While the northeastern United States will be busy digging out from a monster snow storm, a storm of a different sort is about to descend upon the Eurexpo Pavilion and the SIRHA show in Lyon, France – the world finals of the Bocuse d’Or 2015! (Click on the link for more detailed background info).
France and the Scandinavian countries seem to be the perpetual favorites, taking home most of the hardware in recent years. In particular, this year’s favorite has to be Sweden’s Tommy Myllymaki, who already has the 2011 Bocuse Silver Medal to his credit. Can he be hoping to emulate his fellow Scandinavian, the Dane, Rasmus Kofoed, who has a trifects of Gold, silver and Bronzo to his name?. Perhaps, but he will have to better 23 other candidates to win the Gold and “only” 21 to win the bronze.
I am not personally familiar with most of the candidates, but in Addition to Myllymaki, I am familiar with Canada’s Laurent Godbout, who hails from Montreal, where he has run his own restaurant, Chez L’Epicier for the past 15 years.
The United States hopes this year for landing on the podium for the first time belong to Philip Tessier, a sous-chef at The French Laundry. Tessier was selected over a year ago and has been in intense training ever since. Low key and down-to-business, , he appears to have the skills and the mind-set to pull off a stunning first – an American on the podium. Of note, thsi is the first competition since I’ve been attending them (every one from 2009) in which the USA has cooked on the first day and not the more pressure-packed second day. Perhaps that is a good omen? I sincerely hope so. Another good omen, I hope is the USA gaining the podium in the Coupe du Monde for Pastry. The American team of John Kraus, Joshua Johnson and Scott Green were beaten only by the Japanese (Silver) and the Italians (Gold). Here’s to some good karma!
Perhaps another piece of good karma is the fact that Grant Achatz is the Ceremonial President of Honor of the Jury.
I have focused on the Scandinavians, The United States, France and Canada, but it would only be a surprise if there were no other surprises! Let the games begin!