The Bocuse d'Or U.S.A. team — Richard Rosendale and commis Corey Siegel — just finished cooking and presenting their meat and fish platters to an international panel of judges and a packed audience of boisterous fans. The results of the cooking competition won't be announced for another hour, but here are a few snapshots of the food Rosendale prepared. These were taken from within the hellish press pit, where photographers jostle, yell, and occasionally physically threaten each other to secure prime spots to catch the fleeting dish presentations. If the action in the kitchen stalls is marked by its calm, precision, and quiet, the crowd watching it is a madhouse similar to what you'd find at a soccer match.
Rosendale's preparations reflected a strong American influence, both in terms of their flavors and aesthetics. The fish platter, which this year was designed to be more of a composed restaurant dish, saw turbot taking on the flavors of West Virginia, where Rosendale works. The plate itself, as well as its components, were designed to evoke the Appalachians. The dish included lobster mousse, butternut squash, and apple cider.
The meat plate took its cues from Frank Lloyd Wright's designs for the Guggeinheim Museum and Fallingwater. It was an elegant effort that managed to impress without going overboard. Hickory-grilled beef filet, horseradish, fried hollandaise, potato dumplings, and slow roasted carrots were among its many components. One of its functional and design flourishes was a siphon reminiscent of the rooibus cocktail at The Aviary, chef Grant Achatz's progressive cocktail bar in Chicago. It's no surprise, since Achatz is one of the team coaches.
Today was the second day of the competition and, by most accounts, it included the most competitive teams. The U.S. has had a strong showing, but it also looks like Japan, Norway, and France are right up there. Stay tuned for the results later this afternoon and a full recap tomorrow.