Gastronomy: the former Top Chef candidate Noëmie Honiat on the way to the Bocuse d'or France

the essential The Aveyron chef Noëmie Honiat is going this Tuesday 23 November to Reims for face five other chefs to represent France at the Bocuse d’Or.

Tuesday, Noëmie Honiat intends to “give everything” to become the first woman to represent France at the Bocuse d’Or. This international gourmet cooking competition, created by famous chef Paul Bocuse, takes place every two years and takes place in three stages. The former Top Chef candidate participates in the first of these selections with five other French chefs. The winner will go to Hungary in four months to face other European chefs before an international final in January 2023 to obtain the Bocuse d’Or, one of the most popular in the world of gastronomy.

“Winning the Bocuse d’Or has been a dream since I was a culinary arts BTS student,” admits Noëmie Honiat, who has been training since this summer. Now there is a one in six chance of doing it. We will therefore move to succeed. We’re gonna give everything. But in addition to this motivation, there is also the fact that in 32 years of Bocuse d’or, no woman has represented France so far. It has always been men (and only one woman has won the Bocuse d’Or, a Luxembourgeoise in 1989, Editor’s note). »

Pike on the menu

The Aveyron chef intends to make her strength, “her mind” and her numerous training sessions speak to make history. Because the young woman of 23 years has been training “six days a week” since October with the help of a team of renowned chefs, such as Jean-Luc Danjou, Pierre Augé, Franck Putelat and of course her husband, Quentin Bourdy.

“In Reims, in 4 hours, you have to make a gourmet platter,” explains the chef. The tray is for twelve people. It has a main piece based on pike and twice twelve garnishes: one based on onion, one with lettuce heart. Obviously you need a sauce. At the same time, during these four hours, we also have a first fruits, which is an appetizer as a starter, which must bring together the three prescribed products. “Far from being a pike specialist,” it is not an Aveyron specialty either “, Noëmie Honiat learned to lift pike near Chambord, at a specialist, and perfected her technique and recipe with more than ” forty training sessions since October.

“I am a hard worker. I want to show that you can be a woman, be 1m tall 50 and do something with your ten fingers while reconciling your family life because I am also the mother of two children of 4 and 5 years old. I go to the competition with the desire to win. It is time for a woman to represent France. »Verdict this Tuesday November.

A regular at competitions

The young woman of 23 years is presented to the French selection of Bocuse d’or, this Tuesday 23 November in Reims, with great experience in competitions. She has disputed more than a dozen. “You should know that I love competitions, she concedes. I am a competitor. »Originally from Versailles, it was at the Paul-Augier hotel school in Nice that she began her apprenticeship in the profession with a hospitality techno baccalaureate then a BTS in Culinary Arts and table service.

Passed by reputable establishments such as the Cap-Eden-Roc hotel in Antibes, the Grand hotel in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat or even the Mariott hotel in Monaco, Noëmie Honiat starts from 2010 to catch contest fever. First of all “Young talent of gastronomy in the kitchen” in 2010, then junior French champion of dessert in 2011, it’s in the show Top Chef the same year that it makes itself known to the general public. She will also participate as a jury for a test during the following season before becoming a candidate again, alongside her partner from Villefranchois Quentin Bourdy, for season 5 (she will finish third).

Then became pastry chef at Jean-Philippe Darcis in Belgium, she won the Belgian pastry championship in 2013 and is a regional finalist of the French dessert championship in 2014. Since moving to Villefranche, the chef has notably been a jury for the program “Le Meilleur Pâtissier” in 2018. With the Bocuse d’or, the chef swaps her jury hat to become a candidate again.

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