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Team UK secures highest position ever in the Bocuse d’Or and is the only country to bring home two trophies
UK candidate Adam Bennett and commis chef Kristian Curtis from Simpsons in Edgbaston, last week reached the highest place ever for Team UK in the world’s most prestigious chef competition, the Bocuse d’Or.
The team put in a fantastic performance and reached fourth place, just six points away from a place on the coveted podium. France won gold, Denmark silver and Japan won bronze - the first time that Japan has reached the podium. It is the seventh time France has won the Bocuse d'Or, which sees 24 countries from around the world compete for the title in a five and a half hour cook off.
Coventry-born chef, Bennett, head chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant, led the team to win the special award for the best meat platter, while Kristian Curtis was awarded the prize for best commis.
A delighted Bennett said: “This result has moved us to a level where we belong. It proves that with the right facilities and resource we can deliver. I’d like to pass on my thanks to the sponsors, supporters and to Andreas and the team at Simpsons who’ve been amazing over the last 12 months. Having unlimited access to the Bocuse d’Or kitchen at University College Birmingham has been a huge asset and I hope that the next candidate is also able to make good use of it.”
This was the first time that Team UK won the commis prize and chef Kristian Curtis, 22, from Stratford, couldn’t hide his surprise on winning the award: “I totally didn’t expect that! The last few winners have been female so hearing my name called out came as a complete shock - it’s absolutely brilliant!”
Brian Turner CBE, UK Bocuse d’Or judge and President of the Academy of Culinary Arts, said: “We’re the only team with two prizes and we were just six points off the podium, a fantastic result - Adam and Kristian did us proud.”
Adam’s fish plate consisted of tronçon of Label Rouge turbot with Blue Lobster and seaweed, jellied eels with Scottish smoked salmon, caviar and cucumber ketchup, potatoes, creamed leaks rolled in espinette butter and salad of pickled vegetables with mustard seeds, apple and celery puree.
His award-winning meat platter: roast fillet of Irish beef from sponsors Bord Bia, cooked over English Oak, mushroom and bone marrow farce, Hampshire truffles, braised oxtail & cheek with pickled walnuts & root vegetables, onion puree, “boiled beef & carrots” - Scottish carrots filled with salt beef and mustard, savoy cabbage & Wiltshire bacon with Hampshire truffle, potato cake with pickled mushrooms and red wine jus.
The top seven national candidates:
|1||France||Thibaut Riggeri, Lenȏtre|
|2||Denmark||Jeppe Foldager, Sollerdkro|
|4||UK||Adam Bennett, Simpsons Restaurant|
|5||Norway||Orjan Johannessen, Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri|
|6||Sweden||Adam Dahlberg, Stefan Eriksson Matsudio|
The Bocuse d’Or
The Bocuse d’Or is the most sought after prize for chefs around the globe. Founded by culinary legend, Paul Bocuse, the contest has taken place in Lyon every two years since 1987.
The Bocuse d’Or takes place at SIRHA - a hotel catering and food trade exhibition. 24 countries compete, 12 on day one and 12 on day two. With the help of a commis, each chef must produce a fish dish and a meat dish, each with three garnishes, presented on silver flats to the jury of judges. The jury is made up of a representative from each competing country with Brian Turner, CBE, the UK juror.
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