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World chef championships underway in France

The Bocuse d'Or 2017 winning dish created by Team USA.
The Bocuse d'Or 2017 winning dish created by Team USA. Bocuse d'Or

Twenty-four teams are competing for the world’s best chef title, known as the Bocuse d’Or, in the eastern French city of Lyon. The winner of the culinary world’s most prestigious prize will be announced on Wednesday evening.

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Known colloquially as the “cooking Olympics” the Bocuse d’Or pits teams of chefs representing their respective countries against each other.

The event was founded by one of France’s most celebrated chefs, Paul Bocuse, whose son will preside over a 24-member jury this year.

The meat selected for this year’s competition is veal, a tribute to Bocuse who died last year, and who relished the meat dish.

Over the next two days, 24 teams will each have 90 minutes to create a seven-course meal using common ingredients. This year, chefs will select produce from the Metro Market set up inside the Eurexpo and sponsored by the restaurant wholesale supplier of the same name.

Gauls vs Vikings

To date, France has won the most gold medals at the Bocuse d’Or with Norway in second place.

The 30-year-old Norwegian chef Christian Andre Pettersen is the reigning Bocuse d’Or Europe champion. He was joined on the podium by Sweden’s Sebastian Gibrand and Denmark’s Kenneth Toft-Hansen in the Italian city of Turin in 2018.

“We have to take it to the next level. Stage two. Be more innovative and have an evaluation of what we did well and what we have to change,” Pettersen told the online magazine Fine Dining Lover about his preparations for this year's competition.

If Pettersen and his fellow team members win the Bocuse d’Or 2019 Wednesday in Lyon, they will have won the most medals since the competition’s debut in 1989. France will continue to boast the highest number of gold medals with a tally of seven.

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