Visiting Paris this Summer? Where do you go for the best Baguette in town? According to the latest headlines straight out of France, you have to visit Au Levain des Pyrénées boulangerie and baker Tharshan Selvarajah.
Tharshan Selvarajah, a 37 year Tamil baker has won first place in the 30th annual “Grand Prix de la Baguette de Traditional Francaise de la Ville De Paris.”
The 2023 winner of the prestigious baguette competition was selected by a 15-member jury, who evaluated 175 candidates in a blind tasting.
The baguette, a symbol of French tradition, was included by the UNESCO in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2022.
Born in Sri Lanka, Tharshan moved to France a decade ago. Two years ago he turned his passion into a business by becoming the owner of the bakery. “I cried when I won because we are foreigners and we came here to learn to make traditional French bread. I am very happy to have won the prize. My bread is always made with love. Always smiling, always laughing, always singing. It’s well baked, it’s tastes good and is crispy,” he said in an interview with AFP.
The competition started in the 1990s to differentiate high-quality baguettes from industrialised ones. The winner is awarded a prize fund of 4,000 euros and a year-long contract to supply baguettes to the president of France at the Élysée Palace.