Bites: Will it be douze points for Torquay?

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The Independent Online

Founded in 1987 by legendary Lyonnaise toque star Paul Bocuse (pictured), the Bocuse d'Or is a unique event. A biannual culinary World Cup, it somehow combines Ready Steady Cook! with It's a Knockout-style patriotism and political cronyism à la Eurovision. Accordingly we never make it to the medals, which tend to go to the French and Scandinavians.

Nevertheless, representing the UK in the 11th Bocuse d'Or in Lyon next January will be Simon Hulstone, chef-proprietor of Torquay's The Elephant, which holds a Michelin star despite the handicap of being in Basil Fawlty's home town.

Meanwhile, the French invasion of London gathers pace with another Lyonnaise chef, Jean-Christophe Ansanay-Alex, taking up residence in South Kensington. Ambassade de L'ile is an offshoot of the double-Michelin-starred chef's L'Auberge de L'ile that, located on a small island on the River Saône on the outskirts of Lyon, has playfully claimed autonomy since 1977.