Presented to the winner of the International Final
" in the Chaîne archives a document has come to light giving full details of how the Cup came into being "
Each year the impressive Arthur Bolli Cup is presented to the winner of the International Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition (formerly the Jeunes Commis Rôtisseurs - the name changed in 2011.
Fortunately, in the Chaîne archives a document has come to light giving full details of how the Cup came into being and who was Arthur Bolli - as originally published in “Bonne Table et Tourisme”, the Chaîne magazine of old edited by founder member Jean Valby.
Inception of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition
It was in Switzerland during the winter of 1973 that the idea of organizing a National Jeunes Commis Rôtisseurs Competition was born. However, through lack of participants, Arthur Bolli, the then President of the Commission of Professionals, reluctantly declared the cancellation of the Swiss National Competition scheduled for 1974.
However, in spring 1974 the first National Competition took place in France at the School of Food of the Chamber of Commerce of Paris under the presidency of Gaston-Landry Panuel, the then President of the Commission of Professionals. Mr Bolli was a member of the Jury as President of the Swiss Academy of Gastronomes and President of the Swiss Professionals of the Chaîne.
At the second National Final in Paris, this time Arthur Bolli chaired the Jury and continued for several years as a member of the Panel of Judges.
The 1st International Final of the Jeunes Commis Rôtisseurs Competition was held at the Hotel School Belvoir-Park in Zurich, Switzerland on June 4, 1977. Only the winners of National Competitions could take part in this international final. For the first time, a basket filled with various foodstuffs was given to the candidates who had to prepare a menu with the ingredients made available to them. The concept of the “black box” was thus established.
Alain Guillon from Restaurant Belle Etoile in Niort, France, was the winner of this first International Final. He was presented with an ornate trophy sponsored by Arthur Bolli.
Who was Arthur Bolli?
Arthur Bolli (b.1906, d.1983) was owner of the Hotel la Palma au Lac in Locarno. He was Bailli of Ticino for many years and at international level was a Member of the Conseil Magistral. Additionally, he was Consul of Portugal in Lausanne.
Inducted into the Chaîne in 1956 as a Maître Rôtisseur, Arthur was promoted to Bailli of Ticino in 1959. He became Conseiller Culinaire of Switzerland in 1975, an office he held until his passing in 1983. He was appointed a Member of the Conseil Magistral in 1962 and from 1965 served as a Member of the Admissions & Disciplinary Committee.
His wife, Marguerite, was a Chaîne member as was their son, Michel, who worked his father in the family’s hotel. Many young Chefs were trained by Arthur Bolli, who was a loyal member of the Chaîne, very devoted and active at local, national and international levels.
His interest in the profession and gastronomy prompted him to offer the “Challenge Arthur-Paul Bolli” trophy, in order to leave something for future generations. The actual trophy is held for one year by the winner of the International Competition. His or her name is engraved on it. However, the actual cup remains at the International Headquarters in Paris. A small replica cup is given to the winner to keep.
After the death of Mr Bolli in 1983, the tradition was maintained, in memory of the important Chaîne personality that he was. In 1996, the Bailliage of Switzerland agreed to provide a new version engraved with the words: “CHALLENGE ARTHUR BOLLI - presented by the Bailliage of Switzerland”.
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