With less than six months left of a two-year preparation period, James Olberg is taking a break from his position as executive chef at Vancouver’s Coast restaurant to focus on preparing for Bocuse d’Or 2017, which will take place in Lyon, France next January. In order to make it to the global competition, he has already competed and triumphed at a Canadian selection competition, as well as a regional qualifying round. A former member of Culinary Team Canada, Olberg says he was drawn to culinary competitions early on in his career as a way to challenge himself. As a chef with “old-school” training, Olberg dedicated himself to studying modern cuisine in preparation for January’s competition, a process he describes as being similar to studying fashion. “Bocuse d’Or is so unique and so innovative in a lot of ways, so I have to keep abreast of things,” he explains. As the competition nears, Olberg and his three-man support team — which includes Canada’s next Bocuse d’Or candidate Trevor Ritchie — are focused on ironing out the little details while they await the announcement of this year’s required proteins.
Volume 45, Number 5