LYON, France – A Norwegian chef, Geir Skeie, won France's Bocuse d'Or cooking prize Wednesday, beating out 23 other contestants to turn out the tastiest meat and fish dishes during a tense two-day contest.
Another Scandinavian, Sweden's Jonas Lundgren, placed second while France's Philippe Mille was third.
Skeie, 28, selected as top chef by a panel of judges, takes home a gold trophy of chef Paul Bocuse and about $26,400.
Bocuse, considered one of France's great chefs, was present in Lyon for the contest he founded and which draws a large crowd each year to this gastronomic capital in southeast France to cheer on competing chefs. They concoct their dishes in public.
Each chef must turn out a meat and fish dish using official ingredients — Aberdeen Angus beef and cod, wild Norwegian shrimp and scallops.
Skeie is chef at the Mathuset Solvold restaurant in Sandefjord, Norway.
Lundgren, representing Sweden, has cooked at ranking restaurants in Paris, Napa Valley, London and Oslo. He received a silver statue and about $19,800.
France's third-place Mille is chef at the chic Hotel Le Meurice.
Contestants, who must win a similar contest in their home countries, came from all parts of the globe. The only female chef, South Africa's Diane Kay took 22nd place. The American entry, Timothy Hollingsworth of Napa Valley's noted restaurant, The French Laundry, placed sixth.
Other chefs came from Singapore to Australia and Mexico to ply their cooking talents under the eye of Bocuse.