Tom Meyer from Hotel de Ville Crissier, Switzerland, has won the 51st Le Taittinger Prix Culinaire International final, held at Parisian cookery school École Ferrandi in the 6th arrondissement in Paris yesterday (20 November).
He beat seven other contestants from Japan, France (Paris), France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and the UK to claim the title, €10,000 (£8,893) prize money, a medal and a trophy.
Japan's Tomoaki Sakata from Lake Biwa Otsu Prince hotel took second place, winning €4,800 (£4,525), while Romain Masset of Regis Marcon came in third and won €2,500 (£2,215).
Meyer said: "I feel incredible. The moment I stepped in to the kitchen I had good vibes. It was a very exciting competition and I'm very happy."
Contestants had five hours to prepare a dish of red deer wellington with croquette potatoes and a garnish of their choice and sauce for eight people. The theme was chosen at random by the judges the night before the competition and chefs had the evening to write their recipes.
Prior to the competition final, the chefs were told they would also be required to produce a fig tart alongside their main dish which were free for interpretation. The casing had to be 10cm in diameter with pastry made on the day of the competition.
The finalists were judged by a total of 16 chefs including: Marcel Ravin, Michel Roth, Pierre Resimont, Stephane Decotterd, Michel Roux Jr, H Horita, Sonja Frushammer, Stephanie Le Quellec, Christophe Bacquie, Ulf Wagner, Jonathan Zandbergen and Christophe Raoux.
Amandine Chaignot Bernard Leprince, Christian Née and Lars van Galen were part of the jury cuisine and judged contestants on cleanliness, kitchen etiquette and organisation.
A maximum of 200 points were available for the venison dish. The judging criteria included presentation, respect of the theme, temperature, seasoning, and taste, while the tarts were judged on presentation, originality, technique and taste.
Emmanuel Renaut, president of the competition, said: "This year's theme was wellington. The winner did it really well and the other guys came really close. The standard of chefs is really high this year. I've been involved in the competition for 10 years now and every year they get better."
The competition is open to chefs aged 24-39 with more than five years' experience and showcases classical French cooking. In the past 50 years it has previously been won by chefs including Joël Robuchon and Michel Roth.
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