The culinary Prize founded by the Maison Taittinger will name a new amateur culinary talent in November.

Faouzi Madi is an orthopaedic surgeon in the Paris metropolitan region. He is also the winner of the most recent Cooking Talent culinary prize, created by the Taittinger House. A competition reserved for amateur cooking enthusiasts who must, after having succeeded in the pre-selection process, create their own personal recipe for a jury of chefs and celebrities. For this year’s competition, the selected theme was salmon in puff pastry. A complex exercise in which the preparation – of both the pastry and the salmon – can be very tricky. The candidate devised a recipe, put together a dossier with photographs of his dish and found himself in the kitchen for the final round. He is “extremely proud of his success since he performed in front of a jury comprised of leading culinary and tableware professionals.” Although he has no intention of becoming a full-time chef, the Parisian surgeon did allow himself a bit of a treat. Whenever he has a day off, and for several hours almost every week, he joins a brigade as commis for one of the chefs met during the Cooking Talent contest. “I love it, I learn new techniques and I make progress”. I’ve learned, for example, how to cook according to the season.”

The Cooking Talent jury for 2022 has selected the three finalists who will face off in the Miele Experience Center kitchens in Paris on 28 November 2022. The finalists will have three hours to prepare their recipe before presenting it to a jury, headed by Amandine Chaignot, chef at the Pouliche restaurant. Accompanying her will be François-Xavier Demaison, actor and honorary jury member, Eve-Marie Zizza Lalu, editor-in-chief of the magazine Régal, Thomas Bourgeois, Marketing and Communications Director for Miele, Vitalie Taittinger, President of Maison Taittinger, and Faouzi Madi, winner of the 2021 Cooking Talent, who will now be judging his peers. The Cooking Talent Prize was launched in 2009 by long-time partners, the Maison Taittinger and Miele, the manufacturer of kitchen appliances. “We came together naturally,” observes Jean-Pierre Redont, Secretary-General of the Taittinger and Cooking Talent. “Taittinger and Miele are two family houses with shared values of independence and exacting standards. They also both operate in the luxury sphere.” Founded 120 years ago and still owned by the same family today, the manufacturer of domestic appliances and industrial equipment thought it an obvious choice to get involved with a contest aimed at such a broad audience. “It was a logical decision for us,” Thomas Bourgois explains. “All the candidates are aficionados, looking for high-quality equipment. They are the people, along with leading chefs, that we work for. The Cooking Talent Prize was self-evident.” The day of the final, candidates will thus be working with equipment from the German brand, at the Miele Experience Center, and the laureate will be awarded with a premium cooking appliance. 

Rack of pork is the theme for this year and features on the menu, along with several required ingredients and three others selected by the participants, who will thereby showcase their talents through the audacity of their pairings. “Let’s remember that the contest is a stressful time for the remaining candidates, all amateur chefs. They are all very keen on cooking, of course, but they are not professionals used to this kind of event. That is why we pay particular attention throughout the contest to ensuring an atmosphere of goodwill and a spirit of sharing focused on cooking,” Jean-Pierre Redont declares. As for his part, Faouzi Madi is thrilled to have been invited to join this year’s jury. “For me, it’s terrific! I’m going to be able to talk with other cooks and discover what inspires them. My one and only goal in cooking is to learn and continue learning.” Brought to attention of the M6 television channel, he is preparing to participate in the “Objectif Top Chef” show. A novel way to spin out his dream following on the Cooking Talent that opened doors to great chefs and the media. 

Text : Cyrille Jouanno