Yesterday, I left the city. I have friends who recently left for faraway places like Hawaii and France, but I went WAY up the Hudson to Hyde Park. Hyde Park is home to the Culinary Institute of America and this past weekend it hosted the Bocuse D’ Or. The Bocuse D’Or USA is a food competition, but nothing like the Bacon Takedown or the Casserole Crazy cookoff. It is where the top American chefs cook and compete in front a live audience. The winner of the Bocuse d’Or goes on to compete next year in Lyon, France with chefs from all over the world. Let me set the scene. I walk into the recreation center with five fellow food bloggers and we are lead upstairs to the VIP section where there are croissants from Bridor, coffee from Nespresso and a crepe station manned by CIA student volunteers. Below us, the bleachers were filled with a boisterous audience as if it was a March Madness basketball game. Also there were four kitchen stations where the chef were cooking. The music blaring was the best European club music. The event was MC’ed by a very energetic Angela May who kept the crowd cheering for the more than five hours of the competition. It was amazing to see the work of professional chefs cooking with precision and moving in their tiny kitchens with speed and grace. I learned something new. I had heard of sous chefs but yesterday I learned what a commis is. It is a junior chef. The commis who worked the chefs were very skillful and not considered junior by most people other than chefs.
The winner was Richard Rosendale who is the executive chef of The Greenbrier, which is a luxury resort in West Virginia. His competitors were Jeffrey Lizotte, Danny Cerqueda and William Bradley.
In the VIP section, we ate well all day including this beef tenderloin that was sou vide with spices including cinnamon and star anise. It was like a mole sauce but it also had Asian flavor. It melted in your mouth!