Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bocuse d’or

I want to republish this article, this time in English and with a video of the final included.

In the ‘Sirha’, the Bocuse d’or is the most important cooking competition in the world. 24 chefs are selected to represent their countries for this great event, which attracts not only the millions who attend the cooking fair in Lyon, but also more than a thousand journalists from 30 different countries. The atmosphere in the stands facing the kitchen is comparable to a football match – no exaggeration! Supporters come from every country to watch the remarkably high-level cooking on offer, which unfolds before their eyes in kitchens where everything runs like clockwork. This year, the winner was France, represented by Fabrice Devignes: a well-deserved victory. In second place was Denmark with Chef Rasmus Kofoed: excellent work. In third place (a closely-contested position) was Switzerland and Frank Giovannini. Each dish was transported by a MOF (Meilleur ouvrier de France), amongst them Alain Lecossec, one of the chefs from the Institute Paul Bocuse. The panel of judges formed an impressive pantheon of stars from the cooking world. Counted among them was Heston Blumenthal, the British genius behind the Fat Duck, a restaurant in the South of England that has been voted one of the best in the world; Juan Mari Arzak, a great Spanish chef; the Frenchman Serge Vieira, winner of the last Bocuse d’or two years ago; Olivier Roellinger, an important French chef; Jerome Boscuse, son of Paul Bocuse; Pierre Orsi, MOF and renowned French chef and, obviously, Monsieur Paul Bocuse, who, even at 82 years old, is still present at the competition that bears his name, and which is undoubtedly the most important cooking contest in the world. Anyway, it’s getting tiring listing all these names; in short, all the big cheeses were there. My cheese and oenology teachers were the maitres d’hotel, and several students from the school worked as waiters for the judges during the meat and fish rounds, so that the jury could taste each dish and award marks accordingly. C’est la folie!

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