Rick Stephens 2014
Asia a Powerhouse in the Culinary Fields

Over the past two years, Asia has been a very vibrant part of the World Association of Chefs Societies world, with numerous activities involving WACS and the rest of the world.

We have seen Taiwan become a member on its own rights to WACS with the co-operation of the China Cuisine Association. Now Taiwan is moving forward in leaps and bound promoting their cuisine, chefs and traditions. Cambodia is our newest member of the WACS family, and this will be confirmed at the 36th World Congress, but a country so rich in history and heritage now wants to challenge the world with their own cuisine and culinary skills which makes it a healthy situation to be in at present.

South Korea hosted one of the largest attended congress in 2012 then to top that off, in 2013 they created the International Young Chefs challenge for chefs under 25 years of age, this competition had a special twist, as teams competing at this event had their airfares, accommodation, freight and ground transport all taken care of by the organizers. This is the way to promote young chefs to the world.

Our Asian President’s forum are growing not only in size but also in the substance that is presented to our members,  we have guest speakers, each country still presenting their overviews of the past year but also the introduction of the direction we as a Region is heading by the presentations from the Young Chefs Clubs here in Asia. These session now are more in line with education, training, exchange of idea for which we use the word culinology, but as chefs we also need the comradery  with social activities and friendship – our forum have it all.

The 2o13 Asian Presidents Forum, created as little history, not only for the WACS world but also the political world, to have in the same room and participating together, we had North Korea and South Korea, and the first time these two powers had met and were exchanging ideas and friendship. In another part of the room, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China were strengthening their bonds and how to help each other with the development and improvement for the culinary aspect of their own countries through collaboration, culture and skill exchange.

Countries in Asia that have been the backbone for our culinary fraternity, are still driving and promoting culinary skills, these country such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Philippians, Indonesia are the first to help their neighbours with whatever task is requested.

The past 2 years we have seen many WACS endorsed competitions, WACS endorsed Judges workshops, Train the Trainer and accreditation of colleges in Asia, now we are looking forward to be actively involved in the WACS Certification program so our members can go to other parts of the world knowing the skills they have gained in Asia are recognized throughout the world.

Asia’s strength is in its Unity. To be able to help each other when Mother nature come calling and leaves devastation in many countries, that is when you see chefs from all part of Asia come together to help their colleagues – this is the spirit of Asia and the work of ‘Chefs Without Borders’

The chefs and communities of Asia welcome the world to visit us at any stage or time, from the Land of Smiles to the Paris of Asia, our arms are open!

 

Dr. Rick Stephen CMC

Continental Director – Asia

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