Hospitality Business Magazine

Bocuse d’Or team practice skills for Lyon

Widely regarded as the Olympics of the culinary world, Bocuse d’Or brings together 24 teams from across the globe to create gastronomical excellence.

William Mordido practising for the Bocuse d’Or competition.

Silver Fern Farms is a gold sponsor of the first-ever team to represent New Zealand at the final of this prestigious cooking competition to be held in Lyon, France on January 22 and 23 next year.

Bocuse d’Or Team New Zealand gained their selection to the grand final after placing in the top five in the Asia Pacific competition, with an entry that celebrated local flavours. Now these culinary athletes are working hard, training every weekend at the Reward Hospitality test kitchen in Reg Savory Place, East Tamaki.

“The team’s biggest barrier to competing is cost.* While many competing nations are funded to train full time for this competition, the NZ team do not have this luxury, and need to juggle their own jobs at the same time” says Silver Fern Farms General Manager of Growth Nicola Johnston.

“We are New Zealand’s leading producer and exporter of premium quality beef, lamb and venison – it seemed only natural to support this talented team of chefs and supply them with our premium quality red meat to bring their creations to life.”

“Like Bocuse d’Or Team New Zealand, we love showcasing the best of New Zealand. Our grass-fed, premium red meat features in some of this country’s most renowned restaurants and can also be found in supermarkets nationwide. We’re excited to support the team and see them showcase New Zealand on the world stage,” says Nicola Johnston.

Bocuse d’Or Team New Zealand is made up of three kiwi chefs: William Mordido, Szren Hamberger and Ken O’Connell. All three are leading chefs in well-known Auckland kitchens – Buko, Park Hyatt Auckland and Copia Restaurant, respectively. There is also John Kelleher, who will form part of the Tasting Jury in Lyon, France.

William says sponsorship makes the world of difference to the team, and the ability to use premium products week in, week out will give them an edge as they focus on refining their skills.

The team has currently raised $80,000 toward the required $100,000 to meet the costs of competing. To find out more about the team, visit Kiwis are also able to support the team on their journey to Lyon by donating via Give a Little.