Prince Carl Philip and Bocuse d'Or

Prince Carl Philip with Johan Salestam on the left and Tommy Myllymäki on the right. Photo: Anders Örnevall.

Prince Carl Philip is patron of the Swedish Bocuse d'Or Academy and a few weeks ago he visited Restaurangakademien to find out how the preparations are going.  
Bocuse d'Orexternal link began in 1987 and has swiftly grown into one of the world's foremost cuisine contests. In the space of just a few hours, chefs from all over the world are tasked with creating a fish dish and a meat dish from scratch, using a given set of raw ingredients. Twenty-four chefs from as many countries have qualified to compete. Sweden is represented by Tommy Myllymäki, who was Chef of the Year in 2007. The next competition will take place on 25-26 January in Lyon, and Prince Carl Philip will be there to cheer on Sweden. Prior to his trip, Prince Carl Philip spoke about his meeting with Tommy Myllymäki.

Your Royal Highness, is there a connection between your interest in food and your interest in design?
"Partly, it's often said that you eat with your eyes as much as with your mouth. Both presentation and trimmings are important and they are of course related to design. I think cuisine is exciting. And to now get the chance to be involved and watch these gifted chefs in training is inspirational. Tommy Myllymäki trains using Swedish raw ingredients, but in the contest itself it is the competition officials who decide on the raw ingredients. The competition is a superb way of marketing Swedish food and Swedish cuisine. Then of course my interest in gastronomy is linked to my interest in agriculture. Agriculture is after all the very basis of most of our food, then comes the preparation and finally design plays a part when the food is presented. So yes, it's all connected," replies the Prince.

Your Royal Highness was with Tommy Myllymäki during a training session a few weeks ago. Tell us about it!
"I was at Restaurangakademin and had the opportunity to try out Tommy's competition entry, and Tommy told me how he has been preparing. He also explained how the competition works and how they plan. The difference between this and other cuisine contests is that this is an individual competition. Tommy is allowed one assistant, Johan Salestam, during the contest. I met both Tommy and Johan, as well as the others accompanying them on the trip to Lyon. The main ingredients for the 2011 contest are monkfish and lamb."

What will Your Royal Highness do down in Lyon during the competition?
"It'll be exciting to be there, it's not like other competitions I've attended. But the contest is as audience-friendly as any other World Championship. There'll be an audience of several thousand all cheering on their chefs. And there'll also be a food fair going on in the adjacent hall, where they're expecting 30-40,000 visitors.  Hopefully I can lend some moral support at the competition and visit the Swedish stand at the fair as well."

Does Your Royal Highness cook?
"I do some cooking, nothing to write home about but I am trying to improve. I guess it's another interest I've inherited from my father; we have a shared interest in food."

What did Your Royal Highness think of food as a child?
"I enjoyed food then as well, I liked most things. Although I expect my mother thought I was pickier about food than I remember," adds The Prince with a smile.