This week, two students from the Bachelor’s degree in International Culinary Arts Management along side with their Chefs competed in the Trophée Jean Rougié and have earned their spot for the final stage next 15th of January. At the heart of this iconic culinary competition are two main products of french gastronomy : truffle and foie gras. The Trophée Jean Rougié is a culinary competition open for young french talents highlighting teamwork between the student, his chef and their relation to reach excellence.
Will they be the next winners following Nicolas Adam’s win in 2020 ?
Paul and Félix have answered some of our questions before the competition and have confessed some aspects of their preparation.
A culinary contest full of challenges for our young talents
The first stage of the Trophée Jean Rougié is a stage divided in two parts and is presided by chef Thierry Marx taking the lead after chefs like Christian Têtedoie, Régis Marcon, Yannick Alléno, Frédéric Anton, Dominique Loiseau, Joël Robuchon, Gilles Goujon or Christophe Muller.
The first part is a fresh platter is highlighting the young rabbit. The students and their chef have 2 hours 30 to cook and dress up a fresh platter, then on a plate. The second part is about a hot dish and the theme is revealed 10 minutes before the beginning. Since several weeks, students and their chef are preparing for the contest to present the best recipes.
For Paul Mehu, the biggest challenge was «to define a recipe and stuck with it to be able to focus on every details and make it perfect. During the first weeks, I was tempted to change ideas regularly and so started again from zero».
For Félix Lagrot, the challenge was in «finding an original way to serve the dish with a theme that is “classic”. I was keen on being creative by finding shapes and tastes that we are not used to see during culinary contests to surprise the jury».
The collaboration between chefs and students at the heart of the competition
Trophée Jean Rougié is a French gastronomy competition highlighting local productions and the transmission to the younger generations.
Our students were mentored by Chef Pons, Chef of our restaurant Experience, and Chef Pansin, Chef of our 1-michelin-star restaurant Saisons. Competing in the contest created a real bond between the student and the chef, allowing the students to evolve and grow on a professional and a personal level.
Felix Lagrot: «The relation we’ve built with the chef is very personal and benevolent. He listens to my ideas, advices me on the products and the technics necessary to make those ideas real. He is always there to push me towards excellence. These moments of sharing and transmission create a strong bond».
Paul Mehu : « Chef Pons is a sportsman like me and we can feel it in our work and our collaboration. He is always pushing me to give my best and get to the bottom of things. He is also always there to listen to my ideas and putting me back on track when I move out of the way. Living the experience with such a kind person and chef creates very strong bonds. »
Being contestants in those kinds of competitions is in line with our mission of transmission of excellence, revealing its creative capacities of our students and our will to spread out the French culinary know-how.
You are curious about knowing more about our Bachelor and you would like to discuss with our students ? You can now chat directly with them online.