The Bocuse d’Or U.S. semifinals begin today at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, but our local competitors — Top Chef’s Hung Huynh and Rogers Powell — don’t cook (read: perform) until tomorrow. Winners get paid training, a trip to the Bocuse d’Or, and a cruise! The semifinalists get stuff too, including “training equipment and food supplies.” After the jump, more winning details from Bocuse d’Or USA.
The winning chef and commis team will receive a paid sabbatical to train for the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest from October 2008 through January 2009 at the Bocuse d’Or USA Culinary Training Center in Yountville, California. This training facility, which includes private living quarters, has been created by Chef Thomas Keller and is adjacent to his renowned restaurant, The French Laundry. During the training period, the team will work intensively to perfect their dishes for presentation in Lyon, with a dedicated chef coach, Roland Henin, long time mentor to Thomas Keller. The training center kitchen has been custom-designed expressly for preparation for the Bocuse d’Or. During the training period, the chef and commis finalist team will be compensated by Bocuse d’Or USA at a rate equivalent to compensation from their current employers.
Bocuse d’Or USA has provided the eight semi-finalist teams with travel and accommodations for the competition at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Semi-finalists also received training equipment and food supplies, a $2,000 stipend, and a one-year subscription for Avero Slingshot restaurant intelligence software. At the USA Bocuse d’Or Contest, the top three placing teams will be awarded cash prizes of $15,000 for the first place team, $10,000 for the second place team, and $5,000 for the third place team. The winning team will also be awarded a cruise vacation courtesy of Crystal Cruises.