The prestigious “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” contest
The “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (MOF) contest is a competition between several French craftsmen to become the best French craftsman in his category (pastry, butchers, jewelry…). This title allows to preserve the French heritage, its know-how and its prestige. From chocolate maker to carpenter, not forgetting the florist or the boilermaker, the title of “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” is a dream for a lot of craftsperson.
This title is obtained thanks to a contest imagined in 1913 by Lucien Klotz, famous French art critic and journalist, to improve learning. But the French Trade Minister, Lucien Dior, gave his agreement only after the First World War, in 1922. The first “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” contest (“Best Craftsman of France”) was born in 1924.
This contest is extremely important and every French knows its reputation. This title became a national certificate since 2001.
The launch of the 26th edition
In 2017, the COET-MOF, the association which organize the contest, launch the 26th edition of “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”. The aim is to continue to valorize the professional experience “Made in France”. The winners’ names will be known in 2018. Be patient!
Today, there are more than 9 000 Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, represented in 17 professional sectors, more than 230 professions. There are 14 of them in the gastronomic sector:
- Cooking, Gastronomy
- Maître d’hôtel, way of living
- Wine Waiter
- Cold meats
- Ice cream
- Coffee Roaster
Since 1924, the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France family continues to grow up to keep the French tradition.
Some profiles of Meilleurs Ouvriers de France
The Meilleurs Ouvriers de France list is very long and it is impossible to quote every craftsmen. But there are below some of them, with a description, to understand why they represent the French culinary heritage.
Arnaud Larher – Chocolatier, pâtissier
Passionate craftsman, Arnaud Larher has so much creativity to save the French pastry heritage.
When he was only 25 years old, after several years of learning with famous pastry cooks, such as Pierre Hermé, he decides to open his first shop in Montmartre, in Paris. This pastry is so successful than two others open in 2007 and 2012.
But Arnaud Larher doesn’t stop here. He wants conquer the world, exporting his creations and his know-how, to Japon in particular.
2000 : Best Pastry Cook of the year by the Champérard Guide
2007 : Meilleur Ouvrier de France – Pastry category
2013 : Five Chocolate Bars by the Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat (institution of excellence which makes a reference in the landscape of the French and international chocolate)
2015 : Enter in the famous dictionary Who’s Who in France
2017 : Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of the Merit)
Maison Lenôtre – Pastries and catering
The Maison Lenôtre, is an old caterer (since 1964) which is has achieved a proven reputation, is the house of Meilleurs Ouvriers de France.
In fact, Lenôtre Shops and Lenôtre school teaches to the best apprentices, this institution wants the respect of the French tradition and excellence.
In order to preserve the French tradition, Lenôtre works with a lot of MOF: Guy Krenzer (Meilleur Ouvrier de France cold meats and cooking) in the creation, Michel Roth (Bocuse d'or, Meilleur Ouvrier de France) to manage schools, or Fabrice Brunet (Meilleur Ouvrier de France cuisine).
1988 : Élu Meilleur Ouvrier de France - Cold Meat category
1996 : Élu Meilleur Ouvrier de France - Cooking category
1991 : Élu Bocuse d'Or and Meilleur Ouvrier de France
1986 : Prix Pierre Taittinger
1985 : Trophée International Escoffier
1998 : First prize in the Arpajon Culinary Contest
2011 : Meilleur Ouvrier de France – Cooking category
Jonathan Buirette – Fishmonger
The Meilleur Ouvrier de France contest is not only for people who invent recipes, but also for craftsman who valorize French Natural products. It is the case of Jonathan Buirette, young Fishmonger-Fish scaler who advises French and responsible coastal artisanal fishing.
In his shop in the 17th district of Paris, he mainly sells French fishes and shellfish the fishing line of small boats of the ports Breton and the Atlantic.
2015 : Elu Meilleur Ouvrier de France – Fishmonger category
If you want to discover more about the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France and taste their creations, go to www.laroutedesgourmets.fr and book your Food Shopping Tour in the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France shops.