As Thursday events are about to start, Wednesday was very much a repeat of Tuesday. Participating chefs were involved in 3 categories. Todays”R” teams which included strong teams from Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong were prepping seafood (halibut) while the “D” teams were involved in the Gourmet Challenge and Categories A, B,and C presented 4 different appetizers; 4 different individually plated desserts; chocolate showpiece; petits fours/pralines, ethnic asian meal or modern contemporary Korean. Say all that in one breath!!
The judges (always in teams) were as usual extremely busy, inspecting the finer details of theses chefs craftmanship, and discussing their merits. Category A,B, and C were a visual delight. It is just too bad that I cannot offer you a much wider and more detailed panorama of these artists (only 1 picture per blog).
Wednesday was officially the Grand Opening of WACS 2012 so board members gathered together for new resolutions and the voting went on and on. While this is an important aspect of any international association, it quickly turned boring for myself so I scooted back to the WACS Village to inspect some of these masterpieces. In other rooms, education sessions were in progress.
After lunch we were all invited to attend the Parade of Nations, where all 90 countries members (who represent 10 million chefs) were acknowledged and celebrated by having young Korean culinary students carry each flag of the member countries. Then TV cameras startred to pour in, men in suits with earpieces and we knew that our special guest was about to enter the room. Korea’s First Lady was about to address our assembly of nations. While I did not have a translator earphone, I can only guess the words ” how pleased I am to be attending such an important event and be in the mist of such renowned chefs from all over the world……” . The importance of being acknowleged by the highest echelons of the government is always a tribute of the importance of WACS. In Chile we were addresed by the then president of the country.
We then had to attend an even more important event: the official attempt regarding WACS entering into the World Guiness Book of Records for the largest gathering of chefs in one location. Wow!!! While this may seem fun, which it was, it was also a difficult undertaking. Getting everyone to gather at the Waterpark, then counted by the representative of Guiness World Records, then seated and further inspected by the representative (as everyone there HAD to be in their whites), this took a few hours. Luckily the weather cooperated as there were some mean clouds in the sky. Finally, the representative informed all assembled chefs that they need to stay in their places for a full ten minutes (she provided a stopwatch), the countdown began. I did a fast count looking over all the seated chefs and I estimated about 2,200 chefs. The buildup to the final seconds was tense and the the result was announced. As any new category in the World Guiness Book of Records, there must be a munimum of 500, so we all knew that we were in. The final result! 2111 is the official number that will be entered. The mayor of Daejeon said a few worlds along with WACS preseident and then in typical chef’s fashion, everyone threw their hats in the air. It was a great feeling. There was national and local TV coverage and press galore.
We were then escorted back to our hotels where we just had time to change for our evening outdoor barbecue on the open grounds of the Daejeon Culture & Art Centre and where we were able to attend a concert with some of Korea’s top pop artists. It was attended by hundreds and more hundreds outside but what was astonishing was that they had reserved a good number of seats for us delegates. It was rather awkward arriving there in the mist of hundred of teenagers trying to get in only to be pushed aside for us to be escorted to our seats. You should have seen some looks! However we soon forgot that feeling and began to sway to the music along with hundreds of teenagers. I looked at the person sitting next to me and we both smiled, thinking alike, Ahh, to be 17 again!!
The evening completed, we headed back,
and I finally had my regular 7 hour sleep. Thursday will be an easy, slow day so I may have a very small blog relating to the events of Thursday. However I will make up for it on Friday and Saturday as they are my busiest days (Friday I am involved with the Gourmet Chefs Challenge, and Saturday my chat about wine and food with the Young Chefs Forum). Tomorrow I will take the time to explian the Challenge and all 7 contestants.
Talk to you all soon!