Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

CIA Graduate Leads Team USA to Best-Ever Finish at Bocuse d’Or

Team USA celebrates on the medal stand at the 2015 Bocuse d'Or after finishing an unprecedented second place.

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Jeff Levine
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Hyde Park, NY – On January 28, the American team competing at the world-renowned Bocuse d’Or made culinary history when a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America ascended the medal stand for the first time. Philip Tessier ’99, was chef for Team USA, which earned second place in the biennial competition in Lyon, France. Norway barely edged out the United States to take the win with 1,662 points to the USA’s 1,653. Third-place Sweden had 1,610 points. Previously, the best finish for an American team in the 28-year history of the Bocuse d’Or was sixth place, back in 2009.

Before taking on the challenge of representing the U.S. at Bocuse d’Or, Tessier spent the last three years as executive sous chef at Chef Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in Yountville, CA. Keller is also a CIA trustee and president of ment’or, a non-profit foundation that supports Team USA’s efforts and trains chefs for the Bocuse d’Or.

“Chef Tessier is an outstanding representation of the talent we have in the United States, and we’re incredibly proud that, for the first time in our history of competing in the Bocuse d’Or, we placed on the podium,” Chef Keller said from Lyon after the winners were announced. “From the start, we were confident that he would successfully lead Team USA. American cuisine has significantly progressed in recent history, and Chef Tessier’s talent is an example of the strides we are making in our field.”

The two-day competition consisted of five hours and 35 minutes of preparing a fish plate and meat platter in front of thousands of cheering fans from all over the world. This year, each team’s fish presentation was required to feature brown trout, while the meat presentation focused on guinea hen. Teams are judged based on appearance, flavor, and technique of each dish.

“The Culinary Institute of America is extremely proud of graduate Chef Tessier’s unprecedented accomplishment at the Bocuse d’Or,” said CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “But I am not surprised that it was a CIA graduate who broke through to medal for the first time, as our alumni have a history of groundbreaking successes. We are proud as well of the contributions of fellow alumni Grant Achatz and Jérôme Bocuse, who have played important roles in Team USA’s rise to the top.”

Jérôme Bocuse ’92 is the vice president of ment’or and the son of legendary chef and competition creator Paul Bocuse. Grant Achatz ’94 served as a coach for Team USA and was Honorary President of the Jury for the 2015 competition.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images

Photo 1 (top photo): Chef Thomas Keller, wrapped in American flag, hugs CIA graduate Philip Tessier ’99, chef for Team USA, in celebration as the Americans are announced as silver medalists at the 2015 Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France. Before this year, the American team had never finished higher than sixth place. (Photo credit: Le Fotographe)
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Photo 2: Team USA, led by CIA graduate Philip Tessier ’99, celebrates on the medal stand at the 2015 Bocuse d’Or after finishing an unprecedented second place in the worldwide competition. (Photo credit: Le Fotographe)
View hi-res image >

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 47,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

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