the Meilleurs Ouvriers
When his father fell ill, Bannwart was forced to abandon his plans to become an electronics engineer. And so he completed an apprenticeship with his step-brother, Jean Pilette (M.O.F. 1982) and his sister, who managed Orléans' top charcuterie and delicatessen. And so began an adventure that would lead him to work with other experts, including Bernard Perot (M.O.F. 1982) and Jean-François Deport (M.O.F. 1979). These encounters whet Jean-Michel Bannwart's appetite for excellence.
He wanted to give free rein to his creativity. And so he too caught the bug for competitive culinary exams.
1997: he is named Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France as a charcutier-caterer.
A potential to be developed
For Jean-Michel Bannwart, the award ot the title Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France in 1997 marked a beginning, not an end.
At Dalloyau, over 5 years, he developed his working techniques to meet new demands. The procedures put in place needed to be easily assimilated by the entire team in order to manage high volume productions whilst still guaranteeing consistent quality. He found himself presented with an opportunity to broaden his range of skills. From starters to desserts, he learnt the finer points of every position in the kitchen. He owed this opportunity in particular to Pascal Niau (M.O.F. Pâtissier 1979), who kindly shared his expertise.
1992: Jean-Michel Bannwart is chosen as a chef for the Albertville Olympic Games.
Then the company "Layrac" (a leading caterer in terms of quality and creativity, Bouygues group, until 1995), offered him the chance to express his creativity (producing a caterer range, responsible for staging, decorative items, test dinners and tasting).
He then joined "Claridge's" in London as manager of the fine-dining restaurant, managing a team of 14.
After this he spent four years designing lunches and menus every week for "La Closerie des Lilas".
This enabled him to explore every aspect of cooking, much to the pleasure of his guests... with tastes, smells and feasts for the eyes... He began to take an interest in culinary specialities (kosher and Chinese cuisine), learning new techniques, including low temperature sous-vide and best practices in hygiene ( H.A.C.C.P.).
He even ventured as far as the pews of the Paris National School of Fine Arts to work on the design of his presentations.
More recently he has worked as an international consultant, providing classes, notably in Colombia, in the form of normally five day sessions on every aspect of cooking:
- Low temperature cooking techniques
- Product creation
- Menu creation
He promotes Ecole Lenôtre both in France and abroad, tackling the themes of charcuterie, cooking, catering and cocktails.
"My classes are an opportunity to get a real understanding of the issues faced by my clients. "
From an artisan to the head of a major group or an independent restaurant owner, every student acquires a working method and the ability to adapt their recipes to their clientèle.
His work has also led him to train students in Master's classes and he eventually became a member of the institute's board of examiners. He has also shared some of his ideas with Guy Krenzer (M.O.F. Charcutier-caterer 1988 - M.O.F. cuisine 1997) as part of the Lenotre group's research and development.
Then, in 2013, Jean-Michel Bannwart joined Yannick Alleno's team to design and produce the charcuterie range for the two Terroir Parisien entities.
Every aspect of cooking
Under his own aegis, Jean-Michel Bannwart draws on his expertise to support catering professionals (restaurant and hotel owners, butchers, charcutiers, producers, etc.) through auditing campaigns and training in France and abroad:
- Bespoke training for professionals, on their premises, with their own tools, on subjects ranging from improving recipes to optimizing their working structure and training staff on rules and best practices for hygiene.
- On working with Ecole Lenôtre: "They asked me back, and I really love my profession."
- Services for training bodies,
- Development of a range of jars for sale in delicatessens,
And, when possible, Bannwart supports candidates taking culinary exams, offering assistance and reassurance, helping students to improve... and "pushing them to give the best of themselves" so that, whether or not they pass, the experience has helped them grow.