New York, NY (February 6, 2010) — The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to inspiring culinary excellence, announced this evening that Chef James Kent will represent the United States at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition, to be held in Lyon, France on January 25-26, 2011. His commis (assistant) in the competition will be Tom Allan. Established in 1987 by Chef Paul Bocuse, the Bocuse d’Or is the preeminent international culinary competition in which teams of one chef and one commis from 24 countries compete for top honors and international acclaim. Currently, Chef Kent serves as Sous Chef at Eleven Madison Park in New York City and his commis is a Sous Chef at Eleven Madison Park as well.
On Saturday, February 6, 2010, twelve finalist teams (one chef plus one commis) competed in the U.S. Finals Competition which was held at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Each team created two elaborate culinary presentations before a live audience and a prestigious panel of chef judges chosen from The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s esteemed Culinary Council. Judges for the competition included The Foundation’s Board of Directors – Chef Daniel Boulud, Chef Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse – as well as Chefs Grant Achatz, Paul Bartolotta, Timothy Hollingsworth, Traci Des Jardins, Paul Liebrandt, Walter Manzke, Daniel Patterson, Georges Perrier, Alain Sailhac, André Soltner, Susan Spicer, Laurent Tourondel, Alan Wong and Eric Ziebold. The winning team was announced at an Awards Dinner at The Culinary Institute of America on Saturday, February 6, 2010.
Daniel Boulud, The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation Chairman noted, “Thomas, Jerome and I and the entire Culinary Council are so happy to have selected Chef Kent to represent the United States at the international competition. We truly believe this talented candidate is committed to culinary excellence and exemplifies American gastronomy as we saw today during the competition. Chef Kent shows a great deal of courage, passion and command of his craft, and we look forward to training him throughout the coming year in preparation for Lyon in 2011.”
Each of the 12 finalist teams were required to prepare two individually plated protein platters in just five-and-a-half hours. One presentation featured Scottish Salmon and the other featured American Lamb, and each was accompanied by three elaborate garnishes. Scores were based on a 60-point system. 40 points were dedicated to taste and 20 points accounted for presentation.
Chef Kent’s Scottish “Label Rouge” Salmon Pavé with Leeks, Osetra Cavier and Sauce Fumet Blanc was elegantly garnished with the following: Roulade with Alaskan King Crab, Relish of Cucumber and Meyer Lemon; Chilled Mousse with Tartare and Roe; Pickled Heirloom Beets with Crème Fraiche, Dill and Black Pepper. The fish was provided by Scottish Quality Salmon.
For his lamb platter, Chef Kent presented Elysian Fields Farm Spring Lamb: Bacon Wrapped Saddle with Piquillo Peppers and Provençale Herbes; Vol-Au-Vent of Braised Gigot with Sweetbreads and Preserved Lemon; Zucchini with Lynnhaven Chèvre Frais and Mint; Tart of Tomato Confit with Basil, Niçoise Olives and Fromage Blanc. The lamb was provided by The American Lamb Board.
“Competing in the finals has been a great experience and we feel incredibly lucky to be involved,” said Chef James Kent, winner of The Bocuse d’Or USA competition. “This is just the first step toward Lyon. We know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we are ready for this challenge with the support of The Foundation behind us.”
In addition to earning the honor of representing the United States at the Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition in 2011, Chef Kent was also awarded a $5,000 cash prize. In second place, Chef Luke Bergman, Sous Chef at The Modern in New York City, was awarded a trophy and a $4,000 cash prize. In third place, Chef Christopher Parsons, Executive Chef/Owner of Catch in Winchester, MA, was awarded a trophy and a $3,000 cash prize. The following awards were also presented at the Awards Dinner:
ο BEST COMMIS presented by Rougié Foie Gras: Marcella Ogrodnik (Student, The Culinary Institute of America)
ο BEST FISH presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters: Jennifer Petrusky (Sous Chef, Charlie Trotter’s, Chicago, IL)
ο BEST MEAT presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters: Percy Whatley (Executive Chef, The Ahwahnee, Yosemite, CA)
The Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation will work with Chef Kent and his commis Tom Allan to customize a yearlong training program crafted, executed and supervised by The Foundation’s esteemed Board of Directors and Culinary Council. In addition, all direct expenses associated with participation in the international competition are provided by The Foundation. This includes round trip air travel to Lyon, meals and accommodations for 15 days in France, registration fees, on-site acclimation training, competition ingredients and presentation platters. The Foundation is also dedicated to making the careers of serious young chefs more meaningful and successful by offering them educational scholarships, grants, internships and access to a Culinary Council of established professionals.
To have been eligible to compete, Chef Applicants must be American citizens and 23 years of age or older at the time of the final competition in Lyon on January 25, 2011. They must also have had at least three years of experience in a fine dining establishment.
The Commis Applicants must be American citizens and 22 years of age or younger at the time of the final competition in Lyon.
In addition, hopefuls were required to complete an extensive application process which included an essay detailing their desire to represent the United States in the prestigious international competition, two letters of recommendation from chefs and/or restaurateurs, a letter of intent from a culinary sponsor and a current dinner menu from the restaurant at which the Chef Applicant is currently employed. These 12 finalists were selected for their outstanding motivation, commitment to the culinary arts, demonstrated organization and high-profile references supporting their candidacy.
The full list of competitors at The Bocuse d’Or USA Finals Competition 2010 included:
Luke Bergman, The Modern, Sous Chef (New York, NY)
Commis: Joseph Piccione, The Culinary Institute of America, Student
Jim Burke, James, Executive Chef/Owner (Philadelphia, PA)
Commis: Simon Solis-Cohen, The Culinary Institute of America, Student
Danny Cerqueda, Carolina Country Club, Executive Sous Chef (Raleigh, NC)
Commis: Wayne Goode, Caroline Country Club, Prep Cook
Michael Clauss, The Daily Planet, Executive Chef (Burlington, VT)
Commis: Marcella Ogrodnik, The Culinary Institute of America, Student
James Kent, Eleven Madison Park, Sous Chef (New York, NY)
Commis: Tom Allan, Eleven Madison Park, Sous Chef
Mark Liberman, Consulting Chef (San Francisco, CA)
Commis: Leland Cummings, The Culinary Institute of America, Student
Christopher Parsons, Catch, Executive Chef/Owner (Winchester, MA)
Commis: Nathaniel French, Catch, Garde Manger
Jennifer Petrusky, Charlie Trotter’s, Sous Chef (Chicago, IL)
Commis: James Caputo, Charlie Trotter’s, Cook
John Rellah, NY Yacht Club, Executive Chef (New York, NY)
Commis: Alexander Flynn, The French Culinary Institute, Student
Jeremie Tomczak, French Culinary Institute, Executive Chef – Event Operations (New York, NY)
Commis: Cameron Slaugh, Park Avenue Seasonal, Sous Chef
Andrew Weiss, The Lakes Club at Lake Las Vegas, Executive Chef (Las Vegas, NV)
Commis: Fernando Salazar, The Lobby Bar and Café at Encore, Cook
Percy Whatley, The Ahwahnee, Executive Chef (Yosemite, CA)
Commis: Melissa Marshall, The Culinary Institute of America, Extern