Meet Paris' New King of the Baguette

Xavier Netry of Utopie bakery beat out more than 170 other bakers to claim victory
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2024 12:08 PM CDT
Meet Paris' New King of the Baguette
Baker Xavier Netry poses outside the Utopie bakery on Friday in Paris.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Paris has a new king of the crusty baguette. Baker Xavier Netry was chosen this week as the 31st winner of Paris' annual "Grand Prix de la Baguette" prize. His long loaf beat 172 others, per the AP. Competing baguettes were evaluated for taste, look, texture, airiness, and the quality of the baking. The jury included a deputy mayor, industry representatives, journalists, and six Parisians that City Hall said were drawn at random.

The Utopie bakery in Paris' 11th district that Netry works for wins about $4,300 and becomes one of the suppliers of the presidential Elysee Palace for a year. City Hall said uneaten baguettes from the competition were donated to a charity that feeds people who are homeless. Netry, a baker for 25 years, said the secrets of his success are a decent sourdough starter and "a good, long fermentation," careful cooking, and "some love and some passion, of course."

(More Paris stories.)

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