EYCA 2023_Louis Barbier

Louis Barbier, Hauts-de-France’s young talent to the EYCA 2023

“Nature is a source of inspiration for me, allowing me to reflect and relax. At the height of the mushroom season, I like to go out and pick porcini mushrooms or other varieties, then return home to work with them. It is important to me to put nature back at the center of the plate,” affirms Louis Barbier, the finalist who will represent Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023 at the 7th European Young Chef Award.

18 years old, Louis is currently studying for his higher technician diploma in Hotel and Catering Management at the Lycée Polyvalent des Métiers Charles de Gaulle in Compiègne. At the same time, he is is serving his apprenticeship at 1-Michelin-starred restaurant Nature in Armentière (Hauts-de-France), under the supervision of chef Nicolas Gautier.

“This apprenticeship allowed me to expand my knowledge of local produce and learn how to enhance it with simplicity and respect for the product,” says Louis.

He has been cooking since he was very young. With his parents being in the industry themselves, he has always had the chance to wander around kitchens. His grandmother has always encouraged him in this direction, and it was with her that he prepared his first pastries and dishes. From her, Louis learned many traditional Sunday recipes, including snails and the ficelle Picarde.

“In the future, I would like to come back closer to home, to be in a familiar climate and create my own cuisine. I want to promote my region and show what a fine gastronomic area it is. But for now, I am gathering as much experience as I can to be able to achieve my goals.

“Competitions are a source of motivation for me in my professional life, as they allow me to develop my creativity and technical skills,” concludes Louis, who, thanks to these abilities, won the title of Best Apprentices in France 2022 in cold cooking.

At the European Young Chef Award 2023, Louis will present his innovative version of Ficelle picarde, a traditional recipe from the Hauts-de-France region. It is a gourmet and hearty dish, which is most often eaten during family meals or with friends, but also at popular fairs. The Ficelle picarde was created in 1950 by chef Marcel Lefèvre and Louis Pollenne at the Hotoie exhibition in Amiens, as part of a meal offered to notables. It consists of a thin pancake stuffed with a slice of white ham and button mushrooms, which is then lightly gratinated before being served with endive salad and a regional beer.

About IGCAT’s European Young Chef Award

The European Young Chef Award is an annual competition organised by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) that gathers young culinary talents from the awarded and candidate European Regions of Gastronomy. Selected each year through local contests, finalists to the European Young Chef Award compete by innovating traditional recipes from their regions using local ingredients.

The 7th edition of the European Young Chef Award is organised and promoted by IGCAT and hosted by Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023. The competition will be held at the Lycée Hôtelier Le Touquet on 20-24 November 2023 and is supported by Hauts-de-France 2023 consortium members: Chambre d’Agriculture Hauts de France; CCI Hauts de France; Chambre des Métiers et de l’Artisanat Hauts de France; Hauts de France Tourisme; Plateforme des Organisme du Tourisme; UMIH Union des Métiers et des Industrie de l’Hôtellerie; UniLaSalle; Programme Investissement Avenir; Caisse des dépôts; GIP Forinval Amiens; Région Académique Hauts de France; and Région Hauts de France.

About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy

World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.

IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.