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The Bocuse d’Or is most of all a human adventure and the work of an entire team. Candidates are the stars of this contest but without the help of their commis, they could not achieve such performances. This time, we want to ask them their testimony, their ways of living this exceptional experience, etc.
Laura Skvor, commis for the Australian team has accepted to play the game. She already won the prize of “Best commis” during Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific 2018. Now, she’s working for the Michelin starred chef Anne Sophie Pic.
What represents Bocuse d’Or to you?
Bocuse d'Or is the most rigorous and prestigious competition in the world. For me it represents dedication, innovation but also respect for tradition. It takes an incredible effort to compete and really challenges those who choose to do so.
To you, what is the main role of the commis?
The commis is the assistant to the chef. That can mean a lot of different things for different teams. I was extremely lucky to have the trust of my chef and have a lot of responsibilities in our journey. The commis generally prepares the garnishes to accompany the main element that the chef prepares. Behind the scenes I was in charge of documenting the recipes, organising our flowcharts and other things like that.
How was the Bocuse d’Or experience as commis?
Hard but worth every second. Long hours and a demand for utter dedication. My chef and I spent over 2 years practically living with each other, practicing every minute we could. You become really close with your teammate and form a relationship you may never experience again in your professional career. I learnt so much about the craft of cooking and the show. I learnt to be clean, quick and inventive which are qualities that have become priceless in my career.
What did it bring to you and your career participating to Bocuse d’Or as a commis?
Bocuse d'Or has opened up more doors than I ever imagined existed. It gave me the opportunity to work in France and to be accepted to work at one of the best three Michelin Star restaurants in the country. Bocuse d'Or is like a stamp of quality on your resume. I’ve had a restaurant that doesn’t usually offer stages, invite me to join their team to have a taste of how their kitchen is run.
I have met so many incredible chefs and been able to network with so many talented people in our industry.
Working in France has been a dream of mine for a really long time. When I first started training as a chef it was all I wanted to do. Paris was the initial dream but I’m glad I ended up at Anne Sophie Pic. Pic is an amazing place to work. It’s filled with a lot of passionate people and not just in the kitchen. The service staff are really inspiring with their in-depth knowledge of food and wine.
Would you see yourself participating at Bocuse d’Or as a chef?
I ask myself this question all the time. Bocuse d'Or is not very well known in Australia yet so if you compete it can be hard to get support, so as a team you really have to work twice as hard. It’s also a massive financial commitment for the candidate. That being said, I am a sucker for a challenge. The atmosphere of the Bocuse d'Or is infectious and an experience I’d love to share. So, yes I would definitely consider competing in a couple of years when I have honed my skills more.