By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published May 08, 2019 at 6:01 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

If the James Beard Awards are the Oscars of the food world, the Bocuse D'or is the Olympics.

Named in honor of Chef Paul Bocuse, France's legendary Michelin-star master chef, this biannual chef competition offers the ultimate showcase of chefs talent from around the world. It's a competition dominated by European countries, and one from which the U.S. took 20 years to glean a title.

Among those representing the U.S. at the 2019 Bocuse D'or competition was one Milwaukee chef. Paris Dreibelbis, winner of the Ment'or Young Chef Competition, was offered the opportunity to stage with the U.S. team as part of his winnings.

In this episode of FoodCrush, we chat with Dreibelbis about his extraordinary career -- from working in restaurants in Dubuque, Iowa to attending culinary school and working with chefs including James Beard Award winner Gavin Kaysen of Spoon & Stable in Minneapolis. We trace his journey to the Ment’or competition and Dreibelbis shares his insights about the fierce competition, what it takes to compete and what the experience means to the career of a young chef.

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Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.