Knives out – Finalists ready to battle at Bocuse d’Or Australia 2022

Four chefs will compete in Melbourne on Sunday 27 February for the title of Bocuse d’Or Australia 2022 and the honour of representing their country in the world’s most prestigious culinary contest.

Tom Milligan, President Bocuse d’Or Australia and himself a previous competitor, says he is thrilled to present the contest at Foodservice Australia, after being postponed three times due to the pandemic.

“Although Bocuse d’Or does not have a high profile in this country, internationally this is the contest to end all contests,” he says. “We need to select a candidate who has the talent, skill and above all determination to succeed against the odds.”

The finalists for the Bocuse d’Or Australian Selection are:

Sweta Baichoo – Chef de Cuisine, Pullman Melbourne on the Park Assisted by Commis Chef Rochelle Kao

Leslie Chan – Head of Food Innovation & Training at Sushi Sushi Assisted by Commis Chef Christopher Sdregas

Paul Golding – Head Chef, Snooks Catering Assisted by Commis Chef Tristan Spain

Alex McIntosh – Head Chef, Sou’West Brewery Torquay Assisted by Commis Chef Sam Heritage

Each team has five-and-a-half hours to create a fish dish using whole barramundi, Port Philip Bay scallops and Victorian wild caught black lip abalone, then a platter featuring Black Angus Beef and foie gras. Each must be 50% vegetables or herbs and be served with three different garnishes.

They will be judged by a stellar lineup of 12 chefs led by Tom and Team Coach Scott Pickett, and the event will be compèred by Hilary McNevin, Gabriel Gaté and former competitors George Calombaris and Luke Croston.

“The Bocuse d’Or Australia 2021 is the first step on the road to Lyon, and also a thrilling competition in its own right,” says Milligan.

“Just to be selected to compete is a great honour for these chefs and the apprentices assisting them. “Each team will be judged not only on the flavour and presentation of their food, but also their discipline and efficiency in the kitchen.”

Already the Bocuse d’Or Australia 2021 has attracted sponsorship from Global Meats, Moffat, Chef’s Hat, Aquanas, Répertoire Culinaire, Bone Roasters, Abalone Council Victoria and Pommery; and it is hoped more companies will support the competition to secure Australia’s best chance in the international events.

Tom Milligan adds that after a gruelling two years for the hospitality industry, the Bocuse d’Or Australia 2022 will be an exhilarating experience for all the competitors and judges.

“We will be celebrating the true grit of everyone in our industry, as well as the passion, creativity, ingenuity and incredible skills that our finalists bring to their kitchens,” he says.

“I can’t wait to be inspired and amazed by the dishes that emerge on the platters and plates, and wish everyone good luck and happy cooking.”

Bocuse d’Or Australia 2021
Sunday 27 February 2022
Foodservice Australia, MCEC
Doors open 10am. More information at www.bocusedoraustralia.com.au

Foodservice Australia
10am-5pm Sunday 27 June, Monday 28 June, Tuesday 29 June.
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
This is an industry-only event, visitors must work in food or hospitality and be over 16 years.
Tickets are free online at www.foodserviceaustralia.com.au

Judges

Fish:
Dan Arnold Restaurant Dan Arnold, Bocuse d’Or Australian Chef 2017
Jo Barrett Executive Chef, Harvest
Deepak Mishra Director Culinary Services, Pullman Melbourne on the Park
Scott Pickett Scott Pickett Group, Head Coach & Bocuse d’Or Australia Chef 2005

Meat:
Romain Bapst Bocuse d’Or President 2011-14
Karen Doyle ACF National President
Brad French Culinary Training Manager, Crown Resorts
Andre Smaniotto GM Food & Beverage, Geelong Cats Stadium

Kitchen:
Andrew Ballard Simmer Culinary, Bocuse d’Or New Zealand Chef 2019, 2021
Dale Lyman Chef Instructor William Angliss/ACF WACS Judge
Stephen Nairn Executive Chef, Omnia, Yugen
Bernd Uber ACF/ WACS Judge

The Finalists:

Sweta Baichoo was born and raised in Mauritius, where she cultivated a love for food using produce from her father’s farm. A graduate of William Angliss in both commercial cookery and hospitality management, Sweta continued her culinary journey working for events with Delaware North and Peter Rowland. She moved to Crown’s Waterfront restaurant before joining Accor in 2004. Working through the ranks of the global hotel group, Sweta gained experience at the luxury hotel Sofitel Melbourne and busy Novotels in Glen Waverley and Geelong. In January 2020 Sweta joined the team of recently renovated Pullman Melbourne on the Park as Sous Chef, this month she was promoted to Chef de Cuisine. Sweta aims to be an inspiration to future female chefs and was selected to be part of Accor’s RIISE network, promoting female leaders in the hospitality industry

Leslie Chan is from Hong Kong, where he trained and worked in hotels until he came to Melbourne in 1999 to study for his degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management at La Trobe University. Returning to Hong Kong in 2004, Leslie was part of the opening team at Disneyland, managing the kitchen teams at two hotels. A year later he moved back to Australia permanently, working at Sofitel and Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club before joining Holmesglen TAFE teaching Asian Cookery and Commercial Cookery. More recently Leslie worked with equipment supplier Comcater as the corporate chef for RATIONAL products and last year he joined Sushi Sushi as Head of Food Innovation & Training. Leslie is a competitive chef who has won many awards over the past 25 years and he is currently President of the Asian Chefs Association of Australia.

Paul Golding stood out as a talented chef right from his early days as an apprentice in Melbourne, named Holmesglen TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year for two years in a row and winning prizes at the Daryl Cox Competition for young chefs and at the Culinary Pro Am held at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Since then he has held Sous Chef and Head Chef roles at some of Melbourne’s most prestigious sporting clubs including Melbourne Racing Club, Woodlands Golf Club and Huntingdale Golf Club. He has also assisted Steak Maestro’s Chris Wade and Simmer Culinary’s Andrew Ballard at major food events in Victoria and overseas. Currently Paul is Head Chef at a boutique catering company on the Mornington Peninsula, Snooks Catering, and is looking forward to challenging himself once again in the competitive arena of Bocuse d’Or.

Alex McIntosh was raised and completed his apprenticeship in Canada, but has called Australia home since 2006. A long-time fan of Bocuse d’Or, Alex was a finalist in the Bocuse d’Or Australia 2015, a judge for the fish dish in the Bocuse d’Or Australia 2017, and among the crowd cheering on Team Australia in Lyon in 2017. Over the past 15-plus years Alex has worked at Melbourne icon Cecconi’s, with Neil Perry at Rockpool Bar & Grill, with Jamie Oliver at Fifteen Melbourne and at The Atlantic Group as Head Chef. Alex then relocated to Geelong and most recently he spent almost five years as Executive Chef for Sea Change Hospitality Group, overseeing some of Bellarine Peninsula’s favourite venues. This year Alex joined the exciting brand new Sou’West Brewery, housed in the former Quicksilver building in Torquay, as Head Chef. For more information go to www.bocusedoraustralia.com.au

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