Q & A: Angus McIntosh, USA Bocuse d’Or Competitor

The countdown for the USA Bocuse d’Or competition is coming to an end. On December 17, four chefs and their commis will face off in Las Vegas for the opportunity to partake in a grueling year-long practice schedule to prepare for the 2017 Bocuse d’Or held every two years in Lyon, France.

Meet contender Angus McIntosh, CEC, chef de cuisine of Ristorante del Lago, a modern Italian restaurant, at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado. McInTosh is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park New York, and he spent three years honing his craft as he graduated the elite Greenbrier Hotel apprenticeship program in White Sulphur Springs West Virginia.   Working at the Greenbrier under Certified Master Chef Richard Rosendale trained his eye for detail and need for fresh ingredients. McIntosh followed Rosendale to Lyon as he represented the United States in 2013 at the Bocuse d Or, the world’s most prestigious cooking competition.

What does it feel like to be chosen to compete for the USA team?
AM:  I was honestly in shock. It’s an honor to be selected and have the opportunity to learn and grow as a chef with the meteor BKB foundation. And I get the opportunity to feed the best chefs in America! The influence and historical significance of this competition is undeniable, and I look forward to being part of history in the making. I’m familiar with the unique intensity level of Bocuse d Or–it hosts the best competitors and most prestigious judge–so, again, I am simply honored to have been chosen to take part.

How will you prepare for the U.S. competition in December?
AM:  The food is key. Because the judges have seen and tasted it all, we have to elevate every aspect of the food to a new level. My commis, Tyler, and I are working tirelessly to prepare and anticipate every detail, from menu planning to execution. It’s a very large undertaking both mentally and physically. I also have amazing support from family and friends, which is priceless.

What are some of your past experiences that you feel will prepare you this competition?
AM:  Because it’s such a unique event, I really don’t think anything can truly prepare you for the Bocuse. But great cooking comes out of intense passion, focus and determination, all of which I learned during my time at the Greenbrier. Plus, having played a supporting role during the 2013 event, I believe this familiarity will be helpful in my performance.

Why do you think culinary competitions are important?
AM:  Culinary competitions are particularly important to young chefs like me. They have taught me the importance of mise en place, cleanliness and organization, which are keys to success in any kitchen. They also provide opportunities to express food in new ways and push the envelope. Of course, competitions also allow us chefs to see how our different peers approach the same ingredients.

Who were your mentors coming up in the industry and now?
  I’ve been incredibly lucky to work alongside some amazing chefs – and be coached by others. Currently at The Broadmoor Hotel, my executive chef, Bertrand Bouquin, has been an outstanding supporter of mine. Previously, I was able to help my chef and mentor, Richard Rosendale, prepare for the Bocuse d’Or, which was, of course, invaluable.