For the first time in Bocuse d’Or history, Team USA has taken home the top honors. Hestan Smart Cooking Culinary Director, Philip Tessier served as coach for Team USA’s Chef Mathew Peters and Commis Harrison Turone. They also received support and training from the culinary luminaries of the Ment’or Foundation: Chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jérôme Bocuse. As brand ambassador of Hestan Commercial and Hestan Outdoor, Chef Keller is no stranger to the Hestan Barn.
Colloquially referred to as the “Culinary Olympics,” Bocuse d’Or takes place every two years in Lyon, France. The auspicious event draws the most promising chefs from 24 countries – and a rapt live audience – to its competition kitchen. In preparation for the 2017 event, Team USA spent a year diligently planning and training in the Barn at Hestan Vineyards.
Tessier brought home the silver medal from the 2015 competition, marking the first time Team USA placed higher than sixth in the European-dominated event’s 30-year history. For 2017, Tessier built upon that experience to push Peters and Turone toward gold.
To replicate the Bocuse d’Or environment in the Barn, Tessier worked with Hestan to build a custom Hestan Commercial kitchen reminiscent of the Lyon competition kitchen. As Team USA develops and refines their arsenal of recipes and skills, movement and flow within their workspace becomes second nature. Focus is critical. Despite the ecstatic and boisterous atmosphere of Bocuse d’Or, the chefs must maintain a thoughtful and methodical approach to their dishes.
During the competition, each team has 5 hours and 35 minutes to prepare two elaborate dishes, historically based on a specified meat and fish. But for 2017, Bocuse d’Or surprised the teams by requiring a vegan dish and an interpretation of the Lyonnaise classic, Poulet de Bresse aux Écrevisses (chicken and crayfish).
For the vegan theme, Team USA prepared California asparagus with cremini mushrooms and potatoes. It was complemented by a custard made of green almonds, Meyer lemon confit and a Bordelaise sauce.
For their second dish, they presented chicken stuffed with morel mushroom sausage. It was served with a chicken liver quenelle featuring foie gras, corn custard, black-eyed peas and toasted pistachios. Lobster tail with Meyer lemon mousse rounded out the presentation.
Hestan is proud to support Team USA. Congratulations, Mathew, Harrison, Philip and Thomas. This historic honor reflects your inspired cuisine and tireless passion.