Asian Chefs Gear up for Culinary Competition

The inaugural event of the United Tastes of America Asian Chef Challenge is rolling out across Asia, and it’s attracting culinary talents across the region. The United Tastes of America Asian Chef Challenge begins with preliminary competitions in five metropolitan cities – Taipei, Tokyo, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Seoul. The purpose of this competition is to introduce more Asian chefs to the products of American farmers, ranchers, and fishermen. U.S. agricultural products are among the finest in the world, and they deserve the creative talents of some of the world’s best chefs. We want to find the best chefs, introduce them to products they may not be familiar with, and meet their needs in the future.

Ten teams from renowned hotels and restaurants across mainland China will compete in this event. Their dishes will feature a wide array of tasty and quality American ingredients, such as pistachio, prune and walnut from California, cranberry, pecan, pork, Sunkist orange and lemon, Alaska seafood, potato, dairy products and more. All of these quality products were produced by American farmers and ranchers or caught in American fisheries.

The winning team from each country/region will be eligible for the final competition at the Hattori Nutrition School in Tokyo in March 2016. The winning team of the final competition will be awarded an all-expenses paid culinary tour ofthe U.S. The preliminary competition in mainland China will take place on January 9, 2016 at the Guangzhou Vocational School for Tourism and Business in Guangzhou.

American producers and Chinese consumers rely on each other in a highly beneficial relationship. Chinese demand for products from American farmers led to a record $31.12 billion in US agricultural exports to China in 2014. This provided Chinese consumers with lower food prices and more variety, and provided American farms with a market for their products. It also made China the largest destination for US exports of agricultural products.

The United Tastes of America – Asian Chef Challenge is a team effort, led by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, supported by the Agricultural Trade Offices in East Asia, and sponsored by numerous U.S. food associations. The initiative supports President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014 under the National Export Initiative. It is one example of the type of work that the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service does on a routine basis.

The United Tastes of America – Asian Chef Challenge has received unprecedented support and generous sponsorship from numerous U.S. food associations, including the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, American Pistachio Growers, California Prune Board, California Raisin Administrative Committee, California Walnut Commission, Sunkist Growers, Inc., U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee, U.S. Dairy Export Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S. National Pecan Growers Council, and the U.S. Potato Board. The Guangzhou Regional Culinary Industry Association and the Sichuan Provincial Hospitality Industrial Association, Chengdu City of Gastronomy Association, and the Industrial Association of Food Chongqing also supported this event.