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Bocuse d'Or


The Bocuse d'Or (the World Cooking Contest) is a biennial world chef championship. Named for the chef Paul Bocuse, the event takes place during two days near the end of January in Lyon, France



History


Based on an event first arranged in 1983, when the Salon des Métiers de Bouche (Culinary Sector Exhibition and Trade Fair, later renamed Salon international de la restauration de l'hôtellerie et de l'alimentation, SIRHA) took place in Lyon as "an exhibition organised by professionals for professionals". Paul Bocuse, appointed Honorary President of the exhibition, conceived the idea of a culinary competition to take place during the exhibition, with preparation of all dishes taking place live in front of an audience. Several gastronomy contests were already in existence, however none of them presented a "live performance" and consequently one could not actually see the work performed in the kitchens of the chefs' restaurants

The initial Bocuse d'Or took place in January 1987


The audience atmosphere of the Bocuse d'Or evolved in 1997 when the support for the Mexican candidate included a mariachi band, foghorns, cowbells, cheering and yelling from the stands, marking the beginning of a tradition of noisy spectator presence.


Léa Linster of Luxembourg became the first woman to win in 1989


Rasmus Kofoed of Denmark became the first multiple medalist with bronze and silver in 2005 and 2007, and the eventual gold medal in 2011


The U.S. won second place in 2015 when Philip Tessier and Skylar Stover made history by becoming both the first Americans to mount the podium as well as the first non-European team to win silver. Coached by Gavin Kaysen, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and Daniel Boulud, this was an extraordinary milestone for a country that had completed every year since the competition's inception in 1987. In 2017 the U.S. won the competition, finishing ahead of Norway in second place and Iceland in third. The team's head chef was Mathew Peters and his commis, or helper, was Harrison Turone. Both had previously worked at Keller's New York City restaurant Per Se.



Criticism

For the 2005 Bocuse d'Or, the Spanish delegation had chosen an innovative presentation inspired by Salvador Dalí motifs; for the fish course a serving vessel in the shape of a one-meter-high crystal egg, as a part of an ambitious campaign at the cost of near 1 million to achieve a good result in the competition. However, the Spanish candidate finished in the next to last place (a cited reason was that the warm dish produced such condensation to the inside of the egg that the judges were nearly unable to see the presentation), producing heated reactions from the Spanish delegation who called the jury old-fashioned and outdated, and members of the Spanish media who claimed that the chauvinistic jury despised the creativity of Spanish cooking and called the Bocuse d'Or a competition for buffet and catering.

Controversy arose during the 2007 Bocuse d'Or, as allegations of cheating were raised against the winning chef Fabrice Desvignes, due to the late delivery of two metal containers leading to claims that these contained prepared precooked ingredients. A contest director responded that the containers were delivered to Desvignes two minutes before he started work because snow delayed their overnight arrival, and these contained silverware and foie gras, not prohibited by the rules. Two days later the German daily newspaper Die Welt published the article "Gourmet-Skandal: Ist der weltbeste Koch wirklich ein Franzose?" (Gourmet Scandal: Is the World's Best Chef Really a Frenchman?), featuring testimony by the German assistant chef Khabbaz Hicham who described four men that brought black crates with prepared and semi-prepared ingredients, an hour and thirty minutes into the competition. The controversy led to amendments to the rules for future Bocuse d'Or contests, with the addition of a Kitchen Supervising Committee to control the candidate products and equipment.



Competition


24 countries compete in the world finals, having achieved entry through different means: The top 12 finalists of the Bocuse d'Or Europe qualify, from a pool of 20 nations; the top 4 finalists of Bocuse d'Or Asia qualify, from a pool of 12 nations; the top 3 finalists of the Copa Azteca Latin American competition qualify, from a pool of 12 nations. Furthermore, 3 entrants are selected from national application, as well as 2 wild card selections.


Each team consists of two chefs, one lead chef, and a commis/assistant chef who must be under 22 years of age at the time of the competition. From the 2009 contest, a designated coach located on the outside of the kitchen area is permitted to communicate with the team.

The team has 5 hours and 35 minutes to prepare two elaborate presentations, a meat dish and a fish dish.


The jury consists of 24 renowned chef judges who make their evaluations based on the level of perfection in the presentation, in terms of technical skill, cooking sophistication, creativity and visual beauty.


Judges have included Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adrià, Wolfgang Puck, Eyvind Hellstrøm, Thomas Keller and past winners such as Fabrice Desvignes, Mathias Dahlgren and Léa Linster.


Here is the final Bocuse d’Or 2023 ranking!

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Noah James
Noah James
09 de jan.

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