The Bocuse d’Or 2011 - What's the importance to you as professional chef?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by tomdchef, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. tomdchef

    tomdchef

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    [​IMG]

    Every two years, one of the biggest and most prestigious events in the culinary world takes place in Lyon, France. This is the Bocuse d’Or, an international cooking event named after its founder, the great Chef Paul Bocuse. This culinary competition is being participated by 24 chefs who came from 24 different countries, each cooking his own special recipe based on a prearranged set of parameters in the hopes of winning the grandest title in the culinary world.

    As a professional chef, what is the importance of events like this to your profession and as an individual?
     
  2. prairiechef

    prairiechef

    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    22
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    It's completely irrelevant to me, my career, and the day to day needs of 99.9% of the world's culinary customers.

    Yes, I am sure it's the "biggest day ever" to the participants... but for the rest of us, we got mouths to feed, staff to pay, suppliers to worry about, and the results of the Bocuse d'Or don't mean jack squat to us.

    Hey, you asked.

    To the participants, I say "good for you" I hope you have a grand time. But I see it as the same as the Oscars, or Grammys. An industry event, put on on by the industy, for the industry, so they feel important and special.

    If there were no "awards" how would society's well-heeled know where to eat to set themselves apart from the riff-raff?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    5,054
    Likes Received:
    601
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    Don't want to get on a downer here, but all it means to me is Paul-tics.

    You need a lot of money and a lot of friends to even think about entering, and both money and friends need re-paying.

    The cooking side of things is interesting, but that's just cooking.  Like I said, it takes a lot of effort to get in to such competitions--like several years worth of effort.
     
  4. ljokjel

    ljokjel

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    Does have some influence, mostly indirectly.

    Im Norwegian, and compared to the US, the ratio of National Team chefs and Bocuseparticipants is different and to our advantage.

    We're also the mostwinning nation after france, so we do have a couple of chefs to look up to. Its not too hard getting a job working under a bocuse participant or someone with time in international competitions.

    Inspiration, pushing the level of the industry and easier access for us younger chefs to the higher levels and places and people to learn from.
     
  5. trooper

    trooper

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    23
    Exp:
    Private Chef
    Anything that promotes and inspires culinary excellence is a good thing.
     
  6. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes Received:
    418
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Competitions are a bone of contention with me. I see them as a waste of energies and time in the big scheme of things. They do not contribute to the day to day work that line cooks or executive Chefs do. They are purely for the competitive spirit and add in the bloating of the ego.

    I feel the same way about "Top Chef" and "Chopped" and all the rest of the garbage on the food network.
     
  7. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,825
    Likes Received:
    391
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I think they can contribute a lot if you're a garde manger and they can even be trendy.  I remember when team USA first used chaud-froid on the bottom of their platters.  We all started doing it for our buffets.  Pretty neatl but it soon gave way to the absolutely spotless plate.  If you've ever been to a competition you'll see the absolute level of detail that goes into the preparation.  It's all technique, mise, and in the team competition, teamwork.
     
  8. ljokjel

    ljokjel

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    Well hooray.

    We got third place, and scandinavia top 3.
    Though something tells me its not as much prestige in it in other parts of the world.
     
  9. trooper

    trooper

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    23
    Exp:
    Private Chef
    No - I think that is a great accomplishment. And in spite of what envy or distain a person may have for the competitive event - A person that has the stones to compete in such an event, and risk any defeat, humiliation or victory - To me - is someone I want to work with.

    Someone who has talent is hard to find. Someone with passion is hard to find. If you have talent and passion - you are number one on the call list in my book.

    So just for the record: I know I am not fast enough or probably talented enough to even place in a competition like that. You made third place.

    That's a great accomplishment! You should be humble God gave you such awesome talent and everyone else should be proud of you for not wasting it.
     
  10. cbradford

    cbradford

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I have to say....I find it completely unimportant. I'm happy for the folk who get to participate, though. I'm sure it's a great experience for them. 
     
  11. chef blogdigest

    chef blogdigest

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Congratulations! it's a good start buddy! Many more challenges in the culinary world. Keep on pursuing things that is likable to you and the more you do the more positive things will happen. Have a nice day.
     
  12. trooper

    trooper

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    23
    Exp:
    Private Chef
    Poo Poo !
     
  13. durangojo

    durangojo

    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    89
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    well, i gotta say that Bocuse D'or is so totally beyond my everyday realm of thinking, actually, my life thinking...i never think of it, just as i don't think of miss u.s.a. or miss universe pageants either. i'm not even really sure i completely understand the whole concept...is it a scholarship fundraiser for future culinarians, or is to determine the best chef? best chefs in one country? well, whose the best artist, the best musician, the best singer?...i am of the thinking that there is no one 'best', just different styles...it also seems to me that it's an expensive competition, just as the olympics are....you need sponsors to pay your bills while you train,which could be years, buy the equipment you need, food, travel expenses etc. so, in that regard, it is the sponsored contestants who can enter, not necessarily the most talented. why do chefs need time off work and all bills paid to 'train"? train for what?.. i do not understand. i do believe that competition can be a good thing. it hones your skills, keeps you focused and for those of us who need a new challenge, offers that. any selfish self promotion or 'bloating of ego' is very short lived as it very hard work, demanding and stressful....there is, in my opinion, a big difference between cockiness and being self assured... as to what it does for the industry as a whole, i'm not sure....if i was handed a ticket to go i would go, just to feel the buzz in the air......i did see a few photos of the u.s.a. entry...BORING!!! man, hope they didn't spend too many months training for that!.....will think on it some more, but that's my chime for now..

    joey
     
  14. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,825
    Likes Received:
    391
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I don't know about Bocuse d'Or judging, and without looking at the judging sheet one may never know.  In ACF competition they are judged on everything, and I mean EVERYTHING!  You get your mise en place wrong it's minus one point.  You forget to sanitize your cutting board it's another point.  You use less of an ingredient or forget a part of the plate, that's points too.

    If the US wanted to win at Bocuse d'Or they could have picked someone with a few gold medals already or just picked someone from last year's Kochkunst team.
     
  15. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes Received:
    418
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Unlike The Bocus in ACF competiton, you are competing against yourself and some pre-ordained set of rules.
     
  16. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    Because I’m not a working chef, not even a professional cook, anymore, I’ve been staying away from this thread. But several of us have picked it up privately, and they’ve encouraged me to post my views---mostly, I think, because they’re different from what most of you have expressed.



    First off, the pursuit of excellence is a laudable goal in its own right. Doesn’t matter what the field is. Advances are made when talented people push the envelope. If nothing else, that makes the Bocuse d’Or worthwhile. No, most of us will never take part. But it’s surely good to know it exists. And, it should go without saying, that’s I’d love to be in the audience.



     Putting that aside, however,  do you guys really believe there's no trickle-down effect? That the techniques and methodologies and uses of ingredients developed for competitions like that don’t impact on what you’ll be doing in the future? Must be that trends in the culinary arts just appear, magically, out of thin air?



    I'm put in mind of that great scene in The Devil Wears Prada. Meryl Streep's soon to be assistant has made a comment to the effect that the world of haute culture has nothing to do with what she wears. At the time she;s wearing a blue blouse on that came from a big box discount store.



     Meryl goes through this great soliloquy, tracing the "blue blouse" the girl is wearing back to it's introduction by a top-name designer as something else two years previously. No, the girl didn’t have any direct relationship with the Parisian fashion scene. But the genesis of her blouse began there.



    So, too, with the Bocuse d’Or. Most of us have no direct relationship with it, and never will. But the indirect effects are there. Like it or not, we are all cooking with blue blouses, whether we recognize it or not.



     No, it's not about participating in the competition for most cooks and chefs. It's about the innovations and inspiration that, eventually, we’ll all be using in a much diluted form, that ties us to the contest.
     
    trooper likes this.
  17. durangojo

    durangojo

    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    89
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    trickle down effect? perhaps...okay, definately yes, but to what degree? and on a day to day basis?... take sous vide, for example..do you go to places that cook that way? i don't know anyone who uses that method in their restaurant, and personally i'm not sure i would even go to a place and pay good hard earned denero for food cooked in that fashion....i like my food grilled and colorful and crusty where it should be, roasted, browned,sauteed to perfection, and above all else, i like to smell it cooking...not in a bag being boiled....so, for food application, i'm not interested...however, i do think it has its place...hospitals, supermarkets, hotels.....so what trend do we have to look forward to from this years' award winners? look what happened to molecular gastonomy.....i just really don't think it caught on, atleast not around where i live...its cattlemen and ranchers...you can just picture what they think when told that their steak is now in the form of foam...or boiled in a bag, because of the bocuse d'or winners are trendsetters...sorry for the ramble...things just keep popping up..

    joey
     
  18. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    I'm not going to argue the point, Joey. There's no way you can pinpoint, at a specific time and place, how the bocuse affected what you do or don't do, or how long it took to get there. And, unless one spends a lot of time doing the research, it's difficult at best to identify where a blue blouse came from, and what its original form was like.

    Iit's not important whether I patronage restaurants that cook sous vide, or use molecular gastronomy, or follow any other trend. The point is, those things do trickle down, sometimes unencumbered, sometimes greatly diluted. And sometimes, as with Meryl Streeps young apprentice, we don't even know that it happened.

    Keep in mind, too, that a particular technique which becomes popular may not originate there, but, because it's used by the top competitors it enters the culinary imagination on a greater scale.

    For instance, wrapping a protein inside a protein inside a protein (I forget the name of that approach) certainly isn't new. But the widespread recognition and availability of turducken can be traced, indirectly, to the bocuse. Did you ever even hear of a turducken as recently as, say,  five years ago? Probably not. And you've just as probably never made or served one in your restaurant. But that doesn't change the fact that the concept is "in the air," and everybody at least knows what it is.

    Would that have happened without the Bocuse d'Or?
     
  19. Iceman

    Iceman

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    427
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I'm really interested in that "trickle-down effect" too (as taken from "Reaganomics" vocabulary), in any way that gets me paid more.