"We've learnt from our disappointment" - Team UK gears up for Bocuse d'Or 2019

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

The USA won the Bocuse d'Or for the first time this year
The USA won the Bocuse d'Or for the first time this year

Related tags: Chef

Five chefs are set to battle it out to become the next UK candidate in the Bocuse d’Or following the team’s disappointment last year.

Team UK is hoping to improve on its previous performance after it failed to qualify for the 2017 finals​ of the world chef championship, placing 17th​ out of 20 contestants in the European heat.

The UK has never finished in the overall top three, though chef Adam Bennett led the team to fourth place in 2013.

This year’s candidate will be selected after a nearly four-hour cook-off at the National Skills Show in Birmingham NEC on 18 November.

The chefs in the running are:

  • Adam Thomason MCA, executive chef, Restaurant Associates, Deloitte London 
  • Chris Hill MCA, premier sous chef, The Ritz London 
  • Frederick Forster MCA, executive chef, The Don Restaurant London
  • Tom Phillips, head chef, Restaurant Story
  • Tony Wright MCA, senior lecturer University College Birmingham and Bocuse d’Or candidate 2016

Each candidate must prepare a fish dish using Fjord trout and lobster and a meat platter with a short saddle of lamb as the main product.  

The fish dish will be served as six individual plated portions with three different garnishes for each portion and a suitable sauce, while the meat option will be served on a silver platter with three different garnishes and a sauce. 

UK team president Brian Turner will lead the jury, with judges including Bennett (The Cross at Kenilworth), John Williams MBE (The Ritz) and Claude Bosi (Bibendum).

“We have learnt a lot since our disappointment in Budapest, when we failed to win a place in the final and we have regrouped to become a stronger unit,” says Andreas Antona, who is chair of the UK Academy.

“With five fantastic chefs in the running, we’re already in a stronger position than previous years. We now need to secure the financial support to give the candidate everything he needs to realistically achieve a place on the podium within the next four years.”

The successful candidate will go on to compete in the European final of the Bocuse d’Or in Turin, Italy on June 11-12 2018, ahead of the overall final in 2019.

The Bocuse D'Or championship was launched by French chef Paul Bocuse in 1987 and now sees more than 60 countries participate.

Mathew Peters from Per Se in New York became the first American ever to win the competition​ ​this year.

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