27 January 2017
Australian chef Dan Arnold and his commis Ryan Cosentino achieved eighth place in the Bocuse d’Or finale, the highest ranking Australia has ever received among the 24 countries competing for the prize of the ‘Gold Bocuse’. Australia also won the prize for the best promotional campaign.
Held at the SIRHA trade show in Lyon 25-25 January, the competition saw Mathew Peters from Per Se restaurant in New York, USA win the gold prize, while Norway’s Christopher William Davidsen was awarded silver and Viktor Andresson from Iceland won bronze.
Dan Arnold and Ryan Cosentino were accompanied to Lyon by President Philippe Mouchel and team coach Romuald Fassenet MOF. Mouchel also served on the Jury as a judge. A large contingent of Aussie supporters, including Bocuse d’Or Australia’s Vice President Tom Milligan, cheered on the Australian team from stands packed with people from around the world.
There was a new challenge for the 30th year of the Bocuse d’Or cuisine contest, instead of preparing one fish course and one meat course, the team were required to create a platter interpreting the Lyonnais specialty ‘chicken and shellfish’ using the famed Bresse Chicken. The second course was to be presented on a plate and be entirely plant-based. Both dishes must be made from scratch at the competition in just five hours and 35 minutes.
“It was quite a challenge, but once we knew the dishes required and the mandatory ingredients, we could begin training in earnest,” says Arnold.
“We were fortunate that some very talented chefs from France, including our coach Romuald Fassenet MOF and 2005 winner Serge Vieira, got behind the Australian team and assisted with our training,” he adds. “We also received much support from French companies and media, which went towards our success in the promotional campaign.”
Arnold admits that all the training in the world could not prepare him for the sheer intensity of the competition – the noise from the crowd, and the scrutiny of so many famed chefs including Joël Robuchon, Jerôme Bocuse, Thomas Keller and Alain Ducasse. “It was an experience I’ll never forget,” he says.
Bocuse d’Or Australia President Philippe Mouchel says he couldn’t be prouder of the Australian team. “We had a very good team, actually more a family than a team. They really stepped up to the challenge and are a real credit to their country and its hospitality industry.”
Mouchel reveals that Australia’s ‘vegetal plate’ was very well received by the panel of judges. “Many of the jury, including Thomas Keller himself, told me our plate was the best of the two days, one of them even give us the top score of 40 points,” he says.
“I have no doubt one day, if we keep working hard, we can reach the podium. This year USA lead the way, and we congratulate them, it was a well deserved Bocuse d’Or win.”
The Australian team is grateful to its sponsors including Aquanas, Foodservice Australia, Dimmi, OrderMate, Outback Spirit, Auxico, Vegetable Connection, La Montagne, Villaret, Magot, Reynaud, Osmose Communication, Quelque Part sur Terre, Caleden, David Ponson, Miéral, Jars, Villaret, Magot, Destination Cantal, ScanBox, Sturia, Bridor, Winterhalter France, Bidvest, Nestlé Professional, Peter Rowland, Remy Cointreau, Le Cordon Bleu, Moffat, Clover Valley, Dominique Portet, Imports of France, Champagne Pommery, San Pellegrino, Vaaj Hospitality Cleaning and Bocuse d’Or Japan, plus venues Serge Vieira, Atlantic Group, Lutèce, Philippe and Bistro Thierry.
The next Australian Selection competition will be held on 30 May at Foodservice Australia trade show in Melbourne. Entries open in February, more information at www.bocusedoraustralia.com.au.
Plate: Bushfire – forest regrowth
Queensland Avocado and Macadamia, Shell of Chickpeas
Cushion of Bowen Mango, Spiced Quinoa Salad and Pickled Onion
Smoked Potato Trunk brushed with Wattleseed Sauce
Jerusalem Artichoke and Parsley Root with Black Garlic
Chervil Root rock with Roscoff Onion Marmalade
Savours of the Australian Barbecue and Amaranth Ash
Cereal Crisp and Forest Regrowth
Mango, Avocado and Macadamia Salad
Pearled Vegetable Infused Broth
Platter: Uluru – Flavours of the Outback
Billabong of Chicken and Yabby sauce
Chicken leg mosaic, Tasmanian Pepper brushed Breast
Bush-marinated Lobster and King Prawns
Barbecue-glazed Corn and Polenta, confit Onion
Lentil and Pickled Vegetable tartlet, Lobster and Finger Lime Salad, Tarragon coulis
Paperbark smoked Beetroot Caviar and Wattleseed Soil