Golden Chef

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

This city's reputation as a great restaurant destination is only growing. Witness local star chef Richard Rosendale's second-place finish last month at Orlando's Epcot Center in the super-prestigious competition to represent the United States in the Bocuse d'Or challenge.

Time magazine has referred to the Bocuse d'Or -- held every other year in Lyon, France, and featuring the best up-and-coming chefs on the planet -- as the World Cup of cooking tournaments. So far, though, the golden trophy depicting a toque-clad champion straddling the globe has proven elusive to our country over the Bocuse's vaunted 21-year history.

Considering his competition included Michael Rotondo, chef de cuisine of Charlie Trotter's; Hung Huynh, winner of Top Chef; Rogers Powell, instructor at the French Culinary Institute; and eventual first-place winner Timothy Hollingsworth, sous chef at The French Laundry (arguably the best restaurant in America), Rosendale's second-place finish was very impressive.

He now joins fellow hallowed Columbus chef Hartmut Handke in highly esteemed local Bocuse achievement -- Handke actually won the U.S. competition and went on to bring home the first significant medals to the U.S. (though, of course, not the damned trophy).

Here's hoping Chef Rosendale might soon be hosting a dinner featuring his stunning award-winning dishes. --G.A. Benton

Columbus vs. the World, Part 2

Maybe Chef Rosendale can bring home the Bocuse gold next time around. But in the meantime, Columbus has another chance to show the world that we are indeed No. 1.

How? This Sunday, Oct. 12 (or, as organizers have described it, the real Columbus Day), an all-out effort is being made to get our town into the Guinness Book of World Records by hosting the "World's Biggest Potluck Buffet."

Everyone is invited to show up at the Maple Grove United Methodist Church. You need only bring a covered dish that's at least a little bit distinct (I'm thinking olive garnish). The way this works is you show up at 4 p.m. for registration and then the biggest group of grazers ever will get their gobble on around 5 p.m.

To break the record, currently held by Phoenix (Phoenix?), 601 participants are needed. Sounds like a lot of fun. On a personal note, since I've never eaten more than 599 courses at a single setting, I'll be looking to set my own personal best that day, too. See you there. --G.A. Benton