"Is that a joke?"
»« No, no Mr Akrout, it was you who won the prize!
Repeats Olivier Polski, deputy in charge of trade, on the phone.
He could not believe it: Makram Akrout winner of the prize for the best baguette in Paris for the year 2021 was even reminded by the Chambre Syndicale des Boulangers who had to repeat to him that he was indeed the winner and that he had to expect to see a lot of people come to his bakery!
He will provide the Elysee
The coming months will be busy for this craftsman installed at 54, boulevard de Reuilly (12th century).
In addition to the clientele who may come to visit him to taste his famous baguette, he will have a prestigious client in the person of Emmanuel Macron since the baker who wins the prize then supplies the Elysee Palace for a year.
According to jurors, his wand quickly stood out from the crowd.
And yet… many competitors wanted to win the prize!
Some 122 chopsticks had been cut into small pieces to be scrutinized, felt, smelled and tasted!
For more than four hours, a jury chaired by Olivia Polski, and composed of 12 people, including the President of the Bakers' Union or Guillaume Gomez, former head of the Elysee Palace and Taïeb Sahal, winner of the Grand Prix last year , locked himself up in the offices of the Chambre Syndicale des Boulangers Quai d'Anjou (4th arrondissement).
These bread lovers had to note 5 criteria at each tasting: appearance, cooking, crumb, smell and taste.
A ruthless selection
On the table at the start, they were 173 rods to be aligned awaiting the verdict of the testers.
But after having been measured, weighed and checked for their salt content, 54 baguettes were immediately eliminated.
Because not every wand can compete for this coveted prize.
To be selected, it must respect a very precise calibration: between 55 and 70 centimeters in length, for a weight between 250 and 300 grams, and a salt content of 18 g per kilo of flour.
No more no less !
We have to believe that Makram Akrout's wand had the perfect proportions since it was he who won the competition.
If you want to test it, go to 54, boulevard de Reuilly.