Timothy Foley, the king of pâté-croûte in New York

  • 1 November 2018
  • 8min

Timothy Foley, the king of pâté-croûte in New York

The 26-year-old American won the final of the Pâté-Croute World Championships in the United States which saw American and Canadian chefs compete against each other.

Created in 2009 and the result of a bet among friends, the Pâté-Croute World Championships has made its way onto the list of important international cooking competitions. Having said this, this iconic element of French gastronomic heritage has long suffered from a poor image which does not do justice to the technical prowess required to produce it. Today, the judging panel is composed of MOFs, Michelin-starred chefs and experienced catering professionals who will decide between the artisans pitched against one another, not only in France but also abroad. A book has even been published by the Confrérie du Pâté Croûte portraying the 33 best recipes from the contest.

The sweet pâté-croûte was not a favourite with the judges

Timothy Foley had already taken part in the final of the 2017 North American final of the Pâté-Croûte World Championships. The chef charcutier from Le District, a food court featuring products from French-speaking countries located in Lower Manhattan, presented the judging panel with a creation inspired by the Black Forest. He had used black coconut powder for the colour and to add a note of sweetness. A daring move but one which was not appreciated by the sampling team comprising trade professionals including foie gras and poultry producer Ariane Daguin from New Jersey and New Nork-based Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud..

The Basque appealed to palates in New York

“I made notes and decided on something more traditional this year”, declared Timothy the day after his American victory on 15th October. To charm the professionals, he chose to pay homage to culinary tradition in a region spanning the south-west of France and north-west Spain with a creation he called The Basque. “I finely diced my chili peppers and added tomatoes, white wine, Bayonne ham and some Espelette pepper. I then mixed this together with the chicken and pork jowl meat.”

″I love French charcuterie″

His pâté-croûte was top of the running order when facing the judging panel and it would appear that the first impression was good. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in 2012 – one of New York State’s great culinary schools whose teaching restaurant was named after Paul Bocuse – Timothy Foley has worked in some of the top establishments in the Big Apple including Le Bernardin, whose three-star Michelin kitchens are run by Frenchman Eric Ripert. “I love French charcuterie and the fact that it requires special skills which is less tedious than Italian cured meat production. The pâté-croûte is a product that takes time and can be made up of so many different things which requires great creativity.”

3 December at la Maison Chapoutier : it’s a date !

At 26 years of age, the chef from Le District has just won his ticket to France, and perhaps more importantly, la Maison Chapoutier in Tain l’Hermitage, where the final is taking place on 3 December. He will be facing Keiichi Tokita, chef at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo and finalist in the Japanese competition organised at the beginning of the autumn, Antoine Corriveau from l’Ateliers et Saveurs in Montreal who received a wildcard in the American final and nine Frenchmen who will be selected following the French contest in Paris on 8 November.

The first American in the final of the Pâté-Croute World Championships

Note that it is also the first time that a native New Yorker will be representing the USA in this competition. Previous editions have been won by French chefs residing in the United States (Aurélien Dufour in 2015, Guillaume Ginther in 2016 and Laetitia Rouabah in 2017).

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