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Daejeon ready for international gathering of chefs

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Published : 2012-04-29 18:29
Updated : 2012-04-29 18:29

The World Association of Chefs Societies’ Biannual Congress will be held in Daejeon, May 1-12 under the theme of “How to Feed the Planet in the Future.”

Inaugurated in Paris in 1929, the international gathering of chefs from around the world contributes to the development of the art and science of cooking.

Some 4,000 participants from the 97 member states of the WACS are expected to participate in the event which includes the Congress, Global Chef Challenge, Hans Bueschkens Young Chef Challenge, International Food Fair-Korea, Sommelier Competition, Daejeon International Food Industry Exhibition, as well as a variety of cultural programs. Altogether, the event is expected to draw some 35,000 visitors.

Daejeon Metropolitan City Mayor Yum Hong-chul, who also serves as the chairman of WACS 2012 Daejeon Congress Organizing Committee, is confident that the city is ready to welcome the participants.

“The venues are ready. We have reserved 800 hotel rooms as well as 5,800 rooms in other lodging facilities. We also have volunteers who speak foreign languages ready to assist,” Yum told The Korea Herald.
Daejeon Metropolitan City Mayor Yum Hong-chul, who also serves as the chairman of WACS 2012 Daejeon Congress Organizing Committee, poses in chef’s attire at an event promoting the upcoming international gathering of chefs. (WACS 2012 Daejeon Congress Organizing Committee)

Transportation to the WACS venues should no problem, Yum added. For the participants, a free shuttle bus service will run from the airport to the hotels and a daily shuttle service will operate from the hotels to the event venues.

“For the visitors, we are running shuttle buses and we have adjusted public bus routes to make stops at the venues. We have also secured parking for 4,700 vehicles,” Yum said.

The large gathering of chefs from around the world will be exploited as an opportunity to promote Korean cuisine. Korea Distinctive Contest and a hansik promotion booth will give foreign visitors a chance to sample Korean cuisine.

“International Food Fair-Korea, the first of its kind in Korea to be sanctioned by the WACS is an excellent opportunity to promote Korean cuisine,” said Yum. The international-level cooking competition will see 890 teams competing in 39 categories, including tteok (rice cake) and hangwa (traditional dessert.)

Unlike previous WACS events which have been primarily for professionals, this year’s congress is an inclusive one, one which visitors are invited to attend and participate in various activities.

“Visitors can sample food from around the world at the ‘Cook & Eat Zone’ while at the ‘Make & Cook Zone’ visitors can try cooking traditional foods from other countries,” Yum explained.

Twelve countries will introduce their food and traditional crafts at the “See & Cook Zone.” At the “Listen & Cook Zone,” visitors will be treated to cultural programs, including folk music from around the world, Samulnori and magic shows.

“Visitors will also have an opportunity to cook with star chefs, sample various dishes and get expert tips from sommeliers,” Yum added.

Another special event planned is a performance by 2,012 chefs on May 2 aimed at setting a new Guinness world record.

“Sommelier Competition which will be held from May 7 through 9, pitting representatives from 12 countries in Asia and the Oceania, is another event worth noting,” said Yum. Some 23 sommeliers, including two contestants from Korea, will compete for a chance to participate in an international sommelier competition which will be held in Tokyo next year.

The WACS Congress will culminate in a Daejeon Declaration.

“We will be adopting a Daejeon Declaration that calls for the development of future food to improve mankind’s health and quality of life. This declaration is an important part of the WACS Congress,” said Yum.

By Kim Hoo-ran (khooran@heraldcorp.com)

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