Under the patronage of French President Emmanuel Macron, and honorably represented by Guillaume Gomez, French Ambassador for Gastronomy and Food, MOF and former chef at the Élysée Palace, Trophy Table Art took place in Polynesia for the very first time.
Trophy Table Art, launched by Béatrice Fabignon, a chef specializing in Creole and overseas specialties, is the first traveling competition to showcase excellence in overseas tableware, service and gastronomy. The “concours d’excellence” makes a stopover in each of the French overseas territories, and French Polynesia is the fifth. The grand finale will bring the competition to a close in Paris.
Supported by the Polynesian Government via the Ministry of Education and the Vice-Rectorate, this event aims to mobilize young people enrolled in the field, and create links between its apprentices and professionals in the trade. At the same time, it highlights the launch of the Polynesian culinary signature, the flagship project of the Pacific Hotel and Catering Trades and Qualifications Campus, headed by Hina Grépin.
Orchestrated by Emmanuel Fournis, maître d’hôtel, sommelier, consultant and restaurant teacher, the first rounds of the cooking competition took place on February 2 at the Lycée hôtelier de Tahiti. In the morning, the young trainees were pitted against the professionals in the afternoon. The next day saw the tableware competition for the same categories. During their visit to Fenua, the delegation also offered a number of master classes.
Under the watchful eye of Guillaume Gomez, the French President’s personal representative in matters of gastronomy, several personalities made up the competition jury. Among them were Davy Tissot, Meilleur ouvrier de France cuisine and Bocuse d’Or de France in 2021, Stéphane Guenaud, maître d’hôtel and silversmith at the Élysée Palace, Malia Metella, vice Olympic swimming champion, and of course, the heart of the competition, Béatrice Fabignon.
The competition, which took a closer look at Polynesian cuisine, naturally included a number of experts in Fenua gastronomy. Chef Heiarii Hoiore, from Hei Restaurant, and Chef Tereva Galopin, from Le Sully, both joined the jury of excellence for the occasion.
Chef Teao Maiarii of Maru Maru also concocted the surprise baskets for the competition.
To strengthen Polynesian culinary identity in terms of communication and events, Chefs de Tahiti was on hand to cover part of the competition, but above all to have the chance to chat with the crème de la crème of French gastronomic chefs.
Chefs de Tahiti was delighted and honored to join Hei Restaurant in inviting this exceptional delegation. An opportunity to exchange, share and discover the flavors of a fine Tahitian table.
Results from Polynesia are expected on Wednesday evening, February 8.
Here is a small selection of photos, by Chefs de Tahiti
The entire delegation gathered for a cocktail party at the Presidency of French Polynesia to announce the results, accompanied by their public and private partners, as well as the candidates and their coaches.
A total of 7 winners will travel to Paris to compete against the other finalists from overseas France: 4 in cuisine and 3 in tableware:
- Heremiti URIMA from RSMA (in training)
- Hitirere TEROROIRIA from LPPR (in training)
- Emmanuelle GARIDELLI DE QUINCENET from CFPA Raiatea (professionnal)
- Anthony LLORENS from RSMA (professionnal)
Art of the table:
- Maïlys MESNIL from the Lycée Hôtelier (in training)
- Aaron DAGNIAUX from LPPR (in training)
- Joyce GUYENNET from Jojo Pizza (professionnal)
The Minister of Education, Christelle Lehartel, closed the ceremony with a speech, expressing the government’s desire to encourage young people to persevere in the industry, and to highlight the products of our terroir, with the aim of marking our Polynesian culinary identity.
Chefs de Tahiti congratulates all the candidates and coaches, but especially the winners who have been selected to represent Fenua cuisine in Paris.