Bocuse d'Or Lyon 2013
Bocuse d´Or Estonia

Estonian Top Chef at the Olympic Try-outs Today 07.05.2014

Today in Stockholm marks the first day of the European semi-finals of Bocuse d’Or, also called the Culinary Olympics, and Estonia is determined to make it to the finals. This year’s candidate, Dmitri Haljukov, has been training for the event for more than eight months and has spent the last few days in Stockholm under the supervision of his local trainer, top chef and Bocuse d’Or 2009 silver medallist, Jonas Lundgren. 

At the event taking place on May 7 and 8, in five and a half hours contestants have to prepare both a meat and a fish dish to the 14-member jury representing world’s best chefs. Haljukov will start the competition at 10.20 am, the fish dish will be presented at 3.20 pm and the meat dish at 3.55 pm Estonian time. Altogether around 100 supporters from Estonia have travelled to Stockholm to follow the contest on the spot, in total the tribune seats 1400 spectators.  


Live stream of the event is accessible here:


During the day Estonia has to stand out among such well-known culinary giants as France, Spain and Italy as well as Denmark and Norway, that have been the winners of Bocuse d’Or on many occasions. Dimitri Demjanov, promoter of Estonian cuisine, member of Académie Culinaire de France and founder of Culinary Institute of Estonia will represent Estonia at the jury.


The compulsory ingredients for the fish dish at the European semi-finals are coal fish as well as Belon oysters and blue mussels. The meat dish must be prepared in Stockholm using the meat of local young pigs. The menu created by the chef must showcase the local characteristics of the participating country as well as introduce the national cuisine and currents trends. Necessary tools, kitchen appliances and raw ingredients were brought along from home. The garniture of the competition entry uses Estonian rye bread, lingonberries, potatoes and bacon, sea-buckthorn berries, chanterelles, pumpkin, apples and Old Tallinn liqueur.


“I’m not very eager to take risks, so my goal was to highlight classical flavours that all judges could relate to”, Haljukov reveals. As to the difficulty level of the garniture, the candidate noted that the five hours will pass by quickly. “At competitions every minute counts”, he added. Pursuant to the strict rules, chefs are allowed to enter the competition kitchens only an hour before the start of the event and raw ingredients cannot be prepared beforehand.


The framework on the Estonian entry is based on Japanese origami that requires perfection in skills. “Origami symbolizes the creation of a complete sculpture from one sheet of paper without cutting it. At the same time a great chef, using their creativity and skills, can create a perfect meal from one whole animal”, the promoter of Culinary Institute of Estonia, Dmitri Demjanov, refers to the approach well-known in culinary philosophy- “from nose to tail”. “Pork is a local ingredient that Estonians have used for centuries, but with the help of origami we wanted to show that in addition to being true to its roots, Estonian cuisine is also international”, Demjanov explains.


At the event Dmitri Haljukov will also be supported by the First Lady of Estonia, Mrs. Evelin Ilves, who will endorse the initiative proposed by Enterprise Estonia to host the Bocuse d’Or 2018 in Tallinn. “We would be great and professional hosts”, said Mrs. Ilves.


During this long and tense training period the Estonian candidate has been supported by a 15-member team. At the competition arena the candidate is assisted by the commis chef or junior chef, who this time is Dmitri Fjodorov from Restaurant Ribe. During the competition, the candidate is also allowed to communicate with the box trainer Emmanuel Wille, who has been counselling Estonian participants for several years already and on a daily basis is the chef de cuisine of Restaurant Olde Hansa. The competition platters and silver-coated dishes were designed in cooperation with jewellers from the Estonian Academy of Arts and scenographer Iir Hermeliin.


The competition ingredients mostly come from Estonia and the team would like to thank all supporters that make it possible for Estonia to take part in such a high-level contest and introduce our cuisine on the international level. The supporters include the Ministry of Agriculture, Enterprise Estonia through Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund measures, Electrolux Eesti AS, Carmen Group, Dunkri Kaubanduse AS, Culinary Institute of Estonia, Restaurant Olde Hansa, Restaurant CRU, Brand Manual, Reaton, Karisma Food, and Maks ja Moorits.


Some facts and numbers that illustrate Dmitri Haljukov’s training period:

·       Altogether ca 300 kg compulsory raw ingredients were used during the training period

·       During 8 months each week at each training session a set of pork legs was prepared

·       Altogether 30 pork shanks were cooked, 50 metres of guts used and tens of buckets of blood spilled.

·       The results of the training period were presented to Restaurant Cru clients and at the gala dinner at Restaurant Gloria visited by 140 food enthusiasts and guests of honour, including the Swedish and French ambassadors.


Contestants that make it to the final that takes place in Lyon, France in 2015 are announced on Thursday at 6.30 to 7.30 pm Estonian time.


Live streaming is available here

Real-time updates will also be given via Facebook

Video on the training period

Photos of Team Estonia



Dimitri Demjanov

President of Bocuse d´Or Estonia

+372 5196 1097