Montreal, April 11, 2022 — The Canadian team is back at the Bocuse d’Or training center in Montreal, to perfect the dishes that will be presented during the Bocuse d’Or Americas, the first step towards qualifying for a place in the Grand Final in Lyon (France) in 2023. The two-day competition taking place in Santiago, Chile, on July 14 and 15, will see our national culinary athlete, Chef Samuel Sirois, compete against 11 other teams from all over across North and South America – including the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Columbia – for a chance to win one of five invitations to compete in the 2023 international competition.
As the World Cup of Culinary Talent, the biennial event is known to be the most prestigious yet toughest on the planet.Only the most exceptional chiefs have the honor of representing their country in battle against 24 other competitors – out of more than 60 countries competing worldwide. This is not only a unique chance to showcase a country’s techniques and culinary art but also an opportunity to highlight local flavors by incorporating them into the competition dishes which will be seen and tasted by the crème de la crème on the world stage. Sirois will have his work cut out for him, as his predecessor, chef Trevor Ritchie, won silver there in 2018.
« It’s like training for the Olympics, » said Sirois, who has been preparing for more than two years for his chance to bring gold to Canada for the first time in history.“I have only one goal: the podium in Chile while having my eyes fixed on Lyon – there is no plan B. This is my chance to showcase my country on the world stage and to make our Chefs Canada family proud. There are more than 300 chefs-Ambassad’Ors who have encouraged and supported me throughout this journey which dates back to 2019 due to the shutdown of the pandemic… I am proud to carry on the legacy that many chefs before me have built and I look forward to giving our industry the place we deserve on the international culinary scene.”
The Bocuse d’Or is a team effort. Our national culinary athlete has been working for more than two years under the watchful eye of coaches Gilles Herzeg and chef Alvin Leung. Due to the pandemic shutdown, the team recently embarked on a search for a new sous-chef to support Sirois. Just as important as the candidate, the clerk is an essential part of the team. In addition to being no older than 23 at the time of the competition, the young chef must have academic and practical experience in the culinary arts. He or she must also be an agile multi-tasker and have the ability to perform under pressure. An insatiable thirst for growth in the culinary world is also an asset, as he or she will have the invaluable opportunity tolearn alongside some of the most talented chefs in the country and on the planet while launching a dynamic culinary career. After combing through a host of applicants, the Chefs Canada Board of Directors selected four potential finalists, giving Sirois the final choice. He opted for Léandre Legault-Vigneau, a young chef who had caught the attention of several of his professors at the ITHQ, including the famous pastry chef Patrice Demers. Léandre was known to the Bocuse team for having worked with Sirois and Herzog for six months last year. He has come highly recommended by some of Quebec’s top chefs, including Frédéric Dufort (Chez Lionel) and the Vin mon Lapin duo where the young chef worked.
Léandre Legault-Vigneau, new clerk
With a mandate to represent Canada on the international culinary scene, the Bocuse team shines a light on what makes Canadian cuisine a destination of choice for foodie travelers around the world.
Due to closures during the health crisis, the team has had no sponsors for the past two years and is desperate for financial support to allow the team to go to Chile this summer. Foodies and foodies from coast to coast can help support the team by purchasing branded products on the Chefs Canada website at www.chefscanada.com OR by donating on the team’s new GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/bocuse2022 .
Lors de la finale continentale en juillet prochain, le chef Samuel Sirois et son équipe disposeront de 5,5 heures pour préparer un plateau de viande et une assiette de poisson de 12 portions. Chaque concurrent sera jugé sur le goût, la présentation, la créativité, l’innovation, la composition et l’aspect pratique du service. Le jury de la cuisine attribue des points pour le non-gaspillage et la durabilité ainsi que des points pour l’hygiène, la méthodologie, la préparation, la technique et l’organisation.
« Le Bocuse d’Or ne ressemble à aucune autre compétition au monde », explique Thomas Delannoy, président de Chefs Canada. « Aucun chef canadien n’a jamais remporté l’or et nous n’avons fait que deux fois le top cinq depuis 1987, et ce n’est pas par manque de talent dans la
maîtrise de la cuisine française mais par manque d’engagement et de continuité. Grâce à notre Conseil d’Administration et à nos Ambassad’Ors composés de quelques-uns des chefs les plus talentueux du pays, nous avons changé cela et nous sommes convaincus que nous monterons à nouveau sur le podium au Chili. Une victoire aux Amériques donnera à l’équipe une chance de démontrer ce que le Canada a de mieux à offrir, non seulement en talent mais avec une myriade de saveurs et de produits canadiens à Lyon en 2023. »
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