Attention all chefs! Only one week remains to throw your hats in the ring to join Team USA in the Bocuse d'Or competition, the Olympics of the food world. The approaching deadline is not lost on Daniel Boulud, Chairman of the Board, who has just sent out a letter beseeching head chefs to get their employees involved. In the letter—which runs in full, after the hop—Boulud concedes that it would be a sacrifice for restaurants to give up their best chefs for the duration of the competition, but "this sacrifice is for the sake of the culinary reputation of the US." (Besides, it's paid training at the French Laundry). Boulud contends that this year's competition will be life changing for everyone involved: the contestants, their restaurants, and the country. On that note, before you read the reminder post-jump, first we want to hear a few reader nominations. What sous chef, exec chef, or commi, heralded or unsung, should represent the jolly US of A this year? Let us know in the comments or the tipline. And now, take it away, Boulud:
Dear Chefs,· Eater EXCLUSIVE BLOCKBUSTER: New Bocuse d'Or Details Revealed [~ESF~]
I’m writing with a reminder that there is only about one week left before applications for Bocuse d’Or are due on Monday, June 30th. I hope you have selected a strong candidate to represent your organization. Now is the time to come behind the US and find the best team to compete. Thomas and I realize that this is a major sacrifice to you and your brigade if you allow one of your best senior chefs to participate. However, this sacrifice is for the sake of the culinary reputation of the US.
Thomas and I met a few weeks ago, and as you may have heard, there have been some exciting new developments for the competing teams. Thomas will be building the Bocuse d’Or USA Culinary Training Center adjacent to the French Laundry. Once we’ve awarded the winning team at the competition in Orlando (from September 26-27? mark your calendars), the chef and commis will move to Yountville to train from October-January. In the hope that we will offset some of the personal costs and burden, we will be paying the candidates at their current rates and they will be housed by Thomas during the training period. Thomas asked his friend and mentor, Chef Roland Henin, to coach the team. During this training period, we also hope that our Advisory Board Members might observe a day of preparation and give advice on technique, taste and presentation and use your experience as a valuable asset to the US team.
The US team will walk away from those four months with strong discipline, training, and focus, and will return to your restaurant having gained tremendous experience. In Lyon, the US team will face teams trained by the best chefs in Europe. And while the competition sounds like showbiz, it is really all about technical execution, talent, taste, and precision. Our biggest wish is to show that the US has genuine talent in the culinary world. So submit your best chef!!!
No doubt, this will be a life-changing opportunity for the candidates. I also think it will be life-changing for your restaurant and hopefully also for our country!
· Now Is the Time for All Good Chefs to Come to the Aid of Their Country [~ESF~]