Icelandic chef Sigurður Kristinn Laufdal Haraldsson and his team came in fourth place in the preliminaries of the esteemed Bocuse d’Or, a world cooking contest held in the Horeca EXPO in Brussels, Belgium last Tuesday and Wednesday. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The good results guarantee the team the right to participate in the finals held next year in France, where 24 countries compete for the culinary world championship.
Iceland’s geographical neighbors, the Nordic countries, took the top four places; in the last few years the Nordic countries have been at the top of their culinary game worldwide.
Twenty European countries competed in the preliminaries for the top 12 places in the finals in France.
Sigurður is an experienced chef and has worked in some of Iceland’s finest establishments. He is currently the head chef at Vox, a Reykjavík restaurant, and last year was selected the Chef of the Year.
Members of his team included interns Hafsteinn Ólafsson from Vox and Birkir Örn Sveinsson from Fish Market.
Sigurður, Hafsteinn and Birkir trained hard for the competition and received guidance from other local chefs. Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon was the team’s designated trainer, Vísir.is reports.
They were not the only Icelanders to make the finals. Ari Þór Gunnarsson assisted the Estonian representative Heidi Pinnak, who was trained by another Icelander, Ragnar Ómarsson.
Icelandic culinary culture has blossomed in recent years. The annual Food and Fun festival in Reykjavík was held from February 29 to March 4The festival, first held in 2008, has enriched the local culinary scene with influences from visiting chefs.