The UK entry into the Bocuse d'Or culinary competition has been given a boost by two major sponsorship deals.
An undisclosed sum of money from pub group Fuller, Smith & Turner and Truefoods, the manufacturer of fresh stocks, has been promised to help fund the Bocuse d'Or UK Academy through the European final of the competition in Estonia in May 2020 and the world final in Lyon France in 2021.
Ian Musgrave, sous chef of the Ritz London, was selected last month to represent the UK at the European final, where he will compete against 19 other contenders. The 10 scoring chefs will then go on to take part in the world final.
Simon Rogan, president of Bocuse d'Or UK, will become honorary president of Fuller's Chefs' Guild, which provides ongoing development of the company's chefs.
The sponsorship will provide Fuller's with access to the some of the leading chefs associated with the competition, while the company, in return, has committed to give "generous financial support". Fuller's will also provide the UK team with accommodation through its hotel division and drive brand awareness for the UK entry into the competition.
Meanwhile, Truefoods supplied stocks to the four candidates for the selection of the UK candidate at the Restaurant Show and will raise funds for the UK entry into the European and global finals through its Chefstable events.
Paul Dickinson, director of food at Fuller's, said: "We are thrilled to partner with the Bocuse d'Or UK Academy. The chefs who make up the Academy rank among the best in the world. Fuller's chefs going through the Fuller's Chefs' Guild, from apprentices to executive chefs, will have a unique opportunity to benefit from the guidance and wisdom of these industry legends."
Mitch Mitchell, managing director of Truefoods, added: "Truefoods is a perfect partner because we are as passionate about what we do, as the chefs are about entering this competition."
Rogan recently told The Caterer: "The Scandinavian budget is a million pounds. Ours is nowhere near that but it would be great to raise £250,000 so Ian can go on stages, practise, and be paid during the two-year process. It's full-time."
Founded by the late Paul Bocuse in 1987, the world final of the Bocuse d'Or takes place once every two years in January, the culinary capital of France.
The UK has yet to reach a podium position in the competition. The highest position was achieved in 2013 when Adam Bennett and Kristian Curtis, then at Simpsons, Edgbaston, reached fourth place.
Ian Musgrave is pictured here at the UK selection with Simon Rogan and Andreas Antona, chair of Bocuse d'Or UK Academy.