The Bocuse d’Or, often touted as the culinary equivalent of the Olympics, is the only culinary contest where live audiences can view the chefs performing work in the kitchen. 24 countries compete in this event with each team consisting of two chefs, one lead Chef and a Commis who must be under 22 years of age at the time of competition. The team has 5 hours 35 minutes to prepare two elaborate meat and fish dishes in an open culinary theatre facing members of the jury, press and audience. Dishes are evaluated based on the level of perfection in the plating, technical skill, cooking sophistication, creativity, and visual aesthetic. The chef with the highest score is awarded the Bocuse d’Or trophy, a gold effigy of Chef Paul Bocuse in his chef’s outfit and receiving a grand prize of 20,000 euros. Silver Bocuse receives 15,000 euros with the Bronze Bocuse winning 10,000 euros.
Chef Corey Spiegel is from Albany, NY and started his culinary career at the young age of 14. Since then he has become a decorated and awarded chef having won the Northeast Regional Student Chef of the year for the American Culinary Federation in 2010 and being hand selected by Chef Richard Rosendale to be his Commis for the Bocuse d’Or USA Finals (the stepping stone to the world Bocuse d’Or held biennially in France). In January 2013, Chef Rosendale with his Commis Chef Spiegel competed in the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France.
This fantastic podcast was recorded just weeks after Corey competed in the 2013 Bocuse d’Or in France for Team USA. Corey touches on his life getting to the Bocuse d’Or including his quick progression from high school, through culinary school to apprenticeship. After the years of prep work involved including plenty of full practice runs completing their whole program for the Bocuse d’Or, hearing Corey speak about the competition is eye opening. Though the podcast is decidedly Western New Yorkish – it’s produced by Buffaloeats.org and Buffalo Spree – it’s still an interesting podcast for Canadian chefs – especially those looking to learn more about the competitive culinary world. Listen to Corey and Donnie chat about this insane culinary contest experience, his training towards the contest and future plans.