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Au Levain des Pyrénées boulangerie and baker Tharshan Selvarajah, 37, took first place in the 30th annual “Grand Prix de la Baguette de Traditional Francaise de la Ville De Paris,” the most revered baguette competition.
“I am so, so happy,” Selvarajah, who moved to France from Sri Lanka nearly a decade ago.
The baguettes are evaluated in a blind tasting by judges, made up of experts in the baking community, journalists, previous winners and a few civilians. Each baker submits two baguettes that must be between 55 and 70 centimeters, weigh 250 to 300 grams and contain 18 grams of salt per kilogram of flour. The judges score on five categories: appearance, cooking, texture, smell and taste.
“They were all good and pretty but his was particularly very pretty and very, very good,” says Thomasse, who claimed to have tasted up to 90 baguettes as part of the judging.