Gilbert, AZ (PressExposure) February 25, 2009 -- Maralyn Hill (Arizona) and Brenda Hill (Florida), President and Member, respectively, of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), covered the best of the best in Lyon, France.
The Sirha was an exceptional stage where the world's best talents and tastes were revealed, performing and competing live before a lively audience. Drawing on their creativity and national gastronomic heritage, candidates pieced together the trends for tomorrow. Continental selection events for the Bocuse d'Or and World Pastry Cup were allowed to extend the number of participating countries. More than ever, following national and continental selections, finals in Lyon represented a true crowning and consecration for the winners. The levels achieved by contests were never so challenging, making it very difficult to nominate the winning teams.
Bocuse d'Or is considered the most sought after food contest worldwide, with 51 countries competing. Geir Skeie, representing Norway, won the 2009 Bocuse d'Or" (gold), Jonas Lungren, the Swedish candidate, won the Silver Bocuse and Frenchman Philippe Mille won the Bronze Bocuse. The U.S. did place 6th.
Sirha covered the best gastronomic talent worldwide. In addition to Bocuse d'Or, it was also the site for the World Pastry Cup. For its 20th anniversary, 22 countries participated, with France, Italy and Belgium taking the top three slots. This competition covered ice sculptures, pastries, chocolate and spun sugar creations.
The International Caseus Award, in its 3rd year, featured 12 nations presenting their cheeses. France, Japan and the UK, respectively, took the top three awards.
For its 3rd year of competition, the World of Bread--Taste & Nutrition contest included 11 teams worldwide. France won the trophy.
As food and travel writers, Maralyn and Brenda returned with several years' worth of stories and the experience of a lifetime. Maralyn says, "Seeing this 'Olympics of Food' is a food lover's dream and a chef's utopia."