2024 food story erik hansen jean rougie 2024

Road to Rougié: A Food Story

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A history making accomplishment for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Culinary Arts Program.

On January 20, 2024, second-year SAIT Culinary Arts student, Erik Hansen, and his coach, Chef Manuel Panfili took 1st place at the prestigious Jean Rougié Trophée competition in Sarlat-la-Canéda, France. In its 14th edition of the competition, this is the first time that any international participant was invited to compete and Canada took the top prize.

The competition is for young chefs aged 19-22 years old. Foie gras producers, Maison Rougié, and Perigord truffle experts, Maison Peybere, along with the city of Sarlat organize the multi-day event. Chefs need to produce both a cold terrine platter and garnishes as well as a hot plate featuring the highly-coveted foie gras and truffles of the region. Both components are served to 8 chefs accredited with Michelin stars or the honour of Meilleurs Ouvrier de la France. The Jean Rougié competition is seen as the feeder competition for the highly illustrious Bocuse d’Or competition for top professionals from around the world.

It was knowledge and experience of the Bocuse d’Or that really set the team up for the shocking win. Much of the team’s success is directed to team manager, Chef Andrew Springett, also a SAIT Culinary Arts Instructor. Andrew, himself, is a former Bocuse d’Or competitor. He represented Canada in Lyons, France, in 2003. His own training allowed the team to established a diligent process for effective practicing each day with complete focus.

With much interest, we interviewed the team in early January 2024 during a practice run before they left for France. We wanted to learn more about the preparation required as well as to understand the great meaning of such an esteemed opportunity.

Congratulations again to our team!

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Written by Food Stories