On Thursday, America’s Ment’or BKB Foundation announced that it is now accepting applications for chefs vying to compete for Team USA at the prestigious cooking competition in France in 2017. This time around, the lucky cooks who are chosen for the honor of representing their country will have the added bonus of a full year’s salary throughout training and leading up to the big event, according to the foundation.
The selected chef and commis, or assistant, will train under acclaimed chefs Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Jerome Bocuse and head coach Philip Tessier, who led Team USA to a historic second-place finish in 2015. The team will also be relocated to northern California for five to six months of the training.
“I used to know the Bocuse d’Or as an incredibly intense culinary competition,” said Tessier upon winning the silver prize in 2015’s competition. “But today, I know it as an incomparable journey of risk and reward, discovery and determination. This journey is truly a once in a lifetime experience available to those committed to our craft and the pursuit of excellence.”
The Ment’or BKB Foundation also announced last week the 16 candidates of their second annual Young Chef Competition Series. The competition will start in Los Angeles on August 27 and will continue in Chicago (September 17), New York City (September 26) and Houston (October 8). Of the 16 candidates, four chefs aged 22 to 27 will be chosen to compete in Bocuse d’Or–style challenge, judged by members of the Ment’or Culinary Council.
The first-place winners in each city will receive $10,000, while second-place winners will be rewarded with $5,000. First-place chefs can put their winning toward staging at a restaurant of their choosing.
Matthew Bergen, New York, NY, Lupa Osteria Romana
Michael Dengelegi, Vallejo, CA, Bouchon Bistro Yountville
Lee Foden-Clarke, Los Angeles, CA, Bouchon Bistro Beverly Hills
Mark Garcia, Bronx, NY, Winnisook Club
David Kneller, Greensboro, MD, Barlett Pear Inn
William Lansing, Redondo Beach, CA, The Strand House
Torre Liebchen, Hackensack, NJ, etc. steakhouse
Max Loff, Golden Valley, MN, Spoon and Stable
Zachary McCarty, Staten Island, NY, El Vez
Angel Medina, Austin, TX, Fixe
Ryan Peters, Key Largo, FL, Ocean Reef Club
Mara Serna, Houston, TX, Treadsack
Corey Siegel, Rye, NY, Westchester Country Club
Skylar Stover, Portland, OR, Hestan
Tim Tokarz, New York, NY, Café Boulud
Michelle Tribble, Dallas, TX, Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck