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OCAD U professor designs winning platter at world’s toughest culinary competition

Team Canada

OCAD University congratulates Team Canada on winning Silver at the Continental Semi-Finals of the Bocuse d’Or, the biennial world chef championship where the finals are akin to the Oscars of cookery talents, which took place in New Orleans on June 13.

Professor Alexander Manu is a part of Team Canada, as he was appointed Resident Conceptual Designer with Chefs Canada in 2023. He and Industrial Design student Zack Schachter-Tribe collaborated to create the winning platter design.

OCAD U professor Alexander Manu

“Securing the Silver placement has validated our belief that we had the finest food and platter, as reflected in our scores,” says Manu. “The team is confident that we can address the logistical issues that impacted our kitchen category scores, and we eagerly anticipate an outstanding performance at the finals in Lyon this January.”

Manu is part of a team of renowned chefs, led by Chef Keith Pears alongside Team Manager John Placko. In his role, Manu works with Team Canada on plating and platter concepts as well as dishes using generative AI.

“It is noteworthy that this marks the first time Canada has achieved the highest scores in both the food and platter categories, signaling a promising future,” says Manu.

Team Canada wowed the prestigious panel with dishes that included mandatory ingredients such as wild boar, alligator and shrimp, but also Canadian staples such as buckwheat, ice wine, rhubarb and beet.

Manu and Schachter-Tribe designed and built the winning platter. Image courtesy of @chefscanada on Instagram.

“None of this would have been possible without the invaluable support of OCAD U,” says Manu. “The Rapid Prototyping shop has been exemplary in its assistance, and the marketing department provided essential financial backing. The platter design was a collaborative effort between myself and Industrial Design student Zack Schachter-Tribe, who was also responsible for much of its fabrication.”

Next, Team Canada will head to the Bocuse d’Or finals in Lyon, France, which will take place in January 2025.