The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Bocuse d’Or Team NZ to show Award-Winning Dish at Twizel Salmon & Food Festival

Bocuse d’Or Team NZ to show Award-Winning Dish at Twizel Salmon & Food Festival

The team that will represent New Zealand at the prestigious biennial Bocuse d’Or culinary world championships will demonstrate their award-winning skills at the Twizel Salmon and Wine Festival tomorrow to help raise awareness of their latest campaign. 

Chef Will Mordido made history last year as the first-ever Bocuse d’Or Finals candidate from New Zealand. He and fellow team member Chef Brett McGregor, (winner of the inaugural MasterChef NZ), will demonstrate their award-winning Mt Cook Alpine Salmon dish from last year’s Hawaii Kuauli Pacific & Asia Cultural Festival, as well as other techniques with salmon dishes.

Team New Zealand President and Coach for APAC 2025 multi-award-winning Chef Ken O’Connell says travelling to Twizel is about getting people to understand what the competition is about.  

“Everybody knows about world sport, everyone knows about celebrity chefs and everyone loves food but not a lot of people in New Zealand know about the Bocuse d’Or cooking competition! It is the biggest food event in the world – they call it the gastronomic Olympics.

“Overseas it’s huge. The festival in Twizel in the South Island is dedicated to one of our favourite ingredients – Freshwater King Salmon, so it seemed the perfect place to showcase what competition chefs do,” says O’Connell.

As well as the intricate award-winning dish, Ken and Bocuse d’Or Team New Zealand Commis Chef candidate Sam Linstrom will join Will and Brett to demonstrate how to make salmon eclairs and provide the audience with tips on how to cure salmon in three simple ways. O’Connell says as well as being one of the team’s key sponsors, Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is an ingredient he’s used in his dishes for the last fifteen years.

“Their Freshwater King Salmon has the perfect balance, it’s such a clean flavour with the perfect amount of oil. We always have amazing feedback when we use it, says O’Connell.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon CEO David Cole says the company is proud to support the Bocuse d’Or Team New Zealand. “The mixture of creativity and the discipline they show  – they’re incredible to watch. We wanted people to know about the extraordinary work they’re doing to put New Zealand on the global culinary map and to get behind them.”

Festival-goers will be able to talk to the Team New Zealand chefs during the day and find out more about their mission. The following day the team will visit the Mt Cook Alpine Salmon farms in the fast-flowing glacial canals nearby, before returning to Auckland to continue their intense training.

“It’s all voluntary and done in our own time – which is around 20 hours a week at the moment and soon will ramp up as we head into the Asia Pacific Selections in September. It’s a highly competitive competition with a lot of strict technical rules. Just like an athlete, there’s a lot of training and repetition over and over again but we are excited to showcase our work on the world stage again,” says Will Mordido.

The team will re-create its award-winning dish from Hawaii at 12:30pm, and the second demonstration takes place at 2:30pm at the festival’s Salmon & Wine Hub.

Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific Selections take place in China in September this year (2024). The Bocuse d’Or finals are in Lyon, France in January 2025.

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