February 26, 2024

‘IKA/Olympic of Chefs’ to kick start in Stuttgart from 2nd to 7th February 2024

Like the participants of the IKA, the jury members come from all over the world. Photo: IKA/Culinary Olympics

The 26th IKA/Olympic of chefs will take place from 2 to 7. February 2024 in Stuttgart.

When the IKA/Olympde of chefs in Stuttgart opens their doors in a few weeks, around 1,200 cooks are not “only” attracting their chefs’ jackets. A good five dozen international jurors will become an important part of the competition events in Stuttgart. We asked IKA jury president Frank Widmann.

No competition without impartial: Mr. Widmann, how is the jury based on the IKA in principle?
Frank Widmann:
Each competition category has its own chairman, who in turn leads his jury members through the competition processes. It goes without saying that the rating of a jury member from the country of the respective participant is not taken into account. They are supported by the so-called Observers, which are used by Worldchefs at worldwide events. Their task during the IKA will be to observe and document the processes.

What criteria are jurors named by what do they have to bring?
We make sure that they are an active member of a team of chefs themselves in the past, that they can speak English and have completed the preparatory seminars of World Chefs. In addition, a previous so-called “rookie” activity is a prerequisite, without rating participation. When selecting the jury members, there is another important argument for me, which counts: The kitchen of the respective nation must be understood, which means that there should be at least one jury member who can classify the country kitchen.

How can there be a consensus on the final points?
Each jury member evaluates for himself and follows the specified points scheme, for example, a maximum of 50 points for the taste are to be awarded. An experienced jury usually lies close together in the subsequent evaluation of the points, so that the overall points are determined relatively quickly. If the individual ratings differ more than ten points from each other, they are asked and asked for an explanation. This creates a discussion to achieve the best possible consensus.

The taste is an important rating criterion of the IKA jury.
Photo: IKA/Culinary Olympics

How can the jury work be classified in an international context, what influence does it have on future competitions?
In the Culinary Committee of World Chefs, it is our primary task to advance the art of culinary and always ensure that it is assessed fairly and correctly. Not all proposals or ideas can be implemented in the reality of a major international competition. On the one hand, each location has different requirements and external conditions, and on the other hand, the concepts must also be implemented with the available funds. With all standards and necessary rules applicable, the respective organizer should have “the last word” when it comes to the tenders and their implementation. The country is responsible for the success of a competition. From my point of view, it is at least as important that experienced jurors contribute internationally to the further development of competitions and are in exchange with the next generation.

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