Denmark has won the Bocuse d’Or with Norway and Hungary coming second and third place respectively in the world’s most high profile cooking competition.
Led by Chef William Mordido, the NZ team placed 15th in our first final participation in the biennial competition, which was held in Lyon, France at the SIRHA Lyon Trade Exhibition centre. Australia placed 18th.
Twenty-four teams consisting of some of the best chefs on the planet were gathered in Lyon at the Olympics of Food. Known to be the most prestigious and difficult culinary competition on Earth, the Bocuse d’Or is an event that makes fine dining an arena sport.
It comes with all the trimmings including uniforms, judges, cheering fans holding flags, bronze-silver-and-gold statuettes, and winners on podiums beaming while their national anthem blares in the speakers. And while there’s glory in winning one of the culinary Oscars, the road to Lyon is a long process that takes passion, dedication, and a strong desire for perfection.
The Kiwi team spent months preparing and fundraising for the competition, engaging creative director and graphic designer Alan Hughes to lead the design process.
“We really wanted to challenge ourselves to create shapes and designs that had not been seen or done before. We were given an international platform so it was our chance to showcase how far we could stretch our creativity,” – says Mordido.
On Day One, Sunday January 23, 12 countries were competing: Norwegian, China, belgium, Moroccan, Japan, Chile, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerlandthe UK, sweden, and Sri Lanka. For the first event, the teams had to make a ‘Feed the kids’ menu based on squash, working from starter to dessert in a playful way.
A jury of children aged 10 on average was also present to evaluate the different dishes, which brought some comic relief to the proceedings.