Sri Lankan Baker Wins Paris's Best Baguette

  • Publish date: Thursday، 25 May 2023
Sri Lankan Baker Wins Paris's Best Baguette

Tharshan Selvarajah, a 37-year-old baker from Au Levain des Pyrénées boulangerie, took first place in the 30th annual "Grand Prix de la Baguette de Traditional Francaise de la Ville De Paris," the renowned French baguette competition. Along with a prize of 4,000 euros, Selvarajah also secured a year-long contract to supply baguettes to the President of France at the Élysée Palace.

“I am so, so happy,” Selvarajah, who moved to France from Sri Lanka nearly a decade ago, told The Washington Post.

During the competition, the baguettes undergo a blind-tasting evaluation by a panel of judges consisting of baking experts, journalists, past winners, and a few non-experts. Each baker presents two baguettes, which must measure between 55 and 70 centimeters, weigh 250 to 300 grams, and contain 18 grams of salt per kilogram of flour. The judges assess the baguettes based on five criteria: appearance, cooking, texture, smell, and flavor.

Sri Lankan Baker Wins Paris's Best Baguette
According to Meg Zimbeck, the founder of the review site and food tour company Paris by Mouth, there is an entertaining lottery that allows anyone passionate about bread to have a chance of being selected as a jury member. Meg Zimbeck herself served as a judge in the competition back in 2013.

After establishing Au Levain des Pyrénées near the renowned Père Lachaise Cemetery in the eastern part of Paris, Tharshan Selvarajah achieved fourth place in 2018's baguette competition. “Now five years later, I’m first,” he said.


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