The 9th Washoku World Challenge: A Japanese cooking competition for non-Japanese chefs

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TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Washoku World Challenge is a Japanese cooking competition for non-Japanese chefs organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. This competition is taking place for the ninth time.

The theme of this year’s Washoku World Challenge was “Goho – Five Methods”which are Nam (Cut), Niru (Cook), yaku (Grilling), Musu (steam) and Ageru (Frying). The theme was chosen in the hope that the competition would give contestants an opportunity to re-examine and study the basics of Japanese cuisine and further hone their skills for use in the future.

The participants were recruited from foreigners who are either professional chefs specializing in Japanese cuisine, professional chefs with a strong interest in Japanese food culture, students at Japanese culinary schools, or students participating in culinary training programs in Japan. 150 people from 39 countries and regions of the world took part.

In previous years qualifying competitions were held abroad and the final tournament was held in Tokyo. However, the format of this year’s competition has changed significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Six finalists were selected after rounds of documentary and video screenings, and as a special benefit, the finalists received online Japanese cooking lessons from three top chefs.

During the online class, the finalists received advice on the dishes they submitted for the video screening, as well as a cooking demonstration as per the finalists’ requests. The online lessons were live streamed for average viewers to see and they can still be viewed online.

The online lesson instructors, the finalists, and the finalists’ culinary creations were as follows.

The six online lessons

  • Class date: February 7th

    Teacher: MATSUO Hideaki

    Owner and Executive Chef of Japanese Cuisine Kashiwaya in Osaka

    Goodwill Ambassador of Japanese Cuisine*

1) Mr. Mike CHU Pui Hei – MIZUTANI at ALVA HOTEL BY ROYAL, Hong Kong

Watch the video here: YouTube link

Boiled, fried abalone and eggplant in Japanese broth

2) Mr. Paride PASETTI – Maru, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Watch the video here: YouTube link

red mullet Kabu suit (Clear soup with red mullet and turnips)

  • Class Date: February 17th

    Teacher: MURATA Yoshihiro

    Owner and Chef of Kikunoi, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador*

    Chairman of the Japanese Culinary Academy

3) Mr. Wing Chun Wilson CHAN – Kiyoi Inc., USA

Watch the video here: YouTube link

Aki no Fukiyose Takiawase (autumn stew)

4) Mr. Evandro Hidetoshi KAWANAMI – YUNAGI EDOMAE-ZUSHI, Federative Republic of Brazil

Watch the video here: YouTube link

sashimi Moriawase (various sashimi)

  • Class date: February 20th

    Trainer: NONAGA Kimio

    Third generation owner and chef at Nihonbashi Yukari in Tokyo

    Goodwill Ambassador of Japanese Cuisine*

5) Ms. LEE Hyeon Jeong – Former Culinary School Assistant, Republic of Korea

Watch the video here: YouTube link

Clear soup with sea bream and red rice, styled flower rice cake

6) Mr. YANG Peishih – Tsukiyoiwa, Taiwan

Watch the video here: YouTube link

Soup with sea eel wrapped in kudzu

For more information, visit the Washoku World Challenge official website (shortcut) as well as the official Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts.

You can also view a video of contest judge MURATA Yoshihiro’s comments on the finalists below shortcut. You can find pictures of the finalists, their culinary creations and comments from the judges during the video presentation here shortcut.

*Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassadors are Japanese cuisine professionals appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan to promote the attractiveness of Japanese cuisine and food culture at home and abroad.

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