do not try this at home – bocuse d’or USA

by hungryrabbit on February 21, 2012

Bocuse d'Or USA

For marathoners, it’s the Olympic race. For serious writers, it’s the Nobel Prize. For chefs, it’s the Bocuse d’Or. In 26 year history of the competition, no America team has ever won the coveted honor.

In order to compete in this international arena, you have to first win a national competition. Last month, thanks to KitchenAid, I had the chance to observe this year’s U.S. competition at CIA in Hyde Park, NY. Though I have seen the competition on TV, the energy surging throughout the campus gym was nothing I have experienced. The bleachers held cheering fans, the PA system blared club music, and huge overhead screens showed close-ups of the action.

Each of the four teams was charged with two dishes of their own invention based on two main ingredients: cod and chicken. The concentration, precision, artful execution of each element was guided by the teams’ coaches. These chefs had trained as intensely as any athletes to execute the dishes in 5-1/2 hours.

At a predetermined time, the dishes were brought out to the seated judges, who then dissected each element on the plate, accessing the taste, texture, presentation, and overall quality of the meal. They took notes and pictures and then filled out detailed score sheets between more bites of food and sips of champagne.

As it turned out, the winner was the chef with the most fans in the stands and the biggest culinary buzz. Richard Rosendale of Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia took home the honor. Next January, lead by Coach Gavin Kaysen, Captain Richard Rosendale along with his commis Corey Siegel, will represent the U.S.  at the international competition in Lyon, France.

Thanks again to KitchenAid for their generous VIP invitation to this prestigious event. You can watch the live action of the competition here.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian February 21, 2012 at 7:40 am

I was so jealous when I saw all the folks that attended this event. What a fabulous thing to witness!

Gail February 21, 2012 at 7:42 am

Such great photos, Ken! I love how you captured the chefs’ expressions: quizzical, anxious, even a bit distracted (Grant Achatz checking his Blackberry). And, the food….THE FOOD!

Great job, Ken!

Tina@flourtrader February 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Attending that fantastic event is something that you will remember for years to come! Your pictures here do reflect how serious the chefs are about this competition. Thanks for sharing the details and photos from this amazing competition.

Marie February 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Wow! That’s an incredible opportunity and I’m totally squee-ing at all of the amazing chefs. Love your photos, Ken!

Margaret February 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Nice recap and love all the pictures! You did such a great job of capturing everyone’s emotions. It was definitely a great event to be a part of, and as always fun to be able to hang out with you!

Cookin' Canuck February 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm

What an amazing opportunity to be able to watch the drama of this event. The presentation of the food is stunning and your pictures captured everything beautifully.

Jen Laceda March 1, 2012 at 12:19 am

i’m green with envy of your experience here! it’s pros like these that make me feel so small in the kitchen. if only i can have an iota of their talent, i would be happy!! awesome photos!

Meeta March 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Oh how totally envious I am of this. Would love to attend one of these events. Always watch on the net or on the TV. Thanks for taking me there virtually Ken!

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