France wins the Bocuse d'Or 2013

The French team led by chef Thibaut Ruggeri wins the most famous and mediatic cooking competition in the world, the Bocuse d'Or. Although the country this year has done a double when Quentin Bailly, Mathieu Blandin and Joffrey Lafontaine win the Coupe du Monde de Patisserie. The two competitions are held every two years in conjunction with the World Food, Hotel and Catering Show (SIRHA in Lyon. The rest of the podium was completed by Denmark, who won the Bocuse d'Argent and Japan, the Bocuse de Bronze.

The Bocuse d'Or was created in 1987 by Paul Bocuse as a revolutionary gastronomy competition that follows the example of major sporting events. Its concept is to bring together 24 young chefs from around the world who, for 5 hours and 35 minutes, prepare two dishes, one of meat and the other of fish, in front of an enthusiastic public and that are evaluated by illustrious and renowned chefs from all over the planet. Today, it is much more than a cooking contest, it is an impressive media show from which major names in world cuisine have emerged.

The award also carries a significant financial endowment and of course it has a great media coverage for the winner. Thibaut Ruggeri is a 30-year-old young chef, very shy indeed, who works at Lenôtre in Paris. After winning the award, he assured that he felt exhausted but happy.

This year's edition had important changes in the fish test, one of the garnishes had to be representative of the country of origin and while for the other two, the 'purchase' had to be done the day before. The idea, according to Paul Bocuse himself, is to give importance to the different national products and that Western cuisine is not favored.

The extremely complicated voting rules have also been modified in order to give more importance to the team's way of working, valuing hygiene and non-waste. Even to promote the media factor, penalties have been created for those chefs who do not cook in front of the public present.

The participation was also novel since among the participants were new countries that had never participated such as: Sri Lanka, Morocco or Hungary. And a unique atmosphere is created with the spirits for each delegation that is impressive.

The total number of participating countries is 24. During the preliminary phase in 2012, 22 qualified and the other two who were invited by the organization, which always reserves two places, and which this time went to Morocco and Italy. The different teams presented their meat and fish creations in front of the public gathered there and evaluated by an international jury composed of 24 members (one for each delegation) and which had two honorary presidents, the Italian chef, three Michelin stars, Enrico Krippa and Norwegian-born chef Rasmus Kofoed winner of the Bocuse d'Or 2011.

In addition, the best fish and meat dishes are also awarded separately and the teams from Norway and the United Kingdom were winners respectively. It is worth mentioning, as a curiosity, that UK wins the meat test being of Irish origin. The best promotional poster was also awarded, in this case for Hungary and the best promotion of the teams during the contest, the winning result of Guatemala. These two awards are granted by the public through their votes on social networks.

As curious moments to highlight during the first day and that caused a great stir among the media, the arrival of the Swedish prince Carlos Felipe and Miss Universe Canada who came to support their respective countries. And during the second day the cry of emotion from the Japanese 'commis' that was perpetuated from the moment they presented their last dish until the results were known, was a very emotional moment.

France thus regains the throne lost in 2007 by winning, once again, the Bocuse d'Or. Once again it shows that the Nordic countries are strongly committed to the contest and that it seems that the contest is opening up to new cuisines and beginning to appreciate them and as proof of this the third place of Japan, present in the event for the first time in the history of the competition. So far the first part of the chronicle of this who writes you about his adventures in Lyon.

More information | Bocuse d'Or Directly to the Paladar | Madrid fusion 2013, final day and evaluation Direct to the Paladar | Denmark, winner of the Bocuse d'Or 2011

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