After a tight competition, Team Estonia finished 13th at the grande finale of Bocuse d’Or, the most prestigious culinary competition in the world that culminated in Lyon, France yesterday.
This year’s top three includes Denmark in first place, with Norway and Hungary in second and third, respectively. The children’s jury awarded their special prize to Japan.
Estonian candidate Alexander Gureev’s final competition dish complemented the compulsory raw material – monkfish – with the following ingredients from Estonian cuisine: black rye bread by Muhu Pagarid, apple cider and vinegar, and organic root vegetables.
“We remained calm throughout the competition and managed to perform well. We are very happy with the result. Everything went according to plan, and we managed to stay on schedule. As soon as our time was up, we raised our hands, and were ready to present our creation to the jury," commented Gureev.
Dimitri Demjanov, President of Bocuse d'Or Estonia: “This year, the candidates were tasked with preparing a special menu for children, a welcome addition to the competition because we need to raise a new generation that appreciates quality food. Team Estonia gave it everything they had! This is an outstanding achievement for us, especially considering that this year's competitors were all very strong.”
Anti Lepik, Member of the Jury from Estonia: “Overall, the level was very good. From my perspective, the Nordic countries were exceptionally great, as always. This year, the main problem seemed to be with finding the right balance – some of the teams used too much salt on the fish, while others used too little. Naturally, I was not able to award any points to Team Estonia, but I had the pleasure of tasting the dishes they prepared, and I have nothing but praise for them.”
At this year’s final, the competition platter was prepared using monkfish as the main raw material. In addition, teams were tasked with preparing a three-course menu for kids, using pumpkin and chicken eggs. Team Estonia’s serving tray, designed by artists Risto Tali and Taavi Teevet, was inspired by the sea, seafarers, and Vikings.
Bocuse d’Or Team Estonia is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and the national tourism promotion agency Visit Estonia.