Team USA’s victory at the 2017 Bocuse d’Or competition in France last month should serve as an inspiration for those aiming to propel Team UK to future glory.
That’s according to a Team UK delegation who watched Mathew Peters collect gold in the prestigious cookery contest in Lyon on 25 January, marking the first overall win for Team USA.
Formerly executive sous chef of Per Se, Peters spent almost a year out of the restaurant kitchen training for the Bocuse d’Or.
Meanwhile, Team UK did not qualify for a place in the Bocuse d’Or 2017, although a delegation led by team president Brian Turner and Chair of the UK’s Bocuse d’Or academy, Andreas Antona, used the opportunity to scout the event for ways to improve its chances of success in future competitions and to canvass support for the Bocuse d’Or UK Academy and 2019 campaign.
Turner said: “It is only four years since the UK narrowly missed its place on the podium and since then we have watched Team USA climb up the table to reach second place in 2015 and secure the ultimate prize in 2017. They have proven that with the right support, preparation, funding and most importantly determination a team can become the best in the world. The success is well deserved and what a year to win!”
Antona added: “We know that the UK has a huge amount of chef talent right now but we’d be kidding ourselves to think we have a chance of winning this competition until we have the right resource, support and funding in place. We know what we need to do and it was great to be out in Lyon meeting with those who can help us achieve it. It’s a long road ahead but like Team USA, we will not give up until we have that place on the podium.”
On the other side of the competition stadium, Adam Bennett, executive chef of The Cross Kenilworth and the UK’s joint most successful Bocuse d’Or candidate to date and his prize winning commis Kristian Curtis, were busy cooking for top chefs and industry VIPs in the Nestlé CHEF restaurant.
In 2015, CHEF invited the winner of the Bocuse d’Or 1995 Régis Marcon, and his team from the three-Michelin-starred “Régis et Jacques Marcon” in St Bonnet le Froid, France, to take over the restaurant. Following the success of this pop-up, it was decided to recreate the concept in 2017.
To celebrate the competition’s 30th Anniversary, CHEF asked Régis to invite an international chef to work alongside him and his son in 2017. Régis chose Adam Bennett. Bennett spent one week working at “Régis et Jacques Marcon” as part of his own training for the Bocuse d’Or in 2013.