpellier. The budding chefs had the difficult task to exercise their creativity to make two recipes on the theme of Lotte and an imposed a dessert, Riz à l’Impératrice in the manner of Auguste Escoffier. The competition took place under the authority of the technical committee composed of chef Pascal Labarrade, chef at Restaurant Rossini in Nice, coordinator and timer of the dishes prepared by the apprentices. He was assisted by chefs Jean-François Philippe and Alain Hascoët, both deputy chefs at the 5-star Carlton in Cannes, and Dominique Louis.
Lotte and vegetable program
This third edition, dedicated to a former, recently deceased member of the association, Georges Desmard, began very early in the morning. The 6 candidates, each helped by a commis (student in CAP training at the Ecole Hotelière de Cannes), gave free rein to their imagination in order to achieve the best, most original recipe as possible based on the imposed products. A magnificent 2.40 kg monkfish sat next to fennel, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes and leeks which were used to make the three garnishes that were to accompany this delicious fish.
As soon as their dish was prepared and presented to the jury, the candidate had to start preparing the imposed dessert, all that in a maximum 3h30mn lap, overtaking being penalized.
A jury of renowned chefs
At the tasting table, a jury of prestigious chefs composed of Arnaud Tabarec (Le Seasens in Cannes), Pascal Dayon (chef at the Elysée), Serge Chollet (former chef of Le Moulin de Mougins), Jean Fajean (chef consultant), Jean-Claude Brugel (Café de Paris in Monaco), Jean-Pierre Cassagne (former chef of La Closerie des Lilas in Paris), chefs Philippe Brion and Alexandre Desmard. The areopagus of chefs wearing their white toques had the difficult task of tasting and judging, evaluation sheet in hand, the two dishes prepared by the apprentices. The technicality, the professional know-how, gestures, hygiene, respect for the product, layout, aesthetics, taste, originality, innovation, all these factors played to win the famous trophy “Challenge Culinaire Jeunes Talents”.
Creations of inventive dishes
Julien Girolami, candidate No.1 presented the Lotte accompanied by breaded fennel, cooked in a broth and accompanied by a carrot and artichoke flan. Dorian Dautrem, candidate No. 2, presented the Lotte accompanied by leeks, fennel emulsion, mash juice, parsley. Candidate No. 3, Frédéric Porte, presented a Lotte duxelle: rolled in a slice of bacon, it was accompanied by fennel, star anise, a mushroom spring roll, vegetable mousse, veal juice deglazed with balsamic vinegar. Candidate No. 4, Tim Grall, presented the Lotte surrounded by a slice of bacon and chorizo, flan of spinach, ratatouille, revisited fennel and emulsified butter with lemon. Candidate No. 5, Mickael Ventura, presented a Lotte medallion with speck caramelized with sage on a range of fennel and carrot balls. Candidate No. 6, Amandine Podevins, the only girl who applied to the competition and was successfully selected, presented a Lotte cooked at low temperature, carrot purée, fennel coulis, red pepper coulis and onion.
At the end of the test, and after deliberation by the jury, it is Tim Grall, accompanied by his commis Yachdir Nabil, who won the trophy Challenge Culinaire Jeunes Talents. Julien Gérolami and his assistant Joachim Chambon won the second place. Amandine Podevins and her aid Manon Ficarra, seized the third place. The three winners of the event were delighted to share the many prizes offered by the sponsors and members of the International Club Les Toques Blanches: cups, travels, professional cases, cookbooks…
Personalities and sponsors
The ceremony was attended by Ms. Attuel second deputy to the city of Cannes representing David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes, Serge Botin, manager of the Cannes Hotel School and the Faculty of Trades, Ms. Dominique Willer, widow of Christian Willer, former two-star chef of the Hotel Martinez, Gregory Balicco representing the company Balicco, one of the sponsors of the event with the house Nestlé, Champagne Bryon, Maison Lejeune in Paris, Jacques Chibois… The red, rosé and white wines, served during the closing reception, were offered by Domaine Blauet represented by Frédéric Michel and the Château Apiès represented by Stéphane Grimaux.
The pièce montée for the 70 years of the International Club Les Toques Blanches was made by the Pastry Chef Gérald de Thomasi.
During the third edition of the Challenge Culinaire Jeunes Talents, 5 new members have joined the ranks of the association and were awarded the Diploma of Honour 2016: Jean Fajeau, Jean Claude Brugel, Patrice Jouillereau, Gilles Mérédieu and Audrey Goyneau, press officer of the Faculty of Trades Cannes.
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