Bocuse d'Or to evaluate chefs' green credentials for the first time
In its 15th edition, the prestigious culinary competition will present chefs with a new challenge, reflecting the eco-friendly direction their profession is taking. Candidates for the coveted Bocuse d'Or will be evaluated according to how well they limit waste during the competition in Lyon, France on January 27 and 28.
It's the world's largest culinary contest, and the winner is often referred to as the world's greatest chef. Every two years, at the food and hospitality trade show Sirha, the Bocuse d'Or brings together some of the most talented emerging gourmet talents from around the world. The competition is as fierce as at any major sports event. And this was certainly part of what Paul Bocuse envisioned when he created the contest in 1987.
During the allotted five hours and 35 minutes, chefs battle behind their stoves as if in a stadium, coached by a comrade, aided by a commis (assistant) and watched by expert observers who are serious about gastronomy. Tensions run high, as each of the candidates has spent the last two years working towards this all-important final round. Prior selections were made at the national and continental levels.
This year, the 24 young chefs competing to succeed French chef Thibaut Ruggeri will demonstrate their skills by preparing meat and fish. The first dish must present the distinctiveness and the geographic specificity of the Landes Label Rouge guinea fowl, while the second must combine plant-based ingredients with fario trout. In addition to the classic criteria, chefs will be judged based on an additional factor in 2015: their effectiveness at limiting waste.
It would be an error to think that the French origin of the ingredients will give an advantage to the Gallic candidate, Nicolas Davouze, as Japan never fails to provide serious competition, and a Japanese chef won the Bocuse de Bronze in 2013.
Chefs from the Nordic countries are also major contenders, particularly in recent years, when they have increased their presence on the winning podium. In any case, the candidates will compete not only for their countries but for their own names. A number of famous gourmet experts have won the Bocuse d'Or in the past, including French chefs Michel Roth and Régis Marcon and the Danish chef Rasmus Kofoed.