Philippe Mouchel, President Bocuse d’Or Australia, and his panel of judges have named Dan Arnold as the chef who will represent Australia at the elite Bocuse d’Or cuisine contest, after a closely fought cook-off today at Le Cordon Bleu Melbourne.
Arnold and his Commis Chef, Ryan Cosentino, produced a fish entrée using barramundi and prawns, and a meat main course using lamb shoulder, saddle, sweetbread and kidneys, in a five-hour competition. Each course was required to be 50 per cent vegetables or herbs, and the main also needed three edible garnishes.
The other finalists, Brad French and his Commis Amelia Claire Wallingford; Federico Perez Lopez and Commis Kimberly Tang; and Alex McIntosh and his Commis Chelsea Green, all acquitted themselves well, presenting their dishes on time and to a very high standard, according to the judging panel.
The competition we had today for the Australian Selection is run along the same lines as the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific and Bocuse d’Or in Lyon itself,” explains Philippe Mouchel.
It is very tough, because the candidates are also being marked not only on the taste and presentation of the dishes, but also on their kitchen skills, efficiency and communication with their commis chef.”
Bernd Uber, who was an invigilator in the kitchen, commented that Arnold and Cosentino worked seamlessly together over the five hours and produced impeccable dishes.
I was amazed to find out they only met two weeks ago, they worked as if they have been a team for ten years.”
The judging panel for the Australian Selection comprised renowned chefs including previous Bocuse d’Or candidates, Scott Pickett, Luke Croston, Joseph Vargetto, and Tom Milligan, plus Vanessa Mateus and Simon Cosentino, who accompanied Croston to Lyon as his Commis in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Other highly experienced chefs on the panel included Andre Smaniotto, Mark Clayton, Sascha Randle, Andrew Ballard and John Lawson.
Head judge Tom Milligan was one of the early Australian Candidates, in 1995.
We have been privileged that Paul Bocuse has always welcomed Australia to the Bocuse d’Or family,” he says.
It is exciting to see how the Australian team has evolved over the years, and now we have so many past candidates supporting our endeavours and assisting the team with their experience.”
Philippe Mouchel agrees.
Over the past decade we have built a relationship with a Bocuse d’Or winner in France, Serge Vieira. Dan Arnold is now working there as his sous chef, and has learned so much about the standards and expectations of the Bocuse d’Or.”