Brian Turner: UK Bocuse d'Or team should channel the London 2012 Olympics spirit

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bocuse d'or, Olympic games, United kingdom

With 75 days to go until the grand final of the Bocuse d'Or 2013, the UK team president Brian Turner has called on Olympics-inspired support for Adam Bennett.

On 29 January the epic cook-off to crown the 2013 Bocuse d'Or winner will commence in Lyon.

As preparations gather pace, the UK team of Turner, Bennett and commis chef Kristian Curtis exclusively sat down with BigHospitality at The Restaurant Show for a video interview to talk tactics, rate their chances and call on the industry and public to help them in any way possible.

Team GB

Turner, an experienced competition chef judge and the UK's Bocuse d'Or juror, called on the spirit of London 2012 to be revived. The summer of sport, he said, had led to the public backing Team GB in a number of unusual and specialist competitions - something that could be repeated with the specialist chef challenge in January.

UK_bocuse_d'or_poster
The UK team are calling on people to vote for their Italian Job-inspired poster as the build-up to the Bocuse d'Or 2013 grand final intensifies

"This year has been a fantastic year for the UK. The Olympics were sensational - the spirit and attitude of 'Joe Soap'. They followed everybody and anybody."

In particular the UK team are looking for people to vote for their Italian Job-inspired poster​ ahead of the final with the winning country's effort to be revealed in Lyon. Turner also called on the hospitality and restaurant industries to lend their support to Bennett and Curtis.

"Support in any way that you can," he said. "Be there and shout, write a letter and say 'come on UK, you can do it', send us a million pounds, send us £2.50 - whatever it is, we will use that to help this gentleman and this young man come up with the best team."

Targets

Last time out, Simon Hulstone managed thirteenth place​ but this time around Bennett will be cooking after a set of significant rule changes​ and following the most intensive period of preparation for any UK candidate.

Bennett and Curtis are now working full-time in the kitchen gifted to them by University College Birmingham,​ honing the Irish beef meat platter and awaiting news on the fish they must cook in Lyon.

In the European final earlier this year in Brussels, where the team came in sixth,​ the UK were awarded a special prize for the best meat platter but Bennett is not setting targets for the grand final.

"My personal approach, I think every chef would be slightly different, is to not put too much pressure on myself within my own mind. My way of doing that is purely to focus on the product, the food, how we want to represent it and refining things." he concluded.

To vote for the UK's poster, click here.​ For all the latest in the build-up to and during the grand final in Lyon, follow BigHospitality online and via Twitter​ and Facebook.

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