The Bocuse d'Or has been called the world's most prestigious cooking competition. When the American team claimed second place at this year's event, a Minnesota chef and restaurateur was on the podium.
Gavin Kaysen, executive chef and owner of Spoon and Stable Restaurant in Minneapolis, was the team's head coach. He joined MPR News' Tom Crann to talk about the competition in Lyons, France.
How did you prepare for this very intensive competition?
You are in the box for five hours and 35 minutes — you do not stop moving. There's 3,000 people screaming. The United Kingdom brings a marching band. We're just a few feet from each other, but you wouldn't be able to hear me speak. That's how loud this competition is. When we practice, we turn techno music up so loud that no one can hear one another. The idea is that they need to know exactly what they have to do based off of just looking.
What does taking second place mean for the image of American food on the world stage?
We went on a media tour in New York and heard a lot of the comparisons of what we had just done in France to the Miracle on Ice victory. It literally transforms the way the world thinks about the United States in terms of food and food culture.
Why did you leave New York City to open a restaurant in Minneapolis?
I learned a lot about the food world in New York and I learned a lot about what that meant. But in order for me to create something that I felt was substantial, I need to consider other locations. I took a good strong look at Minneapolis and St. Paul and decided that this was a good place for me to not only raise my family but to start a business.