Ørjan Johannessen, who works at a small and historic inn run by his family on the coast of western Norway, won the gold medal at the Bocuse d’Or cooking competition in Lyon, France. He, and not least his mother, were thrilled.
“This is just fantastic, we don’t have any voices left because we’ve been cheering him along the whole way,” Asta Johannessen told state broadcaster NRK. “We ecstatic, all of us.”
Johannesen’s father and two siblings were also in Lyon to see him win the unofficial world championship in gourmet cooking Wednesday night, after preparing two prescribed courses consisting of guinea hen and trout in five-and-a-half hours.
The victory heaps more acclaim on the Johannessen family’s Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri, a classic old inn full of maritime tradition on the island of Austevoll in Hordaland County, south of Bergen.
“This means so much for Bekkjarvik, and for the young ones who will take over operations,” Asta Johannessen told NRK. “This is a milestone.”
Norwegian chefs have won Bocuse d’Or four times since 1993. The fifth victory places the Norwegians second only to French chefs, who have won seven times. The US placed second at the competition, which is held every other year. Sweden placed third, with a total of 24 nations competing.