What is a MOF ?
For people who do not live in France or those who are unfamiliar with the hotel industry, or both, the acronym MOF may seem particularly opaque
Yet these three small letters hide an extremely important concept. Indeed, they designate one of the most prestigious titles, that of "Meilleur Ouvrier de France". Discover its history.
The contest of Meilleur Ouvrier de France was created in 1924 with a double objective. It was first of all to encourage vocations at a time when the number of French traditional craftsmen was constantly decreasing, but also to reward professionals by "attesting to the acquisition of a high level of qualification in the exercise of a professional activity, whether in the artisanal, commercial, service, industrial or agricultural field".
Every three or four years, different professions are put forward, including florists, carpenters, butchers, jewelers and of course pastry chefs. In addition to the title, the winners receive a medal and a state diploma.
The title of MOF is really unique. It carries an important historical legacy and values excellence. It is a real honor to be recognized by his peers and his country. Today, I am proud to represent and perfect as much as possible the values of professional excellence, innovation and transmission
How is the contest organized?
The MOF competition is extremely difficult and requires months or even years of intensive preparation. It evaluates dexterity, knowledge of modern and traditional techniques, know-how and creativity of candidates representing more than 200 professions. The craftspeople who participate are from 16 sectors as diverse and varied as the hotel industry, textiles, floral design, leather goods or the work of ceramics. Within each category, several groups represent various specialties.
Technically, any French citizen of at least 23 years can participate in the contest for a registration fee of 60 euros. However, few have the preparation and motivation to become serious candidates. This contest is also distinguished by the lack of classification. Indeed, the MOF title is awarded based on the average scores of each event. There can therefore be several winners or none if no one has reached a sufficient score to win the title.
Today, fewer than 10,000 people can claim the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. This title is awarded for life. Many laureates choose to join the "Société Nationale des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France", a kind of alumni association. This title is so important that anyone who wrongly claims to hold it can be sent to jail.
The MOF contest and its preparation are some of my life highlights. The preparation hours, the contest stress and the recognition for all my work and all my involvement changed me forever. I went beyond my limits and became a better professional
Although the hotel industry is only one of the sectors participating in the MOF competition, the Chef and Pastry categories have become more popular in recent years. The tricolor collar and the MOF logo on the laureates' jacket are proof that they have reached a level of excellence. Should you see a date under the MOF logo, please note that it indicates the year the title was awarded.
Some of the most well known and respected chefs and hospitality professionals are part of the MOFs. However, this recognition implies a great responsibility: each MOF is supposed to help improve and develop its profession, as well as guide new generations of artisans in their search for excellence and innovation. They are also invited to develop their own range of professional skills, to learn new techniques and constantly improve.
Being MOF is not without responsibilities and one of my favorites is to transmit my passion and my art to the new generation. My activity at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne plays an important role on this, and I am always happy to see students marvel when they get to do something they did not think they could.
Becoming a Meilleur Ouvrier de France also means transmitting and protecting traditions, and that's what these visionaries do.
Inspired by the EHL blog