French gastronomy is famous worldwide for its quality and diversity. What makes it great is the ability that chefs have had over the years to develop it so that we can enjoy new flavors. Among these different chefs, only 250 of them have had the opportunity to wear the red, white and blue collar. Indeed, this distinction is reserved to the Best Craftsmen in France (MOFs), who have been able to achieve perfection and represent our country’s values. Our Best Craftsmen in France have selected the best products from the French terroirs so that they can become a source of inspiration and confidence for Gourming business clients all over the world.
Gourming presents its "Meilleurs Ouvriers de France"
• Meilleur Ouvrier de France cuisine 1997
The grandson of restaurant owners from Scaër in the Finistère region of France, Jean-Jacques Massé was raised on his grandmother Marie’s “marmite de bouillie ker.” To this day, he can still remember the unmistakable taste and aroma of that Breton porridge.
Jean-Jacques was distinguished with the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award in 1997 after working for several years at large Parisian establishments (most notably La Tour d’Argent in Paris and the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco), and for ten years in Africa with an international restaurant chain.
His path has shown him that hard work and determination can help to overcome any obstacle. Since 2010, Jean-Jacques Massé has been Director of Gastronomy at the Grande Épicerie de Paris.
• Meilleur Ouvrier de France (“Best Craftsmen in France”) in 1993 (“Bakeries” category)
Philippe Urraca is from the Gers region, where he learned the baking trade before opening bakeries of his own all around the world. A passionate baker, he earned the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 1993, and ten years later, in 2003, became the president of the baker’s committee for this same competition.
Revamped and modernized, Urraca’s profiterole is trendier than ever. Requiring both dexterity and a simple touch, the profiterole is the undeniable symbol of the know-how of a chef like Philippe Urraca.
Dépoussiérée et modernisée, la profiterole d’Urraca est plus que jamais cette pâtisserie de l’instantanée. Requérant à la fois dextérité et simplicité, la profiterole s’impose naturellement comme l’étendard du savoir-faire d’un chef, comme l’est Philippe Urraca.
• Meilleur Ouvrier de France (“Best Craftsmen in France”) in 1996 (“Bakeries” category)
There was very little to suggest that Frédéric Lalos would one day become a baker. It wasn’t until after high school that he would sign up for a professional baker’s training program. The only student not to be the child of a baker, Frédéric worked extremely hard to make up for lost time. He ended up graduating at the top of his class, which helped him to obtain a job with Lenôtre in Paris.
Frédéric put all his energy into his passion, and was honored with the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 1996 at the age of 26, making him the youngest-ever winner of the prestigious award.
Today, Frédéric Lalos’s creations are enjoyed around the most beautiful tables in Paris. He has bakeries in Paris and Asia.
• Meilleur Ouvrier de France (“Best Craftsmen in France”) in 1986 (“Cooking” category)
• Compagnon des Devoirs Unis (‘Companion of United Duties”)
The first hospitality school teacher to be named Meilleur Ouvrier de France (1986, “Cooking” category), Jean-Luc Danjou, Director of the Rougié School of Foie Gras, is a prominent figure in the world of French gastronomy and often called upon to serve on cooking competition juries.
Following a career at some of the “big name” restaurants, Jean-Luc Danjou, a custodian and true lover of French cuisine, shared his passion with students at the Occitanie high school in Toulouse for nearly 30 years, first as a teacher and then a department head, training and advising several generations of chefs.
And even though the Toulouse chef has now hung up his teaching cap, he still isn’t ready to give up his famous Panama hat!