Head Chef Matthew Kirkley and Commis Mimi Chen won over the judges’ palates at the Bocuse d’Or Team USA 2019 National Selection Event, which took place on November 9, 2017, in Las Vegas. The team will go on to represent the U.S. at the biennial Bocuse d’Or culinary competition in Lyon, France, in 2019.
Sometimes referred to as the “Olympics of cooking,” the Bocuse d’Or is the world’s most prestigious culinary competition. Three teams of exemplary American chefs competed for the chance to represent their country over five-and-a-half hours of intense cooking, in which they created one meat platter and one seafood dish.
Chef Kirkley’s winning seafood dish featured Norwegian Steelhead Trout, the official seafood for the Bocuse d’Or Team USA 2019 National Selection Event. The chef used the flavors of cucumber, carrot and chartreuse to create textural and flavor counterpoints to the clean taste and luxurious feel of Norwegian Steelhead Trout. This perfect execution wowed the judging panel of ment'or Culinary Council members, which included chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller. The ment’or BKB Foundation, a nonprofit that supports young culinary professionals, recruited, trained and funded Team USA.
A healthy protein providing essential nutrients like omega-3s, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and antioxidants, Norwegian Steelhead Trout has a deep red-orange color and white marbling that brings vibrance to the plate. As a preferred seafood for some of the world’s top chefs, fjord-raised Steelhead Trout can handle delicate or intense flavors, and is ideal in raw, marinated and lightly cooked dishes.
Norway has long been a seafood-focused society. While Norway’s stunning landscape may strike some humans as dramatic, if inhospitable, it offers a perfect environment for fish.
Hopes are high for the talented American team. In 2017, Team USA won the gold medal for the first time in Bocuse history, led by Per Se Executive Sous Chef Mathew Peters. But Norway is also an epicenter of culinary innovation, having taken the silver in 2017. It will send its own talented chef, Christian Andre Petterson, to Lyon in 2019. The competition also represents a chance for the chefs to trade culinary traditions on the way to declaring a winner.
In the meantime, both teams will continue their preparation to join teams from 22 other countries in Lyon in 2019. Can Team USA take home another gold?