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Bocuse d'Or Update: Final Judges Announced!

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The Bocuse d'Or contestants were announced about a month ago, and we've still got about a month to go until the big U.S. semifinal in Orlando in September. Fortunately, seeing as how it's Olympics season, the Bocuse team has sent along an amuse bouche to whet our appetites: the names of the 12 top judges who will be joining head officials Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jerome and Paul Bocuse to decide who moves on to rep America. The list of judges (post-jump) is decidedly tilted toward the New York big guns—Daniel Humm Laurent Tourondel and Jean-Georges Vongerichten are all there—but San Francisco gets a sole representative: the one and only Ms. Traci des Jardins.

They've also announced that the competition, which takes place on Sept 26th and 27th at Disney World, will be followed by a Grand Tasting and Awards Gala with "opportunities to meet and mingle with some the world's top chefs." You'll be able to buy the (presumably pricey) tickets on August 25. One final bonus: they have a surprise guest acting as master of ceremonies—we're officially submitting our vote for Kim Cattrall (her, or Bela Karolyi)—but Team Bocuse is keeping mum on that front.

Here is the full list of judges that Hung, the French Laundry's Timothy Hollingsworth and all the rest need to impress:

· Michel Bouit, Bocuse d’Or USA Director, ‘87-’07 Chicago, IL
· Hartmut Handke, Bocuse d’Or USA Competitor, ‘03 Columbus, OH
· Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park NY, NY
· Traci des Jardins, Jardiniere San Francisco, CA
· Gavin Kaysen, Bocuse d’Or USA Competitor, ‘07 NY, NY
· David Myers, Sona Los Angeles, CA
· Patrick O’Connell, Inn at Little Washington Washington, VA
· Georges Perrier, Le Bec Fin Philadelphia, PA
· Alain Sailhac, French Culinary Institute NY, NY
· Andre Soltner, French Culinary Institute NY, NY
· Laurent Tourondel, BLT Restaurants NY, NY
· Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean-Georges NY, NY
Technical Kitchen Judge: Roland Henin, Bocuse d’Or USA Coach Yosemite, CA
Master of Ceremonies: Special Guests To Be Announced
· Bocuse d'Or Update: USA Semi-Finalists Announced! [~ESF~]
· Eater EXCLUSIVE BLOCKBUSTER: New Bocuse d'Or Details Revealed [~ESF~]