Washoku World Challenge: 16 Challengers Go Through to the Next Stage of the Japanese Cuisine Contest

Washoku World Challenge, the international Japanese cuisine contest organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, is delighted to announce the shortlist for its 9th edition.

Held annually, Washoku World Challenge celebrates the culinary techniques, knowledge and understanding of Washoku Chefs. Applicants must be of non-Japanese nationality, and can be based anywhere in the world, as long as they meet one of the following criteria: they are a professional Chef specialising in Japanese cuisine, or a professional Chef with an interest in Japanese food and food culture; they are a student studying Japanese cuisine with the intention of becoming a professional Chef; they are a student studying at a Japanese culinary institution; and/or they are a participant in a Japanese cooking course in Japan.

The theme of this year’s contest is “Goho Five Methods”, a return to the founding principles of Japanese cuisine: Gomi, Goshiki and Goho. Gomi refers to the five tastes of sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami. Goshiki refers to the five colours used in Japanese cuisine: red, blue (green), yellow, white, and black. Lastly, Goho is the core of Japanese cooking skills, referring to the basic cooking methods employed to make the best use of the ingredients. Goho consists of Nama (cutting), Niru (simmering), Yaku (grilling), Musu (steaming), and Ageru (deep-frying). Japanese cuisine combines these methods to bring out the natural flavours of the ingredients, and – by encouraging the use of seasonal produce – emphasises harmony with nature.

Everyone’s philosophy and approach to cooking is unique, but there is a common basis at the root of these diverse ways of thinking. The organisers of the contest hope that this year’s theme will be an opportunity for applicants to reconsider the basics of Japanese cuisine, to further refine their skills, and to connect them to the future.

First launched in 2013, Washoku World Challenge usually features regional qualifying tournaments held in cities and towns all over the world ahead of the finals in Tokyo. Last year saw the competition move online for the very first time in its history, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and this year the qualifying tournaments have continued to take place online. As in 2020, this decision resulted in a large number of applications, and in total there were 150 entries from 39 countries and regions for the 9th Washoku World Challenge in 2021.

All of the challengers completed the following three assignments for the Document Screening round: the creation of two original dishes on the theme, “Goho ‐ Five Methods”, with accompanying recipes and photos; a short essay outlining the applicant’s thoughts on Japanese cuisine; and a short essay-style question covering the basic knowledge of Japanese cuisine. This assignment seeks to establish the applicant’s knowledge of specific ingredients as well as how to make dashi.

Deputy Head Judge,Mr. Masahiro NAKATA (Director of Taiwa Gakuen Inc. and Director of Taiwa Gakuen Hospitality Industry Development Center), Judge, Mr. Motoi KURISU (President of Kumahiko Co., Ltd. in Kyoto) and Judge, Mr. Hideaki MATSUO (Owner and Chef of Japanese Cuisine Kashiwaya in Osaka and Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador*) convened at Arashiyama Kumahiko in Kyoto to meticulously review all of the applications and 16 shortlisted contestants were selected.

16 shortlisted contestants listed below in alphabetical order:

Name:Restaurant/Culinary Institution & country/region:Two original dishes created on the theme “Goho Five Methods”:  
Mr. Wing Chun Wilson CHAN  Kiyoi Inc., U.S.A.Aki no Fukiyose Agemono (Autumn deep-fried dish)   Aki no Fukiyose Nimono (Autumn simmered dish)  
Mr. CHU Pui HeiMIZUTANI at ALVA HOTEL BY ROYAL, Hong KongSimmered deep-fried abalone and eggplant in Japanese broth   Foie gras steamed with wine, marinated with yuzu-sake, served with fig-jam wafer  
Mr. Neil Antheus Colocar DIGDIGANUMU, U.K.  Turbot shinjo Nimonowan (Soup with turbot dumpling)   Red mullet sunomono (Marinated red mullet)  
Mr. Chris James GOLDING  Eldr Roof Garden & Bar / Sachi, U.K.Ankou bubu-arare with shiso tartare sauce (Deep-fried monkfish with rice crisps with shiso tartare sauce)   Pork belly with barley miso and radish  
Mr. Evandro Hidetoshi KAWANAMI  YUNAGI EDOMAE-ZUSHI, BrazilSashimi Moriawase (Assorted Sashimi)   Oba Tempura with Aburi Hotate and Uni (Shiso Tempura with broiled scallop and sea urchin)  
Mr. Sorakom KEAWSAMERTAPrivate Chef, Thailand  Marinated and steamed seabass with rice and soy sauce vinaigrette   Pork kakuni with somen and kakuni sauce (Simmered pork with somen noodle)  
Mr. KURKÓ Zsolt  Sushi Sei Restaurant, Hungary  Tastes of autumn in harmony   Grilled seabass on green island  
Ms. LEE Hyeon Jeong  NAKAMURA ACADEMY, South Korea  Clear soup with shrimp dumpling petal rice cake styled   Spring Hassun (Assorted appetisers)  
Mr. Hendy LIU  Toyosu Suisan, AustraliaKobujime Red Snapper ‘Usuzukuri’ (Red snapper with marinated kelp)    Prawn Dumplings with Spring Vegetables  
Mr. Nigel Loh MAN HONG  Fat Cow, SingaporeHirame Kimini (Simmered flounder coated with egg yolk)   Kimendai Rikyuyaki (Grilled red bream marinated in sesame sauce)  
Mr. Éder Tadeu do NASCIMENTO  Omakase Box, BrazilGrilled Spanish Mackerel in Season   Brazilian Winter Flavours  
Mr. Paride PASETTIMaru, U.K.Red mullet and kabu nimono (Simmered red mullet and turnip)   Hampshire trout miso yuan-yaki (Hampshire trout grilled with miso)  
Mr. Wojciech POPOWJapanese Grill at Beaverbrook, U.K.Kobe Sukiyaki   Autumn Hassun (Assorted appetisers)  
Mr. Ajay SINGHKINOYA, U.A.E.Renkon mushimono (Steamed lotus root)   Grilled unagi with tamago (Grilled eel with egg omelette)  
Mr. Shubham THAKUR  Megu at The Leela Palace New Delhi, IndiaNasu Miso (Grilled eggplant with miso)   Shira-ae (Mashed tofu salad)  
Mr. YANG Peishih  Tsukiyoiwa, TaiwanAppetisers: Egg tofu, Grilled young ayu fish, and Simmered tender abalone   Soup with Sea eel coated in Kudzu  

For further information and photos of the shortlist and their creations, please click here

To hear from the judges,

Pleasevisit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdwE9Idt44 – and to discover more about Japanese cuisine, the series, The secret of Japanese cuisine, is available to watch now: 


The 16 shortlisted contestants now progress to the second stage of tournament – the Video Screening round – where they will complete three further assignments. The first asks each contestant to film the preparation of one of their original dishes, as submitted in the Document Screening round. The second, asks them to explain the dish in more detail, in dialogue with their vision and approach to Washoku. The final assignment asks the contestant to outline challenges they would like to take up, and activities – related to Japanese cuisine – they would like to join in the future.

On Monday 20 December 2021, the six Washoku World Challenge finalists will be announced on the dedicated Washoku World Challenge website and on the contest’s social media channels.

For further information on Washoku World Challenge click here or follow us: @WashokuWorldChallenge on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

The Judges for the Document Screening round of Washoku World Challenge 2021 are:

Deputy Head Judge,Mr. Masahiro NAKATA

Director of Taiwa Gakuen Inc. and Director of Taiwa Gakuen Hospitality Industry Development Center.

Judge, Mr. Motoi KURISU

President of Kumahiko Co., Ltd. in Kyoto

Judge, Mr. Hideaki MATSUO

Owner and Chef of Japanese Cuisine Kashiwaya in Osaka and Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador*.

* Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassadors are appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to

  help spread the pleasure and passion for Japanese food and dietary culture, both at home and abroad.