Team USA brought home its first ever gold medal at the 2017 Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France, and a consecutive podium placement, at which 24 culinary teams from around the globe represented their countries in January. The Chef’s Garden, a small family farm in Huron, Ohio, provided products for the team during their practice sessions, and the competition in France.
The USA team for the 30th anniversary year of the cooking competition was led by Head Chef Mathew Peters and Commis Chef Harrison Turone, both from Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant in New York City. Their winning dishes included their interpretation of chicken and crayfish, plus – for the first time – a vegetal dish containing vegetables and fruits, legumes and grains. Team USA visited the farm during a fundraiser in July and hand selected products that were custom-grown for their plate designs.
“I’m not sure I can begin to express my pride of the extraordinarily talented and hardworking Team USA,” said Lee Jones of The Chef’s Garden. “They are an inspiration to all of us at The Chef’s Garden and the Culinary Vegetable Institute, as well as to aspiring chefs and farmers everywhere, and we are honored to have played a supporting role in their journey. I also want to thank Chefs Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and Jerome Bocuse for their strong leadership and I hope everyone can fully appreciate the importance of this win, of the United States being recognized as the best in the world.”
Every other year, 60 countries choose their best chefs to represent their teams. Twenty-four countries make the finals, where they cook for five hours and 35 minutes. Team USA, trained and funded by the ment’or Foundation, has participated in Bocuse d’Or since 1987. Prior to 2015, when they placed second, they had never placed higher than sixth.
“We are celebrating the victory of Team USA and applauding all of the teams who competed in this year’s stellar competition,” Jones said. “We are looking forward to the 2019 competition and to encouraging everyone we can in the culinary world to creatively express their craft.”