And the Winner is …………Hong Kong!!!!
The International Young Chefs challenge has now drawn to a close, and I am sure via email and FaceBook we all know who the winners are for the event. BUT let’s just reflect on what has happened over the past week in Seoul Korea.
The Korean Cooks Association, through the leadership of President Young-Sun Ra invite originally 20 Nations to come to Seoul to compete in the un-official World Young Chefs competition provided you were under the age of 25 years prior to the competition.
Teams from Costa Rica, Denmark, USA, Australia, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovenia and from Asia were present for this great event, the response was so overwhelming that that 43 teams applied for the 20 spots on offer as the KCA were funding the team’s competitors airfares and accommodating the team as well as providing the kitchens and transport on the day of your event.
The teams were briefed on the day prior to the event on all the rules and regulation, 180 people including coaches, team managers, interpreters’ and assistance listen to Competition Director and WACS Continental Director Rick Stephen go over all the relevant issue with all in the presence of Chairman of the Jury Mr. Otto Weibel .
The competition took place at COEX in Seoul which must be one of the largest Convention Centres in the World as we all go lost as some stage, the Opening Ceremony and Parade of the Nations took part on Tuesday evening the 5th at the Seoul Intercontinental Hotel in front of World President Gissur Gudmundsson, President Ra and many government dignities, WACS Country Presidents and many more, Team captains and members of the jury took the competitors oath in regards to the competition and the spirit in which they would conduct themselves.
KCA had set up some magnificent kitchen for the competing teams as well as Gourmet team Challenges with the individual competitors. The Culinary Art display for the national teams was under the new rules as set down by WACS along with the new rules of the hot kitchen where teams cooked for 65 pax a 3 course meal which included the 5 meals for the jury.
The restaurant service was spot on after the restaurant team had been through a thorough training session on how to take the orders and deliver the food to the customers and two special waiters delivering to the judging panel who were taking meals at random.
Each morning teams were met in their respective Hot Kitchen or Culinary Art section to be check by the marshals to ensure no rule breaches and hygiene was at paramount. Nestle Professional provided the Chefs Corner for all the judges to have breakfast and for the competitors who had been up most of the night. During the day many people dropped into the Chefs Corner to top up their energy for a hectic day of judging or competing.
In the main room of the competition, we had the Restaurant of the Nations with seating for 320, the Gourmet team challenge with another seating area of 120, 10 individual kitchen firing up every 1 hour, ice carving demonstrations and a host of sponsors and suppliers booth given the carnival market feeling, the Nestle Profession stand was a huge are for all to relax and on the centre stage the daily awards were presented. Tucked in besides the stage was the Medal tally board – which for the teams was of great interest.
Jasper Jek our WACS Young Chef Ambassador was there to greet all the teams and even had them doing a little jig which I am sure we will all see in the not too distant future. The Judging panel consisted of 24 WACS International Judges and 24 local Korean WACS approved judges, along with a number of competition marshals and volunteers.
Ms Emily Lim was coordinating the teams, the judges, the hotels, the dinners, just about everything; you want something you ask for Emily! Up in the office printing like crazy was Ashley who also had a side job with Rick as the MC for the presentations daily.
The Final Nights award Gala closing Ceremony took part at the Seoul Renaissance Hotel in front of 500 competitors, guest, jury, Government officials and of course out host KCA. This night alone we had Miss Korea as one of the MC’s and 4 different stage acts from the classical Korean Drummers to modern art dancing.
WACS’s new system is to announce the overall winners in each section and we started off with the Culinary Art.
3rd USA with team members are, Kathryn Ratzlaff, Katie O’Connor, Stephan Horsch, Sally Wilson, Matthew Phillips, Edward Adel, Raquel Kramer
2nd Thailand with team member are, –Nantawan fak-kieo – team captain, Sutanit Kaewkao , Apichaya Maneerattanaporn, Napatsanan Ekwarongkul, Nantawan fak-kieo, pornpimon limdamnoen
1st in Culinary Art was Hong Kong with team members are, Leung Chin Hung, Sit Ka Keung, Ng Hoi Kit,Lau Lap Pong, Lai Kam Chiu with the assistance of Managers Jonathan Wan and Anita Cheng
The winners in the Hot Kitchen- restaurant of the Nations were,
3rd Thailand with team member are –Nantawan fak-kieo – team captain, Sutanit Kaewkao , Apichaya Maneerattanaporn, Napatsanan Ekwarongkul, Nantawan fak-kieo, pornpimon limdamnoen
2nd Denmark with team members are Kasper Christensen, Rasmuc Munk Thomassen, Andres Rytter, Kathrine Rask, Christoffer Brink & Bryan Francisoc
1st Hong Kong with team members are, Leung Chin Hung, Sit Ka Keung, Ng Hoi Kit,Lau Lap Pong, Lai Kam Chiu with the assistance of Managers Jonathan Wan and Anita Cheng
The Grand Champion …………..Hong Kong
2nd Runner Up…………………………….Denmark
A lot of time and energy went into to setting up this event and the KCA should be very proud of their achievements, the WACS family thank President Young-Sun Ra on a great job by himself and his team, and the competitors stated ‘ Bring it on for 2017 !!!