Team UK has withdrawn from the European selection of the Bocuse d’Or 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19.

A statement from the Bocuse d’Or UK Academy said with the short and long-term impact of Covid-19 more severe in the UK than in other competing countries, the board did not see how Team UK could compete successfully when there was so little time and funding to support candidate, Ian Musgrave, and his commis chef, Adam Beaumont, in their preparation.

The Bocuse d’Or European selection will take place in Tallinn, Estonia on 15 and 16 October 2020 and the decision effectively means that Team UK will be unable to compete in the Bocuse d’Or final which is due to be held in Lyon, France in 2021.

Simon Rogan, president of Team UK, said: “It is following much consideration and with great regret that we have taken the decision to withdraw from this year’s European selection. We have a fantastic team and were looking forward to taking part in this most prestigious competition. However, we want to compete to the best of our ability and unfortunately due to the Covid-19 lockdown and its impact on the UK economy and our industry, we are not in a position to do so.”

Andreas Antona, chair of the UK Academy, said: “We are proud and privileged to be part of the Bocuse d’Or family and this has not been an easy decision to make. However, the success of Team UK depends on the support of our sponsors, ambassadors and our industry as a whole. The whole UK foodservice supply chain has been devastated by Covid-19. It’s now time to focus on doing what we can to rebuild our sector, whilst protecting the health and wellbeing of our staff and guests, so that together we will be a stronger force when we next compete.”

New Zealand is waiting to hear if they have been allocated a wild card entry into the global competition. Entrants for the final include: Americas; USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Asia -Pacific; Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and Australia.

The event was founded in 1987 by the late French chef Paul Bocuse and is the world’s largest culinary competition.

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