(Lyon, France; January 30, 2019) – Over the course of the last two days, teams of some of the most brilliant culinary minds from 24 countries across the world met in Lyon, France, where they competed on the world stage at the esteemed Bocuse d’Or culinary competition. On January 29th, Team USA Head Chef Matthew Kirkley and Commis Mimi Chen, led by Head Coach Robert Sulatycky, presented to an esteemed panel of judges with their version of Suckling Veal Rack with 5 Prime Chops, featuring Roast Rack of Veal with Veal Kidney Farce & Apicius Spice Glaze / Salad Pastorale, and Vegetable Chartreuse with Shellfish, featuring Vegetable, Herb & Shellfish Chartreuse, Cockle Butter. The platter presentations were designed by Martin Kastner of Crucial Detail, LLC. Ment’or BKB Foundation, the non-profit organization that is responsible for recruiting, training and supporting Team USA, is incredibly proud of their extraordinary effort, dedication and commitment over the last year, and congratulates Team Denmark on their outstanding achievement. Team USA made history with their first place finish at the Bocuse d’Or in 2017, marking their first gold medal win and second time on the podium.
“It has been a tremendous honor to represent Team USA at the most prestigious culinary competition in the world,” said Head Chef Matthew Kirkley. “To be able to compete alongside the talent here in Lyon over the last few days has been a highlight of my career and a memory I will treasure forever. Training for the Bocuse d’Or requires an incredible amount of discipline, focus and dedication; I would not be here without the support of my Commis Mimi Chen and our Head Coach Robert Sulatycky, who are both my teammates and above all, friends. We feel both privileged and humbled by all we have learned from our Coaches and Board. I’m so proud of all that we accomplished as a team.”
“We are honored and grateful to be part of this year’s Bocuse d’Or,” said Chef Thomas Keller, president of Ment’or. “Chef Kirkley, Mimi Chen and Chef Sulatycky are wonderful examples of the culinary talent we have here in the United States, and a testament to their tremendous dedication. It is our responsibility to promote excellence in young culinary professionals and prepare the next generation. I know I speak on behalf of my colleague and friend, Daniel Boulud, when I say how incredibly proud I am of the commitment and dedication Team USA invested in preparing for this moment. I want to take a moment to congratulate Team Denmark on their gold medal win, and all teams, for their exceptional hard work and creativity, as well as thank Young Yun, Executive Director of Ment’or and her team, all of the chefs, coaches, supporters, mentors, and partners who have been integral to Team USA’s achievements. We learned a lot this year and look forward to competing in Lyon again in 2021.” This year also marks the first competition since the Bocuse d’Or Founder Chef Paul Bocuse’s passing last year. “Monsieur Paul inspired countless chefs worldwide and his influence continues to impact an entire culinary community; I’m proud to have called him a dear friend,” added Chef Keller.
The Bocuse d’Or is among the most demanding cooking challenges, and every two years, over 60 countries select one of their best chefs to represent their nation. The 24 countries that continued on to the finals cooked for five hours and 35 minutes in front of thousands of cheering fans. Team USA is recruited, trained and funded by the Ment’or BKB Foundation, a leading nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America. Ment’or was founded by Chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérôme Bocuse. Board members Chefs Boulud and Keller train Team USA, along with Head Coach Robert Sulatycky, Vice President Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, MN, Assistant Coaches Claude Le Tohic of ONE65 and Erik Anderson of Coi, and team advisors Timothy Hollingsworth, Mathew Peters and Richard Rosendale. For more information about the Foundation visit www.mentorbkb.org or find the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.