Meet Jan Smink (candidate representing the Netherlands), who won first place at the 55th edition of the ‘Taittinger’, on January 31st. He is followed by Hirofumi Kanbe (Japan) in 2nd place and Alexandre Vuillin (France) in 3rd place.
Jan represented the Netherlands for the third and final time this year. As this was his farewell appearance, he came to the competition more determined than ever to join its list of recent Dutch winners: Lars Van Galen and Jonathan Zandbergen, who won the Taittinger Prize in 2011 and 2014 respectively.
Owner of a restaurant in the north of the country, Jan has remained very attached to his rural upbringing by both living and working near his parents’ farm, which rears dairy cattle. He could have taken over the family farm, but it was his brother who took up that mantle. Jan knew from a very early age that he would become a Chef and retains close ties with his farming roots, working with both locally sourced produce and milk derivatives such as colostrum.