• Chef must be of non-Japanese nationality with experience in cooking Japanese cuisine AND over 2 years of experience as a chef (current place of residence can be any country, including Japan).
  • Chef must be able to participate in one of the six qualifying tournaments.
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Application Process

Final tournament

Final tournament in Tokyo: February 13th and 14th, 2018

To check the whole process, please see "Schedule".

  • * Travel and hotel expenses for qualifying tournaments are to be paid for by the contestants.
  • * Travel and hotel expenses for the final tournament will be covered by the contest organizing committee.
  • * There is no participation fee.

Submission (Recipes) Requirements

Recipes must be originals created by the applicant, the restaurant managed by the applicant, or the restaurant where the applicant is employed, and must not have received an award in any contest.

  • * Recipes for sweets, snacks, desserts, and drinks are excluded from this contest.

To write the original recipes

1st Stage: Application Screening

You must submit one recipe for each category, two recipes total, to be eligible.

1. One suimono (with at least three ingredients) reflecting the UMAMI theme

The soup must use dashi made from kombu kelp and bonito flakes.

The ingredients must cover all of the below:
  • Wandane – the main ingredient. Fish, shellfish, or surimi(paste) made from either of these.
  • Wanzuma – vegetables.
  • Kaori – citrus or sprout of an aromatic plant.
  • * Contestants that pass the application screening will be asked to make the soup at the qualifying tournament (for five people, in 90 minutes).
  • * Please use ingredients that are assumed to be available in Japan.
  • * Photo is just one example.
What is suimono?
A chef's knowledge and technique are reflected in the suimono, or nimonowan, which can be considered the main dish of a Japanese cuisine. Prepared seasonal fish and/or shellfish are placed in a bowl, accompanied by carefully selected vegetables, and soup flavored just right is poured in. This creates a dish that is a delight to the eyes and nose, and soothing to the soul.

2. One fuchidaka mori (with at least five dishes) reflecting the UMAMI theme

Following the format of Japanese cuisine, prepare one set of at least five dishes (chosen from nimono(simmered foods), yakimono(grilled foods), agemono(deep-fried foods), aemono(marinated foods)/sunomono(foods dressed with vinegar), etc.) and arrange attractively in the fuchidaka.

Example of the size and shape of a fuchidaka:
Bottom W172mm-D172mm-H58mm
lid W172mm-D172mm-H10mm
For the application screening stage, if there is no fuchidaka available for you to use, please take a photo using a different container.
  • * Contestants who pass the qualifying tournament will be asked to prepare this at the final tournament (for five people, in 120 minutes). Each final contestant will be designated a 90-minute time slot on the day before to prepare in the kitchen.
  • * Judging will be based on the dish itself, and will not be influenced by the appearance of the container.
  • * Photo is just one example.
What is fuchidaka?
Fuchidaka is not the name of a dish or a meal, rather it is the name of the container itself. Though it is mainly used to hold sweets and light snacks at tea ceremonies, it is also widely used to display dishes. Guests are delighted by the dramatic effect of opening the lid and finding an exquisite feast inside.


Judges will evaluate based on the recipes and photos of the prepared dishes.

  1. Please provide one photo for each category (one of the suimono, one of the fuchidaka mori, for a total of two photos). In order to ensure fair judging, please avoid having the name of the restaurant or applicant appear in the photos.
  • * Contestants who require the London qualifying tournament, please upload the completed entry form, the recipe form, and photos, through the application form below or send by email by August 18th, 2017. Applicants will be notified of screening results by email by September 6th.
  • * Details regarding the application process for other regions will be updated on this site as they become available.


Head Judge
Yoshihiro Murata
Owner & Chef of Kikunoi
Chairman of Japanese Culinary Academy
Deputy Head Judge
Masahiro Nakata
Director of Taiwa Gakuen Education Inc.
President of Kyoto Culinary Art College
Kimio Nonaga
Lucy Birmingham
Journalist, author, editor and former president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan

[To be updated periodically]

There are two ways to apply. Apply online by clicking "APPLY NOW" and filling in the form or by sending an email attaching the file downloaded from the button "Download Application Form(WORD)".

Click "See the Sample for application form(PDF)" when you want to know how to write your own recipe.

Apply Now Download Application Form (WORD) See the Sample for application form (PDF)

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