In many ways, Nina Métayer is breathing new life into French pastry. Having won one award after another for the past ten years, she has decided this time to climb to the top of the recognition ladder, the institution of the Best Craftsman of France competition. If she wins this competition, reputed to be the most difficult and incompatible with a family life, she will be the first woman to obtain the title of MOF pastry chef, and will become a model for many other women who will dare to take the step.
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This personal challenge illustrates the ambitious and committed character that characterizes Nina, who is convinced that women are not recognized for their true worth, having come up against the misogyny of the sector. Today, she divides her time between Normandy, where she lives and has set up a multifunctional laboratory, and Paris for contact with customers and delivery of pastries in the Île-de-France region, for the time being. “We have projects for all France”, confides Nina for whom nothing seems impossible.
Coming from a family from La Rochelle who transmitted her the true taste of things, the kitchen is a subject of the highest importance in the Métayer family. However, Nina does not show any passion for cooking and sweetness, she rather wants to discover the world. Her first breakthrough came at the age of 16, during a school exchange to Mexico. It was there that she fell in love with bread through contact with a French family. She returned to France and decided to enroll in a bakery CAP in La Rochelle. Eyes riveted on Mexico where she wants to settle, the young woman dreams of criss-crossing the planet with the idea of sharing French know-how internationally. After graduating, she left for Australia and upon her return to France, she realized that she had to complete her training and chose the Ferrandi School in Paris where she graduated at the top of her class.
Then, everything followed very quickly, she joined Yannick Alleno’s brigade at the Meurice as a clerk. She quickly became a half game leader. In 2015, Jean-François Piège, who is aiming for two MICHELIN stars for his new address, the Grand Restaurant, appointed her as pastry chef – a new challenge that she will take up with brio. The restaurant obtained its two stars one year later. Crowned by her peers in 2016, with the title of “Pastry Chef of the Year 2016” by Le Chef magazine, then the following year, Pastry Chef of the Year by the Gault et Millau guide, the distinctions follow one another at lightning speed. The general public will now discover the young woman’s face on M6, in the successful show Le Meilleur pâtissier, on France 2 in Qui sera le prochain grand pâtissier and on Teva with Sucrément bon. With a solid reputation as one of the most influential pastry chefs of her generation, Nina feels the wind of independence blowing. After directing the sweet creations of the Café Pushkin group, she migrated to London for a while for the Mercato Metropolitano creation project, while continuing to pass on her know-how via her Youtube channel and to the 120,000 subscribers on Instagram that she keeps in suspense every week with her desserts.
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