Pierre Taittinger, founder of the eponymous Champagne House, had a great passion for gastronomy. As a deputy of the 1st arrondissement of Paris, near the Halles, he often let himself be guided by smells and sounds. This interest for fine dining led him to find his place in the Académie des Gastronomes: the 22nd chair, given in the 19th century to the author of the Almanach des Gourmands.
In 1966, to salute his memory and perpetuate his vision of the French Grande Cuisine, the idea of an international gastronomical contest was born, held and judged by professionals. The man in white, the chef hidden behind his ovens, would finally be brought to light while a certain type of cuisine would be honored, reconciling the classical rules with creativity.
So, in 1967, under the impetus of his son Claude Taittinger, came the first Pierre Taittinger International Culinary Prize, the reputation for probity and extreme difficulty of which has never ceased to spread, even leading at time to be nicknamed the “Everest of Gastronomy”.
In the wake of the 40th Prize, just as he was taking up the torch of the Maison de Champagne, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, who shares his grandfather passion for gastronomy, perpetuates his memory in turn. The Prize from now on will be called “The Taittinger”, symbol of a dual homage – homage to a lasting family tradition transmitted to coming generations, and homage to those who, for a long time, have already dubbed it “The Taittinger” among themselves.
- 1967 Mr. Michel Comby
- 1968 Mr. Guy Legay
- 1969 Mr. Camille Lurkin
- 1970 Mr. Joël Robuchon
- 1971 Mr. Michel Nicoleau
- 1972 Mr. Georges Dumas
- 1973 Mr. Jean Pierre Toulejbiez
- 1974 Mr. Rémi Pommerai
- 1975 Mr. Jean Claude Boucheret
- 1976 Mr. Paul Van Gessel
- 1977 Mr. Yves Menes
- 1978 Mr. Claude Louboutin
- 1979 Mr. Gilles Etéocle
- 1980 Mr. Gabriel Biscay
- 1981 Mr. Philippe Broussard
- 1982 Mr. Philippe Sailly
- 1983 Mr. Francis Dulucq
- 1984 Mr. Hiroshi Horita
- 1985 Mr. Michel Roth
- 1986 Mr. Surjahadi Djajapermana
- 1987 Mr. Ulrich Berhinger
- 1988 Mr. Michel de Matteis
- 1989 Mr. Regis Marcon
- 1990 Mr. Dominique Quay
- 1991 Mr. Bruno Maringue
- 1992 Mr. Michel Izard
- 1993 Mr. Laurent Debenest
- 1994 Mr. Yves Merville
- 1995 Mr. Bernard Leprince
- 1996 Mr. Christophe Marguin
- 1997 Mr. Philippe Gauvreau
- 1998 Mr. Vincent Arnould
- 1999 Mr. Pierre-Franck Salomon
- 2000 Mr. Fabien Lefebvre
- 2001 Mr. Karim Boukhari
- 2002 Mr. Stéphane Buron
- 2003 Mr. Stéphane Philippon
- 2004 Mr. Jean-Paul Bostoen
- 2005 Mr. Jérôme Ryon
- 2006 Mr. Charly de Wijs
- 2007 Mr. David Sauvignet
- 2008 Mr. Laurent Wozniak
- 2009 Mr. Nicolas Davouze
- 2010 Mr. David Castagnet
- 2011 Mr. Lars Van Galen
- 2012 Mr. Christophe Schmitt
- 2013 Mr. Bertrand Millar
- 2014 Mr. Jonathan Zandbergen
- 2015 Mr. Jérémy Desbraux
- 2016 Mr. Julien Richard
1st Sous-chef of the Embiez Island (France)
Tribute to Michel Comby with a reconstituted "Turbot à la Nantua”. A 3.5 kg turbot portioned and reassembled with two garnishes, one with a base of leeks, and the other with celeriac.
National finals :
The candidate has 5 hours to prepare two recipes:
One is free choice on a theme set by the Organizing Committee (based on which the candidate was selected) and the other set by the Chairman of the national Jury.
Recipe of choice on a set theme:
The candidate prepares the recipe devised for the written heat. All the ingredients required are provided and the candidate is helped by a commis chef.
Marks are awarded out of 200 and take into account presentation, cooking, seasoning and observance of the recipe.
Recipe set by the national jury:
The candidate must prepare a recipe of which he was advised one week prior to the heats.
On the day of the national final, all the ingredients necessary to prepare the recipe will be provided.
Marks are awarded out of 150.
Quality of work in the kitchen:
Awarded by the two kitchen judges and marked out of 60. The points are added to those from the tasting Jury to arrive at the overall total for each competitor.
- Recipe of choice on a set theme 200 points
- Recipe set by the national jury 100 points
- Quality of work in the kitchen 60 points
For each national final, the results will be announced during a reception held in honour of the winners. The candidate with the highest overall score is declared “Winner of the hosting country final of the “Taittinger”. He is invited, with his partner, to Paris to compete in the heats for the International Final.
Three weeks before the heats, the winners of all the national finals are sent, alongside their invitations, the general theme for the international competition: one main item (examples: fish, seafood, meat, game, poultry, etc.) accompanied by two or three garnishes, to be presented on a single dish.
On the night before the international competition, the exact theme is drawn by lot in the presence of an official court, together with a list of ingredients from which the candidate selects those he needs in order to prepare the recipe he is to create.
The official language of the international competition is French. However, the Organizing Committee will endeavor to provide translations and interpreters for non French speaking candidates.
On the day of the competition, each competitor has 5 hours in which to prepare his dish. The dishes are scored on a similar basis to that for the recipe of free choice in the national finals.
- Recipe of choice on a set theme 200 points
- Recipe set by the international jury 100 points
- Quality of work in the kitchen 60 points
The results are announced on the same evening and the winners honoured during a reception held by Champagne Taittinger
Rules of participation
- Benelux : Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg
Ages 24-39, with a minimum of 5 years in the profession and currently employed in a restaurant.
A candidate, irrespective of his nationality, must apply under the country where he practices. If selected, he will then represent that country at the international competition.
All candidates must work alone and only one candidate shall be admitted per restaurant or establishment.
Any candidate who wishes to take part despite working in a country not featured on our list of participating nations may also apply for the competition.
The enclosed entry pack must be submitted in English or French and sent to Champagne Taittinger, in Reims.
If the candidate is selected, he will be assigned to one of the selection centers in France.
Legal disclaims :
The organizer reserves the right to extend or cut short the length of the competition, or to modify or cancel the competition should circumstances so require. In this case, he will not be held responsible.
Any difficulty that might arise as a result of the application or interpretation of the present rule, or that is not treated herein, will be settled by the organizer.
The organizer reserves the right to film the national finals finales of the international competition and use the recordings from these events.
A candidate, irrespective of his nationality, must apply under the country where he practices.
If selected, he will then represent that country at the international competition.
General rules and structure of the practical heats :
Abroad, national finals are organized in a number of countries influenced by French cuisine. Each foreign national final awards the winner 1st Prize in the National “Taittinger”.
In France, where the number of competitors is traditionally higher, several selection finals are held, each also awarding a 1st Prize.
In France, as abroad, winners are selected following two separate heats :
- A recipe of choice of classic cuisine on a set theme chosen by the “Taittinger” Organizing Committee,
- A set recipe of national cuisine chosen by the Chairman of the National “Taittinger” Jury.
Selection process :
Selection based on a written recipe:
Selection is made, anonymously, by the “Taittinger” Jury, made up exclusively of chefs.
This heat serves to select candidates admitted to the practical heats.
The final selection :
The candidate is convened to one of the selection centers.
The organization supplies the necessary ingredients as shown on the menu costings of each candidate. Any ingredients brought by a candidate will automatically be refused.
All candidates must report to the kitchen at the time specified in their invitations, alone and with no outside help.
Candidates should be in their work dress.
General rules and structure of the practical heats for the national final and international competition :
In the kitchen :
Members of the Kitchen Jury control the equipment brought in by each candidate.
They reserve the right to refuse any equipment which :
- is unsuitable for the recipes to be carried out,
- is already available in a sufficient quantity in the kitchen,
- is brought in excessive amounts.
Only small pieces of equipment are authorized. At the international final, when candidates arrive the day before the competition, the jury reserves the right to refuse the use of excessive and non-justified equipment.
Members of the Kitchen Jury reserve the right to refuse certain materials.
Members of the kitchen Jury are authorized to disqualify any candidate in breach of the rules, having first conferred with the Chairman of the Jury.
Candidates each in turn receive the products listed on their menu costings.
They start to work every quarter of an hour. Following the order of presentation laid down by the Jury they must submit their dishes at the times indicated when they strated working.
The kitchen Jury may demand that any decorative or inedible element likely to reveal the identity of a candidate be removed from the presentation.
Penalities for delay :
To ensure strict equality between candidates, any delay of more than 5 minutes in presenting a dish to the Jury will be penalized. Over and above 5 minutes, the Jury will deduct 10 points per minute’s delay from the score awarded to the dish.
If the delay exceeds 10 minutes the candidate shall be disqualified.
- The candidate must :
1/ Avoid wasting or throwing away any of the products and return unused ingredients.
2/ Be careful not to disrupt the work of those around him and leave his work area completely clean and tidy.
A mark will be awarded for hygiene.
All candidates must remain in the kitchen from the start to the end of the heats.
All candidates leave together after the work of the final candidate has been anonymously presented to the Jury.
Scoring is by adding up the points awarded to each candidate by each of the members of the Jury.
However, to avoid extreme marks having too strong an influence on the scoring, the highest and lowest mark given to each candidate are eliminated before the marks are added together.
The president of the jury
Born in 1968 and originating from the Aisne department, Emmanuel Renaut was educated in Laon before leaving for Paris, where he began in the kitchens of the Crillon. Then he joined Marc Veyrat, whom he seconded for four years. He continued his career in London, where he directed the kitchens of Claridge’s Hotel. He participated in the 31st Taittinger Prize, where he won third place in the International Finals.
In 1998, Emmanuel Renaut settled in Megève at the Flocons de sel and earned a first star in 2003, and became "Best Worker of France" (MOF) the following year. A second star crowned his work in 2006.
In 2012, he earned his Michelin 3rd star.
In 2013 he took the succession of Gilles Goujon at the Presidency of “The Taittinger” International Culinary Prize.
The Tasting jury 2016
Chaired by Emmanuel Renaut
The Kitchen Jury 2016
of the chefs
The organizing comittee 2016
Chaired by Emmanuel Renaut
Honorary chairman: Michel Comby
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|Belgium Candidates||French Version||Dutch Version|
|Dutch Candidates||Dutch Version|
|Swiss Candidates||French Version||Swiss-German Version|
|Japan Candidates||English Version|
|UK Candidates||English Version|
|German Candidates||German Version|
|Cooking Talents Candidates||French Version|
The 50th anniversary of the international culinary price "Le Taittinger"
The Taittinger, 50 years of passion
Throughout 2016, the “Bruit de Table” followed the 50th edition of the Taittinger International Culinary Award, the “Prix Culinaire”. Following the victory of Julien Richard, the first sous-chef to have cooked with the cuisines of the Embiez Island, with his “turbot à la Nantua”, it was the spirit of this unique competition that the cameras captured thanks to the stories of its participants. From the first winner, Michel Comby, to Amandine Chaignot, a finalist in 2011 and member of the jury, to Michel Roth (winner in 1985), Emmanuel Renaut, president of the competition, or Bernard Leprince (winner in 1995) they all speak of the very special place that Taittinger holds in the protection, promotion and influence of French gastronomy. All recognize the tremendous commitment, discretion and respect, of a family united around Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, president of champagne Taittinger, and his daughter, Vitalie, an unwavering ambassador of the house.
Image : Nathalie Bozzone, Lionel Autran, Estelle Chauffour, Paul Olinger
Video editing : Afideis Production
Book Launch dedicated to the international culinary price "Le Taittinger"
This book recounts fifty years of culinary evolutions and human adventures. Around fifteen winners from different countries confide to us to tell more about the challenges of the competition, behind the scenes. They set out for us to discover the recipe of their success through the dish which enabled them to get to the highest step of the podium. To complete this, comments from the jury presidents, kitchen helps and other people also involved were added, to make the book alive, cosmopolitan and personal like the image of the great gastronomy.
Available in French, English and Japanese : Click here to buy it