Competition Theme: UMAMI
Since its 5th year, the competition theme of the Washoku World Challenge has been UMAMI, which is the essential taste at the heart of Japanese cuisine.
What is UMAMI?
UMAMI is the source of the savoriness of Japanese cuisine. It is one of the five basic tastes, the others being sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and bitterness, and an important component of a dish’s flavor. Recognition of UMAMI has increased in recent years, and the word has made its way into many non-Japanese dictionaries. The UMAMI taste is usually a product of some combination of inosinic acid, amino acids such as glutamic acid, and nucleic acids such as guanylic acid. In Japan, the technique of extracting UMAMI from kombu kelp and bonito flakes to create dashi broth was developed approximately 500 years ago. Many cookbooks were published in the mid-Edo period (around 1651-1745), and these strongly advocated the importance of dashi. Japan has a long history of valuing dashi highly, and its UMAMI has brought out the flavors of ingredients and played key roles in the creation of delectable dishes.
This Year’s Theme: Your Perspective on Japanese Cuisine
As Japanese food spreads throughout the world, the values of Japanese cuisine chefs and what is expected of Japanese cuisine chefs are becoming increasingly diverse. Some may offer traditional Japanese cuisine as if they were in a Japanese ryotei restaurant, while others may offer Japanese cuisine that is fused with the local climate and culture. We have chosen this theme in the hope that you will freely express “Your Perspective on Japanese Cuisine”.
It is essential for Japanese cuisine to have Japanese ingredients nurtured in the four seasons of Japan. We look forward to seeing “Your Perspective on Japanese Cuisine” using Japanese ingredients available in your town and making the most of the ingredients’ attractiveness.
Eligibility for Application
Applicants must be those of non-Japanese nationality, and must have experience as a cook or chef. （The current place of residence may be Japan or abroad.）
* Excludes past final tournament top winners of the Washoku World Challenge.
*This year we will not hold the Final Tournament at Tokyo.
6 contestants of each regional qualifying tournament (total 18）
The top winner of each regional competition (total 3)
Document Submission Deadline
|Result Announced||Date of Competitions||Venue|
|Europe||Application Document Submission Deadline： October 6th||Result Announced： October 11th||Date of Competitions： November 6th||Venue：University of West London|
|America||Application Document Submission Deadline： November 4th||Result Announced： November 10th||Date of Competitions： December 4th||Venue：Institute of Culinary Education|
|Asia||Application Document Submission Deadline： October 17th||Result Announced： October 24th||Date of Competitions： November 20th||Venue：ABC Cooking Studio Funan Studio|
About the Training in Japan
The three winners from each regional competition will have the opportunity to undergo a special training period lasting approximately 15 days in the kitchens of Japanese restaurants in Japan. This experience will provide an up-close encounter with seasonal Japanese ingredients and cooking techniques, allowing participants to immerse themselves in the essence of Japanese cuisine. It will be an excellent opportunity to learn even more detailed Japanese cuisine techniques and knowledge from Japan’s top chefs.