Pauline Place

Pauline Place to bring Hauts-de-France’s gastronomy to the EYCA 2022

“I am sure that to become good chefs, we have to be open-minded and the best way for achieving that is to travel. I would like to work in different countries in the world. Cooking and travelling will be my life” affirms Pauline Place, the finalist who will represent Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023 at the 6th European Young Chef Award.

Born in 2003 in Fourmies, Pauline is the oldest of three siblings. She has played basketball for fifteen years and is a great supporter of team work “because everything is possible when you are part of a determinate team” she claims.

A few years ago, Pauline spent a few days in a restaurant and since then, she knew exactly what she wanted to be: a chef. And to achieve her goal she is studying at Jessé de Forest high school in Avesnes sur Helpe.

Pauline already participated in a culinary trophy in Ireland, so she maintains that “participating in the European Young Chef Award is a new challenge that I want to embrace. Being a woman in the culinary world is also tough, but I love to put myself to test.”

At the European Young Chef Award 2022, Pauline will present an innovative reinterpretation of the Waterzoï of fish, squash and roots from the North, a traditional dish from Flanders and the North part of the Hauts-de-France region, which share an ancient history of common traditions and a particular folklore. The Waterzoï soup was originally made with small freshwater fish caught in the rivers and streams of Holland. Too small to be marketed, this fish was the protein base of the fishermen’s meals. Afterwards, vegetables were added such as squash, roots, tubers and aromatic herbs, that were part of the daily diet in Hauts-de-France. Usually served in brasseries and collective catering, this dish is also a traditional family meal.

About IGCAT’s European Young Chef Award

The European Young Chef Award is an annual competition organised by 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 6th edition of the European Young Chef Award is organised and promoted by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) and hosted by the Trondheim-Trøndelag, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2022. The competition will be held at Strinda High School in Trondheim on 11-12 November 2022, with the support of Trondheim Municipality, Trøndelag County Authority, and Innovation Norway.

About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy

Candidate and awarded 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.