Bocuse d'Or Lyon 2013
Bocuse d´Or Estonia

14th Place for Estonia at the Bocuse d'Or 31.01.2013

Heidy Pinnak, the chef or Restaurant Egoist, achieved 14th place at the Bocuse d’Or, the competition often referred to as the culinary Olympics. With this achievement Estonia passed such culinary powers as Italy and the Netherlands and improved its final standing by one place compared to last time. From regional qualifying rounds altogether 24 countries made it to the final.

At the event that took place in the hometown of the legendary chef Paul BocuseFrance placed 1st; 2nd and 3rd places went to Denmark and Japan respectively. The competition entry by Heidy Pinnak, the only female contender in the finals in Lyon, was titled Babette’s feast inspired by the famous Danish gourmet movie with the same name. During 5 and a half hours Pinnak, who practiced for the contest for almost 18 months, presented a meat and a fish platter with Irish beef fillet, halibut and lobster. As the choice of sauces and side-dishes was left up to the contestants, the Estonian entry consisted of many local ingredients – potatoes, Vana Tallinn liquor, quail eggs, rye bread, juniper berries and pine shoots. 

“Being among the best of the best, my greatest wish was to prove that even small countries can have great gastronomy. I believe we were noticed and more and more people will keep an eye on the developments of our cuisine”, Pinnak, the chef of Egoist restaurant commented on her final result. 

The promoter of Bocuse d’Or Estonia and Lyon jury member Dimitri Demjanov added: “I have strong hopes that Heidy’s good result inspires young Estonian chefs to continue their aspirations to be the best and gives them enough confidence to develop the original hand-writing of Estonian cuisine.”

In addition to the 9-member team from Estonia, around 50 local fans came to offer their support at the final. The First Lady of Estonia, Evelin Ilves was present at the event as well as the Estonian Ambassador to France, H. E. Sven Jürgenson, the Minister of Agriculture Helir- Valdor Seeder and Tarmo Mutso, the marketing director of Enterprise Estonia.

Estonia also extended the invitation to host the 2018 Bocuse d’Or European semi-finals in Estonia. 

The head of the Estonian Parliament’s tourism and local food support group, Imre Sooäär recognized Pinnak’s result and added: “Estonian chefs and their international accomplishments make Estonia more and more visible on the culinary map of the world. They are therefore as important ambassadors as top athletes or our world-famous composers.” 

This is the second time Estonia has participated in the Bocuse d’Or final. In 2009 the final result was 15th place.

Estonian participation is supported by Enterprise Estonia from the resources of the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund, Ministry of Agriculture, Liivimaa Lihaveis, Segers Eesti OÜ, The Division, AS Dunker, AS Liviko, AS Prike and Culinary Institute of Estonia. 

Additional information
Dimitri Demjanov
+372 5196 1097