Every day, until the contest on May 31st, find here the portrait of one of the eight candidates in the running for the 54th edition of the Taittinger – International Award for cuisine d’auteur. Today meet Jan Smink, chef at restaurant Smink (Wolvega) and Netherlands’ representative.

Owner of his own restaurant in the North of the Netherlands, Jan remains firmly attached to his farming origins. He lives and works nearby his parents’ farm, where they breed dairy cows. He could have taken over the family farm, but it was his brother who took up that mantle. Jan always knew he would become a chef. But nevertheless, he retains a strong attachment to his roots, working predominantly with local products as well as milk derivatives like colostrum. Jan won third place in the last edition. This time, he is hoping to join the young generation of Dutch Chefs like Lars Van Galen and Jonathan Zandbergen who have won the Taittinger Prize before him


The 54th edition of ‘Le Taittinger’, international award for cuisine d’auteurs will take place in the kitchen of the Cordon Bleu Institute (Paris, 15th District).

The new emphasis of the award is centered on a single product which the candidates could prepare however they liked.

The subject revealed a few months earlier by the organizing committee of the International Award for cuisine d’auteur is the beef.

Each chef will thus have the opportunity to give free rein to his imagination, his culture and his inspirations to create a dish that resembles him – a real asset for the members of the jury during the tasting.

Called ‘imposed recipe’, the second part of the competition will be revealed to the candidates the evening before the Final. The young competitors will have one night to imagine a recipe.

Find more information on the Taittinger – International Signature Cuisine Prize here.

Photo © G.Bocle