Tom Milligan, President, Bocuse d’Or Australia
Bocuse d'Or is to food as haute couture is to fashion or the World Cup is to football. It takes us to the pinnacle of culinary ambition and pushes the edge of innovation.
The world’s most prestigious culinary contest
- Named after the groundbreaking French chef Paul Bocuse, the Bocuse d’Or is a biennial world chef championship that has been running since 1987.
- Frequently referred to as the culinary equivalent of the Olympic Games, the event is the world’s most prestigious cooking competition, where preparation and cooking of all dishes is performed in front of a live audience.
- To get there, contenders must first be selected in their own country, then be placed in the top five in their regional competition.
- Australia’s Chef Alex McIntosh and his Commis Chef Tristan Spain recently competed at the 2023 Grand Final in Lyon, placing 18th out of 24 countries.
- The next Chef to represent Australia is Paul Golding, who won ‘the Golden Knife’ at the Bocuse d’Or Australia 2023 with his Commis Chef Chris Milligan.
- Australian chefs who have previously competed at the Bocuse d’Or include the likes of George Calombaris, Tom Milligan, Joseph Vargetto, Scott Pickett, Shannon Kellam, Dan Arnold and Michael Cole.
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Making it happen
Meet Chef Paul Golding, Candidate Bocuse d'Or Australia
Paul Golding, Head Chef, Barn & Co.
Paul Golding stood out as a talented chef right from his early days as an apprentice in Melbourne, when he was named Holmesglen TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year for two years in a row. During this time he also won prizes at the Daryl Cox Competition for young chefs and at the Culinary Pro Am held at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Since then Paul has held Sous Chef and Head Chef roles at some of Melbourne’s most prestigious sporting clubs including Melbourne Racing Club, Woodlands Golf Club and Huntingdale Golf Club. He also assisted Steak Maestro’s Chris Wade and Simmer Culinary’s Andrew Ballard at major food events in Victoria and overseas, and was Head Chef at Snooks Catering on the Mornington Peninsula and at a the City of Casey’s Bunjil Place.
Recently Paul was appointed Head Chef at winery restaurant Barn & Co on Melbourne’s scenic Mornington Peninsula.
Meet the team
Since then Paul has held Sous Chef and Head Chef roles at some of Melbourne’s most prestigious sporting clubs including Melbourne Racing Club, Woodlands Golf Club and Huntingdale Golf Club. He also assisted Steak Maestro’s Chris Wade and Simmer Culinary’s Andrew Ballard at major food events in Victoria and overseas, and was Head Chef at Snooks Catering on the Mornington Peninsula and at the City of Casey's Bunjil Place.
Currently Paul is Head Chef at winery restaurant Barn & Co. on the Mornington Peninsula, where he enjoys creating innovative dishes using local flavours and produce.
The attraction of Australia’s innovative culinary industry saw him return to Adelaide as a Chef Instructor with Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School at Regency Institute for Hospitality.
The following years saw him in a wide range of roles including Head Chef to the iconic Stephanie Alexander; Chef de Cuisine of Cecconis at Crown; Executive Chef at Hotel Windsor; Senior Culinary teacher for Holmesglen Institute of TAFE and Executive Chef for The Atlantic Group.
Tom returned to Le Cordon Bleu Australia in 2018 as Technical Director based in Melbourne.
In 1995 Tom represented Australia at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, and now as President he is the driving force behind Bocuse d’Or Australia and also a member of the judging panel for this illustrious competition.
This set him up for a stellar career over the next 20 years, working in some of the top five-star hotels India, Asia and the Middle East.
On moving back to Melbourne, Deepak joined The Langham Hotel Melbourne as Executive Chef, then moved to Accor as Culinary Director opening the Hotel Chadstone MGallery by Sofitel and re-opening Pullman Melbourne on the Park.
Recently Deepak joined Pan Pacific Melbourne as Director of Food & Beverage & Culinary Operations.
Recognised for his innovative approach in presenting a diverse globally influenced cuisine infused with local flavours and ingredients, Deepak’s culinary creations are informed by his mantra, ‘Passion and Perfection’.
Last year Peter was appointed Financial Controller at Crown Sydney, a return to the casino group having served as F&B Finance Manager for seven years from 2001.
In the intervening years he held CFO roles at Peter Rowland Catering, Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, and Atlantic Group, as well as General Manager Finance Projects for Schiavello Group and Director of Peter Cairns Hospitality Consulting.
Peter is an invaluable resource for Team Australia and ensures that money raised by sponsorship and fundraising is accounted for and that Bocuse d’Or Academy Australia Inc. complies with best practice and relevant legislation.
Chris enjoys the challenge of competing and won Bronze last year in the Les Toques Blanches Awards and Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat. Now he follows in his father Tom Milligan’s footsteps on The Road to Lyon.
Heading to London, Scott joined Philip Howard at The Square and worked his way up to Sous Chef. Upon returning to Melbourne he worked with Donovan Cooke at Ondine and again with Philippe Mouchel, as well as representing Australia in the Bocuse d’Or in 2005.
Next Scott enjoyed a successful five-year tenure as Executive Chef at The Point in Albert Park, until he realised a lifelong dream by opening his own restaurant, Estelle, in 2011.
Following the success of Estelle, Scott launched a second venue, Saint Crispin, in 2013. Two years later he opened ESP – Estelle By Scott Pickett – next door to the original Estelle, and in 2016, Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie in the Queen Victoria Market. His next venture was Matilda in 2018, named after his daughter and featuring meat cooked over live flames and an open grill, and a rejuvenated Estelle opened its doors in 2019.
Most recently Scott replaced St Crispin in Collingwood with the Italian-inspired Lupo, and Pastore at Hotel Chadstone, as well as opening a Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie outlet at terminal 3 at Melbourne Airport.
As a young man, Gabriel had the chance to learn to cook from some of the finest French chefs (he worked in two three Michelin-star restaurants) before coming to Australia in 1977 with his Melbourne-born wife, Angie. He has since established himself as one of the country’s leading communicators on food and cooking.
He is the author of twenty-three cookbooks, including ‘French Cuisine for Australians, ‘Good Food for Men’, ‘How to Teach Kids to Cook,' ‘Recipes for a Great Life’ co-written with Dr Rob Moodie, 'Taste Le Tour Regional French Cuisine and 100 Best Cakes and Desserts. Total sales of his books exceed 1.1 million copies, making him the highest-selling Australian male cookery writer.
Gabriel has presented cookery shows on television for the past 40 years, most recently he produced and presented ‘Taste Le Tour with Gabriel Gaté’, a series of gourmet segments on French food and wine screened on SBS during the Tour de France bicycle race in July each year, which lasted 15 seasons.
Gabriel likes helping others discover the joys of cooking with fresh food and is in demand as a guest speaker and MC.
Richard assists Bocuse d’Or Australia by sharing his marketing expertise, liaising with sponsors and supporters, and creating exceptional content including photography and videography.
Other organisations and industries Richard contributes to – be it on the committee or behind the scenes – include North Melbourne Football Club, Les Toques Blanches and the wellness sector.
After a year with Marc Meneau at L’Esperence, he joined Serge Vieira at his restaurant as Chef de Partie, moving up to Sous Chef in two years.
During his six years at Restaurant Serge Vieira, Dan represented Australia at the Bocuse d’Or 2017, achieving our highest ever result at 8th place.
On returning home to Australia with his French wife Amelie, Dan opened Restaurant Dan Arnold in Brisbane in 2018, and this year he stepped back into the competition zone as Coach for Team Australia.
In 1991 Philippe arrived in Melbourne to open Paul Bocuse restaurant to great acclaim. When it closed in 1997, Philippe headed up the kitchens at a number of restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney, worked to develop winery restaurants, and spent a few years back in Japan. He returned to Melbourne in 2003 to open the Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel at Crown.
His latest restaurant, Philippe, showcases traditional yet innovative French cooking that employs high quality seasonal produce and serves refined dishes.
Philippe has been an integral member of Team Australia for over 20 years as Coach, President and now Vice President. His support for emerging talent is legendary and among his many accolades and titles he is a judge for The Age Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year.
Since leaving full time journalism, Trish has managed the marketing for Australia’s largest food and beverage operation at Crown; written copy and marketing material for food companies and hospitality suppliers; and helped grow Foodservice Australia from a boutique event to one of the country’s leading trade shows.
Now under the banner of Harty Food Media, Trish enjoys sharing her copywriting, publicity and marketing expertise with businesses in the food and hospitality industry.
Trish's first taste of Bocuse d'Or was when she assisted with The Australian Selection competition in 2004, won by an ambitious young chef named Scott Pickett. She continued as Promotions Manager until 2009, and re-joined Team Australia in 2015. Now Trish coordinates Bocuse d'Or Australia's communications, sponsorship and fundraising and supports the team behind the scenes so they may compete on the world stage.