Shannon Kellam: The Australian 2015 Bocuse d’Or

From the archives: This is from our original site, MyCityLife, posted back on 26 January 2015

The artisan’s Magna Carta is the pinnacle equivalent to the completion of Cheops’ pyramid. It’s a peak in an artists career’ manifesting in something so utterly tangible and perfect. Da Vinci had it with the Mona Lisa, Beethoven with the Symphony No. 5, Jane Austen with Emma and Coco Chanel with her signature suit. The point of each blueprint is its classic-ness in lasting the test of time, immortalised in the pages of history. And while the arts, music, literature and fashion certainly have their masterpieces, chefs too are emerging for their culinary artistry. And so comes the grand prix for chefs, The Bocuse d’Or. With 24 countries participating, this biennial chef championship was launched by France’s greatest chef Paul Bocuse in 1983, as one of the world’s most prestigious cooking competitions. A chef’s selection to represent their country at the Bocuse d’Or is equivalent to being in the Olympic team. Paul Bocuse himself states that “The chef and the dancer share a same ideal: movement and creativity, a quest for the perfect movement and technical excellence in their passion for their art. This is what embodies the spirit of the Bocuse d’Or.”

As we discussed in his MyCityLife interview back in July with Shannon Kellam: Being The Australian Bocuse d’Or, we recall what it’s going to be like on the day of the Bocuse d’Or. “You have to prepare all your measuring, all your scaling, set all your equipment out, prepare the kitchen and get it all ready for the day of the event. Speakers are laid out around the walls of the kitchen and music is blaring – you have to get use to the noise. You have to climatise to that noise or you wouldn’t be able to cook on the day because the crowd is so loud and vocal. It’s like being in the centre of a soccer stadium.” This is Masterchef on amphetamines, Iron Chef on an analeptic. It’s the epitome of a chef’s career to represent their country in the Grand Prix of the culinary arts.

As the hours count down to a transcendental culmination of what has been two preparation, we reflect with Shannon on what the Bocuse d’Or means to Brisbane especially. “In Australia, there is so much focus on Sydney and Melbourne. People need to understand that Brisbane is there too. If Australia can do well in this, everyone will be talking about the culinary arts in Australia. And coming from Brisbane will be very inspirational because Brisbane is not so well known for its food or producing great chefs. It’s something I want to turn around, because we have great produce and we have great local chefs finding it hard to get recognition.”

MyCityLife and the whole of Brisbane wish Shannon Kellam all the best.


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