Traditional recipes

USA Places 7th at Bocuse d'Or; France Wins Gold

USA Places 7th at Bocuse d'Or; France Wins Gold

Denmark won silver, while Japan took bronze

The world's most prestigious culinary competition wrapped up today, and France walked away with the coveted Bocuse d'Or award. The USA didn't do too badly, either.

Team USA, led by captains Richard Rosendale and Corey Siegel (with much buzz from Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation president Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz), came in seventh in the international culinary competition.

Japan stood on the podium for the first time, winning the Bocuse de Bronze, while Denmark received the Bocuse d'Argent (second place). France won the gold.

Guatemala won a special award for Best Promotion, Hungary won Best Poster, and Kristian Curtis from the United Kingdom won the Best Commis award. Norway won for the Fish Course, while the U.K. won the special meat prize.

Denmark took the gold back in the last Bocuse d'Or competition in 2011, but France's win is hardly surprising. Of all the countries, France has won the most Bocuse d'Or awards; with this year's win, France now has seven golds, two silvers, and one bronze. And while Team USA has never placed higher than sixth (this year, they came within 7 points of sixth place Sweden), Thomas Keller tweeted that the USA's meat platter was paraded to the soundtrack of "Born in the USA." That's winning enough for us.

Award-Winning Chef

Tessier began his training in the kitchen at a young age while growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was interested and motivated to learn new techniques and taste new things, so his curiosity often led him to the library searching for cookbooks with exotic recipes.

He attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and after graduation, to sought out the best kitchens of France, New York and California to hone his craft. Over the course of three decades, Tessier worked at some of the world’s most renowned restaurants including Roger Verge’s Le Moulin de Mougins, Eric Ripert’s Le Bernadin, as well as Thomas Keller’s Per Se, Bouchon and The French Laundry. It was at The French Laundry that Tessier began to train for the pinnacle of culinary achievement, the Olympics of the food world: the Bocuse d’Or.

Training for such an acclaimed event was no simple task. It required countless hours of developing, testing and fine-tuning recipes, not to mention coordinating the most minute details right down to the design of spoons and service ware. But Tessier’s hard work paid off when, in 2015, he won the Bocuse d’Or Silver Medal, becoming the first American to mount the podium. Two years later, Tessier coached team USA led by Chef Mathew Peters to take gold, giving his book Chasing Bocuse a fairytale ending.

Tessier embarked on his journey with the Bocuse d’Or to elevate American culinary excellence on the global stage. Today he continues this endeavor in the home kitchen with Hestan Cue. As co-founder and culinary director of Hestan Smart Cooking, he adds culinary expertise to a talented team of engineers and scientists to develop a new platform for cooking in the home.

He is also a culinary partner with Simple Feast, the app delivering recipes from the world’s greatest chefs and food minds, and Snake River Farms, which provides American wagyu (kobe) and prime beef to the country’s finest restaurants.

Tessier’s philanthropic partnerships include the Ment’or Foundation and No Kid Hungry, two organizations for which he serves as an ambassador promoting professional mentorship and culinary excellence, and an end to child hunger, respectively.

Team USA Lost to France, and It Wasn’t a Fluke

Myles Turner of the U.S. reacts during the 89-79 loss to France on Wednesday.

Ben Cohen

A star from Greece won the Most Valuable Player award, a phenom from Slovenia by way of Spain won Rookie of the Year honors and the last NBA season had so much global influence that it felt oddly appropriate for the championship to be won by the only team outside the U.S.

So maybe the most surprising result in more than a decade of international basketball—Team USA losing to France, 89-79, in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup on Wednesday—shouldn’t have been much of a surprise.

The loss snapped the Americans’ 58-game winning streak in major international tournaments with NBA players, a streak that went back to 2006, and it meant the U.S. won’t medal in an Olympics or World Cup for the first time since a disastrous performance in 2002. The repeated failure to win gold in 2002, 2004 and 2006 was the last time that USA Basketball found itself at the crossroads that it’s suddenly facing before next summer’s Olympics. That reckoning brought about the Redeem Team in 2008, and the U.S. hadn’t lost since then.

But the problem is that the best American players no longer seem interested in playing basketball pro bono at a time when the rest of the world is only getting better.

It wasn’t the fault of the players on the team. Gregg Popovich and USA Basketball weren’t to blame, either. It was simply a reflection of a league that has changed dramatically since the last World Cup five years ago. That’s why an upset in the first game of the knockout round wasn’t humiliating in the way that past American losses have felt like international embarrassments. This one seemed almost inevitable.

Taste section reflected the way we were

• Suggestions are offered for sending Christmas foods to troops stationed in Vietnam.

• A wine column and one by Julia Child begin.

• The first of many annual food stories details what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.

• The Minneapolis Star’s Metro Poll notes that nine out of 10 city shoppers save trading stamps.

• A monthly reader recipe contest is launched and runs well into the 1980s.

• A new column, “Value,” highlights weekly prices on various supermarket commodities and offers shopping tips. It runs for nearly 20 years.

• The safety of microwave ovens is tested by scientists.

• A column that requests recipes from restaurants, on behalf of readers, begins with ones for French dressing from the Flame Room and Beer Cheese Soup from the Leamington Hotel’s Norse Room.

• Reader Exchange begins, where readers write in to ask other readers for help with lost recipes. The first recipes are for corn tortillas and baklava.

• An ambitious special section examines the culinary traditions within Minnesota and explores foods from 16 ethnic groups.

• The now familiar recipe for green bean casserole first appears.

• Expiration dates for the perishable and nonperishable food are added on food labels.

• Both Dayton’s (via Supervalu) and Red Owl introduce a shop-by-phone service, a precursor to later grocery delivery services.

• Skylab astronauts dine on lobster, ice cream, veal, pork and scalloped potatoes. Meals cost $25, considerably less than the $50 spent during the Apollo missions.

• A 16-page section includes 11 full pages of supermarket ads.

• The energy crisis yields a story on cooking two meals at once. A reader exchange offers recipes for no-bake cookies.

• First Taste profile of a person of color: Zelia Lockett, a nutrition program assistant with the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Minnesota.

• The state leads the nation in low-fat-milk use.

• A much-talked-about recipe for carp wieners is published.

• More energy conservation: “Electric skillets use about one-third as much electricity as an eight-inch electric range element and considerably less than an electric oven.”

• Suburban growth reduces the number of raspberry farms that once made Hopkins the raspberry capital of the world.

• Twin Cities Gourmet, a new column that profiles an area cook (and a precursor to the Tastemaker column that began in 1990 and continued until 2006) debuts, with a look into the kitchen of actor Wendy Lehr.

• Details are provided on how to feed a family of four on $40 per week.

• Profile of Pham Ngoc Huong, one of the thousands of Vietnamese refugees who had recently settled in Minnesota.

• Minnesota inches toward the metric system.

• The nation’s bicentennial is celebrated with special sections exploring the culinary traditions of the 13 original colonies.

• Bag-your-own grocery shopping comes to the Twin Cities with Red Owl’s Country Store chain, which had been preceded by CUB (Consumers United for Buying).

• Price Check, a column that compares the costs of 25-plus grocery items, debuts.

• “You Asked for It,” a call for story ideas that became an annual effort for almost a decade, results in 125 reader suggestions, including interest in microwave meals.

• A guide to building your own salad bar mirrors the national dining-out craze.

• Taste devotes entire sections to New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans and regions of China.

• A survey shows that median dinner prep-time in urban areas is 35 minutes. Seven out of 10 use convenience foods, mostly canned products. Nearly 20% said they don’t plan ahead, and half said they grab whatever is on the pantry shelf and heat it up. Two-thirds said they never cook for future meals.

• A forecast predicts that by 2002 personal computers will create meal plans, compose shopping lists and provide nutritional content. Meat will be a luxury, eaten perhaps two to three times per week. Most protein will come from soybeans and legumes.

• Croissants hit the market.

• Nutritional information is now included with Taste recipes.

• Betty Crocker goes global, with Mexican and Chinese cookbooks, the latter written by local entrepreneur Leeann Chin.

• Taste gets a new look with the merger of the Minneapolis Star and the Minneapolis Tribune (1982) and continues its Wednesday publication day. The Tribune’s Food section, which had run on Thursday, begins appearing on Sunday.

• The state’s Minnesota Grown campaign begins, an effort to promote state farmers and their products.

• Taste heads to Hibbing, Minn., to report on food relief to those hit by long-term unemployment.

• A profile of chef Paul Prudhomme reflects the popularity of Cajun cooking.

• Irradiation is approved for spices, and the FDA is expected to allow it in more food categories within the next year.

• A roster of local farmers markets lists 20 in 1985. By 2009, there are more than 50 by 2014 there are 86 in the metropolitan area and nearly 100 in 2019.

• With one in five households owning VCRs, Taste examines a newfangled video how-to-cook series.

• The first story about Martha Stewart runs.

• New columns focus on microwave cooking, special diets and quick cooking.

• Goat cheese replaces Brie in popularity.

• Food to Go, a new column that reflects the increasing availability of takeout food, debuts, first in the nation to focus on takeout food.

• Local food professionals are introduced through two new columns: Meet the Chef and Teacher’s Best. Sunday Food (the food section of the former Minneapolis Tribune) is renamed Sunday Taste.

• Precut vegetables find their way into market.

• Salmonella in eggs is first discussed.

• A three-part series analyzes school lunches and nutrition.

• The first of a series of seasonal menus begins.

• A healthful cooking column debuts.

• Pierre Franey’s syndicated 60-Minute Cooking column debuts it runs for three years.

• Local author Antonio Cecconi writes “Betty Crocker’s Italian Cooking.”

• Barista, macchiato, Americano and espresso are defined as the coffee culture sweeps the country.

• St. Paul author Lynne Rossetto Kasper publishes her much-heralded book “The Splendid Table,” and launches a radio show of the same name at American Public Radio in St. Paul.

• The sale of bottled water explodes, increasing 500% between 1980 and 1990. By 1992, Americans were buying 2.3 billion gallons of bottled water.

• A list of the winners of food competitions at the Minnesota State Fair starts a tradition that continues today.

• Lee Svitak Dean is named food editor.

• Community Supported Agriculture takes off nationwide.

• A redesigned Taste includes a new, easy-to-clip recipe format.

• Desperation Dinners, a syndicated column, debuts.

• Taste goes online and readers can search through thousands of recipes, available on the Star Tribune’s new website.

• Home meal replacement — i.e. in-house prepared foods — catches on at supermarkets.

• The popularity of brew pubs grows from 26 nationwide in 1988 to 1,000 in 1996.

• The fictitious Betty Crocker gets a new look.

• A Roper Poll finds only slightly more than half of all American families eat together five or more days per week.

• Cook’s Lesson, a practical cooking guide, debuts.

• First profile of early Food Network star Emeril Lagasse appears.

• Taste visits the White House and interviews chef Walter Scheib.

• Of the century’s 100 best foods, the top five are the hamburger, pie, French fries, cold cereal and the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.

• Taste gets a major makeover and aims to reach more noncooks. The section moves to Thursday. Restaurant reviews (beyond takeout) are back in the section.

• A report on Somali dining reflects the recent influx of 20,000 immigrants to the Twin Cities.

• Rick Nelson joins the staff in 1999 and starts his annual Minnesota State Fair reports with reviews of the eight new foods that year. By 2019, the number of new foods reviewed rises to 53.

• With the turn-of-the-century (Y2K) approaching, sales of French Champagne go through the roof, and consumers store food and water in case of computer glitches predicted for the millennium date change.

• To mark the century’s end, Taste looks back at typical foods from each of the past 10 decades, including grasshopper pie (1960s), quiche Lorraine (1970s) and tiramisu (1990s).

• Cooking schools proliferate in the Twin Cities.

• An Online Cook column begins, steering readers to food-related websites.

• Taste visits Texas and looks for the flavors of the Lone Star State as George W. Bush moves into the White House.

• The influx of Hispanics is apparent with five new Mexican bakeries in south Minneapolis alone.

• Taste looks at foods produced across the state.

• Local cooking instructor Raghavan Iyer writes “Betty Crocker’s Indian Home Cooking.”

• The state of hunger: With one in 22 Minnesotans receiving assistance from a food shelf, Taste examines a dozen local agencies involved in the fight against hunger.

• Nigella Lawson’s syndicated column debuts.

• Taste is named best food section in nation for large-circulation newspapers by the James Beard Foundation.

• A series examines local, sustainable agricultural methods involving meat production: “Clean” pork, free-range chickens and pasture-raised cattle.

• Taste gives the Twin Cities restaurant scene two stars, and offers suggestions for improvement.

• The annual holiday cookie contest debuts.

• Taste bestows its first Restaurateur of the Year Award, to Josh Thoma and Tim McKee of Solera in Minneapolis.

• Latest cooking trend for busy parents: businesses where cooks can prepare a week’s worth of meals in less than two hours.

• Rick Nelson starts a weekly podcast.

• Duluth cookbook author Beatrice Ojakangas is inducted into the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame.

• Gluten-free cooking and products get a cover story.

• The first of the annual Taste 50 issues highlights Minnesota people, products and places.

• “The Silver Palate” cookbook celebrates its 25th anniversary with a new edition.

• A cover story shows 50 ways to save on food costs.

• Eating local for a season (the 100-mile diet and beyond) gathers interest.

• Food trucks appear on local streets.

• The Thrifty Cook column debuts as the economy sours.

• One-hundred-calorie snacks are all the rage.

• Taste joins Facebook (2009).

• First cover story on Hmong cooking appears.

• Make-your-own is big in the dairy department with DIY yogurt, kefir, crème fraîche, butter.

• The Taste blog — Table Talk — debuts and can still be found at startribune.taste/tabletalk.

• The monthly series Baking Central with staff writer Kim Ode debuts.

• Kale takes over the nation.

• Burger Friday from Rick Nelson debuts in 2013 and continues until mid-2019.

• The annual Taste 50 calls it “The Year of the Farmer” (2013).

• Taste adds a Sunday page of food stories, recipes and dining tips to the Variety section (2014).

• The house of Ry-Krisp closes as the Minneapolis factory shuts its doors.

• A New York City restaurant group announces it is dropping tipping reverberations spread across the country.

• Formerly anonymous restaurant critic Rick Nelson drops his cover.

• Epic number of Nordic cookbooks hit the market.

• Kombucha craze spreads to health-conscious DIYers.

• Facebook recipe videos are everywhere.

• Shortage of line cooks has restaurants struggling nationwide.

• John Kraus of Rose Street Patisserie is inducted into Relais Desserts, an exclusive French league of 100 top pastry chefs in the world (2016).

• As Macy’s in downtown Minneapolis closes, its 113-year-old food-and-drink traditions end in the store formerly known as Dayton’s.

• The American team wins gold at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France, for the first time in its 30-year-history, with Gavin Kaysen, executive chef/owner of three local restaurants, as coach and vice president of the foundation that supports and trains the U.S. competitors (2017).

• Lynne Rossetto Kasper signs off on public radio’s “The Splendid Table.”

• The Taste 50 looks at the impact of immigrants on the local hospitality world, with profiles of 26 from around the world.

• Minneapolis blogger Sarah Kieffer’s recipe for Giant Crinkled Chocolate Chip Cookies goes viral after a shining moment on Instagram.

• Sharyn Jackson joins the Taste staff.

• The Kirchner Collection of cookbooks at the University of Minnesota gets a boost from the donation of more than 2,000 volumes from Duluth author Beatrice Ojakangas of Duluth, when she downsizes.

• Instant Pot sales — and recipes — go wild.

• Cookbook author Maida Heatter writes her last volume at age 102.

• Vietnamese food hits mainstream with Andrew Nguyen’s new cookbook, “Vietnamese Food Any Day.”

• The ninth edition of “Joy of Cooking” is published.

• In a report called “A restaurant revolution,” Rick Nelson looks at the dramatic changes in the Twin Cities dining world.


Carl Lewis won his third gold medal tonight in the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, and he had company on the victory stand. Lewis, Kirk Baptiste and Thomas Jefferson finished first, second and third in the men's 200-meter final, giving the United States the first such sweep in track and field in these Olympics.

The 22-year-old Lewis, from Willingboro, N.J., led from the start and glided to a 2-meter victory over Baptiste of Beaumont, Tex., his former University of Houston teammate. Baptiste finished 2 meters ahead of Jefferson of Moreland, Ohio, a Kent State University senior. Then they trotted a victory lap, Lewis and Baptiste carrying small American flags and Jefferson draped in a large one.

Lewis's time was 19.80 seconds, an Olympic record. Tommie Smith of San Jose, Calif., set the previous record of 19.83 seconds in 1968 in Mexico City. Lewis's time also was the third fastest in history behind the world record of 19.72 by Pietro Mennea of Italy, who finished seventh tonight, and Lewis's 19.75.

Runs Next in 400-Meter Relay

Lewis won the gold medals in the 100-meter dash Saturday night and the long jump Monday night. He next runs in the 400-meter relay Friday and Saturday and is favored to win his fourth gold medal, matching the feat of Jesse Owens in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

''There isn't anyone to beat him,'' said Mennea.

Away from the track, the United States continued to strike gold, too. Greg Louganis, as expected, finished first in the men's springboard diving, and Americans won gold medals in three of the seven yachting races and silver in the other four. With four days of competition left, the United States has 54 gold medals.

This was the fifth of eight days of Olympic track and field. The night's four finals before a crowd of 92,600 in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum produced gold medals for another American, a French man and a Moroccan woman. It was the first Olympic gold medal ever in any sport for Morocco, and the Ivory Coast won its first Olympic medal ever in any sport.

In those four finals, the United States, which has dominated track and field here, won two gold, three silver and three bronze medals, raising the American total for 21 track and field events to 10 gold, 11 silver and 4 bronze medals.

Alonzo Babers, a 22-year-old Air Force second lieutenant from Montgomery, Ala., surprisingly won the men's 400-meter dash. He defeated Gabriel Tiacoh of the Ivory Coast, a sophomore at Washington State University, by 2 meters in 44.27 seconds. Antonio McKay of Atlanta won the bronze medal. Bert Cameron of Jamaica, the world champion, withdrew from the final because of an injured thigh.

Pierre Quinon of France won the pole vault by clearing 18 feet 10 1/4 inches. Mike Tully of Los Angeles took the silver medal with 18-6 1/2. Earl Bell of Jonesboro, Ark., and Thierry Vigneron of France tied for third at 18-4 1/2 and each received a bronze medal. Moroccan Wins Hurdles

In the first Olympic 400-meter hurdles for women, the gold medal surprisingly went to Nawal El Moutawakel, an Iowa State sophomore from Morocco. At 5 feet 2 1/2 inches, she was the shortest finalist, but she ran like a giant in beating Judi Brown of East Lansing, Mich., by 4 meters in a time of 54.61 seconds.

Mary Decker of Eugene, Ore., and 18-year-old Zola Budd of Britain made their Olympic debuts and advanced to Friday's final of the women's 3,000-meter run. Miss Decker won her heat in 8 minutes 44.38 seconds. Miss Budd, who was South Afrcan until she was granted British citizenship this spring, ran barefoot as usual and finished third in her semifinal in 8:44.62.

In the first five events of the decathlon, Daley Thompson of Britain, the 1980 Olympic and 1983 world champion, took a substantial lead over J"urgen Hingsen of West Germany, the world record-holder. Thompson had 4,633 points, the highest first- day score in history, to 4,519 for Hingsen.

The 26-year-old Thompson ran 100 meters in 14.44, long-jumped 26-3 1/2, put the shot 52-3 3/4, high-jumped 6-8 and ran 400 meters in 46.97. The long jump was the longest ever in an Olympic decathlon and the best by any Briton this year, in and out of the decathlon. Quarrie Fails to Qualify

In the 200-meter semifinals, 2 1/2 hours before the final, Don Quarrie of Jamaica, the 1976 Olympic champion, ran from the tight inside lane and did not qualify for the final.

''When you're old like me,'' said the 33-year-old Quarrie, ''the lane doesn't make much difference. Carl Lewis could run from any lane.''

Lewis lived up to Quarrie's praise, and he said he was especially happy because of the American sweep of the medals.

''Our whole goal here was to sweep the event,'' Lewis said after the race to a press aide with a tape recorder. ''When we knelt down together on the track, we said a little thank you that it all worked out.''

In the men's 400 meters, every finalist except 18-year-old Darren Clark of Australia was a present or past American collegian. Babers roared down the stretch, overhauled Clark with 40 meters left and won in his fastest time ever. His previous bests were 44.86 seconds in the United States Olympic trials seven weeks ago and 44.75 in Sunday's quarterfinals.

Only Lee Evans (43.86 seconds), Larry James (43.97) and Alberto Juantorena of Cuba (44.26) have ever run 400 meters faster than Babers's time in the final. Only Juantorena's time was faster at sea level. McKay Became the Favorite

McKay was the favorite after Cameron withdrew from the final. But McKay was never in the race and finished third in 44.71, no more than 2 inches ahead of the fourth-place Clark and fifth-place Sunder Nix of Chicago. Both were timed in 44.75.

The 400 is run entirely in lanes from a staggered start, with the lanes decided by a blind draw. McKay drew lane 1, where the turns are the tightest, and that hampered his long stride.

After the race, McKay fell to his knees, his head on the track, looking like an ostrich trying to hide. Babers and Nix consoled him, but McKay stayed there for minutes, seemingly unable to understand how he could have lost. While Babers took a victory lap on one side of the track, McKay mourned his lost opportunity on the other.

''This is one of the saddest days of my life,'' said McKay, a 20-year-old Georgia Tech sophomore. ''I ran my best race and I was defeated. I lost to the best 400 runner in the world today. I don't want to make any excuses.''

''I said in the paper that the gold was all I wanted and that the silver and bronze were not enough. They still aren't, but I accept this with pride and honor.''

The pole vault final was a battle of psychology and one-upsmanship. At 18 feet 6 1/2 inches, Tully cleared on his third and last attempt. Quinon failed once and passed the remaining attempts at that height.

At 18-8 1/4, the next height, Quinon had two chances remaining to clear the bar. He succeeded on his first attempt and took the lead. Tully passed.

The bar went to 18-10 1/4. Again, Quinon cleared on his first attempt. Again, Tully passed. The bar rose to 19-0, an Olympic record, and each missed three times without a decent attempt.

The ancient Olympic Games

Just how far back in history organized athletic contests were held remains a matter of debate, but it is reasonably certain that they occurred in Greece almost 3,000 years ago. However ancient in origin, by the end of the 6th century bce at least four Greek sporting festivals, sometimes called “classical games,” had achieved major importance: the Olympic Games, held at Olympia the Pythian Games at Delphi the Nemean Games at Nemea and the Isthmian Games, held near Corinth. Later, similar festivals were held in nearly 150 cities as far afield as Rome, Naples, Odessus, Antioch, and Alexandria.

Of all the games held throughout Greece, the Olympic Games were the most famous. Held every four years between August 6 and September 19, they occupied such an important place in Greek history that in late antiquity historians measured time by the interval between them—an Olympiad. The Olympic Games, like almost all Greek games, were an intrinsic part of a religious festival. They were held in honour of Zeus at Olympia by the city-state of Elis in the northwestern Peloponnese. The first Olympic champion listed in the records was Coroebus of Elis, a cook, who won the sprint race in 776 bce . Notions that the Olympics began much earlier than 776 bce are founded on myth, not historical evidence. According to one legend, for example, the Games were founded by Heracles, son of Zeus and Alcmene.

America Just Won the Olympics of Cooking You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

For the first time ever, an American team tasted victory at one of the world's most prestigious cooking championships. A team of professional chefs, led by Per Se executive sous chef Mathew Peters won gold at the Bocuse d’Or competion on Wednesday, Danica Lo reports for Food & Wine.

For gourmands, the two-day event is treated with an almost religious reverance, and fittingly, it was founded by the “Pope of French Cuisine,” Paul Bocuse. The French chef introduced the world to nouvelle cuisine in the 1960s and 󈨊s—the modern style of French cooking that pushes back against the Julia Child school of butter in favor of clean, fresh, articulated flavors. 

The competition, held each year in Lyons, France, the epicenter of France’s gastronomic scene, gives chefs 5 hours and 35 minutes to put together two dishes: one fish, one meat. An international team of judges will then consider a host of factors including taste, innovation and complexity to decide the winning countries. In addition to bragging rights, first place takes home㺔,000 euros in prize money, second place,㺏,000 euros and third place,㺊,000 euros.

The event itself is wild—done in front of a live studio audience, the crowd, draped in colors of their home nation, would fit in easily at any sporting event. Their cheers blend in with the music that throbs as the clock ticks down on the chefs. The cacophony of sounds mixes in with the regular bursts from fog horns and cowbells that have become de rigueur for audience members to carry, and present a unique curveball for competitors who must prepare and plate their finest dishes under these conditions.

While this is the USA’s first time atop the podium, the country’s top chefs came close to taking home the gold in the last competition, when the team placed silver, Greg Morabito at EATER reports. That was a breakthrough moment—the first time USA placed higher thanنth in a Bocuse d’Or.

Despite a lack of hardware, throughout the competition's history, there have been some thrilling moments for the USA. One of the most exciting, in fact, took place during the inaugural event.

Then, in 1987, a 27-year-old from Chicago captured the attention of the culinary world for her skill—and her gender—when she placedهth overall for Team USA, The Chicago Tribune's Patricia Tennison reported at the time. The sous chef at Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Susan Weaver, even surprised herself, Tennison wrote, by making it into the finals, where the contestants were tasked with preparing two chickens with ingredients selected from the famous Lyon markets.

The day would go to France—Jacky Fréon, a chef at a Michelin Guide-rated 4-star hotel with a 1-star restaurant, took home the gold for his home country. “He won the competition hands down thanks to a concentration and determination that enable him to control his emotiveness,” the official Bocuse d’Or website writes. However, Weaver gave Fréon a run for his money. “For a while it looked as if an American woman had a chance to win,” Gutierrez, a native Frenchman, told Tennison.

During that first competition, Weaver was the sole woman in a field of 24 chefs. Now, 30 years later, the boy's club reputation at the Bocuse d'Or has remained—Luxembourg's Léa Linster is the only woman to have won the competition so far. (She took home victory in� for her saddle of lamb wrapped in a potato pancake crisp.)

This year, the American team won gold by putting an American twist on a Lyonnaise classic. The dish, “Poulet de Bresse aux Écrevisses,” incorporated "morel mushroom sausage, braised wings, a wine glaze and sauce Américaine, a kind of lobster sauce," Florence Fabricant reports for The New York Times

While the achievement puts team the United States in the history books, the competition itself has yet to make its way into the American mainstream. But for those who understand what this win means, the victory is sweet, indeed. As Tennison put it in '87, when she tried to explain the importance of Weaver's achievement: "[F]or an American—particularly a woman—to get this far in a trés French culinary competition is like a woman being theهth round draft pick of the Chicago Bears."

About Jackie Mansky

Jacqueline Mansky is a freelance writer and editor living in Los Angeles. She was previously the assistant web editor, humanities, for Smithsonian magazine.

Champ d'Or, reportedly the biggest house in Texas, sold at auction . again

Selling your house can be tricky, and when your house is reportedly the largest one in Texas, well, there can be hiccups.

Champ d'Or, the 48,000-square-foot mansion in Denton County, recently went up for auction a second time. The owner, Dallas developer Zaf Tabani, bought it at auction in 2012 and sold it the same way.

The online bidding was supposed to span three days and end June 29. But at closing time, Concierge Auctions announced the auction wasn't over yet. They gave it another day. On June 30, the bidding ended. A sale is now pending. How much? Concierge won't say.

1 / 6 The Champ d'Or estate is a baroque French chateau in Hickory Creek. Inspired by Vaux-le-Vicomte near Paris, the 48,000-square-foot chateau is in Denton County. Champ d'Or, literally, "Field of Gold," is from the surname of Alan and Shirley Goldfield, who built the house in 2002. (Concierge Auctions)

2 / 6 The home theater and stage in the Champ d'Or estate, a baroque French chateau located in Hickory Creek. (Reagan V. Jobe / Courtesy of Concierge Auctions)

3 / 6 A bedroom in the Champ d'Or estate in Hickory Creek, Texas. (Reagan V. Jobe / Courtesy of Concierge Auctions)

4 / 6 The entry hall of the Champ d'Or estate, a baroque French chateau located in Hickory Creek north of Lake Lewsville. (Reagan V. Jobe / Courtesy of Concierge Auctions)

5 / 6 The Chanel-inspired master bath at Champ d'Or, an estate in Hickory Creek. (Reagan V. Jobe / Courtesy of Concierge Auctions)

6 / 6 The Champ d'Or estate, is a baroque French chateau located in Hickory Creek. (Reagan V. Jobe / Courtesy of Concierge Auctions)

Located north of Lake Lewisville in Hickory Creek, Champ d'Or was built by CellStar Corp. founder Alan H. Goldfield and his wife, Shirley, as an homage to Paris' Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. They spent about $52 million.

In addition to the obvious amenities — bowling alley, home theater — Champ d'Or includes a self-sufficient master suite. In that suite there is a spa, a lap pool, a Chanel-inspired closet and hair salon.

When the Goldfields finished construction, they put it up for sale. For a decade, no deal was consummated. As any Rockefeller can tell you, 48,000-square-foot houses are almost illiquid. When John D. Rockefeller Jr. owned the largest house in Manhattan, he demolished it to make way for the Museum of Modern Art.

Finally, the Goldfields brought in Concierge Auctions. In 2012, Concierge auctioned it to Tabani for an undisclosed price. In 2012, the Goldfields' tax appraisal was $21,752,560. Today, Denton County appraises it at $6,566,342.

For Tabani, Concierge was the choice to sell it again.

In a statement, he said, "As we enter the next chapter of our lives, and choose to downsize and be closer to our grandchildren, we'll cherish the times here and know the next owner has many amazing adventures in store."

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Auguste Escoffier: Father of a foodie nation

He may have inadvertently paved the way for McDonald's, but great Victorian chef Auguste Escoffier was so slight a man that he even couldn't reach the stove. He had platform shoes made and went on to cook his way into culinary history. In a time before Twitter or even phone service, Escoffier, who was born in 1846, quickly rose to become known as the Ambassador of French cuisine and was eventually knighted for it.

Kaiser Wilhelm II once remarked to Escoffier: "I am the emperor of Germany, but you are the emperor of chefs." Escoffier was not only an astonishing chef, but he simplified French food, co-created the Ritz Hotel chain, and wrote classic cookbooks ("Le Guide Culinaire" and "Ma Cuisine") that inspired Julia Child and changed the way we look at cooks, cooking and food forever.

Influence far and wide

Open a jar of tomato sauce for dinner recently? Escoffier was the first to commercially can tomatoes. Is your favorite gravy enriched with fresh mushrooms and bouillon? As a consultant, he helped create both dried soups and the cultivated mushroom industry. Ever dine a la carte? That was Escoffier's idea. He also lobbied to make it legal for women to dine in public.

Escoffier created hundreds of dishes named after both the lowly and famous (though not for his own wife), including Peach Melba (for Australian opera star Nellie Melba), Cherries Jubilee (for Queen Victoria's Jubilee) and Dauphine Potatoes (for the French court of the Dauphine, which included Marie Antoinette).

But his most important culinary contribution was the creation of veal stock. When mixed with foods, it imparts natural MSG (monosodium glutamate), which enhances natural flavors and creates what Escoffier named "deliciousness." At the same time the chef was working on his theory of what is now called the flavor of "umami," a Japanese chemist was proving it.

Inside Escoffier's kitchen

Modern restaurants, where anyone can order food -- as opposed to taverns and inns that serviced travelers only -- began in 18th-century France. It wasn't a very popular idea most had no reason to eat anywhere except at home.

And so, when Escoffier became a chef, the industry was still in its infancy. Cooks worked in small windowless rooms filled with coal and wood smoke. Wine kept them hydrated. Add sharp knives, stress and shouts over the din of clanging pans and you can begin to imagine what a brutal place kitchens were.

Escoffier changed all that. In his kitchen, no anger or shouting was allowed. His staff drank a special malt brew that kept them hydrated and sober. Chaos was lessened by Escoffier's "brigade system." Unlike the old model where chefs cooked everything and then moved to the next order, in the brigade there were stations -- fish, meat, sauce, vegetable, etc. -- and the plate moved from station to station. This newfound system created an assembly line akin to Henry Ford's industrialization of automobile manufacturing. At the Ritz Hotel's lunch service, he could do 500 plates an hour.

Most colleagues called him "Papa," because he treated his staff like family. He fought for the rights of all kitchen workers to receive medical care and pensions. It was his staff that perished in the Titanic he had designed the elaborate menus for that ill-fated voyage. After the tragedy, he personally saw to it that the widows and children of that staff were well taken care of.

Chef as artist

"A cook is a man with a can opener," Escoffier once said. "A chef is an artist."

Cooking is what brought him fame at an early age. Truffles, foie gras and caviar were his trinity, but he also knew nearly 600 ways to make eggs. "Le Guide Culinaire" includes recipes for 256 of them. While he wanted to be a sculptor and studied with the great Gustave Doré (where he met actress Sarah Bernhardt, a fellow student), he knew that sculptors were often paupers. Food became his medium.

The original Peach Melba was encased in spun gold leaf and served on the back of a swan made of ice. No request was too large or opulent. He once sculpted a table and chair out of shrubs so that a diner could eat in a garden.

Escoffier slept four to five hours a day he never drank or smoked. When he died in 1935 at age 88, he was working on his memoirs, which he never completed. Despite the fact that he spent decades in England, with many visits to the United States, he never learned English, out of fear that it would cause him to think like the English, and then, unfortunately, cook like them.

His personal life was not without drama. His wife, poet Delphine Daffis, whose hand in marriage he won in a pool game, left him before the birth of their third child. Yet he returned to her after more than 30 years of separation, only to die within days of her passing. His reputed lover Sarah Bernhardt, for whom he cooked a meal of scrambled eggs and Moët until the day she died (according to rumor), could never be his alone.

And then there was the matter of missing money at the Savoy Hotel in London and charges of extortion. Both he and Cesar Ritz were dismissed in 1898 for using hotel property (wines, liquor, food and luxury items) to court investors for their own venture, the Ritz Hotel Development Co. They were also accused by hotel owner Richard D'Oyly Carte (Gilbert & Sullivan's producer and founder of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company) of extorting commissions from suppliers, reselling and repurposing of goods, and accepting short weights on food deliveries. The firing of Escoffier and Ritz made headlines worldwide.

While Escoffier was far from a saint, he considered himself a devout Catholic and spent a great deal of time and money fighting hunger in London alongside the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Still influential today

Escoffier is the father of our current foodie nation. Julia Child took his simple approach and made it accessible for Americans -- and set off a revolution. And then, there's that McDonald's connection.

Not only did Escoffier, the Henry Ford of cooking, create the brigade system (the McDonald brothers called it the "Speedee Service System"), but he also created the secret behind their wonderful fries.

A few years ago, it was revealed that the chain included beef fat and beef flavorings in the frying fat. The beef imparted a background note, just as Escoffier's stock did, a "deliciousness" that silently gave the product a distinctive taste.

And what was the plight of Escoffier's customers? The same as for those who eat at McDonald's: the disease of kings, gout, and obesity.

  • N.M. Kelby of St. Paul is the author of the recently published novel "White Truffles in Winter," a fictionalized account of Escoffier. Reach her at [email protected] or at her website,



Career: Began his restaurant career at age 13, when he worked at a restaurant in Nice, France, owned by his uncle. His storied career lasted 62 years.

Let them eat . eggs? Escoffier knew almost 600 ways to make eggs. His cookbook "Le Guide Culinaire," written in 1903, included recipes for 256 ways. (We have recipes for two.)

Famous dishes: He invented Peach Melba in honor of Austrian singer Nellie Melba.

Restaurant chefs thank him: In addition to inventing a la carte eating, Escoffier also revolutionized the way restaurant kitchens ran, inventing the "brigade" system of organization, still used today.

Watch the video: Bocuse dOr - Team USA Takes Gold for the First Time (January 2022).