Paris is full of baguettes, most of them exquisite. But who doesn’t want to eat the best one?
On March 5, Maison Julien, Les saveurs de Pierre Demours, a boulangerie in the 17th arrondissement, won the Grand Prix de la baguette (Grand Prize) at Paris’s annual baking competition, organized in partnership with the Syndicat des boulangers du Grand Paris. Taieb Sahal, age 26, received the prize as the boulangerie’s head baker. This is the 27th edition of the Grand Prix de la baguette.
Sahal’s baguette bested the 209 other baguettes entered into the competition. “All I know is that my baguette tastes good and is well made. I pay attention to the baking, the dough interior, and the honeycombing,” he told the City of Paris by phone on March 6. All baguettes in the competition, which had to meet strict requirements in length, weight, and salt content, were judged on bake, taste, interior, smell, and appearance.
In addition to bragging rights, Sahal wins 4€000. He will also have the honor, for one year, of being the official supplier of baguettes for the Elysée Palace. There is, of course, also the effect that the title will have on his business. Last year’s winner, Fabrice Leroy, told Le Parisien that after winning the title he went from selling 200 baguettes a day to 1,200 at his bakery, Boulangerie Leroy-Monti.
Les saveurs de Pierre Hermé has previously won several Trophées de la pâtisserie d’île-de-France for its pastries. “The pain au chocolat and tarte aux pommes are delicious,” encouraged Sahal.
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Nine other bakers at the competition stood above the rest and received distinction for their work. In descending order of prestige, from second place to tenth place, they are:
Baptiste Leaute — L’essentiel Mouffetard, 2 rue Mouffetard, 75005
Liman Tigani — Farino & O, Boulangerie Martyrs, 10 rue des Martyrs, 75009
Laurent Demoncy — Au 140, 140 rue de Belleville, 75020
Anthony Teixeira — Aux délices du Palais, 60 Boulevard Brune, 75014
Khemoussi Mansour — Aux délices de Glacière, 90 Bd Auguste Blanqui, 75013
Ahmed Ounissi — Boulangerie Lorette, 2 rue de la Butte aux Cailles, 75013
Thierry Guyot — Boulangerie Guyot, 28 rue Monge, 75005
Giovanni Bianco — Giovanni boulangerie contemporaine, 49 rue Chardon Lagache, 75016
Jérôme Leparq — Maison Leparq, 6 rue de Lourmel, 75015
Featured image: Stock Photos from Olha Insight / Shutterstock