The UK needs to provide more support in the run up to the next Bocuse d'Or, if its representative is to ever make it into the top five of the world's most prestigious culinary competition, industry figures have warned.
Norwegian chef Gier Skeie won the biennial competition in Lyon last week, with Jonas Lundgren of Sweden coming second, and Philippe Mille of France finishing in third position.
The UK's Simon Hulstone finished 10th out of the 24 competing nations, with the country's highest ever score of 864 points.
Hulstone, chef proprietor of the Michelin-starred Elephant in Torquay, Devon, told Caterersearch that the standard was higher than anyone had expected this year so he was "semi-happy" with his finish.
"Considering how little a budget we had compared with some of the other countries our tenth place is a real achievement," he said.
However, he added that to finish in the top five at the next Bocuse d'Or in 2011 the UK team needs more support from the industry.
"We need the support of all of the UK chefs behind us, as well as more sponsorship to be able to prepare better for the next competition. We simply weren't professional and polished enough this time," he said.
This was echoed by John Williams, executive chairman of the Academy of Culinary Arts, which organises the UK team.
He said: "Success in the Bocuse d'Or is all to do with how dishes evolve over time and precision. It's all about the training and the top five countries each year have the sponsorship to ensure this."
Brian Turner, this year's British judge at the Bocuse d'Or, said: "Great Britain needs to realise the importance of the Bocuse d'Or in the same way these other countries have done.
"There needs to be more funding to allow the competitor more time to develop," said Turner.
By Kerstin Kühn
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