You may remember that Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud have made it their personal missions to ensure the U.S. makes a legitimate showing in next year's Bocuse d'Or, the restaurant industry world's equivalent to the Olympics. They assembled a crack advisory board and put a call out to all well regarded chefs and their underlings at the end of May. Now we find out just how serious they are: the team of two chefs that wins the elimination contest this September will train for three months in a special facility built adjacent to the French Laundry. They will get free housing, access to the French Laundry and its farm, $15,000, special coaching, and paid three month sabbatical from their jobs. Yes, competing chefs will have to take time off from their restaurants, a small sacrifice when one is seeking personal glory and defending the reputation of our nation. This competition is serious business and Keller and Boulud want to make sure that's driven home for your top level sous chefs and chef de cuisines. Applications are due on June 30. Read on for more details about the elimination contest and the three months of training:
Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and many of the country’s leading chefs have created a not-for-profit organization to recruit, train, and support the American team in the world’s most prestigious culinary competition, the Bocuse d’Or, held every two years in Lyon, France. Written applications are due June 30th through www.bocusedorusa.org.
Based on these written applications, eight teams (of one chef + one assistant) will be selected to compete in an elimination contest on September 26-27 in Orlando, Florida at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Before a live audience, teams will present fish and meat platters to a panel of celebrity chef judges for evaluation of their excellence in taste, presentation, creativity, and technical execution. Tickets to attend the competition as a spectator will be made available to purchase through www.bocusedorusa.org beginning August 11th.
Bocuse d’Or USA will provide travel and accommodations for the competition in Orlando, training equipment and food supplies, and a $2,000 stipend to cover incidental costs to all of the eight competing teams. In Orlando, the top three placing teams will be awarded additional cash prizes of $15,000 for the first place team, $10,000 for the second place team, and $5,000 for the third place team.
The winning team will also be awarded a paid sabbatical to train for the Bocuse d’Or World Contest from October 1, 2008 – late January, 2009 at the Bocuse d’Or USA Culinary Training Center in Yountville, California, adjacent to the French Laundry. During this period, the chef and commis candidates will be housed in a private residence in Yountville, and will be compensated by Bocuse d’Or USA at a rate equivalent to compensation from their current employers. During this period, the team will work intensely with a chef coach in a kitchen custom-designed for Bocuse d’Or training to perfect their dishes for presentation in Lyon. The USA team will then compete at the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest in Lyon, France in late January 2009."
· Bocuse d'Or [Official Site]
· Now Is the Time for All Good Chefs to Come to the Aid of Their Country: Boulud [~E~]