On November 8 and 9, the ment’or BKB Foundation returns to Las Vegas to select the next team to represent the U.S. at the 2019 Bocuse d’Or and hold their Annual Young Chef and Commis competitions.

Sixty countries vie for 24 coveted spots who will then compete at the finals held biennially in Lyon, France, January 2019. This national selection event is noteworthy as it marks the first step that Team USA will take before going on to the Americas selection event held in Mexico City in April 2018.

The Team USA selection event is modeled after the world-famous Bocuse d’Or and the final results determined by an esteemed panel of chef judges.  Before a cheering crowd of fans, each team is allotted 5 hours 35 minutes to prepare a stunning meat platter and a plated restaurant style dish, which will be scored on presentation and taste.  Candidates will be provided with one Whole Bone-in Rib Roast courtesy of Snake River Farms for the platter presentation, while the second protein for the plated dish will be revealed closer to the competition date.

Two of the ment’or founders, Chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller will host the event along with a jury consisting of 18 chefs including Gavin Kaysen, Robert Sulatycky, 2017 Bocuse d’Or Gold Medalist Mathew Peters and 2015 Bocuse d’Or Silver Medalist Philip Tessier.

Ment’or announced the three finalists for Team USA 2019:

  • Anthony Benjamin Grupe—Elaia & Olio, St. Louis, MO
  • Jeffery Hayashi—Mourad, San Francisco, CA
  • Matthew Kirkley—Coi, San Francisco, CA

Ment’or president, Chef Thomas Keller says, “This competition has made an immense impact on young American chefs and the profession as a whole, especially coming off of the 2017 win. On behalf of ment’or, we are so proud of what Team USA has been able to accomplish in the past nine years, and we look forward to building our legacy and inspiring young chefs in years to come.”

Establishing a platform for young American chefs to succeed is at the heart of ment’or’s mission. Serving as a conduit for Team USA, The Young Chef (28 years of age and younger) and Commis (21 years of age and younger) competitions recognize and promote talented young cooks in a competitive environment. Prizes for the Young Chef and Commis winners provide the once in a lifetime opportunity to train with Team USA. Exposure to the world’s most prestigious culinary competition is one of the advantages of winning, but all candidates have the chance to showcase their skills before some of the most renowned American chefs.

Chef Daniel Boulud says, “We are giving these young chefs an extraordinary opportunity to learn and grow, integrating them into our ment’or family and creating a culinary legacy that will endure. I remember what it was like as a young chef and being able to cook for Paul Bocuse. It was a significant moment in my life and has stayed with me since then. We want to be able to provide these memories and experiences for the generations to come.”

Ment’or has selected six young chefs and six commis candidates to compete in this year’s events, to take place the day before the Team USA 2019 National Selection. These two competitions are also modeled after the Bocuse d’Or, where each team will feature a selected protein that will be presented to a panel of jury members. Candidates of both will be provided with salmon from Ora King.

The 2017 Young Chef candidates are:

  • Tanya Buenrostro—Bouchon, Las Vegas, NV
  • Paris Dreibelbis—Ardent, Milwaukee, WI
  • Charles Gelso, Fiola—Washington DC
  • Joseph Maggio, Jr—Boka, Chicago, IL
  • Brendan Skiber —The Modern, New York, NY
  • John Somerall—Hot & Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL

The 2017 Commis candidates are:

  • Ethan Hodge—Student, Culinary Institute of America
  • Sharon Hwang—Student, Culinary Institute of America
  • Carson Moreland—Student, Culinary Institute of America
  • Madison Paras—Student, Culinary Institute of America
  • Luis Reyes—Café Boulud, New York, NY
  • Brendan Scott —The Nickel, Denver, CO

The competitions will be conducted in front of a live audience and is made possible by: All-Clad, Barclaycard US, Boos Block, Ora King Salmon, NordaqFresh, Paris Gourmet, SanPellegrino Sparkling Fruit Drinks, Snake River Farms, Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, Steelite, The Chef’s Garden, UNLV, Welbilt, and the Venetian. 

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