Left to right: Winning team William Barrera and Chef Jeffery Hayashi, Team USA President Chef Gavin Kaysen, and National Selection Team Coach Chef Jason Peel (Photo Credit: Ken Goodman)
Chef Jeffery Hayashi and William Barrera will represent the United States as Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or 2021 competition, the renowned biennial international culinary competition in Lyon, France.
Convening at The Culinary Institute of America’s Copia campus in Napa, California, the three finalist teams competed over a five hour and 35 minute period, following the rigorous format of the actual Bocuse d’Or competition. The platter theme was Whole Chicken, from Palisades Ranch in California, and the plated theme was Ratatouille. The team to place third was Head Chef Nyesha Arrington (Los Angeles, CA) and Commis Michael Sansom, and Head Chef Scott Muns (Washington D.C.) and Commis Yuta Umeki (New York, NY) placed second. Ment’or partnered with Martin Kastner of Crucial Detail for the design of the platter, with whom Team USA also works with as the lead designer for Bocuse d’Or platters, including the winning medals of silver in 2015 and gold in 2017. The Team USA National Selection was presented by Sysco and made possible thanks to the following additional sponsors: Bragard, Bridor, Cangshan, The Chef’s Garden, Culinary Institute of America at Copia, Ecolab, Level, Nordaq, OMvino, Paris Gourmet, Patron & Grey Goose, PolyScience, Rational, Robot Coupe, Tealeaves, SevenRooms, Shawmut, Steelite, Trimark, Urbani and Williams-Sonoma.
Taste and presentation were judged by an extraordinary chef panel, whom are also part of Ment’or’s culinary council, including chefs: Paul Bartolotta, William Bradley, Gerard Craft, Olivier Dubreuil, Michelle Karr-Ueoka, James Kent, Matthew Kirkley, Alex Lee, Brian Lockwood, Yvan Mucharraz, Roland Passot, Francis Reynard, Melissa Rodriguez, Rich Rosendale, Joachim Splichal and Philip Tessier. In addition to the chef jury panel, Chefs Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, co-founders of Ment’or, Gavin Kaysen, Mathew Peters, 2017 gold medal Bocuse d’Or winner, and Robert Sulatycky, Team USA Head Coach, headed the President’s Table and served as honorary chef judges, tasting both platter and plated theme dishes.
Chef Jeffery Hayashi and William Barrera will now begin the rigorous journey to the Bocuse d’Or as Team USA 2021, relocating closer to the training facility at Copia in Napa, California and dedicating the next fourteen months to prepare for the 2021 competition. During this crucial training period, we will support Team USA, with the Foundation’s esteemed Chef Council continuing to play an invaluable role in mentoring them. “I feel very fortunate for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” shares Chef Hayashi, who previously competed for Team USA in 2019. “Any one of the competing chefs could have won. To now officially be on the road to Lyon for Bocuse d’Or is surreal, and I’m incredibly thankful for all the support.”