Philadelphia, PA - The ment'or BKB Foundation proudly announces that Team USA will go on to compete at the 2019 Bocuse d'Or in Lyon after winning first place at the Americas Selection in Mexico City.
Over the course of the past two days, teams from 11 countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Uruguay, and for the first time, Canada and the United States of America, competed to earn one of five highly coveted spots at the 2019 competition in Lyon.
Head Chef Matthew Kirkley and Commis Mimi Chen competed on Friday, April 13th and presented their winning interpretation of Chilean Salmon Roulade and Suckling Pig to the acclaimed panel of judges.
"We have embarked on our challenge for 2019 with a new team but the same goal: to make our country and our profession proud," said Chef Thomas Keller, President of Ment'or BKB, who led the 2017 U.S. team to their first gold win. "Placing in the top five continues the promise we made to Monsieur Paul to realize his dream of seeing the United States compete in Lyon. Chef Matthew Kirkley is our next chapter and we are confident in both he and Commis Mimi Chen leading Team USA."
"It has been an exciting week and an honor to compete in the Americas continental selection for the first time, Head Coach Robert Sulatycky said. "Our exposure to the unique cuisine and culture of Mexico has been invaluable. We are happy to have advanced to the finals and are looking forward to defending our title."
"We are honored to represent Team USA and continue to build the legacy for our country at The Bocuse d'Or. The impressive grace, warmth, and hospitality of our hosts here in Mexico City is to be admired, and proven a significant part of our journey on the Road to Lyon," Head Chef Matthew Kirkley shared.
Team USA made history in 2017 with a historic Gold Medal win from Chef Mathew Peters. In 2015, Chef Philip Tessier ascended the podium for the first time at the 2015 Bocuse d'Or, winning the silver medal. After this victory at the Americas Selection, Team USA will again compete for the highest honor at the world's most prestigious culinary competition in 2019. Head Chef Matthew Kirkley and Commis Mimi Chen, trained with Team USA President Chef Thomas Keller, Vice President Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, MN, Head Coach Robert Sulatycky of IQ Kitchen, as well as assistant coaches Chef Eric Anderson of COI in San Francisco and Chef Claude Le-Tohic, most recently of Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas. Rounding out the team are assistants; Daniel Garcia, Jordan Guevara and Alice Kim.
Bocuse d'Or is one of the most demanding cooking competitions, and every two years, 60 countries select one of their best chefs to represent their nation. The 24 countries that will continue onward to the finals will cook in front of thousands of cheering fans hoping to bring home the gold. Team USA is recruited, trained and funded by the ment'or BKB Foundation, a leading nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America. This year also marks ment'or's 10th anniversary and sadly, the passing of Chef Monsieur Paul Bocuse, the man responsible for breathing life into the foundation. His firm belief that Team USA belonged on the global culinary stage led to the founding of this organization.