Matthieu Champetier de Ribes, Artisan à la ferme de Grignon

The bread didn’t come by chance in Vietnam. The colonial past is responsible of the current consumption. There aren’t locals fields of wheat and cereals. Vietnam is an importer of hard wheat mainly from Australia and North America.

The flours doesn’t look like Europe. The first days I participate with professors (Mac & Hue) of Bakery and Viennoiseries in their teaching. The classes made up of fifteen students of twenties years old. They learn to cook the standards of job : « pate feuilleté », current bread, baguettes and brioches.

I am surprised by how students work easily together. Nobody left out and individualism is unwelcome in this country where the communist system is still present. Students are particularly enduring and meticulously. I help teachers in their practical courses and I learn myself about pedagogy with children. The Hoa Sua School director proposes me to leave a few days with him in the north of the country to visit and to meet their hostel insertion project. We touched down in the mountain to Sapa near Chinese border.

We stay in the hotel « Baguettes & Chocolat » held exclusively by young students in apprenticeship. A course of bread is improvised in the kitchen with students. We are engaged in the preparation of baguettes in altitude of more than 1500 meters, an unforgettable experience!

I will enclose this experience by a speech in a meeting of the biggest Vietnam miller to Ha Long in front of more than 300 of their customers. My presentation will focus on « The limits of the bakery abroad » after this tropical artisanal adventure.

Before to rich my bakery, on the way back I met a Franco-Vietnamese near the airport who counterbalance my point of view concerning Vietnam. Dictatorship, poverty and corruptions are the words who came back in his sentences. I will keep a great souvenir of my trip and discovery of this culture. Although the beauty of this civilisation, Vietnam will stand up demography pression and education tomorrow to overcome its poverty.