One of the world’s most prestigious culinary competitions, the Bocuse d’Or, is now open for entry to Australian chefs. The competition, founded by legendary French chef Paul Bocuse, is held every year in countries around the world, and sees winners travel to Lyon to participate in a grand finale, which is held every second year.

The initial round of Bocuse d’Or 2021 for Australian participants will be held on Sunday 27 June at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Here, four finalists and their commis chefs will be given five and a half hours to prepare two world-class dishes – one served on a platter, the other on a plate – in front of a judging panel and a live audience.

Among the judging panel this year will be Melbourne chef and restaurateur Scott Pickett, himself an alumnus of Bocuse d’Or, and Philippe Mouchel, who was formerly mentored by Paul Bocuse.

The winner of this year’s Bocuse d’Or Australia will win a trophy and prizes, as well as the opportunity to participate in the regional semi-finals next year, the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific 2022.

If placed in the top five in the regional event, they will then be flown to Lyon in 2023 to compete in the grand finale.

According to Bocuse d’Or Australia president Tom Milligan, the competition is a chance for chefs to challenge themselves and represent their country amongst elite chefs on the world stage.

“The past 12 months have been exceedingly difficult for chefs,” he says. “It is my hope that competing in the Bocuse d’Or will remind our chefs why they love cooking and inspire them to take Australia’s culinary reputation to the next level.”

Entries for this year’s Bocuse d’Or Australia close on 16 May 2021, and can be submitted via the Bocuse d’Or Australia website.

Image credit: Sydney Low