Bocuse d’Or Singapore Academy Sends Overseas
Singaporean competitor Mathew Leong, for
Bocuse d’Or Finals in Lyon
For the first time in history, the Bocuse d’Or
Singapore Academy is sending a Singaporean competitor based
in another country for the Bocuse d’Or finals in Lyon, France.
The world’s most prestigious competition will take place from 26
to 27 September 2021 .
Singaporean Chef Mathew Leong, 25 years old, is currently
working at fine-dining restaurant À L’aise in Oslo, Norway.
Having found his love for cooking since 13 years old, he was
mentored in Singapore by Chef Jimmy Chok, before moving to
work in Renaa restaurant in Stavangar, Norway and
subsequently, À L’aise with chef Ulrik Jepsen in Oslo, Norway.
At a national selection held in 2019, Leong was selected to
About Bocuse d’Or Competition
Since its inception in 1987, the prestigious Bocuse d’Or
competition is held in the heart of the Sirha – a trade show
dedicated to foodservice and gastronomy since 1983 – which is
held every two years in Lyon, France.
Founded by the Father of French gastronomy Paul Bocuse, the
idea is to bring 24 chefs from around the world – among the
most promising talents in their generation and country – and
have them prepare two recipes in 5 hours and 35 minutes
precisely, live in front of an enthusiastic audience. To determine
the winners: a panel of judges composed of some of the most
prestigious chefs in the world.
Since 2005, faced with the growing number of countries wishing
to enter the contest, the Bocuse d’Or introduced preselection
events by creating first the national rounds then the continental
qualifying events, which include the Bocuse d’Or Europe, Bocuse
d’Or Americas, Bocuse d’Or Asia-Pacific and Bocuse d’Or Africa.
The continental qualifying contests are held after the national
rounds. On the continental scale, they are major events in their
own right and also serve to determine the 24 countries that will
be retained to take part in the Bocuse d’Or Final.
Bocuse d’Or 2021
Originally slated to take place in Jan 2021, the Bocuse d’Or was
postponed to 26 and 27 September due to the challenges faced
by the pandemic.
The 24 teams are: (Europe) Denmark, Finland, Estonia, France,
Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, (Asia-
Pacific) Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand,
(Africa) Morocco, Tunisia, (Americas) Chile, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Ecuador, Uruguay; (Wild Cards) New Zealand and Russia.
On 25 March, the theme for 2021 was revealed: The platter
theme will feature a hot dish based on whole braised beef chuck,
presented for the first time on a same platter for all the
candidates, financed by the competition.
In response to new ways of catering during the pandemic, the
Bocuse d’Or is introducing a “takeaway” theme instead of the
usual plated format. Candidates will have to create a takeaway
menu based on 3 dishes (starter, main course, dessert) and the
same seasonal product – the tomato. All of this will be presented
in a box developed by the candidates themselves using plant-
based materials which must be reusable.
Says Eric Teo, President of Bocuse d’Or Singapore Academy,
“2020 has been a challenging year for the entire world but it has
also shown that with perseverance, we can achieve the
impossible. As part of the Singapore Chefs’ Association, the
Bocuse d’Or Singapore Academy is able to leverage on the years
of international competition experience, from planning,
techniques to fund-raising, and embark on this new format of
training a candidate in another country. Of course, this cannot
be achieved without strong collaboration. We also want to thank
the support of the Bocuse d’Or Singapore team based in Norway
– Mathew’s coach , Ulrik Jepsen and his commis, Sebastian, who
are committed fully to training with him.”
About Bocuse d’Or Singapore Academy
The Bocuse d’Or Singapore Academy is made up of a network of former chef
competitors at the Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition, its committee members as
well as a brigade of chef mentors. The mission is to establish a strong network to
support the current Bocuse d’Or Singapore competitor, and to ensure continual
support for competition chefs from Singapore in the future.
Follow @bocusesg for more information.
Pictures of Chef Mathew Leong at work and his creation: