Team UK stage Bocuse d'Or run through at UCB

January 2015

The UK team bidding for glory at the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious chef competition, staged a practice run for sponsors and supporters at University College Birmingham.

Adam Bennett and commis chef Josh Allen, a Culinary Arts Management student, are putting the finishing touches to their dishes in advance of the contest in Lyon, France, on January 27-28. They are using a special competition kitchen at UCB to develop the two courses – one meat, one fish – and gave a “behind closed doors” glimpse of the dishes to invited guests at the first of a series of runs throughs.

The 24 national teams competing at the Bocuse d’Or, which takes place every two years, have to use the same central ingredient – this year it is guinea fowl for the meat platter and trout for the fish course.

The chefs, from five continents, get to demonstrate their individual flair, inventiveness and technical skills in the preparation, cooking and presentation of the meat and fish and the accompanying garnishes. For the fish course, they will be presented with a mystery ingredient on the eve of the marathon cook-off.

Bennett, chef director at Michelin-starred The Cross in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, posted the UK’s best ever Bocuse d’Or finish when he came fourth in 2013.

With the countdown to Lyon well underway, Bennett and Allen held a full-scale run through at UCB, sticking to the five-and-a-half-hour preparation time they will be allowed in France.

The event was attended by the UK’s Bocuse d’Or team president Brian Turner and chairman John Williams (executive chef at The Ritz), UCB Governor Andreas Antona, British Culinary Federation president Peter Griffiths and Simon Bartley, President ofWorld Skills International. Other guests included representatives from Warwickshire-based butchers Aubrey Allen, who sponsor the team’s meat, Birmingham-based Heritage Silverware, which supplies the competition platter, and Manitowoc.

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