Toronto, December 4, 2018 — In the world of food, the Bocuse d’Or is the equivalent to the Olympics, bringing together 24 of the best chefs from around the globe to compete in what is described as the most demanding cooking competition. Coach chef James Olberg (Canada’s last contender) and cookery athletes Trevor Ritchie and Jenna Reich, will have a little over five hours to turn a classic dish into a modern culinary masterpiece using veal rack and at least one offal as well as create their own interpretation of a vegetable chartreuse with shellfish for the 24 acclaimed judges. But while the team is perfecting the execution and presentation of their dishes, Team Canada’s Board of Directors is launching the biannual search to find the next culinary athlete who will represent Canada on the world stage.
Expectations are high for the Canadian team who won silver at the semi-finals in Mexico City. Though the competition doesn’t get the attention it deserves here and in the U.S.A, the longest-running culinary competition in France is a pretty big deal among European gourmands. It has the potential to give a country international acclaim and increased interest from the global foodie tourism scene, not to mention putting a country’s delicacies in the limelight. Though sponsors and supporters would be thrilled to make the top 10 at the finals this January, the team is ambitious to take grounds in the top five or make it onto the podium for the first time since Paul Bocuse launched the competition in 1987.
“We have embarked on this challenge with a new vision, a fresh approach and one ultimate goal: to make our country and our profession proud,” said team Manager Thomas Delannoy. “We are honored to represent the Canadian restaurant industry and to continue to build the legacy Jamie Kennedy started 31 years ago. The next Bocuse d’Or candidate will join a start-studded line-up of the top chefs in the country and the planet.”
BECOME THE NEXT CONTENDER
In addition to experience, creativity and stellar execution, the 2019 candidate should expect to represent the food industry with knowledge and pride, work together with the 100+ chefs part of the team’s advisory board and be willing to share their passion with the next generation. Applicants have until midnight on Sunday, January 6 to submit their candidature on bocusedorcanada.ca/2021 and to upload a short clip on Instagram with the hashtag #2019BocuseDorCandidate. The Board of Directors composed of both chefs and high-profile industry professionals will be meeting in the New Year to select the top four potential candidates that will battle it out at the up and coming RC Show taking place February 24 – 26 in Toronto.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Bocuse d’Or Canada in the search for the next contender,” explains Shanna Munro, President and CEO at Restaurants Canada. “We hope to see chefs from coast to coast coming together to support the two-hour cooking challenge on our Garland Culinary Stage, and to find out who has the skills it takes to become the candidate of the toughest chef competition in the world.”
UNDERSTANDING THE COMPETITION
Created by Paul Bocuse and Albert Romain in 1987, the initial mission of the competition was to help get chefs out of the kitchen and into the limelight. The World Cup of cookery talents is known to demand the highest standards of excellence, two years of training and a solid team to impress the Michelin star judges.
Every two years, 62 of the best talents in the culinary arts are elected to represent their country, showcase their skills and creativity in one of four pre-qualifying events. Following the semi-finals, only 24 move forward to the finals in the French culinary capital of France, Lyon, home of the Pope of French cuisine. Taking place at the Sirha, an international trade exhibition, the five-and-a-half-hour culinary battle is the pinnacle test. Under the critical eye of 24 international judges – one from each country represented – and thousands of fevered international food industry supporters and revered chefs, la crème-de-lacrème compete in an intense display of their art. Armed with the hope to bring home the most soughtafter trophy in gastronomy, each team creates a perfectly plated fish as well as a meat dish on an especially designed platter.
Each team is judged on taste, presentation, creativity, innovation, composition, and service practicality. The kitchen jury also awards points for non-wastage and sustainability as well as for hygiene, methodology, preparation, technique, and organization.
“We worked hard for our golden ticket to the finals,” explains Trevor Ritchie. “It’s a unique chance to showcase techniques and food mastery but also an opportunity to shine the spotlight on local flavours. Though I won’t reveal all our secrets, we’re planning to use indigenous products and local root vegetables
in our dishes in Lyon.“
Cheer Team Canada in Lyon
For the first time and just in time for the holidays, Team Canada designed two foodie trips that will offer gourmet travelers the opportunity to cheer on the team in Lyon on January 29 and 30th where they hope to make history. Famous for the art of fine living, Lyon is the gateway to the Beaujolais viticultural region and the temple of gastronomy with many iconic and Michelin-rated restaurants. Both trip options, as well as a slew of cooking must-haves and Team Canada merchandise, are available on bocusedorcanada.ca. All proceeds of the sales are going directly to finance the team’s travel to the competition.
To schedule an interview with Trevor Ritchie, Coach James Olberg or Manager Thomas Delannoy, to get more information or high-res photos, please contact The PR Department at 416.535.3939 or [email protected].