Washoku World Challenge, the Japanese cuisine competition organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, is delighted to announce plans for its 10th anniversary edition.
Washoku World Challenge is an annual competition for culinary professionals with a passion for Japanese cuisine and a desire to further develop their skills and knowledge. The competition is open to applicants based anywhere in the world, providing that they are not of Japanese nationality.
For the past two years, Washoku World Challenge has been held online due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but this year will see the return of Regional Qualifying Tournaments in three international cities and an Online Qualifying Tournament. Six finalists will be selected from the four qualifying tournaments to participate in the Final Tournament in Tokyo in late February 2023.
The theme of this year’s competition is DASHI, the Japanese soup stock which is the cornerstone of so many Japanese dishes. The theme was chosen with the aim to get back to basics, which is essential for Japanese cuisine. The Washoku World Challenge judges look forward to seeing how this year’s contenders will maximise the flavour of this indispensable Japanese cuisine basic.
Head Judge of Washoku World Challenge is Mr. MURATA Yoshihiro (Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador*, Owner & Chef of Kikunoi, and Chairman of the Japanese Culinary Academy) and Deputy Head Judge is Mr. NAKATA Masahiro (Director of Taiwa Gakuen Inc. and Director of Taiwa Gakuen Hospitality Industry Development Center).
The European Regional Qualifying Tournament will be held at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris on Monday 24 October; the North American Regional Qualifying Tournament will be held at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York on Monday 7 November; and the Asian Regional Qualifying Tournament will be held at Commune Kitchen in Singapore on Friday 21 November. Each regional tournament will include a Japanese cuisine workshop with a leading Japanese Chef.
In total, six finalists will be selected from the four qualifying tournaments. One finalist will be selected at each of the Regional Qualifying Tournaments, as well as one highly commended runner-up, and two finalists from the Online Qualifying Tournament will be selected. All six will go on to compete in Final Tournament in Tokyo in late February 2023.
Head Judge, Mr. MURATA Yoshihiro, said:
“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Washoku World Challenge. In order to further promote Japanese cuisine as a culture throughout the world, it is important not only to serve delicious food to customers with refined techniques, but also to have a deep understanding of the background of Japanese cuisine and the culture of Japan. The Washoku World Challenge is an opportunity for you to express your appreciation of the culture, history, and spirit of Japan as well as the techniques of Japanese cuisine”.
*Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassadors are professionals engaged in Japanese cuisine who are appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan to promote Japanese food and dietary culture both in Japan and internationally. They support the growth of exports of Japanese agricultural, forest and fishery products by sharing the appeal of Japanese food and dietary culture further afield.