The Jury



Sakal Phoeung is a French Executive Chef with over 25 years of experience in luxury hotels and several upscale restaurants. After serving as Executive Chef of Sofitel Plaza Saigon until 2016, he created his own restaurant, Le Corto. His cuisine reflects a unique blend of creative flair and passion for food while his interpersonal skills make him one of the most beloved chef in Ho Chi Minh City. He is also the Corporate Chef and Beverages Manager at Annam Fine Food. During his career, Sakal has cooked for several state visits with the latest one being a dinner at his own restaurant for French President François Hollande.

His enthusiasm, his generosity, his strong work ethics have helped him build a strong culinary team who is striving for perfection and nothing less. Sakal keeps on sharing his knowledge and passion consulting on culinary projects such as the Bocuse d’Or Vietnam 2018. He is a strong supporter of the emergence of Vietnamese talents.



Frédéric Janault

MOF 2011 Primeur (Best French Craftsman 2011)

Frédéric Janault is the founder of the Fruits & Vegetables Academy of France, and the Europe Champion of arts on Fruits & Vegetables.


With a solid international experience as a Chef, Frédéric Janault spent some time working in Paris, New York for household names such as Ledoyen, le Plazza Athénée, Bernard Loiseau, etc.


In 196, he decided to give his career a new direction by focusing on fruits & vegetables only. He learnt and mastered the art of sculpture on Fruits & Vegetables and is since then a fervent defender of their inclusion in cooking for a healthier lifestyle. He was part of the French initiative to promote eating 5 Fruits & Vegetables a day with numerous TV reports and media coverage.


As one of the world specialist of Fruits & Vegetables, it’s only natural that he is one of Bocuse d’Or Vietnam 2018 judge. His palate and talent will push the candidates to work better on their plate and garnishes.



Thierry Drapeau

2 Michelin stars Chef


Thierry’s childhood memories of being by his father’s side – a figure whom he fondly remembers as “a cook who spent his Sundays cooking good products purchased from the market” – made a lasting impression on his career choice. After working his way up the kitchen ladder alongside several renowned chefs, Thierry and Karine Buchy opened Thierry Drapeau Logis de Chabotterie restaurant (2 Michelin stars) in 2004, which would later expand to include a Relais & Châteaux hotel.


Thanks to numerous travels to Vietnam for the past years, Thierry grew to love Vietnam and its culinary scene. Without hesitation, he opened a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City to share his passion with his Vietnamese friends. Balancing French gastronomy with local products and spices is his thrive. His take on local products will sure push candidates to work harder to surprise him.


Nguyen Khac Huy

Best Sommelier in French Wine

His recent experience ranges from creating training sessions for retail & horeca customers, hosting wine appreciations for tasting and dinning to event supervising, wine retail shop supervising. He is also the co-founder of Saigon Sommelier Group, qualified WSET level 2, Final-Runner in The Best Sommelier in French Wine Contest by Sopexa in 2016, First-Price in The Best Sommelier in French Wine Contest by Sopexa 2017. He has a good commend of knowledge and strong networking in Vietnam wine industry.

His latest positions are Training & Event Supervisor, Retail Store Supervisor and Wine Consultant in The Warehouse Wine Merchant after being wine server in Lubu Restaurant after graduation from STHC – Restaurant Operation.