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Calling all chefs for Bocuse Competition

May 20, 2011 - Carla Tracy

Any good chef worth his (or her) weight in salt knows who Paul Bocuse is. The French legend was just honored May 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at one of the biggest-ever gatherings of award-winning star chefs. They all prepared a lavish, formal, Toques Off meal in his honor. It was the crowning extravaganza of Bon Appetit’s annual food and wine festival, Vegas Uncork’d.

Joining superstars Alain Ducasse, Hubert Keller, Joel Robuchon and Julian Serrano for the unforgettable evening were seven new “kitchen kings” -- Jean-Philippe Maury, Michael Mina, Bradley Ogden, Roland Passot, Andre Renard, Jacques Torres and J. Joho.

“This unprecedented event makes an important statement about Las Vegas as a culinary destination and Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit’s appeal not only to food lovers, but to the world’s greatest chefs themselves,” said Adam Rapoport, Bon Appetit editor.

Fortunately, my foodie friend and I caught the periphery of this event while in Las Vegas. In addition, we dined on a fabulous Spanish tapas and paella meal at the above-mentioned Julian Serrano restaurant in the Aria; and at Bartolotta at the Wynn. Paul Bartolotta, as many know, is a serious protege of the great Bocuse and the Italian feast we savored there was off the scale in taste and presentation.

Creator of the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious international culinary competition held annually in Lyon, France, Bocuse has influenced generations of chefs. Now, Maui chefs may step up to the plate to compete.


”The opportunity to represent the United States and compete against the world’s top culinary talent at the Bocuse d’Or 2013 is beckoning all young American professional chefs,” according to the press release.

“The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation is now accepting applications for this prestigious International Culinary Competition which will be held in Lyon, France on January 29-30, 2013. From the qualifying applicants, 12 chefs will be invited to an audition in September 2011, where they will be interviewed by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, comprised of renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse.”

”In addition, they will be asked to prepare one dish, which will be judged by an esteemed panel of chefs, selected from the Foundation’s Culinary Council Members. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three candidates during the September auditions.”

“The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation will provide Team USA, comprised of the winning chef and his or her commis (assistant), with an extensive training program under the supervision of the Foundation’s Board and a Head Coach. In addition, all expenses associated with the international competition will be taken care of by the Foundation.”

The application and guidelines can be downloaded from the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s website, All applications must be received by May 30, 2011 at midnight EST.

“Competing against the best young chefs in the world at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon was an exhilarating, once-in-a-lifetime experience; I would encourage all eligible chefs to apply,” said Chef James Kent of New York City’s Eleven Madison Park, who represented the U.S. in the 2011 international competition. “It was absolutely invaluable to have worked under the direction of such a successful and talented Board, and chef Mark Erickson from the Culinary Institute of America. I hope to offer guidance and support to the next Team USA just as I received from former candidates Gavin Kaysen and Timothy Hollingsworth.”

“This competition is a true test of culinary excellence and we are looking forward to identifying America’s next top culinary talent to represent the country in 2013,” said Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation President Thomas Keller.

Auditions for the 12 finalists will be held September 26-27, 2011. A fundraising cocktail party will be held on September 27th to announce the results. Further information on the cocktail event and how to purchase public tickets will be available on the Foundation’s website as of July 15, 2011. For additional details about the application process, the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation and the Friends of the Foundation program, please visit Paul Bocuse Compeition Website


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