PARIS, FRANCE (MAY 4, 2017) (REUTERS) – The annual tasting for the title of Paris’s best baguette took place on Thursday (May 4), undertaken by a jury made up of city council members, the Elysee presidential palace’s head chef, Parisian residents and food bloggers.
The prize-winner receives not only a medal and 4,000 euros, but also the opportunity to become France’s presidential palace’s official baguette supplier for a year. With over 100 baguettes to choose from, competition is tough.
Olivia Polski, Paris city council member in charge of commerce – including independent and artisan businesses – amongst the jury, told Reuters TV that the prize brings a huge boost to bakers around the city and helps to build an international reputation.
This year’s judging process, split into two rounds of tasting, coincidentally fell just three days before the second round run-off of France’s presidential election, injecting added suspense to the announcement of the Elysee’s new baguette supplier.
It will be either the young independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron or far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who will be lucky enough to receive their daily bread from Paris’s “best baguette-maker.”
Last year’s winning baker, Florian Charles, French President Francois Hollande’s official baguette supplier for the past year, said that it had been an honour to deliver the president’s bread but that, in his role as baker and supplier to the Elysee palace, he had no preference as to which presidential candidate would be receiving Paris’s “best baguettes” over the next year.
“It doesn’t matter as long as they respect the artisan values of the baker’s profession,” he said.
The competition is organised annually by Paris’ town hall and has run since 1994.
Organisers announced at the end of the judging session that the prize was awarded to baker Sami Bouattour from Paris bakery “Boulangerie Brun” in the city’s thirteenth district.