Americans place second at Bocuse d'Or

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On Tuesday, the United States culinary team at the Bocuse d'Or did something no other U.S. team has done: receive a medal. They placed second out of 24 teams in the biennial international culinary competition in Lyon, France. Previously, their best showing was a sixth place finish. Norway, which has taken home the top honor five times previously, was the winner this year, with neighboring Sweden coming in third.

Often called the "culinary Olympics," the Bocuse d'Or is a worldwide contest founded by the French chef Paul Bocuse in 1987. Most countries sponsor a national team, but the United States team does not receive any governmental support. In 2008, culinary luminaries like Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud created a foundation to raise money for the U.S. participants.

Representing the country this year were Phil Tessier and Skylar Stover of the French Laundry, who trained together for over a year. For the contest, they were required to use guinea hen and trout and prepare both a meat platter and a fish platter in under six hours. Their meat platter featured barrel-oak-roasted guinea hen with sausage of guinea hen confit and white corn mousse and black winter truffles. The platter also contained a boudin sausage of smoked guinea hen liver, pistachio cake with wild fennel buds, black truffle consommé with a ragout of gizzard and heart, a white corn nest with buttered corn pudding, and preserved chanterelles with salad.

At the same time as the Bocuse d'Or was taking place, a world pastry cup competition was also taking place. Italy won that competition, with Japan the runner-up and the American team winning the bronze medal.

1 Comment

  • Jane  on  1/30/2015 at 10:43 AM

    I read a fascinating book about the Bocuse d'Or, Knives at Dawn. It covered the 2009 contest when Timothy Hollingsworth and Adina Guest (also from the French Laundry) were the American entrants. The amount of prep work was phenomenal but they realized during the contest that they hadn't done enough, compared to the other entrants. Presumably Phil Tessier and Skylar Stover put in even more practice time. I'd love to read their story.

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