Joosep Järvmaa, Young Estonian Chef 2021, wins an internship at the Institut Paul Bocuse!

The young Joosep Järvmaa, apprentice at the Vocational Training Center of Pärnu, became Estonian chef of the year 2021 in the young category thanks to an innovative and audacious cuisine. He wins a 4 months internship in the prestigious Paul Bocuse Institute to be realized in 2022.

Do you know the Chaenomeles, these shrubs from Asia whose bitter fruit is similar to quince, apple and pear? It is this unusual ingredient that is found in the panna cotta that Joosep Järvmaa chose to present to the jury of the “Aasta noorkokk” competition, organized by the Estonian Chefs Association and called to design the best young Estonian chef of the year. The dessert had to weigh between 30 and 40 grams, a criterion imposed on all candidates.


@Lauri Laan
@Lauri Laan

The competition took place on Saturday, October 2, 2021 in the kitchens of the Teko School, a Tallinn vocational training center located in the Sikupilli district of Majaka Street. In the main hall, a stage with a giant screen has been set up especially for the occasion. There, at 4 pm, once the tests are over, everyone waits patiently for the jury’s decisions. The ceremony begins with the awarding of consolation prizes. Then it’s the turn of the winners to go up one by one on the podium and to take a photo. The verdict is unanimous: the kitchen of Joosep Järvmaa, original and innovative, is worth the first place.

@Lauri Laan

The French Institute of Estonia was there to present the first prize to the representative of tomorrow’s Estonian cuisine: a 4-month internship to be completed in 2022 at the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon. From May to August, he will follow the different modules of advanced culinary arts of an international program 100% in English proposed within the framework of the Alliance network of the Institut Paul Bocuse. Worth €9,000, this course will be entirely paid for by the Institut Paul Bocuse and the French Institute of Estonia. In addition, Joosep Järvmaa will receive from the French Institute a grant of 600€ that he will be able to spend as he wishes during his stay.

For the occasion, the French Institute of Estonia has also associated with the French chocolatier Jeff de Bruges, recently established in Tallinn in the district of Rotermanni, to offer Joosep Järvmaa an elegant box of chocolates delivered with its isothermal bag. Happy tasting!


@Lauri Laan


Alliance, a program of excellence

The Alliance Advanced Culinary Arts program is structured around thematic modules that give students the opportunity to discover French gastronomy, improve their culinary skills and develop their leadership skills. Students benefit from expert instruction combining theory and practice, demonstrations, tastings and educational tours. Individual assessments and group projects complete the 100% English-language training.

Recent news has again demonstrated the excellence of the Institut Paul Bocuse and its Alliance summer program: at the Bocuse d’Or finals held in Lyon on September 26 and 27, 2021 – which France won for the first time since 2013 – several outstanding candidates were alumni of the school. Thus:

  • Thailand candidate Panuvit Khaokaew, a former Institut Paul Bocuse scholarship student, finished the competition in 14th place.
  • Carlos Pájaro, a native of Colombia and an alumnus of the Alliance Summer Program, finished 15th. He also received the social commitment award.
  • Nestor Toapanta, the chef representing the Ecuador team, finished 18th in the final standings. Nestor also participated in the summer program and now works at the San Francisco University in Quito.


The French Institute participates in the gala dinner of the Estonian Chefs Association

On Sunday, October 3, it is the turn of the most experienced chefs to compete for the title of Estonian Chef of the Year. The awards ceremony will take place in the evening during a gala dinner organized by the Estonian Chefs Association, where the French Institute and the French Embassy are invited. The president of the association, Taigo Lepik, who during the day is in charge of the kitchens of the Presidency of the Republic in the heart of Kadriorg Park, warmly welcomes his guests.

The menu of the gala dinner.

The kitchen is busy. The menu prepared by the students of the vocational training center honors the best Estonian products of the soil: trout raised in Saaremaa, deer meat, assortment of cheeses with truffles… At the table, we can see some distinguished guests such as the organizers of the European final of the Bocuse d’Or, which took place in Tallinn in October 2020, or the international members of the jury such as the French chef Jean-Rémi Caillon (restaurant Le Kintessence, 2 stars in the Michelin guide in Courchevel) or the German starred chef Matthias Diether, founder in 2018 of the very plush restaurant 180° in Tallinn.

From left to right : Jean-Rémi Caillon, Taigo Lepik and Eric Bultel

During the meal, the director of the French Institute of Estonia Eric Bultel receives from the hands of Taigo Lepik a certificate of recognition, as part of the new partnership which will allow to send Joosep Järvmaa in France in 2022. Partnership that the French Institute intends to continue and to make fructify in the years to come.

@Lauri Laan


Long live Estonian and French cuisine!

@Lauri Laan
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