Chef Artur Kazaritski, who works at Copenhagen's three-star Michelin restaurant "Geranium", is to represent Estonia in the prestigious European Bocuse d'Or culinary final next year.
Kazaritski booked his spot on the European level after wining the Estonian round of the Bocuse d'Or competition. The European final is to be held in Tallinn in 2020, for the first time ever.
At the Estonian round, chefs were given five-and-a-half hours to complete two dishes: a fish dish, based on catfish, and a pork-based meat dish.
"The winner was chosen unanimously; we all felt that Artur was the best," commented Dmitri Mägi, chairman of the jury, himself a chef at the three-star Michelin restaurant "Eleven Madison Park", in New York City.
"Artur Kazaritski's competition entry was technically strong, delicious and simply beautiful," added Mägi.
Kazaritski has been working at "Geranium" in Copenhagen for three years, under the guidance of three-time Bocuse d'Or finalist and winner Rasmus Kofoed. He has worked in restaurants around the world, after starting his career in Tallinn.
"I feel amazing. I'm extremely happy – this is a dream come true. I am deeply honored to have been chosen to represent my homeland Estonia in the Bocuse d'Or European final," said Kazaritski on his win, for which he was also awarded €10,000 from EtsNord to fund his preparations for the European final.
Ivan Derizemlja from restaurant "CRU" came second, and Alexander Gureev of the Oslo hotel Bristol came in third in the Estonian final. Derizamlja's teammate Noel Moglia was recognized as the best commis.
According to Dimitri Demjanov, the President of Bocuse d'Or Estonia, Estonian chefs are very masterful, extremely motivated and have garnered great acclaim from around the world.
"It's wonderful to see that they keep coming back home and are committed to promoting Estonian cuisine," he said.
"We are all working towards showing a strong Estonian presence on the global gastronomy map," Demjanov continued.
Bocuse d'Or is the world's most prestigious culinary competition, often referred to as the "culinary olympics". It was originally conceived by world-renowned French master chef Paul Bocuse in 1987. The grand finale, held every two years in Lyon, France, welcomes 24 chefs from around the world to prepare their dishes live. In June 2020 Tallinn hosts the European selection of the competition.
The Bocuse d'Or Estonia finalists also included Piret Pusse of "Noot" restaurant in Pärnu, and Kaido Metsa, currently chef de cuisine at "Juur", in Tallinn.
Editor: Andrew Whyte