elBulli Foundation, El Celler Can Roca, Mugaritz and Bodegas Alemany i Corrio for the Laureate of the first “Scholarship François Chartier” for sommeliers.
Barcelona, May 17, 2019 – A 29-year-old Canadian sommelier, Millie Jacques Bouchard, has been selected to receive the first “Scholarship François Chartier” 2019; an opportunity to spend 12 months in internships in Spain, starting in September 2019, in two of the most creative Michelin star restaurants of the gastronomic world, El Celler Can Roca (Girona) and Mugaritz (Errenteria), all two at the top of the World’s Best 50 Restaurants for more than 10 years, as well as at the legendary elBulli Foundation (Barcelona), of the great chef Ferran Adria, in finally at the cellar and in the vineyards of the exceptional Bodegas Alemany i Corrio (Penedès).
The announcement was made Monday, May 17, 2019, by the instigator of the science movement of “Molecular Harmonies”, the Canadian “Créateur d’Harmonies” François Chartier (World Best Sommelier in 1994 Paris, Grand Prix Sopexa), during the last examination of the sommelier course, at the gastronomic school (EHDL) in Sainte-Adèle, Quebec, where he studied sommellerie in 1989.
“Winning the François Chartier Scholarship is an unthinkable thing!” says Milie, who currently works at the restaurant Bistro à Champlain, Wine Spectator Grand Award winning wine list for many years, in Esterel Resort, Esterel, Quebec, Canada. “Being a sommelier is not just about wine, but also gastronomy in the broad sense, and innovation and research, so having the opportunity to work for a year with great chefs, sommeliers, waiters, researchers and winemakers is a chance of a lifetime. “.
For this first year, this scholarship will allow its winner to live the experience of a lifetime, by performing high level internships in Spain, all expenses paid by the “Créateur d´harmonies” François Chartier, with the collaboration of the internship partners (flights, accommodation, food, internships, on-site trips and basic expenses).
François Chartier, and his spouse and partner, sommelier Isabelle Moren, have concocted a year of internships at the best establishments on the gastronomic planet.
Beginning with an internship of <6 weeks at the Alemany i Corrio wine producers – Catalonia’s new star bodega -, then ten weeks at the elBulli Foundation (Barcelona), with Ferran Adria and Ferran Centelles, and their research team on the history of world gastronomy and wines and beverages. The trainee will be able to collaborate in the research of elBulli with a multidisciplinary team coming from all over the world, in this high site which is the logical continuation of the mythical restaurant elBulli, having been crowned five times Best Restaurant in the World.
This research internship will be followed by two internships in restaurants, lasting 4 months each, starting with an internship at the Catalan restaurant El Celler in Can Roca, in Girona (#2 World Best Restaurants 2018), with Roca brothers Joan (Chef), Jordi (pastry chef) and Josep (sommelier), awarded three Michelin stars, and Best Restaurant in the World 2013 in the prestigious list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants San Pellegrino, as well as 4 months at the world-famous Basque Country restaurant Mugaritz (#9 World Best Restaurants 2018 and 2 Michelin stars), in Errenteria (Gipuzkoa), with chef Andoni Luis Aduriz.
The lucky winner, Millie Jacques Bouchard, will be able to deepen her knowledge both in sommellerie (by working in the dining room and in the cellar) and in weekly sessions of training in avant-garde cooking, because these two restaurants are equipped with research and training laboratories. Chartier has always believed that a great knowledge of the kitchen allows sommeliers to fully realize their profession. Also, to learn the language of the winemaker, as the work of the vineyard and winery at renowned winemakers, the trainee can spend several weeks at great vintners on the cutting edge of modern oenology.
“The time has come for me to give the following, and thus allow aspiring sommeliers to meet the greatest chefs, sommeliers and winemakers with whom I have the privilege of collaborating for several years” says François Chartier, happy to share his contacts and his experience with the students of the EHDL, as well as with the Quebec gastronomy scene.
Technical details of the François Chartier Scholarship
The winner was selected from among EHDL sommelier students following the current sommelier curriculum by a committee of EHDL faculty, including sommelier professor Jean Beaudin, who was tasked with determining the finalists; they then had an interview in person with François Chartier, then via video conference, and it was at the end of this process that was proclaimed the winner.
“The idea behind this scholarship, which is a tribute to the excellent training I received in sommellerie at the EHDL in the late eighties, is that the sommelier must also acquire the basics of cooking to do his job, the harmony of wine and food being at the heart of his daily work. Young people also have an interest in understanding the language of the winemaker, but they will also gain from working in restaurants that are at the cutting edge of knowledge in wine and food harmonies, as is the case at El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz, just like at the elBulli Foundation “explained François Chartier during the award.
This new “François Chartier Scholarship” will be awarded every two years to the EHDL sommelier student with the best prospects for the future. We recall that François Chartier was awarded the Seagram Scholarship in 1989 at the EHDL, awarded to the student with the best prospects for the future.