- Author : Nicolas Ducrot
- Master : 3173
THE REVIVAL OF THE FRENCH PORK BUTCHER | TF1 | Reportages
There’s a long love story between France and charcuterie. In our country we have been eating the pig in all its forms for thousands of years. Ham, sausage and terrines of every description make up an integral part of our culinary heritage. Today, in France, 25 million pigs are slaughtered every year. A number that has been steadily decreasing over the last ten years. We care a little more about the animals’ welfare and we like to eat less, but of better quality. We went to meet the French people who, despite all this, want to reinvent themselves and carry on this very French tradition.
David Bourne is a workaholic. The son of a pork butcher, he has expanded the family business founded by his father. In ten years it has grown from three to twenty employees. David saw the world changing and decided to promote the catering side. For David “the future of charcuterie lies in quality products”. So, even if it costs more, he works with responsible farmers who raise pigs free range.
David decided to make his mark in the history of his trade, but he’s not stopping there. Last year he was crowned champion charcutier of France. During the course of a year, we followed his packed daily round, with his work and the preparation for the ultimate competition: the charcutier world championship.
Cédric, 28, will soon be a charcutier, but on condition that he passes his end of year exams. This young man is in his second year at Ceproc, the major culinary academy in Paris. Cédric divides his time between classes and practical apprenticeship in the family butcher’s shop. He’s not quite your typical student. He’s retraining. Two years ago, he was a banker. “The contact with the customers is cool. Here I make people happy, I sell them nothing but happiness. You see it in their smiles. At the bank you sell insurance… Here we sell pleasure.” We filmed Cédric in the final months leading up to his exams, at school and with his family and we see that the pressure of the family heritage will weigh heavily on this young man’s shoulders.
At over fifty years old, Véronique and Jean-Luc Chopin wanted to change their lives. This couple of pork butchers from Brittany made the big decision to settle “on the other side of the world”, in Los Angeles. “They tell us that California is vegan,” explains Jean-Luc, “but there’ll be room for French charcuterie, rillettes, pâté en croûte. People really appreciate pork products.” For the moment they’re selling their produce on the markets of Los Angeles. Their dream? To open a little shop for charcuterie and other French products in California’s capital. A real challenge for two Bretons who are not exactly fluent English speakers.