Meilleur Ouvrier de France

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Paul Bocuse wearing his Meilleur Ouvrier de France medal

Meilleur Ouvrier de France (shortened to MOF) is a competition for craftsmen held in France every four years. The winning candidates receive a medal.


The title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France is a unique and prestigious award in France, according to category of trades in a contest among professionals. This contest is organized and recognized as a third-level degree by the French Ministry of Labour. The President of the French Republic is granted honorary membership with the title MOF honoris causa. The awarding of medals occurs at the Sorbonne, in Paris, during a large reunion followed by a ceremony at the Élysée in the presence of the President of the French Republic.

This award for special abilities is unique in the world. Created in 1924, initially between the best workers of the era aged 23 and over, this contest was given the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France).[1] Today, by the diversity of specialities, the list of which is regularly updated, the award has also been awarded to more modern trades and high technology fields.

In this competition, the candidate is given a certain amount of time and basic materials not only to create a masterpiece, but to do so with a goal of approaching perfection. The chosen method, the organization, the act, the speed, the knowhow and the respect for the rules of the trade are verified by a jury just as much as is the final result. The winning candidates receive a medal and retain their title for life, with the indication of the specialty, the year following the one in which they obtain the title.

This prestigious title is equally recognized by professionals and the greater public in France, particularly among artisan-merchants such as pastrymakers, hairdressers, butchers, jewelers, and others whose trades are recognized, particularly those for more luxurious goods.

The Organizing Committee for Labor Exhibitions (COET) is an administrative body, placed under the authority of the French Ministry of National Education. It was created in 1935 and is responsible for the material organization of the “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” competition and the national labor exhibitions that conclude it. It became an association under the law of 1901 in 1961.[2]

List of skills[edit]



  • Wood carpentry
  • Metallic ornaments and coverings
  • Woodwork
  • Painting and paint decoration
  • Plumbing, installation of sanitary works, etc.
  • Stonemasonry
  • Cementworks
  • Locksmithing and metalworking
  • Climate engineering
  • Stove fittings
  • Artisanal ironwork
  • Glasses and mirrors
  • Decorative sculptures
  • Engravings
  • Reinforced Concrete
  • Plasterworks
  • Masonry
  • Mosaics
  • Glassworks
  • Marbleworks
  • Scale models (architecture)

Clothing accessories[edit]

  • Lace and hand embroidery
  • Corsets, bras, lingerie
  • Tailoring

Beauty and aesthetics[edit]

  • Men's hairstyling
  • Women's hairstyling
  • Aesthetic body hygiene

Textile industries[edit]

Home decoration[edit]

  • Cabinetmaking
  • Woodworking for seats
  • Wood turners and benders
  • Wood sculptures
  • Luthiery
  • Tapestries - weavers
  • Tapestries - decorators
  • Wood gilding
  • Framing
  • Marquetry
  • Cooperage
  • Wickerwork

Metallic structures[edit]


  • General mechanics
  • Electrical equipment and installation
  • Foundry - tool construction
  • Soldering
  • Blacksmithing
  • Composite materials

Precision techniques[edit]

Synthetic materials arts and techniques[edit]

  • Plasticworks

Leathers and skins[edit]

  • Taxidermy
  • Trappings
  • Shoes
  • Traveling articles, leatherworking

Ceramics and glassworks[edit]

  • Glass and crystals
  • Stained glass windows
  • Santons
  • Glassblowing
  • Ceramic restoration

Graphic arts and trades[edit]

  • Advertising graphics
  • Printing
  • Photography
  • Photography (laboratory)
  • Silkscreen printing
  • Creation of typographic characters
  • Bookbinding

Artistic metalworks[edit]

  • Jewellery (jewels)
  • Creation of jewellery with precious metals
  • Diamondworking
  • Steel engraving
  • Copper and steel graving (for printing)
  • Heraldic and jewel engraving
  • Luminous bronzework

Flowers and countryside[edit]

  • Florist
  • Gardening (artisanal)

Notable MOF winners[edit]

Many members of the Compagnons du Devoir are also M.O.F.

See also[edit]

  • Kings of Pastry, a 2009 documentary film about the M.O.F. pastrymaking competition


  1. ^ "Tout ce qu'il faut savoir sur le titre de Meilleur Ouvrier de France, ou "MOF"". (in French). 6 February 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  2. ^ Robert, Vincent (1 November 2014), "14. Mutation de l'espace du travail et naissance du mouvement ouvrier", Histoire des mouvements sociaux en France, La Découverte, pp. 160–168, retrieved 8 August 2022
  3. ^ "Restaurant Guy Lassausaie **". Lyon France (in French). Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  4. ^ " **". France (in French).

External links[edit]