Bocuse d’Or UK Academy raises record amount at University College Birmingham fundraising dinner

The Bocuse d’Or UK Academy, a not for profit organisation founded to support and promote Team UK in the world’s most prestigious cooking competition, hosted a very successful fundraising event on Friday 18 January.

The dinner took place at University College Birmingham, a long term supporter of the Bocuse d’Or UK Team. Chair of the Bocuse d’Or UK Academy Andreas Antona, had himself donated several prizes and was delighted with the amount raised. 

Guests enjoyed Gusbourne English sparkling wine and canapés before they entered the Atrium restaurant for a four course dinner cooked by Bocuse d’Or UK Candidate Tom Phillips and commis Nathan Lane, Roux Scholar and operations manager of Simon Rogan Restaurants Limited Harry Guy, UK candidate 2016, Tony Wright and Giovanni Di-Vito from University College 

Birmingham, Denis Dramé, the UK Pastry Team coach and Jonas Plangger from Coworth Park.  All the chefs were assisted by University College Birmingham’s students who also served front of house.

The menu, an homage to French classic cuisine, started with Pike Quenelle with Langoustine sauce, in honour of the late Paul Bocuse.  This was followed by Salmon fillet with sorrel sauce, Rump of lamb Provençale style, dauphinoise potatoes, stuffed tomatoes, french beans and lamb jus and the dessert, Textures of Valrhona chocolate. 

Sponsors of the dinner included Aubrey Allen, Berkmann, Connolly’s and Gusbourne wines and Valrhona. 

The auctioneer, Andrew Barden, canvassed bids from a room of 130 guests and money was also raised through the raffle with a wide range of food-related prize. 

The highest bids were for dinner, bed and breakfast for two people at the three Michelin starred Waterside Inn; overnight stay with dinner for two at the two Michelin starred L’Enclume restaurant in Cumbria and a Gin school experience at Simpsons Eureka Kitchen. 

The funds raised will go towards ingredients, travel and accommodation and ensuring the right processes and structure are in place to help Team UK perform to their best ability on the world stage. 

This year’s Bocuse d’Or world final will take place on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 January. The theme on a plate is in honour of the late Joël Robuchon (one of many great chefs who have been involved in the Bocuse d’Or over its 32 year history). The teams must prepare two hot chartreuses – 8 portions for each. The chartreuses must be identical and include a minimum of 50% vegetal ingredients. They must be stuffed with a shellfish stew made using 32 scallops, 60 mussels, 18 oysters and 60 cockles.

This year’s theme for the platter is rack of suckling veal with five chops served together with one or more choices of offal from a list including sweetbreads, calf’s ruffle, foot, kidneys and liver. In a change to the competition’s previous rules, sous-vide cooking of the meat is not permitted. The veal must be served with sauce or gravy, three garnishes and be portioned into 14 plates. 

The platter has been designed by Faber, a specialist Food & Beverage design agency and manufactured by Promart, a market leader in design and innovation for foodservice solutions. 

Promart first became involved with the Bocuse d’Or in 2013, when the team designed, supplied and fitted the Bocuse competition kitchen and has supplied technical support to Team United Kingdom ever since.