IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassador_Louis Barbier_Hauts-de-France

Louis Barbier

IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassador from
Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 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.”

Louis Barbier is the finalist who represented Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023 at the European Young Chef Award 2023.

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 presented the dish Souvenir of a Picardy String Impregnated with Endive like a Water Lily, 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.