Nordics win top spots in prestigious French cooking contest

Nordic nations have swept the top four prizes in the world's most prestigious culinary competition in France, beating Gallic gourmet chefs at their own game in manifesto of Northern European simplicity and local ingredients

HELSINKI -- Nordic nations have swept the top four prizes at the world's most prestigious culinary competition in France, beating Gallic gourmet chefs at their own game in manifesto of Northern European simplicity and local ingredients.

Team Denmark took the gold medal at the biennial Bocuse d'Or competition in the French city of Lyon last week ahead of Sweden, Norway and Finland. 

Denmark chef Kenneth Toft-Hansen told Danish broadcaster TV2 that he had chosen theme "Flora Danica" for his dishes in reference to their local ingredients, including juniper and wild thyme found along the country's coasts.

In the competition's grand finale of chef teams from 12 nations, France placed sixth — not having claimed a podium place since 2013 — and the United States ninth. Iceland, another Nordic nation, was 11th after having claimed a bronze medal in 2017.