Local Spotlight

Ment’or BKB Young Chef Competition Series With Celebrity Chef Panel Comes to Houston

If you follow the world of haute cuisine, you’ve probably heard of the Bocuse d’Or competition. A biennial international competition that takes place in Lyon, France, the competition is named after French culinary great Paul Bocuse, and is as prestigious in the culinary world as the Olympics are to athletics.

This coming Thursday, October 8, 2015, Houstonians will get a small glimpse of those culinary acrobatics as The Pass & Provisions plays host to the Ment’or BKB Young Chef Competition.

Named after founders Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jerome Bocuse, Ment’or BKB is a non-profit that was established in 2008 to inspire excellence in young culinary professionals, to recruit and train candidates for the bi-ennial Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition, and to provide grants and scholarships to up-and-coming culinary talent.

The Young Chef Competition, open to entrants aged 22 to 27, is one of Ment’or BKB’s key programs. The event has already taken place in three cities — Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Houston will be the final competition city.

At the Houston stop four extraordinary young chefs, chosen via a lengthy application process, will compete: Lee Foden-Clarke (Bouchon Bistro, Beverly Hills, CA), Angel Medina (Fixe, Austin), Tyler Prieve (Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis), Mara Serna (Treadsack, Houston). The grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize and the opportunity to stage at the restaurant of his or her choice. A second place winner will be awarded $5,000 toward a stage of his choice as well.

The entrants, in teams of two composed of the lead chef and commis, will have 2 hours and 35 minutes to create a unique recipe using rack of lamb provided by D’Artagnan. The competition follows the Bocuse d'Or format. Completed plates will be presented to a panel of 10 judges to score and critique. Serna, a sous chef at the upcoming Foreign Correspondents under PJ Stoops, and one of the 50 Eater Young Gun Semi-finalists of 2015, is the only young chef from Houston. She was also a part of the winning Cochon 555 Houston team under chef Mark Decker.

Leading the judges’ panel in Houston is Ment’or BKB founder and chef Jérôme Bocuse (son of Paul Bocuse). Joining him on the panel are local judges Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner of The Pass & Provisions, along with some of the nation’s leading chefs who will be flying in specifically for the event: Chris Hastings (Hot & Hot Fish Club), James Kent (The Nomad),), Anne Quatrano (Bacchanalia), Paul Qui (Qui) and Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger).

Why come to the event? Says Jaimie Chew, Director of Communications for Ment’or BKB, “By buying a ticket, attendees can learn to recognize young up and coming talent, not only locally but throughout the U.S. Attendees will also help promote these young chefs, and heighten the pursuit of culinary excellence. Cheering the teams on as they cook, prepare and plate their dishes — to really see what it’s like — there’s no way to describe the energy or the emotion while these young chefs compete in front of some of the best chefs in he U.S.”

Food, wine, cocktails, the chance to meet some of our nations's best chefs — all while supporting upcoming culinary talent? Don't miss this exciting culinary event! See below for details and ticket information. 

What: Young Chef Competition Series hosted by chef Jérôme Bocuse
When: Thursday, October 8, 2015, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Where: The Pass & Provisions, 807 Taft St, Houston, TX 77019
Tickets: $125 per person all-inclusive with all proceeds going to benefit the ment’or BKB Foundation. Tickets are limited and there is a high chance of sellout. Purchase at: http://www.mentorbkb.org/event/houston 

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Mai Pham is a contributing freelance food writer and food critic for the Houston Press whose adventurous palate has taken her from Argentina to Thailand and everywhere in between -- Peru, Spain, Hong Kong and more -- in pursuit of the most memorable bite. Her work appears in numerous outlets at the local, state and national level, where she is also a luxury travel correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide.
Contact: Mai Pham