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Monday, June 30, 2008

Bocuse d'Or: meet your worst nightmare

So, you've heard of the Bocuse d'Or.  You know Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud are throwing their formidable weight behind the selection and preparation for the 2009 competition this coming January in Lyon, the home of the original golden Bocuse himeself.  You might even know that Hung, the winner of Top Chef last year, is reportedly interested.

You probably also know today is the last day to submit your application if you want to make the team and spend the next six months training with Thomas Keller and a roster of big name chefs at a secret training center.  Ok, it's next door to the French Laundry, so perhaps not so secret. 

But do you know who you're up against?  Let me give you a peek.  The leader of the French team is Philippe Mille, and he's going to be a formidable opponent for the US team to beat.  Who is this Philippe Mille, you asked?  Not some young upstart, I can tell you that.  He is second to Yannick Alleno at the three-star Le Meurice in Paris.  Knowing how exigent and demanding Yannick can be on his cooks, I must say I'm already plenty impressed by this guy.

My friend Stéphane Riss of Cuisiner en Ligne in Paris has been making videos chronicling the French team's preparation, and he's kindly letting me share some with you here.  The video on top of this post gives you a little peek at Philippe Mille cooking, and the one after the jump talks to the team on a visit to the famous Musée d'Orsay to see if they can get any inspiration from the beautiful Impressionist arts inside.

I don't know about you, but if the French is visiting museums and concerts and art galleries, the American team might also think about getting out of sleepy Yountville once in a while too, no?

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