UK Academy announces chefs lined up for Bocuse d’Or challenge
The UK Academy for the Bocuse d’Or has announced the chefs who will compete to become the next British candidate in the Bocuse d’Or. The candidate will be selected following a three hour 45 minute cook-off at the National Skills Show in Birmingham NEC on Saturday 18 November.
The Bocuse d’Or is considered the largest and most prestigious culinary competition in the world and reaching the podium is akin to winning an Olympic medal. A UK chef has yet to reach the podium, but an impressive line-up of chefs will compete for a place in the National Skills Show competition. The successful candidate should go on to compete in the European final of the Bocuse d’Or in Turin, Italy on June 11-12, 2018.
The chefs in the running are:
- Chris Hill, premier sous chef, The Ritz London
- Tom Phillips, head chef, Restaurant Story
- Frederick Forster, executive chef, The Don Restaurant London
- Adam Thomason, executive chef, Restaurant Associates, Deloitte London
- Tony Wright, senior lecturer University College Birmingham and Bocuse d’Or candidate 2016
The chefs must prepare a fish dish using Fjord trout and lobster as the main products and a meat platter using short saddle of lamb as the main product.
The fish dish will be served as six individual plated portions with three different garnishes for each portion and a suitable sauce. The meat dish will be served on a silver platter with three different garnishes and a suitable sauce.
The jury will be led by UK Team President Brian Turner CBE and will include vice president and Bocuse d’Or UK candidate 2013 and 2015, Adam Bennett of The Cross at Kenilworth, technical director of Team UK and executive chef of The Ritz, John Williams MBE and two Michelin starred chef and Bocuse d’Or ambassador, Claude Bosi of Bibendum. Philip Tessier, who secured silver for Team USA in the Bocuse d’Or 2015 and went on to coach the winning team in 2017, will also join the jury.
Chair of the UK Academy, Andreas Antona says, “We have learnt a lot since our disappointment in Budapest, when we failed to win a place in the final and we have regrouped to become a stronger unit. With five fantastic chefs in the running, we’re already in a stronger position than previous years. We now need to secure the financial support to give the candidate everything he needs to realistically achieve a place on the podium within the next four years.”
What can Team UK expect if they reach the final?
In 2017, the Bocuse d’Or final tasked chefs with the following challenges:
THEME ON A TRAY
Five hours and 35 minutes, not a second more. That was the time allotted to prepare a recipe using the imposed main product. Top quality meat or extra fresh fish, the recipe imagined using these superb products were presented ‘à la française’ on a tray.
SURPRISE, HERITAGE AND PRODUCTS
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the 2017 Bocuse d’Or proudly showcased its Lyon and French identity. Participants were tasked with working with ‘Bresse chicken and shellfish’ based on an interpretation of the famous Lyon recipe for ‘chicken and crayfish’.
In keeping with its passionate and attentive quest to reflect modern cooking in line with its times, Bocuse d'Or 2017 placed the emphasis on vegetal. For the dish on a plate, participants were required to prepare a creation that was 100% vegetal, composed exclusively of fruits, vegetables, cereals, seeds or legumes.
DID YOU KNOW?
To prepare for the 2017 final, Team UK put in 300 hours of practice and had 11 run-throughs at a special Bocuse d’Or kitchen at University College Birmingham.