Washoku World Challenge in Spain: Young Chefs and Japanese Cuisine

Aired: Jan. 30, 2020

The Washoku World Challenge is a culinary competition for non-Japanese chefs of Washoku, or Japanese cuisine. One of the competition’s qualifying tournaments was held in San Sebastian in the Basque region of Spain, known as one of the world’s greatest gourmet regions. The contestants, culinary students of a local gastronomic sciences university, take on the challenge of preparing Japanese cuisine for the first time. This segment features the competition and what the students discovered about Washoku.

Participants and judges during the Washoku World Challenge Preliminary Round held in Spain
San Sebastian, Basque region of Spain
Yoshihiro Murata, Head Judge of the Washoku World Challenge Preliminary Round
Nimonowan soup

Viewers’ Voice

This segment on the Washoku World Challenge culinary competition in San Sebastian was an interesting example of Japanese culture being absorbed elsewhere in the world. It also demonstrated perhaps how hard Japanese cuisine is to be recreated elsewhere with its precise ingredients and textures. This was a very short sequence, but it was good to hear from the winner of the competition and her views on the challenges of Japanese cooking.

From Australia

This segment is particularly well shot. It introduces the unique food culture of Japan which is spreading throughout the world. As it increases its popularity and enlarges its followers, this section of Japanese cuisine helps the global audience to gain more perception into the culture. Undoubtedly, it attracts audience and has the effect of further promulgating Japanese culture. The delicacies and the elaborate way of preparation are interesting, and so are the new element and creativity. The addition of international expertise into the Japanese cuisine is well brought out.

From the UK

I was excited to learn that one of the qualifying tournaments in the Washoku World Challenge has been held in my own home country! I would love to hear more from the young chefs, and what they feel are the challenges about cooking authentic Japanese cuisine. I must say, I was quite intrigued about Mireia’s (the top winner in the tournament) statement that there are some similarities between Japanese and Spanish views in cooking.

From Spain

More Information

Washoku World Challenge Official Website:

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