Belgium once again competing in 'Olympic Games of gastronomy'

Belgium once again competing in 'Olympic Games of gastronomy'
Sam Van Houcke during the European round of the competition. Credit: Belga

Belgium will once again be taking part in the final of the Bocuse d'Or, dubbed the "Olympic Games of gastronomy," which will take place on Sunday and Monday in the French city of Lyon.

Chefs from a total of 24 countries will be going head-to-head to win the esteemed competition which takes place every two years. Belgium's team will be led by chef Sam Van Houcke, who is the manager of the restaurant Maste in Ghent and will start the competition on Sunday at 8:26 sharp.

The theme of this year's Bocuse d'Or is "Feed the kids," which aims to highlight the importance of nutrition for children's health. For the challenge, chefs must present a menu that evolves around pumpkins and also use an egg in the main dish.

On the menu there will be mussels and croutons, monkfish and scallops with a garnish of vegetable products, as well as a stew with vegetables from each participating country.

In March last year, the Belgian team finished in 10th place in the European edition of the Bocuse d'Or, just enough to qualify for the world final. Denmark took first place, followed by Hungary and Norway.

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Belgium has already won six medals since the competition was founded in 1987, but the last one dates back to 1999 when the country won the Bocuse de Bronze. In the previous edition, in 2021, the Belgian team had to withdraw due to the Covid-19 crisis.

One team will also be given an award for the most social and environmental responsibility, recognising a team's social commitment to food-related actions, such as food aid, training or the fight against waste.

The organisation says it is more than a gastronomic competition, stating is a "laboratory of excellence, an incubator of talent where commitment, passion, technique and creativity reveal the greatest chefs of tomorrow."

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