The Competition Atmosphere

Perfectly described by The Caterer’s Neil Gerrard

Noisier than a Spinal Tap concert, tenser than an entire series of MasterChef, and madder than a box of frogs – the Bocuse d’Or has just about everything.

It is a glorious spectacle that gives rise to some of the most unashamedly elevated, sophisticated, artful cooking you are ever likely to see, and this year’s world finals in Lyon were no exception.

If you want a flavour of what it’s like to be there, try and imagine one of the most raucous football matches you have ever been to, stretched over five hours and 30 minutes, and then throw in some of the biggest names in world gastronomy.

You can’t go 10 metres without spotting some sort of chef idol, whether it’s the USA’s Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz, France’s Régis Marcon, or the UK’s very own Brian Turner.

Nowhere is the atmosphere surrounding high gastronomy more charged and entertaining than at Bocuse d’Or. The international cooking competition is the most prestigious and rigorous of its kind.

Photographs © Jodi Hinds