|Thanksgiving Gold For Canadian Culinary Team At IKA/Inoga 2012|
|Written by Adrian Bell|
|Tuesday, 09 October 2012 14:49|
ERFURT, Germany — While many Canadians prepared a traditional Thanksgiving meal this past weekend, chefs from across the globe cooked for the chance to win gold at the World Culinary Olympics.
Ragnar Fridriksson, World Association of Chefs Societies, director, is pleased with what he's seen so far at IKA/Inoga 2012.
“It's the biggest number of participants ever, so that's excellent, and the level of skill is very high. There's been worries about the economic situation in the world, but it appears it hasn't affected the turnout as much as we feared," he said, pointing to the presence of non-traditional culinary countries. "Thailand made it here for the first time, and they're very proud to be here at IKA. It's really an achievement. There's also a huge group from former eastern block countries, like Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic — all competing in every category."
Back in the kitchens, on the first night of competition, The Canadian Culinary Olympic Team won a gold medal. “It's tough for them being on the first day,” said tasting judge Judson Simpson, a national team juror, from Ottawa. “That sets the standard for the rest of the week, so they've done a good job, and they had a tough challenge. They had things under control in their kitchen, maybe a few things were thrown for a curve, but I think they have to be happy, because only three gold medals have been handed out thus far.” This comes after the team made a last-minute replacement with Jennifer Stang, pastry chef, stepping in for an outgoing team who recently resigned.
Meanwhile, the Canadian junior national team won silver in the hot category; Joseph Braid, another Canadian, took gold in the hot kitchen and cold platters display; and the Golden Horseshoe Culinary team won a silver medal in the restaurant of nation’s category.
But, the talk of the competition is the Armenian gold medal artisan confectioners and twins Rena and Vera Hovhannisyan. The sisters took three months to create their sugar sculptures and travelled 24 hours to deliver their entries. They’ve won two gold medals.
Competition wraps up today, and the awards will be handed out tomorrow.