Take a good look at this picture – it hasn’t been hijacked from a jeweller’s window, it’s a plate of food and was the UK entry in the Bocuse D’or, reputedly the ‘world’s most prestigious cookery competition.’
It wasn’t even the winning dish. No, Adam Bennett, the Michelin-starred chef of the Cross at Kenilworth with his team of sous chefs and team president Brian Turner, came 10th out of 24.
We’ve written about this ridiculous pantomime before, the last time when Adam Smith, the executive head chef of the Burlington restaurant at the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey, made it through to the UK team.
After I posted a rant about how daft it all was, Smith rang me, upset that I was less than enthusiastic about the competition.
I took his point (sort of) that it showed off the skills of top chefs and I can see that it might sit well on a chef’s c.v. (if this is what matters to employers then God help us), but if it’s about good food then this whole palaver is way off the mark. This is food as decoration. It’s for chefs to admire other chefs.
As far as I can make out, Smith didn’t make it to Lyon. He may have been disappointed, but I like him and I’d much prefer to see him in his kitchen making good food for customers at the Dev. than taking this circus seriously.
I can’t be the only one. Bocuse D’Or is looking for crowd funding to the tune of £25,000 for the next competition in 2017. With 18 days to go they’ve raised just £155.