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Sodexo’s Lenôtre Celebrates Three Chefs Awarded “Best Craftsmen In France”

February 28, 2020

The designation Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), Best Craftsman in France, is one of the most prestigious honors a French chef can receive, so it’s a momentous achievement to count three new MOF chefs at Sodexo’s Maison Lenôtre in Paris, one of the best- known culinary schools in the world.

Jean-Christophe Jeanson, Loïc Antoine and Fabrice Gendrier join five other Lenôtre culinary professionals who have earned the distinction. They work under the direction of Guy Krenzer, a two-time Best Craftsman in France winner himself. 

Created in 1924, the MOF competition is unique in the world,  Held every four years, the MOF competition is extremely demanding, requiring months or years of preparation. “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.” (source: Wikipedia). The honor is so prestigious that in almost 100 years of existence, fewer than 10,000 have won the right to call themselves the Best Craftsman of France, a title they hold for life. Once bestowed this honor, recipients must guide and inspire new generations toward excellence and innovation.

Jean-Christophe JeansonJean-Christophe Jeanson

MOF in Pastry-Confectionery

Jean-Christophe has been a pillar of the Lenôtre staff for 15 years, as well as Guy Krenzer’s deputy. Even though he saw a future as a cabinetmaker, his father’s best friend Jean Lebreton, an accomplished pastry chef, helped him find his way to a pastry career. In his journey through several craft shops, he learned the values he carries with him today: respect, trust, sincerity.
With his conscientious and meticulous work, he joined caterer Raynier Marchetti in 1990 and shared his pastry talents for more than a decade. In 2003, he joined Lenôtre as assistant pastry chef, then pastry chef, which is the heart of the Maison’s heritage; he now oversees 200 chefs. Curious by nature, he explores established flavors, aromas and textures, with a desire to create enticing, unforgettable desserts.

“Earning a Best Craftsman in France designation is an honor and a great recognition for me. With this title, I look forward to continue sharing the French focus on excellence and values dear to Maison Lenôtre.”

Fabrice GendrierFabrice Gendrier

MOF in Cooking

Fabrice Gendrier has been a devoted follower of Guy Krenzer for nearly two decades. He spent seven years at the Saint Clair caterer, then followed Krenzer to Lenôtre, where he’s been
a chef for 12 years. Gendrier is now the assistant to Fabrice Brunet, head of catering and another famous MOF. Inspired by his grandmother who was an excellent gourmet cook, Gendrier’s talent and fine cuisine have impressed many over the years. Along with other chefs, they carry the legacy of an institution on their shoulders and consider it an honor to be a part of Lenôtre. Gendrier credits Lenôtre’s rigorous standards for enabling him to meet the challenge of the MOF competition.

“I couldn’t have become one of the Best Craftsmen in France without a team behind me. I owe special thanks to all the chefs of Maison Lenôtre.”

Loïc AntoineLoïc Antoine

MOF in Delicatessen-Caterer

Loïc Antoine joined Lenôtre at the age of 22, inspired by Guy Krenzer’s legacy. With his background in the delicatessen field and his attention to detail, he was appointed deputy head of Lenôtre’s deli division in 2016 and it became his second home. Now 33, he already has the title of Champion de France de Charcuterie (2015) and has just been named MOF.

“To become one of the Best Craftsmen in France is an unexpected achievement that I did not think was possible. Guy Krenzer was my driving force.”

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