Richard Rosendale Trains For Bocuse D’Or In A Nuclear Bunker
FoodRepublic caught up with Bocuse USA winner Richard Rosendale in the midst of training for the French Granddaddy of all culinary competitions, the Bocuse d’Or. Turns out that when you’re training to fight for your country in an international competition, the best place to do it is in a nuclear bunker!
Rosendale is the executive chef at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, which historically served two functions: first, as a bucolic estate full of rambling gardens and gentlemanly gambling; second, as a giant underground fallout shelter designed to hold all 435 members of Congress in case of a nuclear strike during the Cold War.
Now, it hosts an exact replica of the kitchen Rosendale will be working from in France during the intense culinary competition, where he is expected to serve an elaborate presentation of a meat dish and a fish dish. There’s another kitchen at The French Laundry, where Thomas Keller is mentoring Rosendale (presumably by making him carry lambs up and down the hills of Napa Valley and hitting him with tagliatelle when he messes up), as well as a third one that will be shipped to France prior to the competition.
He’s also receiving mentorship from Grant Achatz in Chicago, who is teaching him the ways of Science and helping him improve his dishes:
One of the garnishes I did that stood out in New York [at the Bocuse D'Or USA trials] was our beet garnish. The beet was cooked inside of a very flavorful mulled red wine and raspberry vinegar liquid, then we gelatinized it and wrapped it around a tube of beet and stuffed it with an apple puree down the center. Basically, we went out to Alinea and by the addition of another ingredient, locust bean gum, we added more elasticity to it. Now we can make it more supple and creamy, almost like melting in your mouth, and still wrap it around the beet.
But we like the idea of him in a nuclear bunker, training intensely with the masters. It’s like a giant montage where One Man Must Master All The Fighting Styles In Order To Defeat An Enemy. (The guy even has a physical trainer! This is intense.)