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The Tools Behind Team USA's Gold Win


The winning platter tends to get all the glory and attention, but we find the cooking tools behind the scenes equally exciting.

Typically, kitchen tools are designed with versatility in mind. Tools are intended to do as many general tasks as well as possible. Due to the varying nature of ingredients and processes, inherently, the results won’t be absolutely perfect.

When we look at a competition like Bocuse d’Or or a large operation involving hundreds or thousands of repeated movements and forms daily, speed and precision are of utmost importance. In reviewing the cooking processes, we reevaluate where the boundary between versatility and specialization lies for the specific application at hand. For Bocuse d’Or 2017, we focused on developing specialized tools that would allow the team to reduce an originally 9 hour process into 5 hour one and make the unforgiving 5-½ hour limit possible. We created a number of custom cooking tools, gadgets, and molds; each specific to the various elements of both competition dishes. The objective of this tooling was not only to create an otherwise impossible potato glass dome or a pretzel tuile spiral, but also to achieve the highest possible efficiency in terms of speed and ingredient use, reducing waste on both fronts, without sacrificing precision or quality.

Want more behind the scenes story? Click here for Plate Magazine’s Crucial Detail article.

images by Lara Kastner Photography