A team of chefs has launched an innovative new crowdfunding campaign that hopes to boost Team UK's chances of success in the world's most prestigious cookery competition, the Bocuse d'Or.
With just a week to go until Adam Bennett (pictured) and his commis chef Josh Allen represent the UK at the Bocuse d'Or world finals in Lyon, Team UK has set itself a target to raise £25,000 to help put it in the best position for competing both this year and in future years.
Bennett, who competes on the first day of the two-day competition on 27 January, has helped to raise the profile of Team UK's achievements in the competition, having scored a fourth place and won the prize for best meat dish in the previous world final in 2013, in which Kristian Curtis also won the best commis prize.
Now Team UK is hoping to ensure that the momentum of its success is maintained by ensuring it has the funds to compete against the other nations in the competition.
The fundraising campaign is hosted on crowdfunding site Indiegogo and set up in collaboration with film partner Orama TV. It will run until Sunday 1 March and will be promoted via social media.
The funds raised will go towards:
• Practice time - To be in with a chance of securing a place on the podium requires months spent developing and practising every item on the menu.
• Ingredients - The team requires costly competition specific ingredients.
• Logistics - Transportation of equipment and ingredients to Lyon.
• Travel and accommodation for the coach, commis and team support.
• Raising awareness - including website, advertising, PR, photography and film.
• National Selection Competition.
• Bid to bring the Bocuse d'Or Europe to the UK in 2018.
• Future investment in the UK team.
In return for investment, Team UK is offering perks including a Bocuse d'Or postcard, signed team posters, Bennett's 2015 menu brochure and the opportunity to bid for meals at his pub restaurant, the Cross in Kenilworth.
Brian Turner, CBE and president of the team, said: "Despite taking part in the Bocuse d'Or since its inception in 1987, we've yet to reach the podium, which is disappointing given the amount of talent in the UK right now. We're putting our hopes in a crowdfunding campaign to help raise awareness and the funds required to increase our chances of success not just for this final but for competitions to come."
The Bocuse d'Or is the most sought-after prize for chefs around the globe. Founded by culinary legend, Paul Bocuse, the contest has taken place in Lyon every two years since 1987.
The Bocuse d'Or takes place at SIRHA - a hotel catering and food trade exhibition. A total of 24 countries compete, 12 on day one and 12 on day two. With the help of a commis each chef must produce a fish dish and a meat dish, each with three garnishes, presented on plates or silver flats to the jury. The jury is made up of a representative from each competing country with Turner the UK juror. All this is performed in front of an audience of thousands of noisy and enthusiastic supporters and hundreds of journalists.