United States Wins Bocuse d’Or Cooking Competition for the First Time

American chefs, led by Thomas Keller, won the Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition held biennially in France

Would it be inappropriate to shout, “USA! USA! USA!”?

Bocuse d’Or is the premier international cooking competition in which chefs from two dozen countries around the world compete in Lyon, France, to impress a panel of judges with culinary skill and gastronomic dexterity. This year, for the first time in the competition’s 30-year history, the Americans took home the gold under the leadership of Thomas Keller, president of Team USA, and head chef Mathew Peters, most recently the executive sous chef at Keller’s Per Se.

“I promised Monsieur Paul [Bocuse] 10 years ago that we’d make it to the top of the podium,” Keller told The New York Times. “We made it in nine.”

The fierce contest is held every two years, and USA took home the silver in 2015. The challenge this year was to prepare a meat platter and — for the first time — a vegan dish in five hours and 35 minutes. The former had to use two proteins, Bresse chicken and crayfish.

The American team created a chicken dish with morel mushroom sausage, braised wings, a wine glaze and lobster sauce. On the side were a chicken liver quenelle with foie gras, corn custard, black-eyed peas and toasted pistachios, and a lobster tail with Meyer lemon mousse. The garnishes used carrots, Vidalia onions, black truffle, peas and potatoes.

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The vegan dish was California asparagus with cremini mushrooms, potatoes, green almond custard, Meyer lemon confit, a Bordelaise sauce, and a vegetable yeast crumble that mimicked Parmesan cheese.