This is the photo that got me through the door.
Every year, in addition to a handful of industry professionals, the Mayor of Paris chooses 6 members of the general public to sit on the jury of le Grand Prix de la Baguette de Tradition Française de la Ville de Paris or the Best Baguette in Paris competition.
For the last couple of years, with fingers crossed, I (along with I'm sure thousands of others) submitted my email to the lottery, but with no success.
This year the Mayor decided to use Instagram as a way to select the lucky 6.
Two weeks ago they put the word out, asking the public to post a photo of their favorite boulangerie, baker or baguette with the hashtag #MeilleureBaguetteDeParis.
I guess someone at the Mayor's office liked my photo, because last Monday I received this comment, "Bonjour, vous avez été sélectionnée pour participer au jury qui élira la #MeilleureBaguetteDeParis. Félicitations :) Le jury aura lieu le jeudi 17 mars à 14h."
I was ecstatic, to say the least!
This afternoon I had the honor of sitting in a room with like-minded bread enthusiasts, surrounded by piles of golden, chewy baguettes, where we spent several hours judging each loaf on texture, baking, appearance, aroma and of course, flavor.
I'll tell you all about my experience as a judge later, but for now, without further ado, the winner of the 2016 Best Baguette in Paris award is the Boulangerie La Parisienne at 48 rue Madame, 75006. Congratulations to bakers Mickaël Reydellet and Florian Charles!
Paris' Top Baguettes for 2016
1) Mickaël Reydellet and Florian Charles of Boulangerie La Parisienne, 48 rue Madame, 75006
2) Alexandre Fraysse of Fournil de Lourmel, 121 Avenue Felix Faure, 75015
3) Franck Kouroughli of Le Grenier à Pain Saint-Amand, 33 bis Rue Saint-Amand, 75015
4) Alexandre Planchais of Boulangerie Alexine, 40 rue Lepic 75018
5) Anthony Bosson of Boulangerie l'Essentiel Blanqui, 73 boulevard Auguste Blanqui 75013
6) Nelly Julien of Doucers et Traditions, 85 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007
7) M. Hamada of La Flûte Enchantée, 104 rue du Faubourg St-Antoine, 75012
8) Sami Bouattour, 193 rue de Tolbiac 75013
9) Vincent Joly at Le Grenier à Pain Italie, 52 avenue d’Italie, 75013
10) Christian Vabret and Philippe Simoes at l'Académie du Pain, 30 Rue d'Alésia, 75014
Paris by Mouth has them all mapped out for us.