Budapest is a city for gourmets, that’s not a question. But the fact that the 2016 European final of Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious gastronomy competition, is coming to the city is a special highlight for even the most seasoned epicureans.
Vienna, London and Lodz also applied to host the European final but the winner was Budapest and the event will be held in the Hungexpo centre on May 10-11, when 20 national winners will compete to represent Europe in the world event in 2017.
The world final of the prestigious Bocuse d’Or contest is held every two years, in Lyon, France, the home city of Paul Bocuse, the notable French chef. It brings together 24 countries represented by the winners of their national selection events.At the world final in January this year the winner was Norway, followed by the US and Sweden.
Zoltán Hamvas, the director of the Hungarian Bocuse d’Or Academy, is looking forward to the Budapest event, although there will be a lot of planning and preparation needed. Ten kitchens equipped to Michelin-star quality must be set up in HungExpo.
Chefs will have five hours and 35 minutes to prepare before an audience and jury a meat and a fish dish reflecting the culinary values of their own country as well as their own technical skills.
An important question is deciding which ingredients will be the basic elements for the clash of the best cooks in Europe, and Hamvas would like the ingredients to be of Hungarian origin.
During the selection of the ingredients several aspects have to be considered, including the publicity effect, because, as Hamvas explains, the Hungarian produce will become a hot topic in the world of gastronomy. Early conjecture is that the meat will be game because Hungarian wild meat is known for its quality.
Bocuse d’Or will thus offer an opportunity to present this domestic specialty to a broad international audience, particularly if a dish prepared for the European final is then taken up by a chef in the world final. The Hungarian government is among the supporters of the event in Budapest, which already has all the necessary financial resources.
Jerome Bocuse, the son of Paul Bocuse, was a guest in Budapest in March when the agreement was signed to hold the competition here, now home to four Michelin-starred restaurants.