Tunisian baker wins prize for best baguette in Paris

Remy de la Mauviniere / Today
Ridha Khadher, a Tunisian-born baker, stands in his Paris bakery with one of his baguettes after winning the title of Best Baguette of Paris on Friday, April 26,.

If you want the best baguette in Paris, go see Ridha Khadher. The 42-year-old baker has been turning out the long, golden rods of bread since he was 15, and has just been awarded the Grand Prix for his labor.

Khadher in front of his bakery. The competition saw 203 Parisian bakers compete for recognition as finest purveyor of one of France's most iconic staples.

Speaking Friday, a day after winning the city of Paris prize, Khadher said he decided to enter his baguette at the last minute.

Jury members taste and select baguettes. The baguettes are registered, given anonymous white wrappings and an identification number. They are then carefully weighed and measured to ensure they do not violate the contest's strict rules.

Khadher, born in Tunisia, was among 203 candidates, though 52 were eliminated for failing to meet strict criteria.

Jury member Pascal Barillon, winner of the 2011 Paris Best Baguette award, sniffs a baguette at this year's competition.

He said: "Yesterday I left at the last minute. I made my last baguettes and went to the competition.... I didn't believe I made the best baguette."

He gets to deliver baguettes to the French presidential palace for a year.

Every year, the winner earns the privilege of baking bread for the French President.