Australians train for Bocuse d’Or in Guangzhou

Laura Skvor and Michael Cole

Michael Cole, Australia’s candidate in the Bocuse d’Or world cuisine contest, and his commis chef Laura Skvor will head to China next May to compete in the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific.

Lyon’s twin city Guangzhou has been announced as the host city for the event, to be held 8-9 May 2018 at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Centre.

Australia will compete against China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, and must be placed in the top five to earn a place at the Bocuse d’Or Grand Finale in Lyon, France in January 2019.

The Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific regional qualifier was first held in 2014 in Shanghai and then in Singapore in 2016.

Bocuse d’Or Australia president Tom Milligan will lead the team to China next year and will also be on the judging panel for the competition. Vice president Philippe Mouchel will accompany Cole and Skvor as team coach.

Michael Cole is Head Chef at Georgie Bass Café & Cooking School and Flinders Hotel Conference & Events on the Mornington Peninsula. Over the past 10 years he has held senior chef positions in kitchens around the world, from Niseko, Japan to Nice, France, and more recently in Tasmania, Mt Buller and now Flinders. Cole’s commis chef Laura Skvor is a first-year apprentice who shot to fame last year as a finalist on the hit TV show My Kitchen Rules.

“This will be an exciting challenge for the team on the Road to Lyon,” says Tom Milligan. “We won’t know the mandatory protein ingredients until closer to the event, however we are training already and Michael Cole will benefit from mentoring by the entire chef committee of Bocuse d’Or Australia.”

Milligan added that the Australian team is seeking support from hospitality venues and suppliers to assist the team with costs for ingredients, training and travel. For more information go to the Bocuse d’Or Australia website or email

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