Scandinavia has triumphed at the Bocuse d’Or, with Norwegian Geir Skeie winning first place and Sweden’s Jonas Lundgren taking second.
France’s Philippe Mille took third and the UK’s Simon Hulstone (pictured) a respectable tenth place out of 24 entrants from around the world. He is said to be “more than pleased” with the result after putting in a solid performance on the first day of the competition.
The atmosphere in the arena was more like a national sporting event than a cookery competition. Fans from countries as far flung as Japan, Australia and Canada came to support their chefs, wearing national dress, painted faces and armed with fog horns and chants. As the chefs laboured to create dozens of complex dishes, to make two courses, one fish and one meat, the noise was a constant din.
On the judging panel were Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulard, Paul Bocuse, and RenT Redzepi, head chef at Noma in Denmark. Skeie, just 28 years old, takes home a gold trophy of Bocuse, and 20,000 Euros. His victory highlights the emergence of Scandinavia as a serious contender in global gastronomy.
The Bocuse d’Or was founded in 1987 by Bocuse, he wanted to create a competition to bring the greatest chefs out from behind closed doors and onto the world stage. The competition is part of Sirha, a vast trade fair on the outskirts of Lyon. France has been dominant in the contests, awarded gold six times in previous Bocuse d’Or competitions. The UK has yet to win, so fingers crossed for 2011.
Simon Hulstone does UK proud at Bocuse d`Or