Competition Theme: UMAMI

Since its 5th year, the competition theme of the Washoku World Challenge has been UMAMI, which is the essential taste at the heart of Japanese cuisine.

What is UMAMI?

UMAMI is the source of the savoriness of Japanese cuisine. It is one of the five basic tastes, the others being sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and bitterness, and an important component of a dish’s flavor. Recognition of UMAMI has increased in recent years, and the word has made its way into many non-Japanese dictionaries. The UMAMI taste is usually a product of some combination of inosinic acid, amino acids such as glutamic acid, and nucleic acids such as guanylic acid. In Japan, the technique of extracting UMAMI from kombu kelp and bonito flakes to create dashi broth was developed approximately 500 years ago. Many cookbooks were published in the mid-Edo period (around 1651-1745), and these strongly advocated the importance of dashi. Japan has a long history of valuing dashi highly, and its UMAMI has brought out the flavors of ingredients and played key roles in the creation of delectable dishes.

This Year's Theme: "DASHI"

Soup stock has been incorporated into a variety of cusine from around the world, including French bouillon, fond de veau, and Chinese broth.
In Japanese cuisine, ingredients such as kombu kelp, dried bonito shavings, dried fish, dried shiitake mushrooms, and soybeans are utilized for a variety of different purposes in a wide range of combinations.
For instance, dashi - a basic component of Japanese everyday cuisine- is made with soft water and the synergistic effect of glutamic acid extracted from kombu kelp and inosinic acid extracted from dried bonito shavings provides approximately eight times the umami flavor.

In recent years, many chefs around the world believe that they could use less oil by upgrading umami and still keep customers satisfied. They are very conscious of healthy aspects of Japanese cuisine, and of "dashi" in particular.

The Washoku World Challenge is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and in this connection, we decided to go back to basics, which is why we chose the theme of "DASHI". We look forward to seeing how our contestants maximize the flavor of this indispensable Japanese cuisine basic!

Click here to learn more about this year's theme, "DASHI."

Eligibility for Application

Applicants must be those of non-Japanese nationality, and must have experience as a cook or chef.
(the current place of residence may be Japan or abroad.)

* Excludes past winners of the Washoku World Challenge.

Application Flow

  1. ApplicationYou may apply for both the Regional Qualifying Tournament and the Online Qualifying Tournament.
  2.  

  3. Document Screening
  4. Maximum of 10 contestants of each Regional Qualifying Tournament

    10 contestants

  5. RegionalDish Screening OnlineVideo Screening
  6. 3 winners +
    1 runner-up
    (Total 4)

    2 contestants

Schedule

Qualifying Tournaments

Application/Document
Submission Deadline
Results Announced Regional Qualifying
Tournaments
Venue Finalists Announced
European Regional Qualifying Tournament Application/Document Submission Deadline: September 20th Results Announced: Late September Regional Qualifying Tournaments: October 24th Venue: Le Cordon Bleu Finalists Announced: Announcement of one Regional Qualifying Tournament runner-up
Late November
North American Regional Qualifying Tournament Application/Document Submission Deadline: October 7th Results Announced: Mid-October Regional Qualifying Tournaments: November 7th Venue: Institute of Culinary Education
Asian Regional Qualifying Tournament Application/Document Submission Deadline: October 21st Results Announced: Early November Regional Qualifying Tournaments: November 21st Venue: Commune Kitchen
Finalists Announced: Announcement of one Regional Qualifying Tournament runner-up
Late November


Application/Document
Submission Deadline
Results Announced Video Submission
Deadline
Venue Finalists Announced
Online Qualifying Tournament Application/Document Submission Deadline: September 25th Results Announced: November 4th Video Submission Deadline: November 25th Venue: Finalists Announced: December 21st
Finalists Announced: December 21st

Final Tournament

Scheduled to be held in Tokyo in late February 2023.
The Regional Qualifying Tournament winners (three contestants), plus one runner up in the Regional Qualifying Tournament, plus the Online Tournament winners (two contestants) advance to the Final Tournament.

  • * Travel and hotel expenses for qualifying tournaments are to be paid for by the contestant.
  • * Travel and hotel expenses for the final tournament will be covered by the WWC organizing committee.
  • * There is no participation fee.
  • * Please note that the competition may be canceled, postponed or changed.