After 20 hours of very intense competition spread over two days, the catering team of Shangri-La Hotel, Paris was announced winner of the golden trophy at the 2015 International Catering Cup held at the SIRHA in Lyon on Saturday, 24 January 2015.
The well-deserved reward crowns over a year of intensive preparation, reflection and questioning for the chef team made up of Jean-François Bury, team leader, his teammate, Thomas Guichard, and their coach, Assistant Chef Olivier Pistre.
In a highly charged and emotional atmosphere, the young chefs were presented with the Golden Trophy by Joël Mauvigney, president of the Confédération Nationale des Charcutiers-Traiteurs and founding president of the International Catering Cup.
The Shangri-La Hotel, Paris team won the French selection in Toulouse in February 2014 and were celebrated for their "bold interpretation, their technical expertise and their team cohesion". The chefs had been preparing for a year to win the top award at the final competition.
The team, under the enthusiastic, but intractable coaching of Chef Olivier, honed its delivery. Like the musketeers of French gastronomy, encouraged by everyone at Shangri-La Hotel, Paris and supported by their friends and relatives, the team spent many hours preparing for this challenge.
"These are two candidates with strong personalities, who know where they want to go. This year, they gained in self-esteem and objectivity, which allowed them to surpass themselves during the final," said Chef Olivier.
"Olivier united us, his understanding, listening and support made an enormous contribution. We are delighted to have won this trophy and would like to thank Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, and also our families and friends for their support and confidence," said Chef Jean-François.
Today, as head of Shangri-La Hotel, Paris’ catering department, this 32-year-old chef embarked on the adventure on one sole condition: to share it with his two colleagues. As his teammate, he chose Chef Thomas, who he met at the Hotel Four Seasons George V in 2001 and who is now his sous chef.
Chef Olivier, with whom Chef Jean-François has worked for more than four years, agreed to join the pair as coach.
"It takes perseverance, thought and humility to win," the coach said. "Jean-François and Thomas are perfectly complementary. They are two great technicians; the first excelling in organisation and aesthetics, and the second focusing on taste and quality."
Stefan Bollhalder, the hotel’s general manager said, "I want to congratulate Jean-François Bury, Thomas Guichard and Olivier Pistre for this reward. This victory is the result of a year of sustained and intense work for these young chefs, who entered this competition with passion and conviction. Their talent and their motivation allowed them to stand out from 12 other international teams and proudly fly the colours of Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, but also those of French gastronomy."
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