Team USA wins Bocuse d’Or cooking competition

For the first time, an American team has won gold at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or culinary competition.

The Bocuse d’Or is the cooking world’s equivalent of the Olympics. Once every two years, teams from 24 countries around the globe come together in Lyon, France, to see who is the best in the world.

Nordic countries also had a strong showing this year, with Norway winning the silver medal and Iceland taking bronze.

The American team was led by Pennsylvania native Mathew Peters and his assistant Harrison Turone, who both work at a New York restaurant called Per Se. To get ready for the competition, Peters said that he practiced 12 hours a day five days a week, for months.

For the final, the teams had five hours and 35 minutes to make 14 servings each of a meat dish, served on a platter, and a vegan plate. The chefs worked in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people.

The meat competition called for candidates to make their own interpretation of a French classic, Bresse chicken with shellfish. According to the New York Times, the Americans prepared this, as seen above:

“chicken with morel mushroom sausage, braised wings, a wine glaze and sauce Américaine, a kind of lobster sauce. Alongside were a chicken liver quenelle with foie gras, corn custard, black-eyed peas and toasted pistachios, as well as lobster tail with Meyer lemon mousse. The garnishes included preparations using carrots, Vidalia onions, black truffles, carrots, peas and potatoes.”

For the vegan option, Team USA made this, as seen below:

“California asparagus with cremini mushrooms, potatoes, a custard made of green almonds, Meyer lemon confit, a Bordelaise sauce and a crumble using an almond and vegetable yeast preparation that mimicked Parmesan cheese.”

“There are no words to describe how proud we are,” Thomas Keller, the team president, told Fine Dining Lovers magazine. “When we started this almost nine years ago, we promised Monsieur Paul [Bocuse, who founded the competition] that we would get gold. I’m really, really proud today that we’re able to honor him.”

When asked what was next for his team, Peters responded, “We’re going to celebrate as a team now … maybe take a nap first … then Disneyland!”