The atmosphere is invigorating. Careful hands quickly whisk away beautiful creations while culinary coaches howl away orders. Each move is crucial, make one wrong move and a dish is ruined. The gastronomic artists design the perfect taste to invite the judges in while enticing their eyes with picturesque presentations. Every tick of the clock is agonizingly quick and when the final second passes, the buzzer alarms and all the hard work are finished.
Picture this: an arena packed with screaming fans from 24 countries, rows of full kitchens, and 24 of the most talented young chefs from around the world cooking for one title: the world cup of the culinary world, the Bocuse d’Or. Every two years, these young chefs have exactly five hours and 35 minutes to prepare excellent dishes for a jury composed of the most illustrious chefs in the world.
In 1987, a man named Paul Bocuse created the Bocuse d’Or to make cooking more of a sporting event. After 20 years of success, the Bocuse d’Or faced a huge number of nations that wanted to take part in this competitive event so the Bocuse d’Or decided to initiate a few pre-selection events that were divided in to the Bocuse d’Or Europe, Bocuse d’Or Latin America and Bocuse d’Or Asia, that became Bocuse d’Or Asia-Pacific in 2014 and now includes Australia. The world final is held in Lyon, France.
Each team has two chefs, one lead chef, and an assistant chef that must be under 22 years of age at the time the competition takes place. The team of chefs must prepare two pristine meal presentations, a meat dish and a fish dish. The highest scoring chef is awarded a gold trophy of Paul Bocuse in his chef uniform and $20,000. The 2nd place chef wins a silver trophy and $15,000 and the 3rd place chef wins a bronze trophy and $10,000. After winning the Bocuse d’Or, many chefs have gone and made huge names for themselves. The competition draws media attention from around the world and this year was the first year the U.S. has ever placed higher than 6th place and earned the 2nd place silver trophy.