Celebrating Culinary Excellence: Mauritius' Victory in Bocuse d'Or Africa
TEAM MAURITIUS WINS BOCUSE D'OR AFRICA
More than a gastronomic competition...
Mauritian cuisine has achieved a significant milestone as a team from the island participated in the regional finals of the esteemed Bocuse d'Or, held in Morocco on September 9 and 10. Kritesh Halkory, along with his assistant Brady Ng Fuk Chong, shined at this prestigious event, often likened to a World Championship. Emmanuelle Coquet, the driving force behind the competition and the Promotion Director of the Bocuse d'Or Mauritius Academy, described this debut as a fantastic gateway to the world.
This remarkable participation comes two years after the Mauritian finals took place in December 2020, following a postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic in March of the same year. Kritesh emerged victorious against eight other talented chefs, including Amalen Vyapooree (3rd), Emmanuel Fortuno (2nd), and Bisham Jumangalsing, Harrish Mungur, Dany Lochoo, Vikram Bhaugeerutty Kiran Ramkalawon, and Dominique Arsenius. The regional (Africa) final, initially delayed to 2021, finally took place in September.
The Bocuse d'Or Mauritius Academy was established in February 2020, marking the beginning of Mauritius' participation in this significant event for chefs. Emmanuelle Coquet, the Director of Promotions, emphasizes that joining the Bocuse d'Or family opens doors to countless opportunities for international recognition and success in the culinary profession.
This involvement holds immense importance for the industry, as it helps promote the competition, often referred to as the Olympics of Gastronomy. The Bocuse d'Or was introduced in Mauritius to inspire new generations and showcase the nation's cultural diversity and rich culinary heritage. The competition adheres to the ten values established by Paul Bocuse, including respect for ingredients and knowledge sharing.
Chef Nizam Peeroo, president of the organizing committee, expressed that the Mauritian final represented the fruition of a decade-long dream. He praised the dedication and hard work of the eight contestants and their commis, who honored the principles set by Paul Bocuse.
Kritesh Halkory, sous-chef at Constance Prince Maurice and a former winner of the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival, had the opportunity to train extensively in Norway with two previous Bocuse d'Or medalists, thanks to the Constance group. His mentor, Michael Scioli, executive chef at Prince Maurice, acknowledges the challenges of balancing competition preparation with everyday work in the resort. Some countries' selections are supported by the government, allowing participants to focus solely on their Bocuse d'Or training.
Michael Scioli, who also oversees Kritesh's training, pushes him to excel in the demanding competition. The event consists of two phases, where the first requires the use of compulsory ingredients, and the second focuses on the presentation of dishes. Kritesh's success and the Bocuse d'Or Mauritius Academy have paved the way for other Mauritian chefs to make their mark on the international scene beyond internships.