Team USA: From left, Chefs Corey Siegel, Gavin Kaysen and Richard Rosendale in Lyon, France.
A half-million-dollar bankroll couldn’t get Team USA onto the podium at the famed international chef competition, the Bocuse d'Or, held in Lyon, France.
Yesterday, Uniontown native Richard Rosendale, executive chef at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., and his “commis” (assistant), Corey Siegel, took seventh place.
They’d been hoping for gold, but at least they improved upon Team USA’s 10th-place finish in 2011. The highest a U.S. team has ever placed is sixth.
Twenty-four two-man teams from around the world filled enormous silver platters with meats and swanky side dishes for judging by 14 chefs. Here’s what Mr. Rosendale and Mr. Siegel prepared in their allotted five and a half hours:
• Slowly cooked turbot with Virginia ham and Tennessee black truffles
• Lobster mousse with butternut squash cooked in cider
• “Mushroom Explosion”
• Twice-baked potato and leek cigar
• Vin jaune emulsion
• Hickory-grilled beef filet with asparagus and horseradish
• Fried hollandaise
• Beef oxtail “Yankee pot roast” with spiced red wine sauce
• Potato dumplings
• Bone marrow and thyme infused beef broth with crispy beef filet
• Slowly roasted carrots
Judges have historically preferred the European teams, and this year was no exception. The “home team” of France took first place and Denmark second. Japan placed third.
Mr. Rosendale and Mr. Siegel trained together for two years, spending 12-hour Mondays and portions of other days in preparation for the noisy competition where a raucous crowd waves flags and cheers on the teams. Sponsors, including kitchenware companies, funded Team USA to try to get its first big win. At The Greenbrier, part of a bunker constructed during the Cold War as a hideout for Congress in the event of nuclear warfare was transformed into an exact replica of the Bocuse d’Or kitchen.
But even with all that time and money, Team USA still came up short. “I’m proud of the effort we put forth,” Mr. Rosendale said, “and while I’m disappointed we didn’t finish higher up, I know that Corey and I gave it our all.”
Oh well, better luck next time for Team USA.
Bocuse d'Or USA photos