Cooking up a storm

January 30, 2003, 10:00 CET

Charles Tjessem, a 31-year-old cook at Statoil, won the unofficial world championship for master chefs in the French city of Lyons on 29 January.

He came top in the Bocuse d’Or contest with a menu which included Norwegian trout and French beef.

“I am very grateful that Statoil gives me the freedom and opportunities to train for this championship,” says Mr Tjessem.

He also praises his colleagues in the kitchen at head office in Stavanger for their good backing.

A few hours after his victory, Mr Tjessem headed for the restaurant owned by Paul Bocuse – who gave his name to the competition.

He explained that the gold, silver and bronze medallists traditionally lay a stone engraved with their signatures outside the restaurant.

Chief executive Olav Fjell regards this victory as a big encouragement to the whole company.

“Through their creativity, systematic planning and preparation down to the smallest detail, Mr Tjessem and his colleagues have shown that it’s possible to become the best in the world."

“We’re proud of him and the others who’ve helped to achieve this.”

He sent congratulations to the world champion as soon as the news broke on the evening of the 29th.

Mr Tjessem expects to be back in the Statoil kitchen as early as tomorrow, 31 January.