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Team Indonesia’s Strategy to Win the Bocuse d’Or 2021

Team Indonesia’s Strategy to Win the Bocuse d’Or 2021

Yohanes Sandy
01 September 2021

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After a decade’s absence, Indonesia will again finally compete in the final round of the prestigious Bocuse d’Or, the Olympics of Culinary.

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This year is set to become a very historical year for Indonesian culinary. After a decade, Indonesia will finally compete again in the final round of the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s biggest culinary competition, considered the  Olympics of the culinary world, in Lyon, France from 26 – 27 September 2021. 

The Bocuse d’Or competition is the most rigorous culinary competition in the world, held every two years in Lyon, France. In 1987, the famous French chef Paul Bocuse created the Bocuse d’Or as a revolutionary gastronomic contest. The event usually takes place across two days in Lyon, France at the SIRHA International Hotel, Catering and Food Trade Exhibition, and is considered as the ‘Olympic Games of Culinary’. Twenty-four countries are selected to compete and each country’s team is comprised of one chef and one commis assistant. 

Indonesia will be represented by Chef Mandif Warokka as the competing chef and Nugraha Lutfi as the commis chef, both from BLANCO par Mandif restaurant in Ubud, Bali. This is not the first time for Chef Mandif to compete in an international cooking event. Previously, the 43-year-old chef won a gold medal at Salon Culinaire Dubai. While for Lutfi, this will be his first prestigious international cooking competition. However, his lack of experience in international cooking competitions is compensated with his great chemistry and teamwork with Mandif as both of them have been working together for a long time.

For part of Team Indonesia is Chef Chris Salans of Mozaic Restaurant, who is the national coach, and Chef Gilles Marx of Amuz Gourmet is acting as the president for the team. Under Chef Gilles’ leadership in 2011 Indonesia managed to partake in the final round in Lyon for the first time in this country’s culinary history. This time, Gilles hopes that Indonesia could win the competition. “Knowing that Indonesia was chosen to get into the final round of Bocuse d’Or 2021 is a statement for our culinary capacity. After a decade I am sure that Indonesia is more ready to be back and we certainly aim for the top position in this competition,” said Chef Gilles.

But what are Team Indonesia’s strategies to win?  “This time we are better prepared, especially from the experience. Through the unique flavor and tastes of the islands of Indonesia, we are aiming to get judges’ attention,” Chef Chris elaborated. Furthermore, during the online press release held on 30 August 2021, Chf Chris revealed that he and his team have built a mock-up Bocuse d’Or’s kitchen to prepare Mandif and Lutfi to perform well during the real competition.

“I am so excited to represent Indonesia in this competition. We’ve been working hard to succeed at the competition because the jury judges almost everything from the presentation, the chemistry, the cooking method, and more. So, there is no small mistake allowed during the process. Even if I miss a millimeter on the presentation design, we could lose,” uttered Chef Mandif during the press conference.

The participation of Mandif and Lutfi in Bocuse d’Or is fully supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia. Minister Sandiaga Uno, during the event, said that this opportunity could become a chance to promote Indonesia’s culinary to the world. “We aspire to further promote Indonesia’s tourism destinations and as part of our campaign ‘Indonesia Spice Up the World.’ 

The Indonesia team is also supported by Time International as one of the main sponsors. Mr. Irwan D. Mussry, CEO of Time International expressed his excitement, “It’s a great pleasure to support the hardworking and talented team from Indonesia for the upcoming Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France. I have always been a firm believer that talent needs to be harvested, and I am passionate about food, so this is a perfect match.”

For the first time in history of the competition, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, Bocuse d’Or has added one new category for all participants to compete in which is the Takeaway Menu. For this, Mandif said that he will present the takeaway menu in a rantang and it will be sustainable. “The challenge is to present a fine dining menu for takeaway. So, you have to play with space and packaging.” 

 FoodieS is excited for the chefs of Team Indonesia as they prepare for the Bocuse d’Or and will soon leave for Lyon. We wish you good luck and hope that you bring home the gold!

Bocuse d'Or Final 2021

Lyon, France, from September 26th to 27th, 2021.

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