Bocuse d'Or USA Semi-Finalists Gear Up for Competition

Brandt Beef, the official beef purveyor of the Bocuse d’Or USA supplies product for the competition and grand gala dinner

BRAWLEY, Calif. – After months of preparation, eight semi-finalist teams are gearing up for the Bocuse d’Or USA Cuisine Competition, where one team will be selected to represent America at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest in Lyon, France in January 2009. As the official beef purveyor for Bocuse d’Or USA, Brandt Beef is supplying the semi-finalist teams with its natural beef products for use in the competition, which will be held on Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27 at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Eric Brandt, managing partner of Brandt Beef, who will be attending the event said, “As a producer that is committed to sustainable practices, we are thrilled to be able to provide the semi-finalists with sustainable cuts, including oxtails and cheeks, to accompany the Brandt tenderloins that the chefs will prepare for one of their presentations during the competition. We have a strong history of supporting the American team in the quest for the Bocuse d’Or world title and are extremely excited to continue our support of the U.S. bid, particularly for its roots in French cuisine which encourages sustainable practices including the use of the entire animal.”

Each semi-finalist team will be given five hours to prepare beef and cod dishes for a panel of prominent chef judges who will evaluate the teams on excellence in taste, presentation, technical skill and kitchen organization. The winning team will be announced during the grand gala dinner and award ceremony on Saturday, September 27 from 7 p.m. – Midnight at the World Showcase at Epcot. The evening will feature an hors d’oeuvres reception, a four course seated dinner, live musical entertainment, dancing and a silent auction. Dishes for the dinner will be prepared by some of the nation’s most prestigious chefs, including Daniel Boulud who will prepare the meat course using Brandt Beef. During the award ceremony, the top three placing teams will be awarded cash prizes of $15,000 for the first place team, $10,000 for the second place team, and $5,000 for the third place team.

The winning team will also be awarded the opportunity to train for the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest from October 2008 to January 2009 at the Bocuse d’Or USA Culinary Training Center in Yountville, Calif., adjacent to Thomas Keller’s French Laundry. The team will work with Chef Coach Roland Henin to perfect their dishes for presentation in Lyon, France. During this period, the chef and assistant will be housed in a private residence at the training facility and given a stipend by Bocuse d’Or USA. The team will go on to compete against 24 international teams at the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest in Lyon, France on January 27 and 28, 2009.

The eight semi-finalist teams were selected by members of the Bocuse d’Or USA Culinary Advisory Board, which was created by Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and many of the country’s leading chefs to recruit, train and support the next American team. The teams include:
•Timothy Hollingsworth, sous chef, French Laundry, Yountville, Calif. Commis pending.
•Hung Huynh, executive chef, Solo, New York, N.Y. Commis pending.
•Rogers Powell, instructor, French Culinary Institute, New York, N.Y. Commis Kyle Fiasconaro, French Culinary Institute, student.
•John Rellah, Jr., executive chef, Hamilton Farm, Gladstone, N.J. Commis pending.
•Richard Rosendale, chef/owner, Rosendales, Columbus, Ohio. Commis Seth Warren, Rosendales, cook.
•Michael Rotondo, chef de cuisine, Restaurant Charlie, Las Vegas, Nev. Commis Jennifer Petrusky, Charlie Trotter’s, sous chef.
•Kevin Sbraga, culinary director, Garces Restaurant Group (Amada, Distrito, Mercat and Tinto), Philadelphia, Pa. Commis Aimee Patel, Amada, link cook.
•Percy Whatley, executive chef, Delaware North Parks, Yosemite, Calif. Commis Joshua Johnson, Delaware North Parks, chef de partie.

All Epcot ticket holders are invited to view the live competition as spectators. Tickets for the gala dinner can be purchased by calling (407) WDW-FEST.

About Bocuse d’Or USA
Bocuse d’Or USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to selecting and preparing the U.S. team for the prestigious Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest, held every two years in Lyon, France. The Contest showcases the extraordinary techniques, magnificent creations and culinary achievements of the world’s leading chefs. The Bocuse d’Or is avidly followed through Europe and is gaining awareness in the U.S. The United States has been represented at the competition since its inception in 1987. More information on Bocuse d’Or USA can be found at www.bocusedorusa.org.

About Brandt Beef
Brandt Beef – The True Natural, is a single family owned premium natural beef producer for the up-scale restaurant and retail markets. The Brandt family is dedicated to sustainable practices and is passionate about producing the most consistent, highest quality, 100 percent source verified natural beef on the market. Through cattle selection, natural feeding practices and humane treatment of animals, Brandt Beef produces a product that is unparalleled in taste, tenderness and consistency. Brandt Beef received the Master Chefs’ Institute Seal of Excellence for its achievement in obtaining the Master Chefs’ Institute standard of quality. To obtain more information, get recipe ideas from Chef Tom McAliney or purchase various cuts of Brandt’s premium natural beef, please visit www.brandtbeef.pinnaclecart.com.

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Media Contacts:
Sara DeNio, Dresner Corporate Services, 312-780-7223, sdenio@dresnerco.com
Joshua Taustein, Dresner Corporate Services, 312-780-7219, jtaustein@dresnerco.com