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Columbus Chef to Compete in the Bocuse d’Or

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Columbus will soon become a highlight of the culinary world. Chef Richard Rosendale, of Rosendales has been invited, with 7 other US chefs, to compete to represent the US in the Bocuse d’Or. Click here to read more about the Bocuse d’Or. Click here to read the entire release. After reading the release, be sure to note the Board of Directors for this event. Talk about a who’s who of world chefs.

Those of you who attended my June dinner might remember that my chef was Seth Warren, who will be Chef Rosendale’s commis (apprentice) during the competition. Yay! I love that kid!

To bring everything all together, Husband used to work with Seth at the Refectory. The chef at the Refectory is Richard Blondin. Richard Blondin was personal chef to Paul Bocuse once upon a time. One of Mr. Bocuse’s favorite recipes of Chef Blondin’s was his peaches in Beaujolais, something I, in turn, made for my cooking demo last summer at the North Market, who hosted my June dinner, where Seth was my chef. Whew! (there you go, Seth, like 5 mentions in one post). Alas, his involvement in preparing for the competition means he won’t be able to be my chef for my August dinner, which I will be announcing very soon.

Columbus clearly needs its very own blogger (I mean, you could read about it from whomever the Dispatch sends, but where’s the fun in that?) there to cover the event; so my question is, who’s going to sponsor me to go to Florida to blog the event live? Turns out, it’s pretty cheap to travle to Florida in September. So you can sponsor me on the cheap!

And now, for the press release:

Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and many of this country�s leading chefs are uniting their efforts in support of the Bocuse d�Or USA, the not-for-profit organization created to recruit, train, and support an American team for the world�s most prestigious culinary competition: the Bocuse d�Or World Cuisine Contest. The latter is an Olympic style event for professional chefs created over twenty years ago by Paul Bocuse and now held biennially in Lyon, France. Written applications for USA team candidates were due June 30, 2008. Based on these written applications, eight semi-finalist teams (one chef plus one assistant per team) were selected to compete in an elimination contest to be held on September 26-27, 2008 at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Before a live audience, the eight teams will prepare elaborate fish and meat platters for a panel of prominent chef judges. They will be evaluated for their excellence in taste, presentation, creativity and technical precision. The competition will be open to the public.

Bocuse d�Or USA will provide the eight semi-finalist teams with travel and accommodations for the competition at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Semi-finalists will also receive training equipment and food supplies, a $2,000 stipend, and a one-year subscription for Avero Slingshot restaurant intelligence software. At the USA Bocuse d�Or Contest, the top three placing teams will be awarded cash prizes of $15,000 for the first place team, $10,000 for the second place team, and $5,000 for the third place team. The winning team will also be awarded a cruise vacation courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

Most importantly, the finalist team will receive a paid sabbatical to train for the Bocuse d�Or World Cuisine Contest. They will train from October 2008 through late January 2009 at the Bocuse d�Or USA Culinary Training Center in Yountville, California. This training facility, which includes private living quarters, is being created by Chef Thomas Keller adjacent to his renowned restaurant, The French Laundry. During the training period, the team will work intensively to perfect their dishes for presentation in Lyon.

They will be working with a dedicated chef coach, Roland Henin, a long time mentor to Thomas Keller, in a kitchen custom-designed expressly for the Bocuse d�Or. The USA team will then go on to compete at the Bocuse d�Or World Cuisine Contest in Lyon, France in late January 2009. During the training period, the chef and commis finalist team will be compensated by Bocuse d�Or USA at a rate equivalent to compensation from their current employers.

All Epcot guests are welcome to attend the September 26-27, 2008 Bocuse d�Or USA competition. Information on where to purchase tickets will be available through www.bocusedorusa.org in late Summer.

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