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Yann Couvreur in the white box of "Top Chef": "This test was harder for me than for the candidates"


INTERVIEW – The renowned pastry chef is taking part in the M6 ​​culinary competition in an unprecedented event this Wednesday evening.

The white box test appears in "Top Chef" this Wednesday, March 22 on M6.

A completely new and innovative challenge, born from the imagination of the production but above all from the chef Yann Couvreur.

The idea?

Tasting a dessert via the five senses.

The pastry chef, at the head of nineteen shops around the world, including seven in Paris, will thus taste the creations of the six candidates still in the running in a completely new way.

He will first smell the creations blindly and put aside the one that will have least seduced him olfactory speaking.

He will then go to hearing (still blind) by listening to the sounds emitted by the cutting cake and will also eliminate one.

He will do the same for sight by judging the appearance of the dessert and then touching it by analyzing the textures.


he will taste the last two plates and give his verdict.

The pastry chef, who made the fox his emblem (he came across one almost every evening as a child), loved this experience, as he explains to us.

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- How did the idea of ​​the white box come about?


- The production offered me to participate in the show and think about a test that I would like.

I wanted to play on the very sensory side because I consider that a pastry is eaten with our five senses.

So we decided to do a challenge where each sense is analyzed and eliminates candidates before the final stage of taste.

The magic of "Top Chef" made that, from this idea, the white box was born.

Read alsoThe “Top Chef” notebook: Alexandre at the top of the class, Carla and Sarika at the pick-up

Do you create your pastries this way?

Yes, I try to do that.

I mainly worked like that when I was in the restaurant business.

We can play on these sensory experiences more easily than in stores where we have constraints.

The candidates, by making their dish by the minute, have a much wider playing field.

The idea is to push their limits in an original and fun way but also to bring them another look, which is mine.

I wanted to mark my "Top Chef" event with something that looks like me.

What are the difficulties of this test?

The first is to fully understand the theme and know how to interpret it.

What is complicated is to think about the five elements that must be in the specifications and how to pass each step.

The second is the time given to complete the challenge.

"Top Chef" is a competition that pushes candidates to their limits.

We put you on the grill and anything can happen.

The best can be completely missed.

Finally, time is their number one enemy.

How did your tasting go, part of which was blind?

It was something completely new for me and very fun and playful.

There were some good surprises.

Afterwards, it's difficult to judge the candidates on a test like this because very few cooks are very comfortable with pastry.

I encouraged them to leave balance and rigor aside and try to capture an emotion.

They listened and I take my hat off to them.

“I have no particular excitement at the idea of ​​​​going on television”

Yann Roofer

Are you going to watch the show?

Maybe I'll do it tomorrow.

But I hate myself on screen so I'm not going to have a good time.

I have no particular excitement at the idea of ​​going on television.

It's rather a difficult exercise for me because I hate my voice, my attitude… I think the test was more difficult for me than for the candidates!

However, you are very comfortable and a teacher on the air…

I tried to make them very comfortable so that they give the best of themselves.

I didn't want to project the image of a very authoritarian leader.

Our world has changed a lot.

Professionally, you have to adapt to a new generation that no longer necessarily wants a kitchen as militarized as before.

In my company, I try that everyone works in a good mood and in a fairly relaxed way.

So it was an extension of my daily work.

To read alsoWho are Jacques and Mathieu Lagarde, the two brothers of season 14 of “Top Chef”?

Could you, if you were offered it, be a juror on this show or on "The Best Pastry Chef"?

I don't believe that “Top Chef” has ever welcomed pastry chefs as jury members.

On the other hand, I had passed the casting to be a juror in “The Best Pastry Chef: The Professionals”.

They finally took Philippe Conticini and Pierre Hermé, people much more established than me.

I don't think at the time I had the profile they were looking for at all.

I imagine that this show will evolve and maybe there will be a place to take?

We will see if there is an opportunity or not.

Me, I don't worry too much about it.

I do not turn my back on the media part but it will always remain a minor activity of my work.


You also took part in the “Best Pastry Chef” as a guest…

It was great.

I get along very well with Cyril Lignac and Mercotte, so obviously that makes filming easier.

It is also very pleasant to feel that the candidates like us.

They gave me a very warm welcome and when I am given love, I want to give it back.

Yann Couvreur in the white box test CAPTURE D'ECRAN / M6

Are you going to come back next year to the white box?

It does not belong to me and I do not claim paternity.

What is planned is that the test remains but we have not discussed at all the fact that it is me who embodies it each time.

I think any chef really can do it.

If it offers me a recurrence in “Top Chef”, I will do it with pleasure… Afterwards, we also have to see if the viewers do not get tired of seeing my face every year (laughs).

Do you watch “Top Chef”?

Not really because I'm an early bird.

In fact, there's only one season that I watched diligently.

It was the second, in 2011, the year when Stéphanie Le Quellec won because I was unemployed.

It's also the one where I made the most friends, whether it was Yoni Saada or Paul-Arthur Berlan and even Stéphanie because we then worked together.

I couldn't even follow the one where Thibault Sombardier, who is one of my best friends, was in the final.

I worked in the evening.

“'Top Chef' has put a huge spotlight on our profession.


Yann Roofer

Has the show changed the image of the profession?

It put a huge spotlight on our profession and then there were plenty of positive repercussions.

Conversely, the show also gave an image of the profession that is not reality since being a restaurant owner is not a game show.

There are a lot of very needy tasks hidden in the show and that's normal because it's entertainment.

Moreover, at no time, “Top Chef” does not say that it is the reality of the profession of cook.

The show made the job sexy, created many vocations and even career changes.

A lot of people changed jobs thinking it looked like the show.

Now, even if it has evolved a lot, it is darker than the glamorous side that the

How did you come into this profession?

I was not a very academic student, I never did homework in my life!

But you can't just live on your achievements and in third grade, I had to be oriented.

I found myself cooking.

I liked the rigor and the side - excuse me for the term - good man.

If today I love the fact that there are more and more women, at the time, I needed a universe with testosterone.

I didn't feel any particular love for the profession.

I had to build myself and cooking was very good for that.

Did pastry come to you?

Being greedy, I wanted to learn how to make cakes, so I did an extra year of baking.

I was hired at the Trianon Palace as a pastry chef.

The passion came over time, when I was able to create.

Now it's something else again, it's become a business.

How would you describe your pastries?

Natural because we don't use any dyes and we really follow the seasons.

We are on a sincere and, I think, balanced pastry.

What are your projects ?

We are opening a new boutique in Miami and we plan to do so in Qatar and Riyadh as well.

We are also going to open a pastry school for amateurs in Paris.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-22

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