ERFURT, Germany — The World Culinary Olympics opened in Erfurt, Germany, today at the Messe Erfurt Trade Fair.
In the opening remarks, Wieland Kniffka, CEO, Messe Erfurt, compared the World Culinary Olympics buzz to that of the buzz at a top restaurant.
“On the menu is service and atmosphere, and we are fully booked,” he said. “We are thrilled to have record attendance of more than 1,800 chefs from all over the world, who will be preparing more than 10,000 competition menus during the next four days.”
The opening ceremonies featured a traditional Parade of Nations with each team entering the hall with their country’s flag. Entertainment included song and dance, a laser light show and a group playing drums on large kitchen-recycling containers. The ceremony ended with the lighting of the Olympic flame by Kristina Vogel, German Olympic cycling gold-medallist, London 2012.
The competition will see 35 national teams, 25 national youth teams, eight military teams, four patissier teams and 14 catering teams vying for top honours. And, more than 1,800 competing cooks will fill 22 on-site kitchens where chefs will prepare 10,000 meals during the Olympic showdown. To add to that, 51 regional teams, individual exhibitors and carving artists will also present creations. Meanwhile, the accompanying IKA trade fair is one of the largest in Europe, providing a huge economic boost to the German city. More than 250 exhibitors are expected to attract more than 25,000 visitors.
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