Australia’s candidate in the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest, Michael Cole, is headed for Guangzhou, China, to represent his country in one of the world’s most demanding and prestigious culinary competitions.
Known as ‘the Olympics of cooking’, the Bocuse d’Or was established by revered chef Paul Bocuse and is held every second year in Lyon, France. To be among the 24 competitors, Cole must first qualify in the Asia Pacific contest in Guangzhou 8-9 May, by being placed among the top five out of 12 countries.
The Australian team headed for China includes Cole plus his Commis (assistant) Chef Laura Skvor, Coach Scott Pickett and Bocuse d’Or Australia President Tom Milligan, who will also be a judge at the event. Both Pickett and Milligan have represented Australia as past Bocuse d’Or candidates themselves.
“This is definitely the toughest culinary challenge of my career so far,” says Cole. “The standard for Bocuse d’Or is unbelievably high and we are up against some very accomplished teams.”
As joint Head Chef at Flinders Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula, Cole has been influenced and inspired by the pristine fresh product that is abundant in the area.
“In preparing for Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific I have chosen to interpret and present each element with restraint and respect for each individual ingredient, and for those who toiled to produce it, delivering dishes to showcase the finest produce in unique and exciting ways,” he explains.
Cole and Skvor have been training intensively since February for the event, under the guidance of a committee of distinguished chefs including Bocuse d’Or Vice President Philippe Mouchel.
Each team has five and a half hours to prepare two courses, and the second must be presented on a platter for the judges. The mandatory ingredient for the first course is Australian veal tenderloin, while competitors are required to use whole salmon for the second course.
“We have been fortunate to receive support from our gold sponsors Aquanas and Clover Valley Fine Food in order to train with these ingredients,” says Cole. In addition Telstra has equipped Cole and Skvor with the latest iPhone X each, and Imports of France has assisted with logistics in China as well as ingredients. Other sponsors include Ordermate, Bone Roasters and Eustralis Foods.
“This has truly been a team effort,” says Bocuse d’Or Australia President Tom Milligan. “Without the backing of Michael’s employers at The Flinders Hotel, and the hospitality community at large, we could not possibly compete at this level.”
“The Bocuse d’Or is a competition unlike any other,” adds Milligan. “Although it is not very well known in Australia, internationally it attracts huge crowds and great prestige.
“We are looking forward to showcasing Australian cuisine on the world stage, and being part of this illustrious global culinary event.”
Harty Food Media
Marketing & Promotion Manager, Bocuse d’Or Academy Australia
m: 0414 762 096