Bocuse d’Or. Just speaking those words will elicit a nod of admiration and recognition from food experts around the world. The Bocuse d’Or is arguably the world’s most prestigious culinary competition, a demanding test of gastronomic skill and superlative raw ingredients that has yielded high honours for Norway. Little wonder that Norway has been given the honour of hosting the European Bocuse d’Or qualification event.
Geir Skeie from Norway is the best chef in Europe, after getting most points from the jury in Bocuse d'Or Europe 2008.
Read more about the results here
Chef Paul Bocuse, President of Bocuse d’Or, knows that this world’s foremost culinary competition is taken very seriously. As he says, “What makes the Bocuse d’Or magic is the opportunity to review all the gastronomic cultures of the world in just two days…As the public watches, everyday products become authentic masterpieces. A spell is cast, which will turn three new master chefs into internationally famous names.”
In many ways it is fitting that Norway is honoured with hosting this prestigious qualification event. Norwegian chefs have excelled in the past, having brought home the gold medal three times, with Bent Stiansen, Terje Naess and Charles Tjessem all reaching the pinnacle of the culinary world. All told, Norway has been on the podium a total of six times over the 20 years that Bocuse d’Or has been staged. Only France – the home of what is called the world culinary championship – can attest to more winners in this competition.
Salmon & Stavanger in Focus
Stavanger, named as a City of European Culture for 2008, is located on the west coast of Norway and is the proud location for this internationally prestigious culinary event. On the menu will be Norwegian salmon, famous as perhaps the most sought after seafood in the world, coming from the invigoratingly clean and fresh waters of this country. Its unique qualities and taste makes it perfect as a starting point for creation of dishes by the best chefs in the world. Accompanying this delicacy will be Norwegian lamb, another international favourite associated with the clean air, water and nature of the mountains of this country.
Norway has a unique and beautiful coastline that twists and turns through 83,000 kilometres of clear, deep fjords – pure water that has been home to the Norwegian salmon for as long as anyone can remember. The ideal environmental balance of the fjords provide the perfect setting for the knowledge and harvesting skill of Norwegian fishermen, making Norwegian salmon one of the one sought after foods in the world. The numbers tell the story – Norway is the world’s largest exporter of Atlantic salmon and Norwegian salmon, exporting to over 100 countries.
Chef Paul Bocuse has long been at the pinnacle of the culinary world.
© Jeff Nalin
As the official patron for Bocuse d’Or, Innovation Norway will continue the process of telling the world about the culinary delights that are part of the Norwegian experience. A natural addition to this stunning natural environment are traditional dishes and locally produced food that have become a part of Norway’s culture and social fabric – in other words, vital ingredients in the Norwegian experience. The goal of Innovation Norway’s efforts is to continue to develop the mystique of the Norwegian culinary experience.
This emphasis on this aspect of Norway is just part of Innovation Norway’s activities, activities that focus on a wide range of measures aimed at stimulating innovation. These measures include an emphasis on tourism and cuisine – as well as supporting companies through different phases of their business development process. This process often begins with the assessment of marketing opportunities and priorities, then moving onwards towards entrance strategies, establishment and expansion. The ultimate goal is to help to increase product or service impact within Norway and on the global market.
Seafood Far & Wide
The Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC)
is solidly behind the Stavanger event, the global success of Norwegian seafood in general – and salmon in particular. The NSEC is the Norwegian seafood industry’s combined marketing and information council, with the goal of increasing interest for and awareness of Norwegian seafood. The organization is well on their way to accomplishing its task. The world indeed does know – and is continuing to discover – Norwegian seafood.
In 2007 alone, Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture exported 235 fish and seafood categories to approximately 140 countries worldwide. Salmon’s role in the European Bocuse d’Or in Stavanger will only add to its global reputation.
Norwegian Seafood on the Menu
Past Bocuse d’Or events have also used Norwegian seafood, most recently in 2007, when Norwegian white halibut and king crab were on the menu in 2007, with Norway’s Sven Erik Renaa winning the prize for best fish recipe. Charles Tjessem from Stavanger felt right at home as he took top honours in 2003 with Norwegian Fjord Trout on the menu. Just 3 years before, in 1999, Terje Naess used the fresh combination of Norwegian saithe (also called coalfish) and coquille and this brought home top Bocuse d’Or honours to Norway for the second time.
According to Innovation Norway and NSEC’s Project Director Helga Marie Johnsen, “This year the Bocuse d’Or competition is open to more countries, and will be more dynamic than ever. This competition symbolizes what is best with the culinary art – of tradition balanced with innovation, of culture and sport – and of course, Norwegian nature represented by Norwegian salmon and lamb.”
The clean, fresh Norwegian waters produce seafood enjoyed by 27 million people every day of the year.
© NSEC/Jean Gaumy
The History of Bocuse d’Or
Chef Paul Bocuse, President of Bocuse d’Or, says, “A symbol of the art of good living, cuisine is universal and knows no frontiers. The Bocuse d’Or is an extraordinary showcase where culinary art triumphs…this event is much awaited by the greatest chefs in the world.”
This quote shows the creative attitude that the Bocuse d’Or competition brings to the world of the culinary arts. The event was created in 1987 by Chef Paul Bocuse, known as one of the early advocates of nouvelle cuisine, and Albert Romain, the chief organizer of the International Food Trade Exhibition. The goal of the event was – and is – to bring the best chefs of the world together in competition, at the same time providing the public with the opportunity to have front row seats and truly experience the feeling of being at the table of a master chef. The heart of the Bocuse d’Or competition is nouvelle cuisine, known for its focus on the importance of fresh ingredients of the highest quality.
Paul Bocuse has long occupied the highest echelons of the culinary world, entering the public spotlight early in his career, and highlights have been many. In 1975, Bocuse was the creator of the famous truffle soup, the occasion being a dinner for the French President. Widely admired, Bocuse has received many awards, including the medal of Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur, awarded to him President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. Bocuse has also been an excellent teacher of the culinary arts, with highlights including teaching a student who became the first German chef to receive three Michelin stars.
The Competition – How it Works
Each chef competing in the Bocuse d’Or provides all the ingredients to be used – except for the meat and fish, chosen by the Bocuse d’Or organizers. In addition, each chef is free to choose any specialized cooking equipment necessary to create the masterpiece. Once created, the chef’s two creations – one meat, one fish – are judged, each dish having the possibility to score a total of 60 points, 40 points for taste and 20 points for presentation.
There are also more points that can be awarded. The Kitchen Supervision Committee can give competitors up to 20 additional points for hygiene and cleanliness. These points are considered the ‘tie-breaker’ to be awarded in the event of a tie. The winner is the competitor with the highest overall score, and the winning country is not allowed to participate in the next championship. This year, Norway is prepared to take its place in the ongoing story that is the Bocuse d’Or competition. The culinary world will be watching as the best chefs in the world, together with Norwegian salmon and lamb, make culinary history in Stavanger.
At the Bocuse d’Or, the public will watch as Norwegian salmon becomes an authentic masterpiece.
|Norwegian Seafood - More than just Omega-3
Every day, Norway exports the equivalent of 27 million meals of fish worldwide, whether rosy pink farmed Atlantic salmon, plump white fillets of cod, silvery-sided whole herring, or any of the other farmed and wild-caught species that flourish in the icy waters off the Norwegian coast.Read more in Nortrade
|Fishing gear – Working with the sea
When the sea is your place of employment, the demands are high when it comes to being successful – and safe. No matter what measures the situation calls for, Norwegians offer fishing gear products and services that are tailored to meet customer needs. Read more in Nortrade