Until the contest on January 31st, find here the portraits of the eight candidates running for the 55th edition of the ‘Taittinger’. Today meet Miguel Valerio, representing Switzerland.

Having left the Dominican Republic for Switzerland at the age of 11, Miguel and his family moved to La Chaux-de-Fonds, known for its luxury timepieces. He quickly succumbed to the spell of the Swiss Jura countryside and fell in love with its mountainous landscapes. Introduced to cooking at a very young age, he was offered the opportunity to do an internship in a 4* hotel although he was still in compulsory education and just 15 years old. He took his chance and experienced an epiphany during this internship, resolving that one day he would become a chef.

At the age of 17, he began his apprenticeship at “La Maison du Prussien”. Miguel grew more certain that this was his calling, developing a passion for this demanding art of gastronomy whereby customer satisfaction was the sole purpose.

He took part in his first competition aged 20, coming third in “Le Poivrier d’argent”, highly regarded among chefs in Switzerland. He then joined the team at “le Beau Rivages Hôtel” in Neufchâtel.

Meanwhile, Miguel relished tackling new challenges and entering competitions, and was appointed clerk for both the Swiss selection of the “Bocuse d’or” and the “Swiss Culinary Cup”.

But unfortunately his meteoric rise was curtailed by a serious accident, after a fall while out climbing left him stuck in a wheelchair. Miguel had to relearn how to walk, and after three months he came out the other side of this experience a changed person.

In 2021 Chef Jérémy Desbraux placed his trust in him, and Michel joined the “Maison Wenger” kitchens in Noirmont. Winner of the Taittinger in 2015, Jérémy Desbraux motivated him to take on this new challenge. Miguel is representing Switzerland this year with an incredible amount of energy !

>> Read our interview of Miguel Valerio here
instagram @miguel_b.valerio

Photo : Gildas Boclé