04/26/2013 12:27 EDT | Updated 06/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Tunisia-born Paris baker wins best baguette award after last-minute bid to enter bread race

PARIS - 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 labour.

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

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

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.