Eero Vottonen and Miikka Manninen have managed to reach flavour and appearance they were looking for in their Budapest competition dishes. Next, they're going to practise preparing the dishes within the time limits set in the competition.
Bocuse Team Finland, Eero Vottonen and Miikka Manninen, is well-prepared for the Bocuse d’Or European regional competition, which will be held this May in Budapest. The whole team has been practising determinedly under Vottonen's command, 5–7 days a week, and they're feeling good. The team is supplemented by Tiina Rasmussen, Clara Keh and Kaisla Keimala, all students from the Perho Culinary School.
- I'm pleased with the structure and appearance of the dishes. We've also managed to reach the flavours we were looking for in Budapest's mandatory ingredients: red deer hind quarter, sterlet and golden caviar, says chef Eero Vottonen.
At some point, you have to stop planning and developing the dishes and start competing against the clock. The competitors are given five hours to prepare the fish dish, and five hours 35 minutes for the meat dish.
- We're going to start finalizing our schedule in the middle of March.
Perho's training kitchen is completely similar to the competition kitchen in Budapest in terms of its functions and positioning.
Plenty of taste in the dishes
Team Finland's dishes are judged fifth, right after Norway, which won the competition last year.
- The dishes need to be rich in flavour, so that the judges can make out the ingredients. It takes at least five minutes to get the meat dishes on the serving plate and from the competition kitchen to the judges, which means that the flavour should be at its best when the meat is a bit tepid, Vottonen goes on.
Vottonen says that it's always a good sign when judges take their time to taste a dish. It means that the degree of doneness is just right and that they also enjoy the flavour. In the competition, the fish and meat dishes are scored separately, with points given for the flavour, appearance and presentation of the dish, as well as for the work done in the kitchen and for kitchen cleanliness.
A truckload of goods will be transported from Finland to Budapest, i.e. some ingredients and tableware. The national speciality, which is one of the competition dishes, can be prepared in advance and taken to Budapest.
One garnish for the fish dish will be announced in Budapest only on the morning of the competition. Vottonen and Manninen are joking that it will probably be sweet pepper.
Photo: Juulia, www.vaimomatskuu.com