A Tamil-run bakery in Paris can claim the title of having the best Pain au Chocolat in all of the French capital, and the second best in the whole country, after a hard fought national competition last week.
Sugeetharan Sigamani narrowly missed out on first place and the ‘Master du Pain au Chocolat’ title, but can still boast of having the best chocolate filled pastry in Paris, as he battled it out amongst France's top professional bakers.
The competition, organized by the Confédération Nationale de la Boulangerie et Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Française, a national professional organization that represents the 33,000 artisan bakers in France, saw candidates present 5 identical pain au chocolat to a panel of specialists including bakers, pastry chefs and journalists. In total, there were 42 competitors from the 13 regions in France Metropole.
Sugeetharan, who runs the Au Duc de Claye bakery in the French capital, is not new to the pressure.
Last year, he won first place in three different categories, including the best butter croissant and the prize for best pain au chocolat. This year however, the national title went to Sylvain Belouin from the Pays de la Loire region.
Photographs courtesty of Confederation Boulangerie.
Despite only having opened in 2021 the Au Duc de Claye bakery has since gone on to achieve phenomenal success.
Seine-et-Marne: une boulangerie de Claye-Souilly fabrique le meilleur pain au chocolat d'Ile-de-France pic.twitter.com/s4cqzloxfl
— BFM Paris Île-de-France (@BFMParis) November 2, 2023
It seems that Tamil bakers are rapidly becoming masters in the field of French baking.
Earlier this year another Tamil baker Tharshan Selvarajah, who arrived in France from Sri Lanka in 2006, won the title of having the best baguette in Paris. Selvarajah beat off 176 other baguettes and bagged a €4,000 prize. He is currently delivering the bread to the presidential palace.