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Colbert Committee : eight craftsmen promoted to Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres

Colbert Committee : eight craftsmen promoted to Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres

Monday, February 6, the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, elevated to the rank of Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres eight craftsmen working in the Houses of the Colbert Committee. This gesture salutes the contribution of these personalities to the preservation and enhancement of our cultural heritage, but also their strong commitment to the transmission of knowledge to younger generations.


The Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, elevated last Monday eight craftsmen to the rank of Knights of Arts and Letters. These personalities working in the Houses of the Colbert Committee have a unique know-how. “With this new promotion, we honor the artisans of rare crafts. Their daily commitment to transmitting and preserving their know-how is precious. So is their contribution to the international influence of French culture and crafts”, said Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture.


Founded in 1954 by Jean-Jacques Guerlain, the Comité Colbert is an association that brings together 93 French luxury companies and 17 cultural institutions. Every year since 2006, the Colbert Committee has applied to the Ministry of Culture for this award.



This distinction “not only highlights the contribution of great craftsmen to French cultural history, but also allows the preservation and transmission of their know-how. This is a way to promote the passion and excellence of these professions, which contribute to the influence of France throughout the world”, said Nicolas Bos, President of the Colbert Committee’s “savoir-faire & création” commission and President of Van Cleef & Arpels.


Eight artisans elevated to the rank of Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres


For this 2023 edition, gastronomy was particularly honored with four distinguished artisans, one woman, Marie Soria, and four men, Michael Bartocetti, Christian Lacour and Sébastien Perbost.


Head of the kitchens of the caterer Potel et Chabot, Marie Soria now leads a brigade of over 150 cooks. Her work promotes the influence of France internationally, from the official dinner for the inauguration of the Channel Tunnel, to the recent holding of 20 gastronomic dinners in the Al Ula oasis in Saudi Arabia. During the covid crisis in 2020, she organized the delivery of 2,000 meal trays every day to hospitals. Very committed to the transmission of her art, she has initiated a specialization in “Event Catering – The Art of Entertaining” with the Paul Bocuse Institute.


Michael Bartocetti, pastry chef at George V, was a finalist in the Best Apprentices of France competition in 2004. In Paris, he discovered the demands of palace pastry and perfected his technique with renowned chefs such as Guy Savoy and Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée before joining the teams at the George V. At the end of the 2010s, Michael Bartocetti won several awards, including the Lebey award for best dessert and the Michelin “passion-dessert” award.


Christian Lacour is a pillar of the House of Lenôtre where he has spent his entire career. Hired as an apprentice in 1968, at the age of 15, he became a pastry chef in 1971, then a confectioner for seven years. He then joined the Lenôtre kitchens as a clerk before being promoted to manager of outside operations and then director of outside kitchens in 1995. With 53 years in the business, Christian Lacour has mastered the organization of prestigious receptions and meals in France and abroad.


Finally, the pastry chef Sébastien Perbost has been officiating at Les Prés d’Eugénie in Eugénie-les-Bains (Landes) for twenty years, after having worked in the kitchens of La Bastide Saint-Antoine in Grasse. Mastering all the registers of gastronomic desserts, he has invested in slimming pastries alongside Michel Guérard and is now innovating in vegan pastries by contributing to the reinvention of French culinary traditions.


Fashion and Haute Couture was honored thanks to Corinne Crouy and Chiara Gallacci.


The first is a milliner at the Opéra National de Paris, where she has worked 27 years out of a 42-year career. After starting out in the clothing industry, she joined the milliner Jean Barthet. A specialty in which she has specialized on behalf of the famous lyrical institution. Since 1995, all the headdresses, hats and head ornaments of the emblematic productions of the choreographic repertoire have been made by her workshop.

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Chiara Gallacci works as a designer and colorist for the Leonard fashion house. She draws by hand and with watercolor the large format prints of the house, founded in 1958 and labeled Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant. A central figure at Leonard, she is also responsible for the archives and heritage. Chiara Gallacci regularly travels abroad to demonstrate her know-how.


Finally, the last two profiles featured evolve in the Perfumery and glass-crystal.


Jean Jacques is the perfumer-creator of Caron. A graduate of ISIPCA, he was trained by the renowned master perfumers Pierre Bourdon and Maurice Roucel. During his career, he has created numerous perfumes for famous Parisian houses such as Christian Dior, Lancôme and Givenchy. Jean Jacques is also strongly committed to international ethical issues, in particular to ensure that his essences are sourced from sustainable and fair trade sources.


Finally, Nicolas Ledoux has a dual profile as a glassmaker and a visual artist at the Baccarat factory. Joining the crystal factory at the age of 21, he first worked as a glassblower and crystal decorator for 15 years. In 2015, he became a plastic designer for the company and began working on exceptional pieces. Particularly committed to transmission, he is also a member of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) commission.


Read also >Jean-Paul Gaultier and J.M. Weston join the Comité Colbert

Featured photo : © Comité Colbert

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