Acclaimed French-born television presenter and author Gabriel Gaté says he is honoured to promote the world’s most prestigious cooking competition to all Australians.
“I first met Paul Bocuse in 1971 when I was a 16-year-old apprentice to one of his friends,” reminisces Gabriel. “He was already France’s most charismatic and inspiring Master Chef.
It’s no surprise Gabriel has long been a fan of the competition Paul Bocuse went on to create in 1987, and is looking forward our next national competition, the 2021 Bocuse d’Or Australia, where a chef will be selected to represent his or her country on the world stage.
“At the Australian competition I want to see chefs who make us sit up and take notice, with new ideas and exciting techniques, who are able to express their feelings and their personality on the plate.” he says. “I am hoping to discover food that is modern and appeals to a new generation.”
Gabriel reflects 2020 has been a highly challenging year for the whole industry, and a disappointment that Australia was forced to withdraw from next year’s Grand Finale due to the pandemic. On the upside, he says the lockdown in Victoria has given him more opportunity to create and test recipes, and to write his next book.
“Next year it will be 50 years since I started my career as a chef, and I am writing a book that includes recipes all the way back to my early years in France with my family and from my apprenticeship.”
He adds that 50 years ago it was not easy for chefs to work in other countries, and it is incredible to see how many Australian chefs have worked in Europe and Asia. “The ingredients might be different in other countries, but now good chefs can work anywhere.”
“In this respect the Bocuse d’Or helps to raise awareness of Australia and its chefs and allows us to work alongside big names such as Rasmus Kofoed, Thomas Keller, Régis Marcon and Serge Vieira,” says Gabriel.
“For the competitors, it is like practicing for a concert, and the more you practice the more you build on your knowledge and technique. I think competing in the Bocuse d’Or is a great way for a talented chef to really fast-forward their career.”