31. January 2022

Taste the Mediterranean festival at Salon Food’in Sud in Marseille

Chef Marko Đurašević, as a member of the jury, has chosen the winner of “Le Trophée des Apprentis”

Small nuances decided the winner of the competition ” Le Trophée des Apprentis ” held during the Salon Salon Food’in Sud in Marseille. Organized by Gourméditerranée, the Association of the French Mediterranean chefs, the competition was dedicated to young apprentices chefs. The main prize for the winner is the invitation to participate to the festival Taste the Mediterranean in Split that will take place from 4 to 9 October 2022. Eight talented apprentices were accompained by the chefs of the restaurants where they work. The chefs supervised their work and were only allowed to help with advice. Pierre Bourdon, the young assistant of chef Fabien Torrente from Bubo restaurant in Marseille has won the trophy.
“I was impressed by the passion and the desire to win that all the apprentices showed during the competition that was not easy at all” says Chef Marko Đurašević, a jury member invited to Marseille as the representative of the Festival Taste the Mediterranean. “Only 15 minutes before the start of the competition the candidates received a surprise basket with the ingredients they had to use to cook a dish and serve six plates for the six members of the jury. And in just one hour! The idea was to make full use of what was in the basket. The three main propositions for the evaluation were: originality and taste, waste management and the way of treating the food” explains the Chef.

Along with Đurašević, Chef at Split’s restaurant Kinoteka, the jury for “Le Trophée des Apprentis” included renowned French gastronomy professionals. The president of the jury was Fabien Lefebvre – MOF (Meilleur ouvrier de France) in 2004. The other members were Lionel Levy – President of Gourméditerranée and chef at Alcyone restaurant, Tatiana de Williencourt – Director of Le Fond Epicurien, Pierre Psaltis – Editor and journalist of Le Grand Pastis, and Loic Fauchon – General Manager of SAFIM. In the first part of the competition, each of them tasted eight dishes because each apprentice interpreted the given ingredients in his own way. The jury selected four finalists, who were waiting for an even more generous basket in the second round, with as many as 13 groceries for a new 60 minutes challenge. All the jury members agreed that Bourdon’s boneless lamb roll stuffed with anchovy cream and Iranian pistachio, chard ravioli stuffed with tartar of root vegetables, chestnuts and sea urchins, with lamb juice and citrus vinaigrette was the best dish.

“The balance of taste and the final presentation of the dish prevailed” explains chef Đurašević who was impressed by the fact that despite the strong competitive spirit, there was a great collegiality among the candidates and that they shared the work utensils without any problem. “This shows how committed they are to their work, how much they respect each other, and how much they respect the work ethic and authority of the chef on whom depends the whole restaurant” says the Chef who has acquired more than twenty years of experience in leading restaurants in Spain, France and California before settling down in Split, on theAdriatic coast.

One of the highlights of this year’s Salon Food’in Sud was the participation of Chef Alexandre Mazzia. He enjoys the status of a culinary superstar in France: his cooking was rated 19/20 by Gault&Millau last year, and in 2019 he was awarded the Trophy Chef of the Year. In addition, his restaurant “AM par Alexandre Mazzia” won 3 Michelin stars in just six years. Chef Mazzia and his team of seven members made six sequences with 36 creative and tasty bites that represent the concept of his restaurant that attracts guests from all over the world to Marseille. Chef Mazzia calls it “Le voyage interieur” (Inner Journey). “His way of thinking about food is close to me and he is truly inspiring, and with his dedicated work he has shown that great effort pays off. This gives hope to young chefs, not only in France, but also in Croatia, whose gastronomic scene is constantly growing. Sometimes it’s easier to cook than to judge, but I have to admit that participating in this jury was a whole new experience for me. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to meet my French colleagues, to exchange ideas and reflections with them on the Mediterranean diet, which UNESCO has included in the list of intangible cultural heritage – says Chef Đurašević.

The audience had the opportunity to look at a promotional video of the city of Split and a video from last year’s Taste the Mediterranean festival, which has been promoting the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle since it was listed by Unesco, The 10th edition of the Festival will take place this year from 4 to 9 October. Once again some of the best chefs of the Mediterranean countries will gather in Split to celebrate together the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.