Jerome Bocuse strives for the international recognition of young American Chefs

JPEGe-Toile: Mr. Jerome Bocuse, in the early 90 you had the option of continuing your training in the American Culinary Institute (The Culinary Institute of America). Why did you opt for this American institution to complete your training as a Chef?

Jerome Bocuse: At the time, my father traveled a lot and visited many culinary schools. He was very impressed with the program issued by the American Culinary Institute, a program showcasing world cuisine.

In addition, I wanted to have experience in the United States. Also at the time, my father was launching the French Pavilion in Orlando. So I chose to enroll in this institute with unique opportunities of its kind.

e-Toile: You are heavily invested in one of the most selective competitions of cooking, the Bocuse d’Or, what are the characteristics of the competition taking place in Lyon?

Jerome Bocuse: This competition is held every two years in the heart of the city of Lyon is a competition open to Chiefs for the past 20 years.

This event differs from the cooking Olympics, which involves teams. In the Bocuse d’Or, only the head chef and hand-picked colleagues.
In Lyon, and they are 24 running candidates tests who have previously participated for the different Bocuse d’Or: Europe, Asia and America.

e-Toile: To prepare for the Bocuse d’Or, you’re with two other leaders including Mr. Boulud at the initiative of creating a foundation making every effort to "lead" in this competition in Lyon. How do you choose the candidates that will help you compete?

Jerome Bocuse: The Bocuse d’Or Foundation is a non-profit association involved in the preparation of American chefs for the competition in Lyon.

It has a dual mission: to find and support candidates who participate in the next Bocuse d’Or and awarding of scholarships.

To be well supported, the Chef must apply by making a case to the attention of the foundation. Four candidates are selected as well. They are then invited to New York Culinary Institute of America where they are evaluated by counselors and culinary judge.

The winner is the one who will represent the United States in Lyon in January 2013 for the next, the other three candidates receive a scholarship.

For years, the kitchen suffered from a lack of identity. Indeed, 20 years ago, the American culinary map was very blurry. Now, we eat well in the United States.

It is important that the world may know that place the United States holds internationally in the culinary world.
To this end, we support especially young American leaders and the foundation helps them train. The American winner of the game conducted in the cave of the kitchens in New York is automatically a finalist in the Bocuse d’Or.

e-Toile: For several years, you supervise the restaurant "Les Chefs de France" now in the French Pavilion at Epcot in Orlando. Do you think it will have a French-style management or U.S. -style management after the restoration?

Jerome Bocuse: At the restaurant "Les Chefs de France," the management borrows from both systems.

Indeed, we welcome 130 young people each year working with French visas. Each month a new group arrives replacing another on departure. They are between 20 and 25 and generally leave French hotels or schools are still in learning phase.

Working with this young staff, coaching also added French technique. Nevertheless, "Les Chefs de France" working within one of the Disney parks and addressing a largely American clientele, adaptations have been largely integrated at all levels.

In general, one can recognize that the American management more practical aspects, while the more pragmatic management "French" tends to be more attentive to detail!

To visit the restaurant "Les Chefs de France": les-chefs-de-france

Bocuse d’Or Foundation: bocusedorusa.org

Bocuse d’Or, the compétition : bocusedor.com/

Last modified on 13/10/2011

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