– Denmark wins the 2023 Bocuse d’Or
The country won its title in Lyon on Monday ahead of the teams of Norway and Hungary, thus succeeding France which came 5th.
Posted today at 9:30 p.m.
In an atmosphere worthy of a major sporting competition, fueled in large part by the Nordic delegations who came to support their formidable chefs, Denmark succeeded France by winning the international final of the prestigious Bocuse d’Or culinary competition on Monday.
He won the title ahead of teams from Norway and Hungary.
“These Danes are crazy, huh? That’s the Vikings, ”smiles Brian Mark Hansen in the direction of the public. The 41-year-old chef, who officiates in a starred restaurant north of Copenhagen, has taken his country to a third victory, after the 2019 and 2011 editions.
“I dreamed of it for 20 years”, confided the winner, very moved, who thanked his whole team.
Fog horns, firecrackers, the Danish supporters were by far the noisiest in the great hall of the competition, within Sirha, the world catering trade fair meeting at Lyon Eurexpo.
“We give the best of us when there is a lot of noise around,” confided Brian Mark Hansen a few minutes after the end of the event, he who trained while passing the soundtrack of previous editions.
Defending its title, France, represented by Naïs Pirollet, only 25 years old and the only female chef candidate, finished 5th.
“There is no sadness, it is a victory to have come this far,” she reacted. “For young people, my participation had an impact, I hope it sends the message that you have to dare, and that when you dare you move forward anyway,” she added.
The competition was held over two days. Twenty-four teams were in contention, in a festive atmosphere.
The “Suomi!” chanted the Finnish delegation barely covered the Danish encouragement, while the Icelanders ensured the cordial atmosphere with a final “clapping” started by the hundreds of spectators who came to attend the award ceremony. The French sang the Marseillaise several times.
The training for this competition is up to the prevailing sporting atmosphere. The Finnish chef used to train for ten hours straight, locked in a basement. At 25, he is one of the youngest in the competition with Naïs Pirollet.
The young woman had opted, in the days preceding the competition, for daily training in real conditions, i.e. five and a half hours in a row. A member of Davy Tissot’s team, winner of the 2021 edition, she followed suit, this time taking the lead of the French team.
Many workouts are done without food, just to master the moves. “A bit like a fighter or Formula 1 pilot”, explains Davy Tissot, this time president of the jury.
Squash and monkfish
Denmark won the jury’s votes in both categories: a “children’s menu” concocted around squash and a main dish made from monkfish tail, the most impressive piece of the competition.
Butternut, spaghetti, pumpkin or potimarron, flesh and seeds, the chefs have used their imagination to bring “the squash” to life, an orange explosion on their platters. Small consolation for the French chef: she won the special prize for her platter.
Simplicity “is the hardest thing to do”, noted Davy Tissot.
With the monkfish, the chefs have dazzled. Centerpiece on its pedestal and its trimmings that surround it, it is presented to the jury and to the public who applaud even more.
“Cooking is beauty, it’s culture,” sums up three-star chef Dominique Crenn, honorary president of the Grand Final.
The Denmark presentation board is reminiscent of the ubiquitous Danish coast, less than 30 minutes away wherever you are in the country. The Mauritius sauceboat, which is taking part in the Bocuse d’Or final for the first time with chef Kritesh Halkory, is a huge sea urchin shell.
“I want to taste squash, I also want to be carried away into a world that I may not know,” confides Dominique Crenn when asked for the winning formula.
A dish “which takes you into its universe” or which provokes “an emotion”: “if it touches me, it’s won”, she explains.
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