Chef Richard Rosendale and his dream team of mentors -- including Chicago-based Alinea/Next chef Grant Achatz, Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se) and Daniel Boulud (Daniel) -- traveled to Lyon, France, with the goal of Team USA winning its first-ever medal in the Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition, but instead it landed in seventh place Tuesday.
Rosendale’s showing marked an improvement over Team USA's 10th place finish in 2011 but fell short of the sixth place finishes achieved by American chefs in 2009 and 2003.
France, led by chef Thibaut Ruggeri, won this year's competition, the country’s seventh victory in 14 tournaments since its 1987 inception. Denmark and Japan (a first-time medalist) took second and third places, respectively.
Rosendale, a competitive-cooking veteran and executive chef of The Greenbrier resort in White Sulfur Springs, W. Va., and his assistant, Corey Siegel, spent months preparing for what is considered the Olympics of the culinary world. For the fish course, which required turbot and European blue lobster as the primary ingredients, Team USA prepared “Slowly Cooked Turbot with Virginia Ham and Tennessee Black Truffles; Lobster Mousse with Butternut Squash Cooked in Cider; ‘Mushroom Explosion’; Twice Baked Potato & Leek Cigar; Vin Jaune Emulsion.”
Rosendale’s meat course, which called for Irish beef, was “Hickory Grilled Beef Filet with Asparagus and Horseradish; Fried Hollandaise; Beef Oxtail ‘Yankee Pot Roast’ with Spiced Red Wine Sauce; Potato Dumplings, Bone Marrow and Thyme Infused Beef Broth with Crispy Beef Filet; Slowly Roasted Carrots.”
In a statement, Keller, president of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, said, “We're proud of the team's performance. We increased three positions from the competition in 2011, so we are moving in the right direction. Congratulations to France, Denmark, and Japan for their strong showing today.”
Next will feature a Bocuse d’Or-inspired menu for the third of its four-month incarnations this year.