Show 211, February 18, 2017: Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation

We’ve been enthusiastically following Team USA’s progress (backed by the ment’or BKB Foundation) in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition for the last five years. Late last month Team USA achieved the impossible – Gold in Lyon.

Young Yun“We knew the world was watching ever since Chef Philip Tessier made the podium for the first time in 2015, and expectations were very high for Team USA this year. Nine years ago, our Founding Chefs Boulud, Keller and Bocuse, made a promise to Monsieur Paul Bocuse that we would win Gold and we are so proud of this team for realizing his dream. They carried quite a weight on their shoulders and carried it with exemplary grace, strength, and leadership.” – Young Yun

Team USA’s primary backer and inspiration, ment’or BKB Foundation (represented by Executive Director Young Yun), joins us to savor this tremendous achievement for the culinary arts in the United States and also discuss the other programs ment’or sponsors and organizes to encourage young culinary talent and the Team USA competitors of the future.

Congratulations Team USA 2017!

Go Team USA 2019 !


Show 197, November 12, 2016: Chef Vincenzo Loseto, The Nomad, Ment’or BKB Foundation’s 2016 Young Chef Competition Winner

Vincenso Loseto of Team USA at the BOcuse D'orThe Ment’or BKB Foundation (founded by Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse) supports Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and mentors up-and-coming culinary talent in the USA. Earlier this year Chef Vincenzo Loseto of The Nomad in New York won the prestigious honors as the 2016 Young Chef. He’s been on quite a ride since then. We’ll meet him.

Vincenzo’s winning presentation was Veal Tenderloin with Oyster Mushroom and Herb Mousseline. The judges included Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and Team USA 2015 alum, Chef Philip Tessier.

Since then Chef Vincenzo has staged at Noma in Copenhagen, one of the World’s most acclaimed restaurants. He was also just with Team USA in Lyon in advance of the 2017 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. Currently he’s assisting Team USA 2017 (Chef Mathew Peters and Commis Harrison Turone) in the intense training for the upcoming competition in the USA replica kitchen suite of the Bocuse d’Or in Yountville.

Chef Vincenzo will also preview the Bocuse d’Or 2017 Team USA VIP Experience. There is the extraordinary opportunity for discriminating food tourists to accompany Team USA to the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon with VIP status at every stop. Talk about the ultimate gift for a very special foodie…


Show 179, July 9, 2016: Chef Cesar Gutierrez, Café Boulud, New York, ment’or BKB’s Young Chef Competition

Cesar GutierrezMent’or BKB Foundation Chef Founders, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jerome Bocuse hosted the 2016 Young Chef Competition at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York on June 8th to identify up-and-coming culinary leaders and provide them with the opportunity to work alongside Team USA 2017.

Cesar Gutierrez, Executive Sous Chef, Café Boulud, NY (and a C-CAP graduate) finished in Second Place. His assistant was Esther Ha also of Café Boulud. We’ll meet Chef Guitierrez.

The Young Chef competitors prepared one dish that featured one Veal Rack and Veal Sweetbreads and/or Veal Osso provided by Marcho Farms.

Chef Guitierrez will be going to Lyon, France in February of next year to stage with Team USA (Chef Mathew Peters (Per Se, NYC) and Commis Harrison Turone) competing in the Bocuse d’Or international culinary competition.


Show 164, March 19, 2016: ment’or BKB Foundation’s Young Chef Competition

Philip TessierApplications are now available for the 3rd Annual ment’or BKB Foundation Young Chef Competition and the new Commis Competition. Mentor’s programs celebrate the young culinary talent that exists in the US and provides unique opportunities for them to be recognized on a national level.

The Young Chef Competitions launched in 2014 to recognize outstanding young chefs throughout the country. Selected candidates and their Commis will compete in the 2 hour and 35minute live cooking competition with judges scoring on taste, presentation and kitchen organization.

This year, ment’or will host one competition in New York City with six selected candidates. Ment’or cofounder and Chairman, Chef Daniel Boulud says, “Every year, we see the talent and pool of young chefs grow. It is gratifying to note that our Young Chef participants have not only honed their skills and craftsmanship, but stay connected to our culinary network and pass on their knowledge to the next generation of upcoming chefs.”

Young YunCandidates of both the Young Chef Competition and the Commis competition will be paired with mentors from the Foundation’s Culinary Council or previous Bocuse d’Or Team USA representatives to guide them throughout their training. Winners will have the choice of a cash prize or the coveted opportunity to work with Team USA as they train for the upcoming January 2017 Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France.

Applications are now available through Thursday, April 7, 2016. Applications and additional details about the ment’or Young Chef and Commis Competitions can be found on the ment’or BKB Website.

Ment’or BKB’s Executive Director, Young Yun, and Chef Philip Tessier, Silver Medalist for Team USA at the 2015 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and Coach for Team USA 2017 have all the details.


Show 151, December 19, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer Andy Harris on Las Vegas Dining

Deviled Eggs at db Brasserie in Las vegasChef Andrew always enjoys Chef Jose Andres’ first restaurant in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, Jaleo. As he says it never disappoints. His go-to dish is the chicken croquettes artfully served in a shoe.

db Brasserie (Daniel Boulud) at The Venetian just celebrated their first anniversary in May so Producer Andy wanted to revisit them. The food is always consistently good but what really impressed him was the level of attentive service and welcoming environment when the restaurant was not terribly busy. (It’s a slow Weekend in Las Vegas with Christmas coming up.) That’s the sign of a well-managed establishment. The executive chef, Vincent Pouessel was out in the dining room touching tables. His pastry chef was doing the same thing.


Show 149, December 5, 2015: Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, Las Vegas

Ultimo A Weekend ExcellenceThey always do it B-I-G in Las Vegas. What’s billed as the culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo, will take culinary extravagance to new levels, December 17th through the 20th.

The highlight of the festivities will be the competition to select Team USA representing the United States in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition in Lyon, France in early 2017. This is the Olympics of the culinary arts. For the first time ever Team USA (Chef Philip Tessier and Commis Skyler Stover) was awarded the Silver Medal at the Bocuse d’Or this year. Chef Tessier will be part of Ultimo Weekend.

For the third year in a row, Ultimo will celebrate the romance of Italy with lavish feasts and exceptional experiences from an A-team of award-winning chefs as it unfolds around The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas. Renowned culinary luminaries participating in the weekend will include Chefs Jérôme Bocuse, Daniel Boulud, Josiah Citrin, Shaun Hergatt, Gavin Kaysen, Thomas Keller, James Kent, Roland Passot, Philip Tessier, Ming Tsai, Richard Rosendale, and Dario Cecchini, the famed Chianti “Butcher of Panzano.”

“This will be, without a doubt, the most spectacular gathering of world-renowned chefs in Las Vegas,” said Sebastien Silvestri, vice president of food & beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo.  “For the culinary enthusiast, this will be a weekend to remember.”

This exceptional winter weekend will feature the return of The Venetian’s Grand Banquet, a landmark collaboration between several of the world’s best culinarians including Chefs Keller, Tessier, Hergatt and Tsai.

Sebastien Silvestri, Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo is our guest.



Show 114, March 14, 2015: Chef Gavin Kaysen, Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis

While we were waiting to connect with Chef Gavin in Minneapolis, Kedric explained the fascinating evolution of restaurants over the years at South Coast Plaza. There is something for every taste and price level but the accent is always on quality. No Food Court there. For instance the long-running McDonald’s was replaced last year by Din Tai Fung a favorite for Shanghai-style soup dumplings with a worshipful, foodie cult following.

Gavin kaysenIn the words of Chef Gavin Kaysen : “In the past year, I’ve left New York City where I had the pleasure of cooking alongside Daniel Boulud running his Café Boulud brand; opened Spoon and Stable in my hometown of Minneapolis; served as the head coach for Team USA as we won a record-breaking Second Place in the Bocuse d’Or; and led my restaurant to become a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation Awards. I’m looking forward to sharing the next steps of my journey with you.”

First we’ll chat with Gavin about his work with Team USA and Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation which is now known as men’tor BKB Foundation. Chef Gavin represented the United States at the 2007 Bocuse d’Or, a prestigious, international culinary competition hosted biennially in Lyon, France.

He was personally selected by Chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, both men’tor BKB Foundation Directors & Founders, to serve as the Head Coach of the Bocuse d’Or USA Team in both 2013 and 2015.

Chef Gavin Kaysen joins us.


Show 109, February 7, 2015: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry

Bocuse D'Or Team USA wins SilverWhen we last chatted with Team USA (Chefs Philip Tessier and Commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry) early last month they were on their way to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or World Culinary Competition, the Olympics of the culinary world. This was after a year of intensive preparation and dedicated training.

24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed and Team USA (guided by the ment’or BKB Foundation) was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for their artful and spectacular meat platter and fish plate. Team Norway was the first-place winner. This is a giant first for Team USA. Their previous top finish was sixth.

Congratulations to Team USA on a stunning achievement. Chef Tessier is our guest.

The non-profit ment’or BKB Foundation created by Jerome Bocuse, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller supports Team USA with funding and coaching support. It also aims to inspire excellence in young culinary professionals and to preserve the traditions and quality of classic cuisine in America. Donations are graciously accepted.


Show 109, February 7, 2015: Chef Philip Tessier, Team USA & The French Laundry Continues…

24 teams of the most gifted culinary minds from across the world competed in the Bocuse d’Or Culinary Competition and Team USA (guided by the Barrel-Oak Roasted Guinea Hen from Team USA at the Bocuse D'orTeam USA presented “the acclaimed panel of judges with a stunning meat platter of Barrel-Oak Roasted Guinea Hen with sausage of guinea leg confit, white corn mousse, and black winter truffle, “Garden of Sweet Peas” with French Laundry garden blossoms and herbs, sugar snap peas, and black trumpet mushroom panade, “Beehive” with boudin of smoked guinea liver, grapevine honey, pistachio “Pain des Genes, ” wild fennel buds, and topaz wine glaze, Black Truffle Consomme with ragout of gizzard and heart “confit,” steamed custard, and flowering cress, White Corn “Nest” with buttered corn pudding, crisped corn silk, and “petit” popcorn, and Preserved Chanterelles with salad of frisee and garden blossoms, pickled huckleberry, and “foie gras” jus.”

“The gorgeous fish plate showcased Brioche-Crusted Brown Trout Pave with American caviar, tartelette of crisped skin, garden dill, celery branch “Farci,” celery root puree, compressed apples, brown butter emulsion, sand smoked mushroom consomme. Both the meat platter and fish plate were designed by the lauded  Martin Kastner of Chicago.”

The non-profit ment’or BKB Foundation created by Jerome Bocuse, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller supports Team USA with funding and coaching support. It also aims to inspire excellence in young culinary professionals and to preserve the traditions and quality of classic cuisine in America. Donations are graciously accepted.

Chef Phil Tessier continues as our guest.


Show 105, January 10, 2015: Chefs Philip Tessier and Skylar Stover, Bocuse d’Or USA Team

Philip Tessier and Skylar StoverChef Philip Tessier and his young Commis, Skylar Stover, of Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in Yountville, CA are going for the gold in 2015. The pair is the newest Bocuse d’Or USA Team, representing the nation at the World Cooking Contest in Lyon, France on January 27th and 28th. Often described as the “Culinary Olympics,” the Bocuse d’Or (staged every other year) is among the most demanding international cooking competitions, pitting chefs from twenty-four countries against one another in an intense five and a half hour cooking challenge in front of thousands of cheering fans.

Leading the rigorous training program – which requires the level of dedication seen in professional athletes – is Team USA Head Coach (and former Bocuse d’Or competitor) Chef Gavin Kaysen (ex-Café Boulud, New York.) Alongside Kaysen will be Coaches Chef Grant Achatz (Alienea and Next, Chicago, IL), Chef Gabriel Kreuther (formerly of The Modern, New York, NY), and Chef Richard Rosendale (formerly of The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, WV and the 2013 Bocuse d’Or competitor for the USA), as well as The Foundation’s (ment’or BKB Foundation) Board of Directors, Chefs Jerome Bocuse, Daniel Boulud, and Thomas Keller.

A contribution of any size to support Team USA in Lyon is greatly appreciated by their support group, ment’or BKB Foundation.

Team USA 2015 joins us on the road to Lyon.