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Chinese cooking competition held in the Netherlands

Reporter: Richard Bestic 丨 CCTV.com

09-21-2016 13:20 BJT

In the Netherlands, some of the finest chefs in the world are cooking up a storm in the World Championship of Chinese Cuisine. Staged for the first time outside Asia, the competition has been held every four years since 1992 and has come to epitomize the very best in China’s distinctive culinary traditions.

Photo taken on Sept. 19, 2016 shows the Chinese dishes at the World Championship of Chinese Cuisine in Rotterdam, Holland. Chefs of Chinese cuisine gathered here to show their cooking skills at the three-day championship, opened on Monday. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Photo taken on Sept. 19, 2016 shows the Chinese dishes at the World Championship of Chinese Cuisine in Rotterdam, Holland. Chefs of Chinese cuisine gathered here to show their cooking skills at the three-day championship, opened on Monday. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

They have been staging the Chinese food world championships for nearly a quarter of a century; this, though, is the first time in Europe. With chefs from all over the world, it is world standard cooking viewed through the prism of intense competition.
 
There is here an extraordinary air of calm given that confined in a small space are some of the world’s top Chinese cooking chefs, competing against each other, going toe to toe for innovation, competition, taste and, of course, presentation. The chefs are at the height of their abilities and fighting for the highest of accolades.
 
Han Ji is Holland’s only Michelin-starred Chinese chef. He and his Dutch team are uncompromising in their pursuit of excellence.
 
“It’s definitely very competitive and also very highly pressured, because we have top teams from the whole world,” Han said.

It is extraordinarily precise; every one of the treasured ingredients is manipulated and molded. According to the man who runs the show, picking a winner is down to the experience of a global team of judges.
 
“It is very difficult to judge who’s the best. Every team is excellent, but don’t worry; we have a very professional jury team. The judges are very professional and fair. They’re from all over the world, so they know exactly who’s the best,” said Jack Wang, chairman of Chinese Cooking World Championship.
 
At this level, it is cooking as an art form; the attention to detail is a world removed from the day-to-day activities in an average household kitchen.
 
They are the world’s finest, but there is one thing that might seem odd: most contestants are men, except for one team. The all-women’s team members are out to prove they have got what it takes to be world champions with a feminine flare.
 
“Women have better taste than men. It’s a finer taste. Yes. Finer taste than the men. We’ll prove we have more than the men,” said cooking contestant Aya Ma.
 
These championships are a mark of not just Chinese food’s global appeal, but also perhaps a measure of a cuisine that really now belongs to the world.

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