Céline Taffarello and Philippe Jeansing from the Auberge du Poids Public in Saint-Félix de Lauragais won the 6th Cassoulet World Championship in Toulouse. With the unanimity of the jury and the public. Interview.
How did this adventure start?
A few months ago, I shot a TV show on the Albi market with my father. And there, I met one of the two Chevaliers du Biel who suggested that I participate with Philippe Jeansing, chef at the Auberge du Poids Public, in this championship.
Why did you want to do this contest?
This championship created by the Knights of the Fiel now has its reputation. It is also a challenge to take up, a challenge that enhances our house, our profession and our know-how. In addition, cassoulet is an emblematic dish of our restaurant. We live with him every day. We also see the happiness it brings to our customers. In conclusion, this dish, which stands out from the others, is close to our hearts.
Tell us about your restaurant.
It’s a very old table created in the 1900s. My parents, Claude and Denise, took it over in the 90s and established its reputation by obtaining several distinctions. I have known this place forever. I arrived there when I was five years old. It’s kind of my home. I took it over in 2017. And now I run this business with my partner Mikaël Altmann.
For you, what does a good cassoulet mean?
A good cassoulet is a preparation that is off the beaten track. A dish made with authentic products, essential to mix the flavors as well as possible.
What exactly are these points?
First use Castelnaudary beans. Then meat from Maison Banquet in Revel. Two very important points that already make the difference. (see recipe opposite). I also use the cassole, a Not pottery dish, with a flared surface, ideal for giving the gratin all its flavor.
Were you surprised to win this championship?
We always enter a contest to win. For the joy of participating, of course, but also to win. We didn’t know if we were going to win this prize. On the other hand, we knew that we would do everything for it. In other words, give the best of us. It’s a well-known dish. We had our chances.
You say that cassoulet is for you a dish of transmission…
Yes, I learned the recipe from my father. It’s a real family story. A story far beyond a simple cooking recipe. It is a dish of love and emotion.
What does such a distinction bring to a restaurant?
It’s really a plus. Customers are curious about this championship-winning dish. They come for this. It’s a bit of a red thread around a local dish.
You made both the jury and the public unanimous. This is the second time in six years. What do you feel ?
It touches us a lot. It’s a great reward for our team, our work, our customers. Such a result is the result of several factors.
Sometimes the world championship title makes you smile. What do you think ?
That’s a shame. Because this competition defends the products of our region. It’s not nothing.
Recipe for the winning cassoulet
Cook the meat rinds in salted boiling water. Brown all the meats (Toulouse sausage, coustellous, loin in duck fat). Make a broth with a ham bone, a bouquet garni and all the meat juices. Soak the Castelnaudary beans. Blanch them. Then cook them in the broth 3/4 of the way through. Peel the garlic. Count one pod per person. Assemble the cassoulet in a pot from Not pottery. First the rinds, then the beans, then all the roast meats. Add beans. Finish with the duck confit legs then a layer of beans. Last step: making the tourin: mix the rinds with the cooking juices from the beans and the garlic, then moisten the cassoulet before putting it in the oven at 160° for one hour. Rewet and cook for another hour.