Team USA has announced the judges for the Bocuse d’Or semifinal next month, and the lineup is a formidable one. For an American chef to stand there looking at Andre Soltner, the man who defined French cooking in America for twenty years, or Jean Georges Vongerichten, who (with Gray Kunz) brought global fusion to its current omnipotence, would be enough to make anyone a little shaky. It's not all big chefs though; wisely, Team USA has also larded the list with some former Bocuse d'Or competitors like Gavin Kaysen of Cafe Boulud, as well. Imagine the fear that a first-time contestant would feel facing a panel of demigods! Of course, the judges in Lyon will be a lot less sympathetic; but they will at least be a little less familiar. The complete list, via Eater, is below.
• Michel Bouit, Bocuse d’Or USA Director, ‘87-’07, Chicago, IL • Hartmut Handke, Bocuse d’Or USA Competitor, ‘03 Columbus, OH • Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, NY, NY • Traci des Jardins, Jardiniere, San Francisco, CA • Gavin Kaysen, Bocuse d’Or USA Competitor, ‘07, NY, NY • David Myers, Sona, Los Angeles, CA • Patrick O’Connell, Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA • Georges Perrier, Le Bec Fin, Philadelphia, PA • Alain Sailhac, French Culinary Institute, NY, NY • Andre Soltner, French Culinary Institute, NY, NY • Laurent Tourondel, BLT restaurants, NY, NY • Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean-Georges NY, NY