Celebrating Culinary Excellence: 2024 Bocuse d'Or China Competition in Guangzhou

By That's GBA, June 3, 2024

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On June 3, the 2024 Bocuse d'Or China Selection (referred to as the 'Bocuse China Competition'), guided by the Lingnan Group and co-organized by the Bocuse d'Or China Academy and Lingnan Holdings, successfully concluded at the Guangzhou Tourism Business School (GTBS). 

The event, also supported by LN Garden Hotel, Guangzhou, Lingnan Convention and Exhibition, and GZL Exhibition, saw young chefs showcasing their creativity and craftsmanship as they competed for the sole spot to represent China in the Asia-Pacific round. 

Esteemed judges provided professional evaluations and inspired new talents to pursue excellence in culinary skills, while industry partners came together to empower the competition, injecting new vitality into the hotel and restaurant sector.

The opening ceremony and competition were attended by distinguished guests including Sylvain Fourriere, Consul General of France in Guangzhou; Stefan Stiller, Chairman of the Bocuse d'Or China Academy; Fabien Pacory, Vice Chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China; and representatives from the Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office, Education Bureau, Commerce Bureau, Culture, Radio, Film and Television Bureau, and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. Lingnan Group's General Manager Jiang Guoyuan, Deputy General Manager Li Feng, President of Lingnan Holdings Chen Baiyu, GTBS Party Secretary Wang Yong, Principal Zhang Libo, along with representatives from various industry associations, hotel and restaurant enterprises, nearly 50 media outlets, and culinary influencers, were also present. 

This year's Bocuse China Competition, set against the backdrop of the 60th anniversary of China-France diplomatic relations and the China-France Year of Cultural and Tourism, not only selected a representative for the Asia-Pacific competition but also aimed to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding between China and the West.

Macao's Star Chef to Represent China in the Asia-Pacific Round

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Since its inception, the Bocuse China Competition attracted numerous talented young chefs from across the country. 

The eight finalists demonstrated their exquisite skills and unique creativity, racing against time to present dishes that captivated the judges. 

After a rigorous evaluation by the panel, and witnessed by hundreds of guests and spectators, Stefan Stiller announced that Wang Yafei from Sheraton Grand Macao and The St. Regis Macao emerged victorious. 

His exceptional culinary skills and innovative approach earned unanimous praise from the judges. 

Wang will carry the honor of representing China in the Asia-Pacific competition, vying for a spot in the 2025 global finals in Lyon, France.
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Wang Yafei's standout dish featured a sauce made from water spinach, an ingredient rarely used in Western cuisine, complemented with Sichuan pepper oil, thyme, and rosemary. 

"I owe my success to the support and assistance from my coach and team, and the meticulous event organization by the hosts," Wang expressed his gratitude after winning. 

Reflecting on his preparation journey, Wang shared, "The intense and challenging month from the shortlist announcement to the finals not only honed my skills but also strengthened my resolve. I will continue to train hard to achieve great results in the Asia-Pacific competition and bring glory to our country."

Industry Leaders Unite for a Culinary Exchange Extravaganza

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As China's southern gateway, Guangzhou has always been a vital hub for cultural exchange. 

The Bocuse d'Or competition brings new ingredients, equipment, techniques, trends, and talent to the Chinese market, providing a platform for Chinese enterprises to showcase their capabilities, learn from international best practices, and expand their cooperation networks. 

Local businesses significantly contributed to the success of this competition. 

For instance, WeiHuan Group provided high-quality beef tenderloin, showcasing their expertise in imported food supply and helping competitors perform at their best. 

PITO Guangdong designed custom ceramic chef's hat mugs, leaving participants with unforgettable memories and highlighting the profound Chinese ceramic culture. 

Guangdong Titanard tailored chef uniforms, reflecting professionalism and dedication, while JunDe Wines supplied premium wines for the banquet, enhancing the dining experience. 

Lingnan Group's ZhiMeiZhai and Lingnan SuiGrain also made impressive appearances, inspiring chefs to blend Chinese ingredients and seasonings with Western culinary techniques.
"WeiHuan Group is thrilled to bridge culinary culture exchanges, leveraging top-quality ingredients and superb cooking techniques to create culinary art and promote the high-quality development of the food supply chain," said Zheng Weisheng, Chairman of WeiHuan Group.

Engaging Atmosphere and Multidimensional Culinary Art Promotion

The Bocuse China Competition attracted top hotel and restaurant industry figures from across the country. 

Representatives from various associations, such as the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China, Guangdong Catering Service Industry Association, Guangzhou Dietetic Association, and Guangzhou Western Cuisine Industry Association, attended, highlighting the industry's recognition of the competition's importance and enhancing its influence in China. 

Nearly a hundred star hotels, Western restaurants, industry suppliers, and culinary education representatives from the Greater Bay Area were also present, immersing themselves in the event's vibrant atmosphere and the latest trends in culinary arts.

The organizers live-streamed the event, allowing viewers to enjoy the competition's highlights in real-time. Interactive sessions invited live audience members, judges, contestants, and partners to share their experiences.

 A social media photo challenge encouraged attendees to capture and share memorable moments, creating a buzz around the event. 

"Culinary arts are not just skills but a culture, art, and lifestyle," said Feng Qi, Secretary-General of the Guangzhou Western Cuisine Industry Association. 

"The organizers' innovative use of social media expanded the competition's reach, making it accessible to the general public and integrating culinary arts into everyday life."

GTBS Ensures Smooth Operation, Showcasing Professionalism

28602281.jpegTo ensure the competition's success, GTBS meticulously planned and upgraded the venue, aiming to provide a high-standard competitive environment for participants. 

A dedicated team of nearly 100 student volunteers covered various roles such as kitchen assistants, etiquette, tea art, and wine service, demonstrating their professionalism and adding youthful vigor to the event. 

"Participating in this culinary event has been exhilarating," said Peng, a student from the GTBS Hotel Management Department. 

"The professionalism and spirit of the competitors have deeply influenced me, enhancing my understanding and commitment to the hotel and restaurant industry."

GTBS, the first government-run school in Guangdong to establish a culinary program, has long been recognized as a 'Huangpu Military Academy for Cantonese Chefs,' producing top culinary and management talents. 

Since collaborating with the Bocuse d'Or China Academy in 2018 and becoming the official selection base in 2022, GTBS has been a staunch supporter of the competition. 

"Hosting the Bocuse d'Or, an international top-tier culinary competition, highlights our school's achievements in international education and contributes to nurturing high-quality culinary talents with a global perspective," said Wang Yong, GTBS Party Secretary. 

"We look forward to fostering new ideas and practices through the competition platform, enhancing China's vocational education's international exchange and cooperation."

Enhancing Guangzhou's Culinary Reputation and Promoting Cultural Integration

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Originating in France, the Bocuse d'Or is revered as the 'Olympics of the culinary world.' 

Guangzhou, renowned for its Lingnan culture and Cantonese cuisine, is one of the birthplaces of Chinese culinary culture. 

This year's Bocuse China Competition not only provided a stage for top Western cuisine but also created a unique 'Gastronomy+' experience for guests, showcasing Guangzhou's culinary heritage. 

The pre-competition welcome dinner at the Garden Hotel Guangzhou featured classic Cantonese dishes, while the post-competition celebration at Michelin-starred Stiller invited guests to enjoy creative fusion cuisine.

"This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-France diplomatic relations and the China-France Year of Cultural and Tourism," said Jiang Guoyuan, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and General Manager of Lingnan Group. 

"The 2024 Bocuse China Competition will further promote cultural exchanges and mutual learning between China and France, contributing to building a stable and innovative China-France relationship. As a leading national commercial tourism enterprise, Lingnan Group aims to promote Chinese culinary culture's inheritance, innovation, and exchange through events like the Bocuse competition, allowing the world to better understand and appreciate Chinese cuisine and traditional culture. We also hope to showcase Guangzhou's charm as a historic cultural city and world food capital."

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