Adam Bennett, chef director at the Michelin-starred Cross at Kenilworth, is to cook at the Bocuse d’Or contest early next year, despite not being a competitor.
Bennett, who secured the joint highest ever position for Team UK in the 2013 Bocuse d’Or world finals and competed there again in 2015, will be cooking at the VIP restaurant run by Nestlé Professional’s premium culinary brand CHEF from 21 to 25 January 2017.
Created in January 1987 by French chef Paul Bocuse, the Bocuse d’Or has become one of the world’s most prestigious chef competitions.
The final will take place on January 24-25 at the Sirha culinary exhibition in Lyon, France, where 24 countries from all over the world will compete to win the revered Bocuse d’Or prize.
Although the UK will not be among them this year, after Team UK failed to secure a place at the world finals, former competitor Bennett will work in the restaurant alongside the 1995 winner Régis Marcon and his son Jacques.
To celebrate the competition’s 30th anniversary, CHEF asked Régis to invite an international chef to work alongside him and Jacques, and he chose Bennett.
Bennett spent one week working at the three-Michelin-starred “Régis et Jacques Marcon” in St Bonnet le Froid, as part of his own training for the Bocuse d’Or in 2013.
Charlotte Ponti, CHEF category manager, said: “Of all the chefs to have taken on the challenge of the Bocuse d’Or, Régis chose Adam Bennett in recognition of his success in the competition and his culinary talent demonstrated while working at restaurant Régis et Jacques Marcon. It’s fantastic to have a chef from the UK in our kitchen, particularly in a year when Team UK won’t be represented in the competition itself. I hope that he will inspire many more British chefs to enter the next competition.”
The CHEF restaurant is located within the Bocuse d’Or Espace des Chefs – the VIP zone where many of the world’s best chefs and industry luminaries will be mingling next January.
Bennett said: “To be invited to prepare a menu and work alongside Régis and Jacques Marcon for CHEF Bocuse d’Or is a great privilege and a hugely exciting way to begin 2017.
“I’m sure that being around the Bocuse d’Or once again will bring back many good memories for myself and Kristian Curtis, my award-winning commis in 2013.”