Bocuse d'Or (the Golden Bocuse), January 23 - 24

Now 20 years old, the biennial Bocuse d'Or World Cuisine Contest in Lyons is bringing together the world's top chefs to present their gourmet creations. Called the Super Bowl of cooking contests, the Bocuse d'Or is the most prestigious award for chefs of French cuisine.

It was named after the 80-year-old Paul Bocuse, Emperor of French Cuisine and proponent of nouvelle cuisine. A three-star Michelin chef, he's been awarded the French Legion of Honor.

24 candidates from 24 countries

Among the competitors this year is Californian Gavin Kaysen, head chef at El Bizcocho in San Diego. Though Daniel Boulud (NYC) and Charlie Trotter (Chicago) have high hopes for him, his being a non-European diminishes his chances. Maybe he can get a Silver Bocuse or Bronze Bocuse, w/c an American has never won.

Of the ten chefs who have won the Bocuse since 1987:
five French, three Norwegians, one Luxembourger, one Swede

What the contestants have to prepare:
a fish dish, a meat dish, six garnitures

This year:
the fish - Norwegian white halibut, accompanied by Norwegian Red King Crab
the meat - Bresse chicken PDO

From SIRHA (Le salon international de la restauration, de l'hôtellerie et de l'alimentation):

In Norway, the white halibut is known as the God Fish, because of its association with Balder, the handsome 'White Norwegian God.'

Bresse chicken is the only poultry in the world to carry the 'PDO - Protected Designation of Origin' seal. It's fed 80% corn, 10% wheat (grown only within the Bresse PDO area) and 10% dairy. It's the only chicken that's given milk throughout its growth.