Bocuse d’Or 2019 – Finland finishes fourth with a brilliant entry

Finland’s Bocuse d’Or team was awarded fourth place in the world’s most challenging gastronomic competition. The contestant Ismo Sipeläinen, his assistant Johan Kurkela and coach Tommi Tuominen finished the 5 hour 35 minute cooking crucible with style and without mistakes.

After one year of preparing for the competition, the Finnish team finished fourth at the Paul Bocuse Hall in Lyon’s Eurexpo exhibition centre. While the result did not meet the goal that Ismo Sipeläinen and his team had set themselves of reaching one of the top three spots, the result is good considering the high level of competition and builds on Finland’s streak of successful entries from previous years. The winner of the Bocuse d’Or 2019 was Denmark, with Sweden taking home silver and Norway bronze.

Finland’s team worked in a relaxed and confident manner and completed the feat with a mistake-free entry. According to coach Tommi Tuominen, the team’s entry was its best so far; the team had practiced their entire 5 hour and 35 minute-long entry a total of 20 times prior to the competition.

– The competition went extremely well, we stayed on schedule and everything went as planned. There were some differences in the ingredients, for example the meat was a lot larger in size and also softer than what we practiced with. These minor variations did not however interfere with our entry, Ismo Sipeläinen says.

Finland was fourth in both the meat platter category and the theme presented on a plate.

– The level of competition is high and the platter entries were close equal in terms of points. The task of preparing a chartreuse served on a plate proved difficult for many teams and the level had more variation. Finland’s advantage was that our chartreuse followed the instructions precisely while many teams took risks and created different visions of the dish, which made the judging process difficult, Matti Jämsén from the jury of the chartreuse task explains.

– Finland has consistently strong entries that always keep us right among the top spots. I believe that Finland will soon break through this glass ceiling and claim a medal, says Jämsén.

The Finnish support team at the Bocuse d’Or has grown steadily over the past seasons. The 100 or so eager supporters follow the national team from one

contest to the next. The whole Finnish team would like to thank all their partners as well as the audience for their wonderful support throughout the journey, and for loudly rooting for them in the competition hall.

Inquiries and interview requests:

Bocuse d’Or Academy Finland
Promotion Manager, Mari Cadaut
tel. +358 40 587 8053,

Inquiries, ELO Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Food Culture:

Director Bettina Lindfors
tel. +358 40 920 9810,

Additional information:,, Instagram @bocusedorfinland

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