Team UK secures top 10 finish at Bocuse d’Or 2015

  • Norway wins world’s most prestigious cooking competition
  • USA take silver and Sweden bronze at Lyon event

    Team UK, represented by candidate Adam Bennett, chef director at The Cross in Kenilworth, has secured 10th place at the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious and challenging chef competition. He was supported in Lyon by University College Birmingham Culinary Arts Management student, Josh Allen, commis chef and former UK candidate and 2015 coach Idris Caldora MCA.

Orjan Johannesson from restaurant Bekkjarvick Gjestgiveri (Austevoll) in Norway won gold, while Philip Tessier from the French Laundry in California won the silver trophy for the USA and Tommy Myllymaki from Sweden took bronze.

It is the ninth time that Norway has reached the podium and the second time that Orjan has competed in the world final. It was also the second time that Tommy had competed, having also won bronze in 2011.

In a change to the competition, the candidates were asked to produce a fish dish with at least 50 per cent vegetable garnish – including one mandatory vegetable revealed the afternoon before the competition. Team UK and USA competed on the same day and had to use celery as a garnish.

Adam’s fish entry consisted of:

  • Fillet of French fario trout with a lobster mousseline centre and nori seaweed 
  • Celery puree
  • Celery fondant
  • Braised celery stem filled with a smoked trout brandade, topped with smoked trout, horseradish and croutons
  • Cylinder of potato cooked in saffron stock, creamed leeks, caviar and trout eggs on top. 
  • ‘Champagne’ velouté (made with Nyetimber English sparkling wine) and a shellfish sauce. 
  • Watercress and pea shoots

Adam’s striking meat platter was created by Heritage Silverware, a family firm based in Birmingham. The meat menu:

  • Slow cooked leg of guinea fowl, Wiltshire ham, tongue and veal sweetbread
  • Parfait of guinea fowl livers, beetroot glaze
  • Crisp potato dentelle, St Georges’ mushroom cream 
  • Evesham “red meat” turnips, quinoa and tarragon 
  • Staffordshire cabbage cone with black lentils 
  • Roasting juices with English apple verjuice and rosemary

Adam, Josh and Idris were cheered on by a crowd of more than 100 UK supporters, including students from University College Birmingham and the England Band, which is fast becoming a fixture of the competition.

Despite not matching his previous best of fourth place achieved in 2013, Adam remained positive about his Bocuse d’Or experience:

I’ve had a hell of a ride again and loved every minute. The strength of this competition is that every time the bar gets raised and it’s always an honour to represent the country.

Brian Turner CBE, President of the UK Team and UK juror, added:

Adam, Josh and Idris did a fantastic job and I’m not the only one to be incredibly proud. We’re still in the top 10 of the world and with the funding we have we’ve moved forward significantly. Thanks to all our sponsors and everyone who has supported us on our journey to the final.
Having looked at and talked with other competing teams it’s clear that they see the PR opportunity of the Bocuse d’Or for their country. We had great support out in Lyon so now we have to focus on turning that into the resource we need to match that of the most successful countries.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Visit Birmingham, the city’s official leisure tourism programme, said:

Team UK’s top 10 ranking at this prestigious international competition is a great endorsement for both Adam, who’s enjoyed a long association with the region, and the University College Birmingham, which continues to produce the next generation of rising culinary stars.
Birmingham welcomes more than 26 million visitors each year for its food and drink offer, which continues to gain global attention as the UK’s culinary hotspot, thanks to its winning recipe of Michelin star restaurants, independent eateries and growing street food scene.

In a bid to raise awareness and funds both for this campaign and future competitions, Team UK launched a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo. Perks are available in return for donations and full details are available here: http://igg.me/at/bocusedoruk

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