Stéphane Rotenberg and the jury of "Top Chef": Philippe Etchebest, Michel Sarran, Hélène Darroze and Paul Pairet. - Marie ETCHEGOYEN / M6

  • Season 11 of Top Chef begins on M6 this Wednesday evening.
  • Jean-François Piège has left the jury, replaced by chef Paul Pairet.
  • This change of juror aside, the show bets on its usual recipe.

"Jean-François is gone, Paul is coming, that's it. The novelty of season 11 of Top Chef , which begins this Wednesday evening on M6, it is still Hélène Darroze who speaks the best. The chef is not one to be moved by the departure of Jean-François Piège, a historic figure in the program since its inception.

"It was for him, too, that I agreed to come six years ago," explains Hélène Darroze. It brought credibility to the program. So much for the tribute, also given by the other two "alumni" of the jury. "We observed a minute of silence," laughs Philippe Etchebest. “It was the memory of the show. Paul Pairet brings something else entirely. It was necessary… ”, adds Michel Sarran.

A new one already adopted

The only real novelty of this new season is therefore called Paul Pairet. Three-star chef whose restaurant Ultraviolet in Shanghai is shaking up the habits of gourmet customers, especially with his cult of secrecy (the restaurant's address is unknown) and his use of technology. Will it surprise the viewers of Top Chef ? Not sure. Firstly because his head and his cap are already known to fans of the program. He appeared last year among the areopagus of three-star chefs who came to pay homage to Top Chef for the tenth anniversary of the program.

Above all, Paul Pairet knew how to play good students. “I was a little intimidated and anxious. It's a job, television, that I don't know. I knew Philippe and Hélène, and Michel a little less. Finally, I quickly felt very welcome and comfortable. Paul Pairet immediately found his place, which is not that occupied by the very demanding and cold Jean-François Piège. “Paul is a poet, a dreamer, explains Philippe Etchebest. When he launches into explanations, you never know where he will go ... or when it will end! "

An ancestral recipe

By winnowing, gently, the newcomer on his ignorance of the very established television codes of Top Chef , the jurors of the program show how much they have become experts in the genre. In eleven editions, Top Chef has become a show to the glory of the banter of its star chefs. Their personality is put very forward and the narration, in voiceover, falls to them almost 100%. Stéphane Rotenberg is content to… pass the dishes.

The little major impact of this new juror on Top Chef (even if his gentle "management" method is a bit out of the ordinary) shows the strength of the program which does not need a revolution to continue to interest. In addition to chefs who wander pleasantly and more or less endearing candidates, Top Chef relies on unchanging mechanics. The key words of this season clearly feel the warmth: excellence, commitment and daring. By the very admission of the chefs, all this has already been acquired for several seasons. "Sustainable development, short supply chains, seasonal products ... This is no longer just a trend, it is a real awareness," explains Hélène Darroze. "The candidates know that they must be impeccable and daring," adds Michel Sarran. It is a prerequisite. When they come to Top Chef , they know where they are going. So did the viewers.


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  • Cooked
  • Gastronomy
  • Philippe Etchebest
  • M6
  • Top chef
  • Television