This year's Bocuse d'Or culinary competition in Lyon, France, culminated in a win for the home team: Thibaut Ruggeri of Maison Lenôtre won the golden Bocuse d'Or statue (in the likeness of the competition's creator, legendary chef Paul Bocuse) and 20,000 euros.
Denmark's Jeppe Foldager of Søllerød Kro Holte took home the silver award, and bronze went to Japan's Noriyuki Hamada of Hotel Bleston Court. The U.S. had its hopes pinned on Richard Rosendale, executive chef and food and beverage director of West Virginia's Greenbrier resort, who placed seventh.
During the two-day contest, teams from 24 countries competed before of an audience of screaming fans. Each chef had five hours and 35 minutes to prepare two elaborate platters -- one with seafood and one with beef.
Chefs from France and more recently Norway and Denmark, who rigorously train for years, have traditionally dominated the contest, which takes place every two years and is widely regarded as the culinary Olympics. The U.S., with the support of chefs such as Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud who founded a training program, has made a big push to win the Bocuse d'Or in the last few years. But the U.S. has yet to place in the top three. Timothy Hollingsworth placed sixth in 2009.