Down in a bunker, US chef targets French cooking prize



Fabienne Faur | AFP

Published — Tuesday 22 January 2013

Last update 30 January 2013 3:41 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia: Richard Rosendale is a man on a mission — to capture one of international cooking’s most coveted prizes, the Bocuse d’Or. And he’s going about it with military precision.
In a windowless Cold War bunker under The Greenbrier, a splendid antebellum resort hotel in rural West Virginia, the 37-year-old chef is perfecting his dishes with a view to nothing short of total victory.
“For over 10 years I wanted to compete,” Rosendale told AFP as he prepared to fly to Lyon, France for the biannual competition on January 29-30 that many regard as the Olympics of fine cuisine.
“I just look at it as the pinnacle of cooking competitions.”
If he wins the gold prize against rivals from 23 countries, he will be the first American ever to do so. Even if he takes silver or bronze, it would be a US breakthrough in a competition traditionally dominated by Europeans.
Rosendale, executive chef of the Greenbrier’s nine acclaimed restaurants, is no novice, having opened two restaurants and participated in 45 international culinary competitions.
He qualified for the Bocuse d’Or, named after the celebrated Lyonnais chef and nouvelle-cuisine pioneer Paul Bocuse, after winning the national Bocuse d’Or USA finals a year ago.
Every day, Rosendale and his commis (assistant) Corey Siegel, 22, descend into the bunker — originally built to shelter US politicians in the event of nuclear war — and get cooking.
In an exact replica of the kitchen they will use in Lyon, right down to the utensils, with a US flag on the wall, they perfect the meat, fish and side dishes they will present to 14 discerning judges.
An adjoining “war room” features a countdown clock and photographs of winning dishes from past regional Bocuse d’Or contests.
During his allotted five-hour, 35-minute slot in Lyon, Rosendale is planning to make beef filet, lobster and turbot dishes, plus three sides using ingredients from a surprise shopping basket.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for all the competitors,” he said. “But I don’t just want to go to Lyon and say, ‘I did the Bocuse d’Or.’ I do want to win.”
So far, no American chef has ever risen past sixth place in the competition.
During a recent visit to the Greenbrier, Rosendale and Siegel, dressed in matching crisp white chef’s uniforms, worked in lockstep as they prepared a beef stock.
“Corey, how much of that wine did you use?” asked Rosendale, who compares the intensity of their work to playing an American football game.
“Three hundred and seventy-five grams,” or 13.2 ounces, Siegel replied. “We have enough for four servings.”
“OK,” his boss said. “We’ve got to really watch that, because that stuff is... I only have the two bottles.”
Rosendale, a native of Pennsylvania who draws inspiration from the classic American cooking he grew up with, said: “I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I want to do.”
He cites Yankee pot roast and butternut squash cooked in apple cider — “it goes great with lobster” — among his favorites.
“The ideas for the beef are things that I remember from my childhood, that I grew up eating, things that my mom used to cook,” he added. “It’s very much an American style.
“I love the flavor of eating a grilled steak on the grill, and I think of the Fourth of July whenever I have that,” Rosendale said.
The challenge: “How do you take a grilled steak off of the grill, and how can you elevate that to a very high level of cuisine?” he added.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Employees of the Education Office in Al-Daer governorate, Jazan, where seven people were gunned down on Thursday are in a state of shock and perplexed as to what prompted the attacker — a teacher — to take such an extreme step.The teacher, id...
JEDDAH: The campaign to support Syrian refugees with all their needs is being carried out effectively, as per the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman....
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs has ordered the allocation of separate sections for female members of municipal councils.This was announced by Jedaie Al-Qahtani of the ministry. “This is in implementation of Clause 107 of the...
DAMMAM: The 9th Saudi Student Conference which is being held on Feb. 13-14 is sponsored by Umm Al-Qura University and hosted by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was organized by the Scientific Society for Saudi Students in the...
RIYADH: Over the past 10 years, begging in the Kingdom has increased substantially, with the number of organized gangs of expatriate beggars increasing to 85 percent of the total number of beggars, according to Social Affairs Ministry Majed Al-Qassab...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health said it expects its blood donation drive will received 450,000 milliliters (ml) of blood when the Janadriyah festival ends on Feb. 19.Khalid Ibrahim Zobaie, who supervises the blood donation project, said the drive is i...
JEDDAH: The Shoura Council’s decision to reduce working hours in the private sector from 48 hours to 40 hours per week would result in additional operational costs in the sector due to 30 percent higher wages for expat workers, according to Mansour b...
MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman recently visited a number of ongoing developmental project sites in the Holy City, as part of his efforts to ensure that they meet the set standards and deadlines.During the visit, he said that all the s...
RIYADH: The National Guard Ministry is studying the possibility of having two countries as guests of honor each year instead of one at the Janadriyah festival for culture and heritage, the Kingdom’s most prestigious annual festival.This was revealed...
DAMMAM: The Pakistan International School in Alkhobar hosted their 49th annual prize distribution ceremony to honor outstanding students in the presence of Pakistani Ambassador Manzoor Ul Haq and his wife, Nighat Manzoor.Haq appreciated the efforts o...
DAMMAM: The Weaam Association for Family Care in the Eastern Province has succeeded in addressing more than 700 cases of family disputes during the last one year.Abdulrahman Al-Khudair, Weaam’s director of public delations, said: “The association off...
JEDDAH: The Nakheel mall case has continued to grab the limelight, with a number of lawyers now offering their services to the girl who was roughed up by some Haia members in Riyadh. Some people also expressed, through social media, their support to...
RIYADH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh inaugurated this week a campaign tosafeguard Saudi society against bad influences.“The campaign seeks to immunize society in the Kingdom from deviant ideas as well as utter lies and heresies that could...
RIYADH: A Filipino nurse who works at a clinic in Riyadh has been missing for a week, her colleagues has said.According to a co-worker at the clinic, the 43-year-old nurse from from Lamitan town in Basilan province, southern Philippines, wa...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj will put in place new measures for issuing Umrah visas for pilgrims from outside the country with the coordination of the Saudi embassies abroad, a local newspaper reported.The new measures will be implemented soon, given...

Stay Connected

Facebook