This past weekend I had the privilege to have attended The Bocuse d’Or USA held at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. The competition is one of the most rigorous culinary events of its kind, where it is determined who will represent the USA in the next annual International Bocuse d’Or, held in France in 2013.
KitchenAidUSA is one of the sponsors, and they graciously extended an invite with VIP tickets to this spectacular event. The competition took place in the CIA gymnasium. Each team worked within the beautifully built Manitowoc Kitchen centers, and had a total of 5 1/2 hours to prepare and present their dishes. The competitive menu consisted of River & Glenn Cod and D’Artagnan Chicken – the aromas that filled the stadium were intoxicating, I wish I was one of the judges.
The competition was intense – teams preparing their dishes in front of a flurry of onlookers, media bustling from one kitchen to the next, and the stadium seats packed with students and team supporters. It felt like a rock concert for chefs! The judges consisted of an array of renowned American culinary talent, such as chef Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se) who has been president of the American team since 2008. Daniel Boulud (Daniel, New York) Chairman, Bocuse d’Or Foundation and Jerome Bocuse (Les Chefs de France, Epcot, FL) Vice President, Bocuse d’Or and son of the French chef Paul Bocuse who established the Bocuse d’Or contest in 1987.
The talent that graced the kitchens this year already have an incredible list of credentials, some having competed in the Bocuse d’Or in previous years, like this years Gold winner… Richard Rosendale, executive chef of the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., wining with his commis, Corey Siegal. Silver went to Jeffrey Lizotte of Restaurant ON20 in Hartford, Conn., (from my neck of the woods); and Bronze went to William Bradley, an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College in Cambridge, Mass.
I feel fortunate to have experienced this exciting competition and to have been surrounded by such impressive company. I’m hoping that one day you get to experience this unique and tasty affair.