Worldchefs Congress 2014: A Great Success
The bi-annual event underscored several milestones for Worldchefs. This included the presentation of the new Worldchefs logo, the Global Chefs and Hans Bueschkens Challenge Finals, the first edition of the Global Pastry Chefs Challenge as well as a highly successful successful Feed the Planet roundtable discussion.
Congress Chairman and Vice President of WorldChefs, Charles Carroll, shared, “ Our main goal for this year’s congress is ‘To Inspire’. We wanted to create an event where chefs can also choose to attend workshops other than the President’s meeting. Through the breakout sessions and workshops, chefs will also have an opportunity to further interact with one another. It is a great panel of speakers we have put together, and the feedback has been very encouraging.”
The panel of speakers included international celebrities such as international celebrity chef Rick Tramonto (restaurant r’evolution, USA), Dong Zhenxiang of Da Dong F&B Restaurant (China) and one-Michelin star chef Even Ramsvik (Oslo, Norway). There were also other esteemed speakers who offered different perspectives, such as Eric Fleishman on health and fitness, Anita Cheng on how to deal with stress in competitions and Bryan Dodge, a motivational speaker who encouraged chefs to “bring energy home” and to find balance between their work and personal lives.
One of the highlights focused on the Feed the Planet roundtable discussion which was first introduced in the congress in Daejeon, Korea in 2012, rolled out its second edition with a stellar panel moderated by leading science author Julian Cribb. The panellists included environmentalist Tristram Stuart, Christopher Koetke (Vice president of both the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts), Alexander Throne-Holst (Managing Director at Unilever Food Solutions, Nordics) and President of Worldchefs, Gissur Gudmundsson.
As a vote of confidence, the United Nations Secretary General Mr. Ban ki-Moon sent a letter to address the audience. To quote, "Your leadership can help to popularise diets that are tasty, affordable, nutritious and healthy. Promoting good nutrition habits among consumers can contribute to food and agriculture systems that are more sustainable and that help small and family farmers, fishing communities and livestock keepers to enjoy better standards of living”.
Gissur Gudmundsson, President of Worldchefs, shared, “There were many questions raised by the chefs in the audience and it is evident that there was much interest in this topic. We started the Feed the Planet Programme in 2012 to let the chefs know they can make a difference, and I believe we are moving in the right direction.”
The finals of the Global Chefs Challenge, Global Pastry Chefs Challenge and the Hans Bueschkens Young Chefs Challenge also took place alongside the Congress. Members were also updated by the committee of World Chefs Without Borders on the progressive developments and humanitarian efforts since July 2013. The Worldchefs Global Culinary Certification Programme also recognised their first cohort of certified chefs, with constructive presentations by John Clancy, Chairman of Education Committee, on the future.
Highlights of the Congress include:
l Introduction of New Worldchefs Logo
The new Worldchefs logo was introduced at the Congress. The new Worldchefs logo was introduced at the Congress. The new brand, ‘Worldchefs’, was developed to better communicate and identify what the association stands for as a Global association. ‘Worlchefs’, is an impactful brand name that can be easily recognised, understood and remembered.
The new logo, in monochrome blue, is an update of the former WACS logo. It communicates a more contemporary look while retaining its roots. At the President’s meeting, there was a unanimous vote to pass the new logo.
l International Speakers, International Perspectives
The programme presented an international perspective of culinary arts and issues. Chef Dong Zhenxiang from Da Dong F&B Investment in China, wowed the audience with his ‘ Da Dong Artistic Conception of Artistic Cuisine’, which combines the essence of regional Chinese cuisines and infuses them with influences drawn from artists such as Claude Monet or the ancient art of Chinese calligraphy. Rick Tramonto’s session left an impact when he paired young chefs from different backgrounds who speak different languages and put them through an on-the-spot cooking competition. His main aim: To show that food (together with music and art) connects everyone universally.
l Young Chefs Club
At the President’s Dinner on 5 July, Andy Cuthbert (Chairman, Global Development for Young Chefs) and Alan Orreal (Vice Chairman, Global Development for Young Chefs) announced that every 2 years, 2 young chefs will be selected for a 10-days, all expenses paid trip to visit South Africa. Sponsored by Chef Bill Gallagher, it will expose the young chefs to the culinary offerings in South Africa, and the chance to meet Bill Gallagher. Magnus Skretting from Sterling Halibut also made the surprise contribution of 10,000 euros for the development of young chefs in the next 3 years. He said, “ The young chefs have challenged and inspired me, and I now challenge the rest of the sponsors to do something and contribute to the young chefs as they are our next generation.”
The young chefs also enjoyed a special programme presented by Nestlé, where an invited chef presented on the various perspectives of Nordic cuisine. Dilhan Fernando of Dilmah Tea also conducted a seminar on the appreciation of tea. Says Gissur Gudmundsson, “The Worldchefs Congress is an event where we bring worlds of chefs together. We will like to thank the Norwegian Chefs Association for their hospitality and for the 600 chefs who gathered here to rally support. We are already starting work on the 2016 Congress in Greece, and we look forward to a bigger, and even better congress.”
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For media enquiries, please contact: Jenny Tan
WorldChefs Asia Office