Bocuse d’Or: Chefs to represent Peru for first time

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If you’d rather microwave a meal than spend a bit of time preparing dinner, the Bocuse d’Or probably isn’t your cup of tea. In fact, it would probably seem like a never ending nightmare, what with a running time of more than five hours.

A team of chefs from Peru are taking the bullet for you this week as they compete in the Latin American selection of the international cooking event, Bocuse d’Or. This is the first time that Peru will be present in the event that some refer to as the culinary Olympics.

But let’s get back to that whole time issue: what in the world can take five hours to cook? (Besides Grandma’s Thanksgiving turkey, of course.)

Representing Peru, Chef Palmiro Ocampo and his commis, Anthony Castro, will serve up two dishes (one meat, one fish) within the strict time limit of 5 hours and 35 minutes. National news media _El Comercio_ was told that the humble tilapia would be used for the fish plate, while the meat dish would be an ode to the Amazon, showing off native ingredients like coca and maca.

Since their invitation to participate just two months ago, the team of chefs have been training “with masks and weights on hands and feet (to build strength that may be required in order to cook at 2,250 meters above sea level), training the body and mind with yoga and mixed martial arts, and even preparing meals with the background noise of vuvuzelas in order to test their concentration” (El Comercio). Chef Hajime Kasuga has been coaching the team which also includes Hervé Galidie as president of the Peruvian Selection.

Eleven chefs representing Latin American countries will compete this February 11 and 12, and only the top three finishers will move on to next year’s main event hosted by Lyons, France.

We will win. I won’t promise anything less,” a confident Chef Palmiro told the national newspaper. As stated on the “Bocuse d’Or Peru Faceboook”:https://www.facebook.com/bocusedorperu/?fref=ts, the young chef has always been committed to presenting a kitchen that respects the ingredients and ancient civilizations in honor of Peru.”

What do you think readers, does Peru have what it takes?

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A U.S. native plucked from the green surroundings of her home state of Oregon, Agnes Rivera has been living in Lima, Peru, fulfilling various occupations such as teaching, translating, and journalism. While indoors she uses her time creatively to build "recycled art" and read fiction, she is quick to use any excuse to be outdoors, balancing her inner home-body lifestyle with an adventurous spirit to explore all that Peru has to offer.