Montreal, April 11, 2022 — Team Canada is back in the Bocuse d’Or Training Centre in Montreal, perfecting their culinary dishes in advance of the upcoming Bocuse d’Or Americas, the first step towards qualifying for a spot at the Grand Finale in Lyon (France) in 2023. The two-day competition taking place in Santiago, Chile on July 14 and 15, will have our national culinary athlete, Chef Samuel Sirois, battle 11 other teams from across North and South America – including the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Columbia – for a chance to win one of the five golden tickets to the 2023 international competition.
As the World Cup of cookery talents, the biennial event is known to be the most prestigious yet most difficult on the planet. Only the most exceptional chefs get to represent their countries in a battle against 24 other contenders – out of more than 60 countries competing worldwide. It’s not only a unique chance to showcase techniques and food mastery but an opportunity to also shine the spotlight on local flavours by incorporating them into the competition’s dishes that will be seen and tasted by the cream-of-the-crop on the world stage. Sirois will have big shoes to fill, since his predecessor, Chef Trevor Ritchie, won Silver there in 2018.
“It’s like training for the Olympics,” explains Sirois who’s been preparing for two years for his shot to bring the gold to Canada for the first time in history. “I’m focused on the podium in Chile while having my sight on Lyon – there is no plan B. This is my chance to represent my country on the world stage and make our Chefs Canada family proud. There are more than 300 Ambassad’Ors that have been cheering and supporting me through this journey that dates back to 2019 because of the standstill of the pandemic… I’m proud to continue the legacy that many chefs before me have built and I’m looking forward to giving our industry the bragging rights we deserve abroad.”
The Bocuse D’or is a team effort. Our national culinary athlete has been working under the trained eye of coaches Gilles Herzeg and Chef Alvin Leung for two years. Because of the standstill of the pandemic, the team recently launched a search for a new sous-chef to assist Sirois. Equally as important as the candidate, the commis is an essential part of the team. In addition to being no more than 23 years of age at the time of the competition, the young chef needs to have both academic and practical experience in the culinary arts. He or she also needs to be an agile multitasker and have the ability to thrive under pressure. An insatiable hunger for growth in the culinary world is also an asset as he or she will have the invaluable opportunity to learn alongside some of the most talented chefs in the country and on the planet while kickstarting a meaningful and dynamic culinary career. After combing through the slew of applicants, the Chefs Canada board of directors selected four potential finalists, giving Sirois the final pick. He opted for Léandre Legault-Vigneau, a young chef who had caught the eye of many of his teachers at ITHQ including famed pastry chef Patrice Demers. Léandre was known from Team Bocuse for having worked with both Sirois and Herzog for six months last year. He was highly recommended by some of Quebec’s top chefs including Frederic Dufort (Chez Lionel) and the duo at Vin mon Lapin where the young chef worked.
Léandre Legault-Vigneau, Team Canada’s new commis
With the mandate to represent Canada on the international culinary scene, the Bocuse team are showing what makes Canadian cuisine a worthwhile trip for foodie-travelers from all over the world.
Due to the pandemic shut downs, for the past two years the team has not had sponsors and is desperately looking for support in order to send the team to Chile this summer. Gourmets and gourmands from coast to coast can help support the team by purchasing branded merchandise on the Chefs Canada website at www.chefscanada.com OR by donating on the team’s new GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/bocuse2022.
At the Continental finals this July, Chef Samuel Sirois and his team will have 5.5 hours to prepare one meat platter and one fish plate of 12 portions. Each competitor will be judged on taste, presentation, creativity, innovation, composition and service practicality. The kitchen jury awards points for non-wasting and sustainability as well as points for hygiene, methodology, preparation, technique and organization.
“Bocuse d’Or is like no other competition in the world,” explains Thomas Delannoy, president of Chefs Canada. “No Canadian chef has ever brought home the gold and we only made the top five twice since 1987, not because of a lack of talent in the mastery of French cuisine but because of a lack of commitment and continuity. Thanks to our Board of Directors and our Bocuse Ambassad’Ors composed of some of the most talented chefs in the country, we changed that and we feel strongly that we will make the podium again in Chile. This golden ticket will give the team a chance to demonstrate the best Canada has to offer, not only in talent but with a myriad of Canadian flavours and products in Lyon in 2023.
Devoted to inspiring culinary excellence, CHEFS CANADA has a mission to promote Canadian cuisine, terroir, producers, ingredients and products here at home as well as abroad, doing our part to create a sustainable and profitable culinary scene. Strong of a network that counts some of the country’s best chefs and top industry professionals, CHEFS CANADA works to shine the spotlight on our industry in order to further define and promote our cuisine through global competitions and partnerships. The organization is strongly rooted in their desire to unite, share and transmit our mutual expertise, techniques and savoir-faire amongst Canadian chefs but also with the next generation, creating a demand and standard for Canadian gastronomy on the world stage.
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To schedule an interview with Chef Samuel Sirois or Thomas Delannoy, to get more information or high-res images, please contact The PR Department Inc. at
416-535-3939 or at [email protected].