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Bocuse Dor World Chef competition kitchen launch Birmingham

Chef Adam Bennett of Simpsons with Chef Brian Turner CBE, Bocuse Dor

Chef Adam Bennett of Simpsons with Chef Brian Turner CBE, Bocuse Dor

Industry backs Birmingham’s Bocuse d’Or Candidate
This week saw the official opening of the UCB College and Academy of Culinary Arts  Bocuse d’or Kitchen opened by Chef and President Brian Turner CBE.

The Kitchens have been created to assist Chef Adam Bennett of Simpsons Restaurant, who will be competing in the World food competition ‘Olympics’ the Bocuse D’or. It is a complete replica in size, and layout which Chef Adam Bennett and Assistant Sous Chef Kristian Curtis (both from Simpsons Restaurant, Birmingham) who will work during the European finals in Brussels in just two weeks time.

They have both spent the last three months creating their menu. During the competition all competitors are given the same ingredients, which this year are  a platter of sole with shrimp and blue legged chicken.  They are requested to serve two courses to the glitterati of world chefs who will be on display at the European finals. Having six hours to prepare both courses from scratch, in what is known as the Chefs Olympics, held on January 29th and 30th, 2013.

The Bocuse d’or will see the best chefs from Europe go head to head over two days to win the right to compete in the  finals in Lyon the home of Three star Chef and competition creator Mr Paul Bocuse.  In Lyon the two day competition takes on an almost Olympic city feel and it’s no coincidence that world’s greatest chef competition is held in one of the world’s top culinary city destinations.
The kitchen allows both Adam and Kriss to create an environment as close to what they’ll both experience on the day, minus the noise of course and the butterflies, they are of course fortune enough to be removed from their daily work routine at Simpsons through the support of Chef Patron Andreas Antona, who is supporting Adam, both in terms his time and removal from his responsibilities as Head Chef, but also through support of the media and his network of chefs and suppliers built up over many years who can support and guide the team.

With the European finals just two weeks away, culinary talent from the Midlands and beyond gathered today to toast Team UK’s future success in the Bocuse d’Or and mark the official opening of the Bocuse d’Or training kitchen.

University College Birmingham (UCB) worked with the Academy of Culinary Arts to build the kitchen at its city centre campus, as part of its ongoing support for Adam Bennett, from Simpsons.  The kitchen is the same size and dimension as the kitchen that Adam will use to compete in for a place in the Bocuse d’Or finals on March 20th in Brussels.

Adam will have six hours to prepare a platter of sole with shrimp and blue legged chicken to be one of twelve chefs who go through to the world finals on January 29th and 30th, 2013.

Chef Brian Turner CBE (pictured), and President of Team UK, who presented the opening of the kitchen said: “The Bocuse d’Or is the toughest chef competition in the world and previous winners have often had a year off work to prepare.  Whilst we cannot afford Adam that luxury, building him a special kitchen to train is a fantastic place to start.  On behalf of the Academy of Culinary Arts, the British Culinary Federation and other national chef associations I’d like to express our huge gratitude to the University College Birmingham for their huge contribution to the cause.”

Professor Ray Linforth, Principal of UCB added, “The Bocuse d’Or is renowned across the world and it’s fantastic to have a local chef representing the UK. We’re delighted and proud to be involved in what will be a life changing event for Adam and his team.”

Adam has had a great response from the hospitality businesses, keen to support him with product, current supporters include: Aubrey Allen, All Clad, Classic Fine Foods, Chroma Knives, Clifton Foods, CCS, Cream Supplies, Compass, Connollys, Heritage Silverware, Infusions 4 Chefs, M&J Seafood, MSK Ingredients, Nestle Professional, Ritter Courivaud, Robotcoupe, Simpsons, Thermonix, Vanilla Chefs, Villeroy & Boch, Wellocks and Westlands WOW. Photos by

The Bocuse d’Or is the most prestigious chef competition in the world and the brainchild of the culinary legend, Paul Bocuse.  The finals take place every second year in Lyon in front of thousands of screaming supporters and are judged by some of the world’s most talented chefs.

However, the competition is not a level playing field, with previous winners having taken a whole year off work in order to prepare their entry, due to the lack of financial support, British candidates have to fit in their preparations around their professional and family commitments.  Adam started his preparations in January, when he was given three months out of the restaurant by long time Bocuse d’Or supporter and Academician, Andreas Antona, owner of Simpsons restaurant.

Chef Brian Turner cuts the ribbon of the Bocuse competition kitchen

Chef Brian Turner cuts the ribbon of the Bocuse competition kitchen

Chef Brian Turner with Michelin Chef Andreas Antona of Simpsons Birmingham

Chef Brian Turner with Michelin Chef Andreas Antona of Simpsons Birmingham

Chef Adam Bennett of Simpsons Restaurant and Bocuse Dor UK, prepares for the competition

Chef Adam Bennett of Simpsons Restaurant and Bocuse Dor UK, prepares for the competition

University College Birmingham Bocuse Dor kitchens

University College Birmingham Bocuse Dor kitchens

A little more on The Bocuse d’Or

The Bocuse d’Or is the most sought after prize for chefs around the globe.  Founded by culinary legend, Paul Bocuse, the contest has taken place in Lyon every two years since 1987.

The Bocuse d’Or takes place at SIRHA – a hotel catering and food trade exhibition. 24 countries compete, 12 on day one and 12 on day two.  With the help of a commis each chef must produce a fish dish and a meat dish, each with three garnishes, presented on silver flats to the jury of judges.  The jury is made up of a representative from each competing country with Brian Turner, CBE, the UK juror.  All this is performed in front of an audience of thousands of noisy and enthusiastic supporters and hundreds of journalists.

The contest provides a professional springboard for some of the most talented chefs in international gastronomy and is a showcase for the diversity of culinary traditions worldwide.

Academy of Culinary Arts

Leading the hospitality profession by example; shaping its future through education.

Founded in 1980, the Academy of Culinary Arts is Britain’s leading professional association of Head Chefs, Pastry Chefs, Restaurant Managers and suppliers.  While concerned with raising standards and awareness of food, food provenance, cooking and service, its objectives are primarily focused on the education and training of young people in the hospitality industry and the provision of career opportunities.

University College Birmingham (UCB)

University College Birmingham is a leading education and specialist training provider with over 7,500 students and a history that dates back nearly 100 years.

Recent hospitality competition accolades include twice winners of the Toque d’Or in 2010 and 2011 and winner, British Culinary Federation Cook and Serve 2011.

Based in Birmingham city centre, courses at UCB range from Diploma’s to Degrees and postgraduate qualifications and impressive training facilities include a suite of training kitchens, two public restaurants, product development kitchen, salons and spa, health and leisure club and a sports hall.

UCB has excellent links with industry and the BusinessHub@UCB team help businesses and organisations develop and increase profitability through business services the College provides.

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