ABOUT THE CHEF HIMSELF
A veteran of the food industry, Stéphane Tréand’s pastry journey began in Northern France when his father sent him to work at the local bakery. During the hard time of apprenticeship at the bakery shop, he could attend pastry courses one week per month in a Pastry school in Vincennes, Paris.
When he discovered there were so many ways to express himself within the world of “la pâtisserie”, he realized his passion for pastry.
Stéphane has held a variety of positions at several bakeries and pastry shops in the Paris area where he learned all of the fundamental basics of French pastry and bakery.
In 1989, Stéphane opened his own patisserie tearoom “Pâtisserie Tréand”, located in Brignoles in Provence, South of France. Already a food lover, he focused on the quality products that the South offered which allowed him the freedom to express his creativity.
While running his pâtisserie, Stéphane found another way to share his passion through teaching. In 1994 he decided to become a Pastry Teacher while still running “Pâtisserie Tréand”. He taught pastry to apprentices at the CFA of St. Maximin.
In 1999, after training for four years, Stéphane’s apprentice from his patisserie won the prestigious title of M.A.F., (Meilleur Apprenti de France), “Best Apprentice in France”.
Stéphane Tréand was a recognizable name at many contests and demonstrations. While continuing to make a name for himself in the world of pastry, he was also a trainer at the ENSP, the national superior pastry school in Yssingeaux, France.
In 2001 Stéphane sold his patisserie in order to devote more time to teaching and to pursue his lifetime dream of achieving the title of M.O.F., (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) “Best Craftman in France” which he achieved in 2004. The title of M.O.F. is the highest honor given by the President of France to a professional in an individual trade.
Stéphane has been invited to be a guest chef at several respected culinary institutions across the world including The Apron School, Niigata, Japan; The French Pastry School, Chicago, IL; The Notter School, Orlando, FL; The Institute of Culinary Education, New York, NY; and several culinary centers in the US, England, Scotland, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Mexico, Hong Kong, and the Caribbean.
One of his teenage dreams was to live in the USA and in 2005 Stéphane was given an opportunity to do so. He accepted a position of Executive Pastry Chef at The Four Seasons Hotel & Resort in Newport Beach, CA. The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA became his next destination as he held the title of Executive Pastry Chef there.
Over the past years, Stéphane Tréand has been very busy. In 2005 he won the Food Network’s “Sugar Daredevils Challenge” in Phoenix, AZ, in 2007 he won the gold medal at the National Pastry Team Championship (NPTC) in Nashville, TN and in 2008 he took the title of World Pastry Champion at the WPTC in Nashville, TN.
Pastry Art and Design Magazine named Stéphane one of the Ten Best Pastry Chefs in the USA in 2007 and 2008.
In 2009, he coached the USA Team which consisted of three of his former assistants from California. The team won the bronze medal at the International Pastry Competition in Tokyo, Japan.
Stéphane is currently the Executive Chef Consultant for Occitanial, a pastry shop in Tokyo where he took the challenge of creating south of France pastries with a pinch of Japanese sensitivity. He also continues to create silicon molds for his endorsed line of Showpeels which he designs for sugar and chocolate artistic work.
Stéphane’s ultimate dream of living in the USA and having his own school have been realized. With his superior knowledge and innovative techniques, he is dedicating his time to sharing his passion and love for the Art of Pastry.
Meilleurs ouvriers de france (M.O.F.)
Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France is a craftsmen competition in France, held every four years.
The title of Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (shortened to MOF) is a unique award in France according to category of trades in a contest between professionals. This contest is organized and recognized as a third-level degree by the French Ministry of Labour. The President of the French Republic is granted honorary membership with the title MOF honoris causa. The awarding of medals occurs at the Sorbonne, in Paris, during a large reunion followed by a ceremony at the Élysée in the presence of the President of the French Republic.
This award for special abilities is unique in the world. Created in 1924, initially between the best workers of the era aged 23 and over, this contest was given the title of Un Des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (One of the Best Craftsmen of France). Today, by the diversity of specialities, the list of which is regularly updated, the award has also been awarded to more modern trades and high technology fields.
In this competition, the candidate is given a certain amount of time and basic materials not only to create a masterpiece, but to do so with a goal of approaching perfection. The chosen method, the organization, the act, the speed, the knowhow and the respect for the rules of the trade are verified by a jury just as much as is the final result. The winning candidates retain their title for life, with the indication of the specialty, the year following the one in which they obtain the title. This prestigious title is equally recognized by professionals and the greater public in France, particularly among artisan-merchants such as pastrymakers, hairdressers, butchers, jewelers, and others whose trades are recognized, particularly those for more luxurious goods.
This competition requires months, sometimes years, of preparation. Technical skills, innovation, respect for traditions and other aspects are all practiced repeatedly to a level of refinement and excellence, effectiveness and quickness to succeed and be crowned by the jury, which makes its decision according to the distribution of points awarded during the entire process.
SOURCE: Wikipedia [link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meilleur_Ouvrier_de_France]