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Monday, February 2, 2015

History for Team USA!!! - Bocuse d'Or 2015 Review

Team USA (L to R: Thomas Keller, Skylar Stover, Philip Tessier) celebrate, with silver Bocuse in hand, the
first ever American presence on the podium at Bocuse d'Or in Lyon France on January 28th.
And there it is! Team USA shocks the culinary world with a silver finish at Bocuse d'Or 2015, narrowly missing first place by a mere 9 points! The second place finish by Philip Tessier and commis Skylar Stover is the highest finish for an American team, only reaching as high as sixth, on two occasions. Another shocking turn of events happened when France finished in their worst showing in the history of the Bocuse d'Or, started in 1987, placing seventh. France has never placed out of the top five, including seven gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze.

Here are the complete results, including winners of the special categories: 

Gold: Norway - Ørian Johannessen and Jimmy Øien (commis) [1662 points]
Silver: USA - Philip Tessier and Skylar Stover (commis) [1653 points]
Bronze: Sweden - Tommy Myllymaki and Albin Edberg (commis) [1610]

4. Finland
5. Japan
6. Denmark
7. France
8. Iceland
9. Netherlands
10. United Kingdom
11. Germany
12. Australia
13. Hungary
14. Estonia
15. Argentina
16. Switzerland
17. Singapore
18. South Korea
19. Morocco
20. Malaysia
21. Canada
22. Chile
23. Spain
24. Guatemala

Best Poster Prize: Hungary
Best Promotion: Argentina
Best Commis: Finland's Antti Lukkari
Special Prize for Best Fish Dish: Japan
Special Prize for Best Meat Dish: Finland

"...American cuisine has significantly progressed in recent history, and Chef Tessier's talent is an example of the strides we are making in our field. Our hope is that America continues to support our endeavors to showcase what great chefs and cuisine we have in the United States." 
     - Team USA President Thomas Keller

Chef Philip Tessier, Commis Skylar Stover, Coach Gavin Kaysen, President Thomas Keller

Here are some action shots of Team USA in action at the competition: 

Jereome Bocuse, Gavin Kaysen, Skylar Stover looking over the produce market options

Here are the stunning pictures of Team USA's meat platter and plate and fish plate, followed by the official description of each preparation: 

Meat Platter: Barrel-Oak Roasted Guinea Hen with sausage of guinea leg confit, white corn mousse, and black winter truffle, "Garden of Sweet Peas" with French Laundry garden blossoms and herbs, sugar snap peas, and black trumpet mushroom panade, "Beehive" with boudin of smoked guinea liver, grapevine honey, pistachio "Pain des Genes," wild fennel buds, and topaz wine glaze, Black Truffle Consommé with ragout of gizzard and heart "confit," steamed custard, and flowering cress, White Corn "Nest" with buttered corn pudding, crisped corn silk, and "petite" popcorn, and Preserved Chanterelles with salad of frisée and garden blossoms, pickled huckleberry, and "foie gras" jus.

Fish Plate: Brioche-Crusted Brown Trout Pave with American caviar, tartlette of crisped skin, garden dill, celery branch "Farci," celery root puree, compressed apples, brown butter emulsion, and smoked mushroom consommé.

The stunning and innovative plates, platters, and accessories for the American presentation were designed by Martin Kastner, who also designs tableware for Ment'Or BKB Foundation Board Member Grant Achatz's Alinea and Next restaurants in Chicago. 

The Frank Take Away...

What does this really mean? Why should anyone care about this obscure competition of odd looking platters and "out there" dishes? 

This second place finish carries with it some very complex meaning. It means that the world will now take more notice of what the culinary landscape of the U.S.A. involves. We are no longer just underdogs to the cuisine of European and Nordic countries. We finished above France. That, itself, speaks volumes. It exemplifies that we can produce innovative, creative dishes using cutting edge techniques with a backbone of solid fundamental and classical training. It speaks to the quality of the culinary professionals staffing the top tier restaurants across the country. And where do those top culinarians emerge from? That's right... they have to start out in the everyday restaurants of America. They are coming up in the ranks from your neighborhood fine dining venues. It is an illustration of the American dream; anyone can work hard enough, train themselves well enough, and push themselves far enough to reach the pinnacle of their art, their craft, their passion, and can achieve their goals. Even when their goals include taking the podium in one of the most prestigious culinary competitions in the world. 

Congratulations to Chef Tessier and Commis Stover, and all of Team USA! I'm excited to see how they can roll on with this finish and parlay it into the same or better in 2017.

Note: To read my post explaining the Bocuse d'Or , and to find links to all the Team USA social media outlets, click over to the Bocuse d'Or 2015 link.

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting news! Glad to see the US did so well. Keller is just an amazing chef -- his cookbooks are so much fun to read, although he's sometimes rather challenging for the home cook. Fun post -- thanks.