Team In Training _ Big Time

As if Yountville didn’t already boast an unseemly number of top chefs (it has more Michelin stars per capita than any other city in the world), now it’ll get even more.

Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in Yountville has teamed up with New York superstar Chef Daniel Boulud to establish a non-profit organization aimed at giving young American chefs a leg up on competing in the Bocuse d’Or, the legendary culinary Olympics in which the United States historically hasn’t fared very well.

Keller and Boulud will help choose eight young chefs who will compete in a September cook-off in Orlando at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The top winners will go on to comprise the American team that will compete in the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France in January 2009 against 19 other teams.

The American team will get some serious training, October through January, at a special facility set up in a house in Yountville next-door to the French Laundry.  Not only that, but the team’s techniques will be perfected by none other than Certified Master Chef Roland Henin, whom Keller worked for early on in his career and who remains one of the chefs he most admires.

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