The Bocuse d’Or is possibly the best validation of the quality and reputation of Norway’s seafood industry. The International Organising Committee asks the contestants to create two dishes: a meat speciality and a seafood platter.
The Norwegian contribution to the Contest however, has been two-fold. Norway has had the privilege of being the official supplier of raw produce and contributed with world-class chefs who have held their own in an international forum. The official seafood for the Bocuse d'Or 2003 was Norwegian Fjord Trout. The fjord trout experts Hydrotech Gruppen, who are also official sponsors of the contest, delivered roughly 40 % of the raw produce.
The Norwegian record at the Bocuse d'Or is also impressive:
1989 - Eivind Hellstrøm: 5th place for lobster and lamb
1991 - Lars Erik Underthun: Silver medal for flounder and beef medallions
1993 - Bent Stiansen: Gold medal for sole and beef medallions
1997 - Odd Ivar Solvold: Bronze medal for Norwegian cod and pork
1999 - Terje Ness: Gold medal for Norwegian saithe, scallops and dove
2003 - Charles Tjessem: Gold medal for Norwegian fjord trout and oxtail
A Recipe for Success
The winner of the 9th Bocuse d'Or is Charles Tjessem of Norway. Tjessem, a 31-year-old chef from Sandnes in Rogaland, works in the company canteen at Statoil in Stavanger. On January 28th and 29th, 23 countries competed to win
the 9th Bocuse d'Or. Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Untied States, each sent their best chef to compete in Lyon.
Each candidate had to prepare two "Norwegian Fjord TroutTM"and two "Boeuf de Tradition BouchéreTM" fillets with a choice of garnishes.
A Brief History
The history of the World Cuisine Contest is impressive if only for the acclaim it has received in a relatively short time. It all started with the creation of the Culinary Sector Exhibition in Lyon in 1983. A gastronomy exhibition created by professionals for professionals, the exhibition affords producers with the opportunity to meet restaurant and hotel management. The French chef, Paul Bocuse, was made Honorary President of the Culinary Sector Exhibition in Lyon in 1985.
Given the success of this arrangement, Bocuse then had the idea of establishing an international cuisine contest. Paul Bocuse set up a worldwide network through his chef friends. The idea was as follows: each country selects a candidate through national selections. The chef responsible for the national selections escorts the selected candidate to Lyon and serves in the International Jury during the contest. An International Organising Committee handles the organisational aspects in Lyon. Every year, in January, rows of kitchen cubicles are set up and chefs from all over the world are invited to participate. A jury composed of world famous gastronomic stars grades the dishes and all this takes place 'live' in front of the audience seated in the tribunes. A daunting affair for the many young professional chefs aiming to make their mark on the art of cuisine!