The Trophée du Maître d'Hôtel restores the prestige of the service and table professions

3 min reading time

Published on 10/05/22 - Updated on 10/05/22

Trophée du Maitre d'Hôtel

While the hotel and restaurant sector is facing increasing recruitment difficulties, some actors are taking up this issue by highlighting the richness and beauty of their professions. The Maître d'Hôtel Trophy is back after three successful editions, always with the aim of promoting and representing the arts of the table, hospitality and service.

 This Tuesday 10 May 2022 marks the launch of the fourth edition of the Trophée du Maître d'Hôtel, a competition organised by the Association Service à la Française. This competition was initiated by five professionals who are passionate about their professions: Denis Férault - MOF, Denis Courtiade, Hervé Parmentier, Stéphane Trapier and Patrick Chauvin - MOF. Through this initiative, they wish to highlight people who share the values and requirements of this profession.

The Trophy has been a resounding success since its first edition in 2017 and has since received the support of many professionals in the hotel and restaurant industry. Maîtres d'hôtel, Chefs de rang or Sommeliers, nearly 200 candidates registered for the first 3 editions of this unique competition.

This competition highlights the professions in the dining room, which are often overshadowed by those in the kitchen. However, these professions are essential because they are "the relays of the kitchens and the ambassadors of the customers". The Trophy, like the profession, is based on 3 key words 

  • Transmission 
  • Innovation 
  • Excellence

The transmission of knowledge is particularly important, as it is essential to pass it on to the younger generations so that it is never lost. And the competition has clearly demonstrated the interest of young people in the service's job, with the average age of the candidates being between 27 and 32 years. Moreover, the minimum age for registration was initially 25, but this was finally lowered to 23 due to the increased interest of young professionals aged between 23 and 25.

Innovation is also a must, it is necessary to constantly surprise customers with new techniques to offer them a real experience when they visit a restaurant. Excellence is also important, as the job requires a high level of technical skills, but the juries want the candidates' history and personality to shine through. This desire demonstrates a certain evolution in the profession where it was previously difficult to assert one's personality while working in a starred restaurant.

This is a criterion that could have an impact on the attractiveness of the sector to the younger generations, who no longer conform to traditional codes. Indeed, young people place fulfilment at work and the quest for meaning in what they do very high on their list. Thus forcing actors in the sector to rethink their operating methods, which are often poorly adapted or no longer adapted to these new expectations.

The competition is intended to be inclusive, and is not only aimed at people from starred restaurants. Women also have their place, as the industry is sometimes criticised for not being representative enough, as demonstrated by Elsa Jeanvoine, who won the first edition and who subsequently joined the adventure as a referent in order to accompany the candidates during their preparation for the competition. Finally, the competition is open to the outside world and is about to be launched in Belgium and the United States.

Ultimately, the Trophée du Maître d'Hôtel wants to become a reference in its sector and does not hide its ambition to become the equivalent of the Bocuse d'Or but for the service professions. 

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