By Brodie Cowburn
he Bocuse d’Or competition is a long way from home. The prestigious international tournament features the top chefs from around the world battling it out in order to be recognised as the greatest culinary mastermind on the planet.
The competition is named after the legendary chef Paul Bocuse, who passed away earlier this year. It has been running biennially for over three decades, and in 2019, a local chef from Flinders will be fighting for the crown. Michael Cole, current head chef at Georgie Bass Café and Cookery, underwent a gruelling qualification process to be selected last year as the Australian representative in the iconic cooking competition, which will see him take flight across the world to show off his cooking talents. “After my first try at the Bocuse d’Or, I told myself I would try again when I was about 35. I knew if I entered last year, that by the time the Grand Finale took place I would be around that age, so I entered,” said Michael. “The deadline for entry nearly passed and I just got into enter this competition. I contacted the shire and they found an amazing apprentice chef for me to work with, but we were only a few weeks out and we had to train like crazy to get ready in such a short amount of time. It’s almost like a performance; you have to be synchronised and calm. So we put in the training and we qualified for selection.
22 | PENINSULA
“We were exhausted by the time we won, it was surreal. Everyone was really excited and there was a real buzz. I was so focused on it that it felt like it wasn’t real. Memorising the garnishes was so intense, you pretty much have to be able to create these dishes with your eyes closed. You become so focused that everything else feels like a dream.” Michael first fell into the world of cooking after taking a job to help him pay for his love of snowboarding. It was there he realised the love and passion he had for the food industry, which has taken him to work in Melbourne, Hamilton Island, France, and Japan. This is his second try at qualifying for the Bocuse d’Or competition, after an ill-fated attempt in his younger days. continued next page...
Published on Mar 1, 2018