We were honored to be invited to ment’or BKB’s send-off celebration for Team USA 2017 to Bocuse d’Or last week. Bocuse d’Or is the premier culinary competition in the world, the culinary equivalent of the olympics. Started by the famous Chef Paul Bocuse, it is held in Lyon, France every two years. Teams of chefs from around the world train full-time to compete. Only 24 teams will qualify for the final round in Lyon. Team USA 2015 was the first USA team to place, and won the silver statue. Interested in learning more about the Bocuse d’Or? Check out this book by Andrew Friedman.
The send-off celebration at SFMOMA’s In Situ began with passed appetizers created by several San Francisco chefs who came out to support the team and prepare an amazing menu for the evening, including Corey Lee and Brandon Rodgers of In Situ, Mourad Lahlou of Mourad and Aziza, Michael Mina of the Mina Group, Roland Passot of La Folie, Joshua Skenes of Saison, and Wendy Sherwood of La Forêt Chocolate.
Appetizers were followed by a panel interview led by San Francisco Chronicle food editor Paolo Lucchesi and included Team USA 2017-Head Chef Mathew Peters, Commis Harrison Turone, Head Coach and 2015 Silver Medalist, Philip Tessier and ment’or President Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and theThomas Keller Restaurant Group. Watch the full interview on Facebook here.
Following the panel discussion, everyone headed into the kitchen to taste even more creations from the amazing group of chefs. The kitchen was packed and so energetic, we didn’t get to try everything, but some of our favorites were Chef Brandon Rodgers’ wild bamboo fungi and scallop amandine, Chef Mourad Lahlou’s couscous, pumpkin seed, harissa, and blossoms, and Chef Roland Passot’s wild mushroom risotto with black truffle (we could sit and eat bowls of this all night).
More than just a fabulous evening, the send-off party was also a fundraiser for ment’or. Training for Bocuse d’Or is so intense that it becomes the team’s full-time job, and that’s where the ment’or foundation comes into play. The nonprofit foundation helps to support chefs so that they are able to focus on their training. President of ment’or, Chef Thomas Keller, explained that Chef Bocuse personally called him to ask him to be the president of Team USA, with the goal of elevating the culinary reputation of USA. We’d say he has succeeded.
Support young chefs and Team USA by donating here.