USA tops the Bocuse d'Or

trophyA little over a week ago the Bocuse d'Or, the most prestigious worldwide culinary competition, was held in Lyon, France. For the first time in the competition's 30-year history, a team from the United States - helmed by Chef Mathew Peters - won the event. You can read a diary that Peters kept for The Daily Beast that tracked the final days leading up to the competition.

As you might expect, it takes a lot of training to become the world's top chef. Peters and his teammates prepared for over a year, staying in Napa Valley, California, near the practice kitchen set up by the Ment'or BKB Foundation, which sponsored the team and provided mentoring in addition to a stipend and a well-equipped kitchen.

Most countries sponsor a national team, but the United States team does not receive any governmental support, which is why celebrated chefs Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, and Jérôme Bocuse founded The Ment'or BKB Foundation in 2008.  In the past few years, the foundation's work has really paid off. In 2015, the USA team took second place - the first medal won by Americans in the competition, and now they can claim the ultimate prize as well. 

The competition is as much as test of endurance as it is of cooking prowess. Over the course of about 5 1/2 hours, Peters and Harrison Turone had to create to create two elaborate platters of food. As if the food preparation itself weren't stressful enough, the event arena is filled with noisy spectators who make as much noise as they can. 

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