No matter where he placed, to me Sonny had already won.  Before he even started, he was a winner, just by being able to get there and by having the courage to compete.  It was a mind-boggling competition, but he finished.

There was no fourth place prize, but in a way there was.  He was given a one-week class at the CIA in continuing education at his leisure, so he will be able to go back to the CIA one day.  He was also praised for his work.  He was the only one who did not sous vide his dish, and the judges commented that the taste of his dish was very good.  Thomas Keller commented on two things that he remembered about all of the competitors’ dishes.  He remembered the tomato jelly under someone’s component, and he remembered Sonny’s tomato salad.  Sonny forgot the chicken chicharone on that salad; he could have scored more for that.  There were a total of 200 points possible.  Only five points separated the fourth and third place.  Fifteen points separated the fourth from the second place.

To me, he could have improved on the plating.  The three other plates were all very contemporary.  Sonny seemed to run out of time when he started plating.

Over all, he did very well.  You all should be proud of him.  I am proud of all of you for watching him on Bocuse d’Or’s streaming web coverage of the competition, wishing him well, and celebrating the occasion with him.  He was very happy to hear that, back home, everyone was watching and partying for him.  Maybe that’s how Manny Pacquiao feels, huh?

-AW

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