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  • Caitlin Hogan

Chef Michael Cole’s Road to Lyon

Every two years, Lyon draws two dozen highly esteemed chefs to compete for what has been dubbed the most prestigious culinary award of all time – Bocuse d’Or. First things first, let's get you up to speed with a brief history lesson on the competition and the face behind its existence. Restaurateur and Chef Paul Bocuse was a symbol of French gastronomy, and evidently so after he earned himself the nickname Pope of Gastronomy.

Monsieur Paul owned and operated his family’s restaurant, L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, where he later earned three Michelin stars. In 1987 Bocuse d’Or was born, with the idea to showcase cuisines from a number of countries. In the beginning, just 24 countries competed, now the competition attracts over 60 countries who must compete in two preliminary rounds before qualifying for the finals. Besides the intense five hour cooking periods over two consecutive days, Chefs and commis chefs will plate up their creations to a panel of 24 judges (yes, one for every competing country).

It is with great pleasure that we share news of Chef Michael Cole and commis Laura Skvor advancing to the Bocuse d'Or 2019. Before reaching the finals, Cole and Skvor competed in regionals, vying for the chance to represent Australia in continental selections. After successfully taking out first place in both regional and continental stages, it is now confirmed the pair will travel to Lyon, France to compete for the respected title of Bocuse d’Or 2019.

We’re told the road to Lyon for Bocuse d’Or is a strenuous one, so in support of Michael and Laura, owner of Brisbane’s Lutece Bistro Chef Romain Bapst generously hosted a fundraiser luncheon at his Brisbane based French bistro. Naturally we couldn’t miss this opportunity – a four-course menu curated by Chef Michael Cole himself.

To kick things off we were served shaved rougie foie gras served with pickled Granny smith, golden raisins and sauternes jelly. Second course was a fillet of stained Ora salmon with smoked beetroot and blueberries, goat’s milk cream, horseradish and dill. Our highlight went to this faultless dish of organic chicken, with morel mushroom and roasted crab served with vermouth jus and an asparagus tartlet. Finally, to end of a sweet note Michael dished up infused chocolate cremeux served with mandarin, yuzu curd and cocoa nib Florentines.

Bocuse d'Or 2019 will take place January 29 and 30, until then you can stay up to date with all of the latest competition news by visiting All the best to Michael and Laura at next year's competition and may the culinary Gods be with you.



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