12 Insider Tips on How to Prepare for Cooking Competitons

12 Insider Tips on How to Prepare for Cooking Competitons
From Fine Dining Lovers - December 4, 2017

Monaco became the center of the culinary world during the annualChefs World Summitlast week. From26 to 28 November hundreds of chefs from around the world gathered in the small city-state for three days of awards and conferences.

While the award for the best chef in the worldwentto Michel Troisgros, there were also a number of chef led debates and discussions for industry professionals.

One such conference saw seven renowned chefs gather to discussand advise budding young chefs on how to best prepare for culinary competitions, like Bocuse d'Or, Meilleur Ouvrier de France. The advice will also be invaluable for the finaliststaking part in the international competition,S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018.

How to Prepare for Cooking Competitions: 7 Chefs offer their Advice

1. Be patient
One of the first tips was delivered by Joseph Viola, Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF)and chef at Daniel et Denise restaurant in Lyon, was "learn to be patient." "We do not say that we will participate in a large-scale competition overnight," said the chef. "I was 16 years old the first time I thought that one day I would try the MOF, I was 39 when I got the title." He emphasised that such an event requires a lot of perseverance, sacrifice and effort.

The same was true of Bent Stiansen, head of the Statholdergaarden in Oslo (Norway), winner of the Bocuse d'Or in 1993. "I have to motivate very young children. At the age of 6 and at 9 I was the 'chef de cuisine' at home when my father would leave for several weeks by boat for his work."

2. Know Yourself
Christian Faure, pastry chef at Maison Christian Faure in Montreal, insisted on "knowing one's own shortcomings and knowing where one is in the business to work on one's weaknesses, "self-knowledge is the biggest challenge," said the pastry chef.

3. Self-Sacrifice
Christophe Bacqui, two-star chef of the Hotel du Castellet,and local jury member in S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 also won the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2014. He stressed the commitment required to prepare for competitions like MOF: "Competition preparation should not impact the work of a young chef in a brigade, he has to train outside of his hours at the restaurant," he insisted. "In that case, sleeping is almost a waste of time."

4. Picking the right competition
Pastry chef Christian Faure also advised young people to choose their competition. "We do not get into the MOF contest at 19 unless we are a prodigy," he insists. "You have to sort according to the age, the scope of the competition and go slowly."

3. Learn to manage stress
Participating in large-scale competitions like the MOF or the Bocuse d'Or can be stressful, even for the best chefs in the world. To avoid being destabilized, Christian Faure recommended that young people put themselves under duress in order to control their nerves better during D-Day. "I knew that I had mastered my subject but I also knew that I was very uncomfortable with it in public, "said the pastry chef. "So, I started doing demonstrations in the street, it did not help me to acquire more technique, but it was because of that, I learned to manage my stress better."

4. Learn how to manage time
In each contest, time is running out. Young chefs must, therefore, train several times to adapt their work and their actions to the allotted time. "Putting yourself in real conditions to respect the timing is very important," advises Christophe Bacqui.


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