WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — A chef who lists “culinary competitions” as his primary hobby could hardly be blamed for feeling a small twinge of disappointment at a seventh-place finish in the most prestigious cooking contest of all.
But Greenbrier Executive Chef Richard Rosendale chooses to focus on the bountiful positives he brought home from his experience competing in the international Bocuse d’Or earlier this year rather than spend time on those “what-ifs.”
“I’m a pretty positive person,” Rosendale says, sitting in the chandelier-bedecked main dining room at The Greenbrier.
“If we had had mistakes like overcooking one of our components, that would have upset me, but that didn’t happen. We have a lot to be proud of. We felt quite good about the performance and the food. We had an ambitious workload, but we executed everything as we had planned.”
Putting the competition in perspective, Rosendale adds, “In 20 years, only two non-European teams have gotten to the podium — finished first, second or third — so it’s not really surprising that we didn’t get there. With all that we accomplished, I feel that we laid an incredible foundation for 2015 (the biennial competition’s next installment).”
To ensure there’s no mistake about his apparent sangfroid, Rosendale adds, “I like to be No. 1 one, but we had so much support, it’s just impossible to feel bad. It was more about the journey and sharing it with everybody here. It was cool to share the experience with the people that work here and the people that stay here.”
Staged in Lyon, France, the Bocuse d’Or this year pitted teams from 24 nations against each other. The seventh-place finish of the U.S. team, comprising Rosendale and his commis (assistant) Corey Siegel, was three places higher than Team USA’s 10th-place finish in 2011.