The Three Lion's Roar In Lyon, Please Support Team UK

The Staff Canteen

What is the Bocuse d'Or

 The Bocuse d'Or, recognised as the Oscars of the Culinary World, is a biennial culinary competition established in 1987 by one of the world's greatest chefs, Paul Bocuse.  Since then the Bocuse d'Or world final has taken place every other year in Lyon.

Since it was founded, the Bocuse d'Or, has added three regional heats - Bocuse d'Or Europe, Bocuse d'Or Asia and Bocuse d'Or Latin America which take place the year proceeding the world final. The UK Bocuse d'Or entry is managed by the Academy of Culinary Arts, Britain's leading professional association of head chefs, pastry chefs, restaurant managers and suppliers. 

 The competition format

The candidate has five hours to produce a fish platter and meat platter from a specified weight and cut of the fish/meat, with a minimum of three garnishes on each plate. 

The taste of the dishes is of maximum importance (40 points for taste and 20 points for presentation).  However, the platter is paraded in front of the chef judges and the thousands of supporters so it has to have the wow factor! The candidate must present 14 identical plates from the platter, these are marked by a jury featuring 24 of the world's top chefs.  12 chefs judge the fish platter and 12 chefs judge the meat platter.

 Why it's important to have your support

The Bocuse d'Or is not a level playing field and to have any chance of winning, the candidate needs to plan his/her dishes months in advance and then to practise in conditions as similar to the final as possible.  Some countries invest thousands of dollars/euros in the Bocuse d'Or competition, even going to the extent of creating a replica kitchen for their candidate to practise in.  However, Britain has traditionally been slow to support its candidate and as a result, we have yet to have a candidate reach the podium. The Academy awarded the candidature to Simon Hulstone, chef proprietor at The Elephant in Torquay, for his second consecutive Bocuse d'Or competition in December 2009.  In April 2010, a committee was set up to help manage to funding and management of the Bocuse d'Or - to help Team UK to compete successfully now and in the future.  Gourmet Classic organised a supporters trip to the European heats in Geneva.  It was the first time that UK supporters had made their presence felt at the event and the cheering paid off as Simon was awarded fourth place and also won the meat prize.

 The Team

 Our candidate, Simon Hulstone, is one of the UK's top competition chefs and his experience,  determination and attention to detail has made him one to watch in the Bocuse d'Or.  However, Simon also runs a busy Michelin-starred restaurant so has to squeeze his practices into the little free time that he has outside The Elephant. He has spent almost every free day since January last year tasting, experimenting and calling on the support of Britain's top chefs to help him create something worthy of a medal.  Fortunately, he has a very understanding wife and family,  Jordan Bailey joined The Elephant in order to fulfil his ambitions of becoming a competition chef and it wasn't long before he was working alongside Simon in the biggest competition of them all - at the European heats of the Bocuse d'Or.  Jordan did a great job in Geneva but now, like Simon he's feeling the pressure, he also has a full time job after all.  Nick Vadis, executive chef at Compass Group, has been with Simon every step of the way since he became coach early last year.  His personal competition success, military training and time spent working in high pressure kitchens give him all the qualities you need to be a great coach - and with a perfectionist like Simon, you need one.

To pledge your support for Simon Jordan and Nick, in the Bocuse d'Or, and sign the petition along with  Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and Albert Roux.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th January 2011

The Three Lion's Roar In Lyon, Please Support Team UK