Team Australia has regretfully informed organisers in France that it is unable to commit to competing in the Bocuse d’Or Grand Finale in Lyon in January 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the results of the 2018 Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific, Australia qualified to be among the 24 countries competing in the elite competition – however with international flights from Australia cancelled and onerous quarantine requirements, Bocuse d’Or Australia President Tom Milligan says it is impossible guarantee our team could attend.
“We have it on good advice that international air travel will still be severely disrupted well into next year,” he says. “There are just too many unknowns to commit the kind of expenditure and effort needed to prepare for Bocuse d’Or.”
Milligan says it will be the first time in over 30 years that Australia has not participated in the elite competition founded by French chef Paul Bocuse, which is the pinnacle of achievement for chefs around the world.
“It is very disappointing for our current Candidate Joshua Pelham and his Commis Chef Harrison Caruana, adds Milligan. “However we will now concentrate our efforts on next year’s Australian Selection contest.”
“The whole industry is suffering immensely at the moment,” he says. “However we will emerge on the other side even more committed to promoting excellence in Australian cuisine and the advancement of our talented chefs.”
Image of the 2019 Grand Finale courtesy of Bocuse d’Or.