Those of us who enjoy a fine evening at a gourmet restaurant from time to time often rely on restaurant reviews to identify venues worth exploring. For chefs, on the other hand, there is no better way to hone their craft than putting their skills to the test in a competitive format. Competitions play a vital role, as they continually raise the standards of culinary excellence. Chef Thierry Blouet is no stranger to the competitive arena, having participated in numerous national and international competitions representing Mexico since his early 20s.
Now highly regarded not only as a chef but also as a businessman, Blouet has spent considerable time over the past decade coaching young cooks through the trials and tribulations of culinary competition, namely his own, the Thierry Blouet Trophy. A regional competition, the Thierry Blouet Trophy has helped local chefs, many competing for the first time, prepare for larger, national competitions. “Preparations are very difficult,” he remarks, “but being in the game makes you see the world around you differently. It makes you a better person, one with a competitive spirit.”
A tireless promoter of Puerto Vallarta, Blouet recently received the “Llave del Progreso” in Mexico City, an important national accolade that distinguishes him as “Culinary Entrepreneur of the Year.” He is presently preparing his star pupil, chef Hugo Ahumada, who joined Café des Artistes at age 15 and has remained ever since, as one of three Latin American chefs (and the only one from Mexico) to compete in The Bocuse d’Or in January 2013, a biennial international chef championship, considered by many to be the culinary equivalent of the Olympic Games.