Chef Alex McIntosh from Sou’West Brewery in Victoria represented Australia at the Bocuse d’Or in France on Monday, completing two highly complex challenges in five and half hours.
Alex and his commis chef Tristan Spain were placed 18th out of 24 countries in what is known as the world’s most prestigious culinary competition.
Assisting Alex and Tristan at the pass was their Coach Dan Arnold from Restaurant Dan Arnold in Brisbane, while Scott Pickett from the Scott Pickett Group was Australia’s representative on the judging panel.
Held at the SIRHA hospitality expo in Lyon from 22-23 January, the competition saw Brian Mark Hansen from Denmark win the coveted Golden Statue of Paul Bocuse, while Norway’s Filip August Bendi was awarded silver and Bence Dalnoki from Hungary won bronze. In addition young assistant chef Leon Haarberg Nilsen from Norway won the award for Best Commis Chef.
The Bocuse d’Or (or Gold Bocuse) was created by the iconic French chef Paul Bocuse in 1987 and has become the most coveted prize in the culinary world. Just to be selected to compete in the Grand Final is a great honour and the contest is like a sporting match with thousands of rowdy supporters cheering on their teams.
Executive Chef at Sou’West Brewery in Torquay on Victoria’s Surf Coast, Alex began his journey on the ‘Road to Lyon’ by winning the Australian Selection competition at Foodservice Australia in February 2022. He then went on to qualify at the Asia Pacific Selection in July and has been training intensively since then to create and refine his dishes.
This year, the first theme of the competition ‘Feed the Kids’ highlighted children’s nutrition, with chefs required to prepare three courses using pumpkin that would appeal to young palates. The second challenge was an elaborate platter featuring Scottish monkfish, scallops and mussels.
“It’s such a privilege to be selected to represent your country, it was truly a dream come true for me,” says Alex. “As well as the excitement and adrenalin rush of competing, it was incredible to meet leading chefs from around the world and be part of such a high profile event.”
Bocuse d’Or Australia President Tom Milligan says he could not be more delighted. “Our team pulled together really well,” he says. “Alex and Tristan really stepped up to the challenge and are a true credit to their country and the hospitality industry.
Caption: (L-R) Tristan Spain, Alex McIntosh and Dan Arnold.
Image credit: Alexandre Moulard.