Montreal, May 27, 2019 — The Road to Lyon 2021 started earlier this year with the National Selection where the new Canadian culinary athlete, Chef Samuel Sirois, won the leading role and the reigns of Team Canada over a dozen applicants. Now a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization, Bocuse d’Or Canada is in full motion to ensure continued growth, a stronger presence in Lyon and a spot in the top 5. This rise would ultimately mean an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the Canadian restaurant industry with foodies from around the globe.
The first mandate of the newly formed Board of Directors consisted in putting together a team for Chef Sirois and his commis, Alexi Jetté that will work together to ensure their best possible ranking at the Olympics of gastronomy.
For the first time since 1987, it was decided that a duo of coaches will ensure the team’s training: Chef Gilles Herzog, teacher at Montreal ITHQ will be joined by internationally acclaimed Chef Alvin Leung as co-coaches. By doing so, the Board believes that Team Canada will not only benefit from the mentors’ knowledge, technical and creative strengths but will also gain from their complementary skills sets.
Chef Herzog trained in Avignon (France) and worked with highly talented chefs including Alain Ducasse, a three Michelin star restaurant in Monaco, and alongside some of the best Craftsman of France (MOF). Here in Canada, he made his mark in top establishments including F bar (Groupe Ferreira) and Hotel de La Montagne (Montreal) before joining l’ITHQ in 2013.
Chef Alvin Leung is a star on the international food scene. Graduated as an engineer, the self-taught chef with no formal kitchen training owns a 3 Michelin star restaurant. His cooking style is lauded with century-old ingredients and traditional recipes paired with modern techniques forflavourful, novel dishes in tune with contemporary palates. With restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore and Toronto, Leung is mostly known to Canadians as a judge on MasterChef Canada. “I’m excited to be part of the international Bocuse d’Or family, explains Leung. I am looking forward to working with Chef Sirois and my co-coach to strategize the menu for our first challenge: The America’s competition scheduled later on this winter.”
A solid foundation
Recently incorporated as a federal not-for-profit organization, Bocuse d’Or Canada has set itself a mission to promote Canadian cuisine within the country and abroad, to help educate the next generation and to enable the sharing of knowledge within the food industry community from coast to coast. To do so, the group has recruited the participation of six chefs and industry professionals that share the same passion for the Canadian food industry. Under the eye of Thomas Delannoy, Director of sales and marketing at Rougie, a sponsor of the Bocuse d’Or competition in Europe, who was elected President of the group, the Board is composed of Chef Normand Laprise (Toqué Montreal), Liza Frulla (Director of the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec), Chef John Higgins (Director of George Brown College’s Chef School), Brigitte Foisy (Award-winning Marketing-communications guru, President of The PR Department), Paul Aslop (Managing Director at IDMG, creator of innovative culinary experiences for Fortune 500 brands) and Chef Bruno Marti (the godfather of Canadian chefs). The group is supported by a large community of more than 300 composed of some of the country’s most noteworthy chefs and industry professionals that are active supporters and ambassadors of the Bocuse d’Or Canada family.
“For the last two years, I’ve been working with the team closely to ensure a place for Canada on the podium,” explains Thomas Delannoy, President of Bocuse d’Or Canada. “I believe that we’ve never been in an as good a place than now to achieve our goal but also to make the organization viable and nstrumental in the food industry from coast to coast. The support we’ve received from chefs and brands from across the country, the transmission and sharing of knowledge is what will enable Canada to shine on the world stage and ensure our place on the podium.”
Since 1987, it has been the organization’s goal to enable the best culinary talent to train for the privilege and honor to represent Canada at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon (France). Though Canada has not yet stepped on the podium, the organization has made great strides over the last few years, going from the 21st position in 2015 to the 17th spot in 2017 to winning the 13th place this year, just a few points behind the top ten. Winning silver at the pre-qualifiers in Mexico City against 62 countries featuring the best of the best of the culinary art world who were trying to win one of the 24 golden tickets to Lyon, was a tremendous accomplishment for Team Canada. It was a great accolade that helped us garner the recognition and respect our restaurant industry deserves from the international culinary community. Our consistent performance at the Bocuse certainly shines a bright spotlight unto our country with the foodie tourism crowd from around the globe.
About Bocuse d’Or
Though the competition doesn’t get the attention it deserves here and in the U.S.A, the longest-running culinary competition in France is a pretty big deal among European gourmands. It has the potential to give a country international acclaim and increased interest from the global foodie tourism scene, not to mention putting a country’s delicacies in the limelight. Created by Paul Bocuse and Albert Romain in 1987, the initial mission of the competition was to help get chefs out of the kitchen and into the limelight. The World Cup of cookery talents is known to demand the highest standards of excellence, two years of training and a solid team to impress the Michelin star judges.
To schedule an interview with the winner or Thomas Delannoy or to get more information or high-res photos, please contact The PR Department at 416.535.3939 or [email protected].