Team UK prepares to fly to Budapest for Bocuse d’Or 2017 European heat

By Hannah Thompson

- Last updated on GMT

Team UK prepares to fly to Budapest for Bocuse d’Or 2017 European heat

Related tags Culinary art Chef Birmingham Uk

Team UK and this year's competitor Anthony Wright have flown to Budapest for the European heat of the Bocuse d'Or 2017.

Wright, chef lecturer at University College Birmingham (UCB), will work alongside his commis chef Thomas Downes, final year student of a culinary arts degree. The UK will take part in the first heat, on Tuesday 10 May.

Team UK is also made up of president Brian Turner CBE, and Nick Vadis, executive chef director of Compass Group UK.

This year’s European task will include preparing a plate using sterlet with its caviar, and a meat platter using Hungarian roe deer. Chefs from 20 countries are set to take part, with the top 10 chefs securing a place in the world final at the Sirha trade food exhibition in Lyon, in January 2017.

Those also taking part in the Budapest heat include Bulgaria, Turkey, Austria, France, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Russia, and Croatia.

With 24 international competitors cooking over two days (12 competitors each day), the final sees each nation compete to produce a fish dish and a meat dish with two garnishes, before presenting them to a jury of judges made up of a representative from each of the 24 competing nations - including Turner for the UK. The prize includes a trophy and €20,000 (£15,779) in prize money.

This will be Wright’s first time competing in the Bocuse, but his experience includes roles at La Tante Claire in London, when it had three Michelin stars under Pierre Koffmann, plus years of working for previously three Michelin-starred chef Nico Ladenis, at sites in Berkshire and London.

Wright also won the title of Junior Master Chef of Great Britain in 1989/90, and held a Michelin star at the Mallory Court hotel in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, in 1989. He began working at UCB in 1999, and now runs its Atrium restaurant operation.

One of the world’s most prestigious cooking competitions, the Bocuse d’Or was founded by Paul Bocuse, with the finals taking place in Lyon every two years since 1987.

The last contest, in January 2015, crowned Norway the winner, with the USA and Sweden in second and third respectively. The UK has never reached the podium before, although Adam Bennett achieved a very respectable fourth place in 2013, and 10th place in 2015.

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