Gonzalo Santiago Bautista of Mexico Wins Gold at 3rd Washoku World Challenge

- Competition of Japanese Cooking Skills between 10 Foreign Chefs from 9 Countries in Display of Compulsory/Creative Preparation -

Dec 04, 2015, 04:00 ET from "3rd Washoku World Challenge" Public Affairs Office

TOKYO, Dec. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With hopes to spread Japanese cuisine broadly throughout the world and pass it on to future generations, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries held the "3rd Washoku World Challenge" (https://washoku-worldchallenge.jp/3rd/en/), a competition of knowledge and skills in Japanese cooking for foreign chefs who work to disseminate Japanese food and food culture abroad. Ten washoku chefs from nine countries/regions, which included France, Mexico, Russia and Taiwan, who passed preliminary screening, flew to Japan for the final competition. The final round was held at Hattori Nutrition College ANNEXE on November 23, followed by an awarding ceremony at Happo-en (Hakuho-kan) on November 24, Washoku Day.

(Official movie: https://youtu.be/KP65hlxTees)

(Documentation: http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M103572/201512036168/_prw_OA1fl_0OvsBJNO.pdf)

Mr. Gonzalo Santiago Bautista from Mexico, who was awarded the Gold Prize, said; "I am very happy. I would like to convey my gratitude to the organizers, the people I work with at our restaurant, and also to my family. I look forward to taking this prize home and further spreading Japanese cooking in Mexico."

In the final competition at the "3rd Washoku World Challenge," entrants prepared the compulsory "Furofuki Daikon" (within the time limit of 60 minutes) and their original creations (within 90 minutes). The panel of judges, comprising six experts who represent the washoku industry, determined each of the three prizes -- the Gold Prize, the Original Cuisine Prize and the Assigned Cuisine Prize -- while the Harvester Prize was decided by Hiroshi Ijiri, president and CEO at. Deco-pon Co., which connects farmers with consumers and which had been involved in the production of the daikon (radish) ingredient used at this competition. (*The Harvester Prize is a prize awarded to the entrant who has brought out the best of daikon in the compulsory Furofuki Daikon dish.)

"We hope the ten entrants who advanced to the final competition will take another look at the allure and potential of washoku as they compare Japanese cuisine and our food culture with their counterparts in their respective countries and communicate its attractions, not only from the Japanese perspective but also from a global view," said Hidemichi Sato, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, as he spoke about the future spread of Japanese food and food culture abroad.

Comment from Executive Committee Chairman
- Yuzaburo Mogi, Honorary Chairman of Kikkoman Corporation"Compared to the time of the first hosting of this event, I sense that the attention abroad for healthy, tasty Japanese cuisine has been increasing, and that there's a deeper understanding of Japanese cooking among the entrants. I hope the ten chefs will continue to polish their skills and deliver the allures of Japanese cuisine to the world."

Comment from Organizers
- Hidemichi Sato, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
 "I hope the ten chefs who advanced to the final competition will reconsider the allure and potential of washoku as they compare it to the cuisine and food culture of various countries and continue to communicate its attractions, not only from the Japanese perspective but from a global viewpoint."

Comments from Judges
- Kihachi Kumagai, founder of restaurant KIHACHI
"I was deeply moved by the way the entrants stood poised and handled their hocho knives. These were finalists who had been chosen from locations throughout the world, and the difference in their creations had been a slim margin. I hope they'll continue to hone their skills and take part in this competition again next time."

- Yukio Hattori, Board Chairman and President of Hattori Nutrition College"I'm very pleased that this event has offered people an opportunity to learn about Japanese cuisine and create a chance to spread it."

- Dominique Corby, owner of restaurant "French Kappo Dominique Corby"
"This has been the first time that I evaluated washoku prepared at the hands of non-Japanese chefs, and I have been moved by their high standards. All the entrants are equipped with skills, and I believe that they will be able to continue to spread Japanese cuisine around the world."

- Naoyuki Yanagihara, Vice President of Yanagihara School of Traditional Japanese Cuisine
"I was surprised to see that the entrants were using Japanese skills like 'mentori', smoothing out the edges of daikon, and 'kakushi-bocho,' making X-shaped cuts on the daikon surface. I think their skills will be further polished if they consider the reasons why these techniques are used when they're cooking."

SOURCE "3rd Washoku World Challenge" Public Affairs Office