Chef Sebastian Gibrand stood strong with Team Sweden on the podium at Bocuse d'Or Europe 2020in Tallinn last month. He proudly enjoyed a moment sporting a bronze medal in the spotlight, but he was soon back in the kitchen for more hard work, in preparation for the Grand Final in Lyon in January 2021.
In France, once again, Gibrand will have just 5 hours and 35 minutes to create a plate and platter combination, as he goes head-to-head with an international line-up of chefs from 24 countries, all dreaming of gold. Supporting him will be coach Jonas Dahlbom and commis/assistant Jakob Persson, with whom he'll be working closely over the coming months. As Team Sweden's Instagram recently put it: "Teamwork makes the dream work".
A born competitor, Gibrand knows all about the intensity of the world's biggest culinary competition, first competing for Team Sweden at Bocuse d’Or back in 2017. He went on to win silver at the world final in January 2019, so will definitely be hungry for a gold medal to complete his collection. He has also won Kockarnas Kamp on Swedish TV4, and was head chef for the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm.
We asked Gibrand what it takes to compete in the culinary olympics that is the Bocuse d'Or.
1. What was it like to win bronze at the European Bocuse d’Or championships in Tallinn 2020?
It's a good feeling to be qualified for the world final in June, the European competition was the first step to
achieving that. Our main goal has been on getting to the world final, right from the beginning.
2. This is the second time you’ve competed in Bocuse d’Or. What made you return?
To compete against the best chefs in the world and to see how far I can push myself and my cooking.
3. Why is having a competitive spirit important for a chef?
I think it's important because this is how we push boundaries further, to develop both the food and the
4. What is it like to juggle the demands of training for competitions with day-to-day life as a chef?
It's demanding in so many ways, juggling private life and business and to make it all work together. But we do it because we love it.
5. How are you preparing and what do you need to improve for the 2021 final?
We have already made up a plan for the world final, we have analysed the outcome of the previous competitions and we are confident that we will do our best competition ever in June 2021.
6. What would winning gold mean to you in the Grand Final in 2021?
It would be a dream come true.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.