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New Zealand team launches for Bocuse d’Or 2025

Bocuse D'or Launch

Bocuse d'Or, held every second year in Lyon, France and honouring legendary French Chef Paul Bocuse (1926-2018). 

Bocuse d'Or is an opportunity to celebrate culinary techniques, creativity and camaraderie as the teams compete to show off their skills with impressive culinary compositions prepared live before a passionate audience of colleagues and friends.

Chef Will Mordido and Bocuse d'Or Team NZ

The 2025 NZ Team is led by Chef Will Mordido with commis chef and NZSFW graduate Sam Lindstrom who is backed-up by another NZSFW graduate Sam Gradowski-Smith. Chef Ken O'Connell is coach assisted by Brett McGregor and Renny Aprea. 

70 Countries
National selections all over the world. Participants compete against each other in various culinary challenges, and the winners or top performers are chosen to represent their country at the continental competitions.

4 Continental Competitions
Continental competition selections. 
These serve as a qualifying round where winners from the national selections, compete against each country within their region to secure their place in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or World Finals.

24 Finalist will travel to Lyon, January 2025
Countries qualify to compete in Lyon, France.
Spanning over two days with 12 competing countries per day, chefs showcase their culinary skills and creativity, within a grueling 5 hours & 35 minutes, striving to impress the judges.

Bocuse d'Or Team New Zealand

Honorary Bocuse President Heidi Bjerkan

Honorary President Heidi Bjerkan

Heidi Bjerkan, a Michelin-starred chef, makes the connection between producers, fishmongers and fishermen in the middle of the fjords at her table which is a culinary landmark in Trøndelag. Motivated by the sharing of knowledge, she aims to highlight the tastes and products of a region with a fragile ecosystem, shaped by its harsh and cold winter nights as well as its unique northern lights.

'Cooking is all about curiosity, and the desire to learn. When I was a young chef, I wasn't even close to seeing what I am discovering nowadays. I think it's a pleasure to experience more, to search for more and to keep on learning. It is not always linked to cooking directly, but to the interest in your cultural legacy. Understanding you can have an impact as a chef is always interesting. We interact and exchange with a lot of customers, people with different paths of life. Through cuision you can be a part of an unlimited community, we all have the same need to eat, which will inevitably bring us together.'

Read more here

Bocuse d'Or Team with Chefs Ken O'Connor, Renny Aprea and Will Mordido


Looking back at 2023 Competition

"We can't afford to go, but can't afford not to go because of the experience and the exposure...we'll be showcasing our culinary arts, our produce, our chefs, our country, our tourism. It has big flow-on effects" says John Kellerher of AUT University and former President of Bocure d'Or NZ.

He says competition is tough. "It took the USA 30 years to win. Australia have been doing it since 1987 and the best they've got in eighth..of course we want to do our best"

Read this story - Andrew Ballard, Quillan Gutberlet first New Zealand chef team at Bocuse D'Or World Champion Finals.

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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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The School

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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