Short cuts: ‘Culinary Olympics’ in Lyon


The home nation has triumphed for the seventh time in the Bocuse d’Or, the “culinary Olympics” that takes place every two years in Lyon. Established by celebrated French chef Paul Bocuse, the competition is staged in front of a live audience over five and a half hours. National teams consist of a chef, assistant and coach, and spend months training for the event. This year the US team’s campaign was masterminded by star chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, and included creating an exact replica of the competition kitchen inside a nuclear bunker in West Virginia. Despite their efforts (and Bocuse’s reported wish for a US victory), the US team failed to win a medal – something it has never achieved in the competition’s 26-year history. The gold medal went to Thibaut Ruggeri of Maison Lenôtre, a Parisian company that runs cooking courses, patisseries and restaurants, including the three Michelin-starred Le Pré Catelan. Jeppe Foldager, 27, won silver for Denmark, while Noriyuki Hamada won bronze, Japan’s first medal in the competition.


Hotel art has long been a byword for the safe and middle-of-the-road, but hoteliers seem to be getting increasingly bold. The Thief, a new hotel in Oslo, features a huge range of contemporary art, while the Andaz in Amsterdam and Citizen M in London both make use of video installations. Venturing even further into avant-garde territory is London’s Corinthia in Whitehall, which has announced that it will host a month of immersive theatre within the hotel. Audience members will be guided individually through a series of “encounters and experiences” taking place against the background of the fully functioning hotel and service areas. The theatre company behind the project, Look Left Look Right, was chosen from a dozen candidates by a panel of judges including Madani Younis, artistic director of the Bush theatre, who said it would “stretch the boundaries of what can take place [at the hotel]”. The performances run from March 18 to April 14, and cost £375 for two, including a night’s stay at the hotel.

Port Elizabeth

The great migration of wildebeest in Tanzania and Kenya has long been a big draw for tourists but in June wildlife enthusiasts are being offered the chance to witness another mass annual migration up close. Between May and July, during the “sardine run”, billions of sardines swim north along South Africa’s east coast, prompting a feeding frenzy among predators including dolphins, game fish, sharks and numerous sea birds. Original Diving is running a trip to watch the event underwater, including diving in a cage among great white sharks. The trip will be led by Louis Van Aardt, a marine expert and videographer who worked as a guide on BBC and National Geographic films. The trip, from June 18 to 28, costs £4,900.

La Chapelle Vendômoise

Travellers wanting to shoot their own National Geographic-style footage can now buy a new toy to help. Lehmann Aviation, based in France’s Loire valley, has launched a personal “drone” that will carry camcorders into the sky to capture aerial footage. The LA100 (cost €990) flies at up to 100 metres on a pre-programmed route, and is designed to carry a GoPro camera.

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