Carrying a Peaceful Message to the World The parade of nations marks the start of the IKA/Culinary Olympics. Photo: IKA/Culinary Olympics

This IKA/Olympics is different: Thomas Gugler, President of Worldchefs, talks in the current “Digestif” about the turbulent time between the last and this IKA and why it is now particularly important for chefs to speak out together with a strong voice.

Thomas Gugler, Saudi Arabia
Thomas Gugler, Worldchefs-Präsident. Photo: Gugler

Looking ahead to the IKA/Culinary Olympics, I am looking forward to exchanging ideas with partners, teams and chefs from all over the world. Networking is a very important factor at the IKA, because this culinary competition brings people from the catering industry together from all over the world. In the Worldchefs Village, but also at various dinners, it is important to critically discuss what we can build on and what we need to work on in the international chef community. I have been a member of the German Chefs’ Association for 40 years and President of Worldchefs for eight years. During this time, I have accompanied several Culinary Olympics. But this time it feels different.

Power of the White Jacket

There was not only a pandemic between the last IKA and this one, but also war and violent conflicts, which mainly affect “ordinary people” who have nothing to do with politics. I remember well that I left Stuttgart in 2020 and was only just able to enter Saudi Arabia, my current place of residence, before the “barns” were closed due to coronavirus. Many chefs were afraid of unemployment and I received around 1,500 emails a day from worried colleagues around the world. During this time, we all tried to move closer together, at least digitally. Now the world is littered with new conflict zones that are once again shaking people and us chefs. This makes it all the more important to get the message out loud and clear that everyone is equal. Worldchefs and I personally stand for a community of equals, regardless of skin color, race, faith or gender. For me, the white jackets also symbolize this equality. At the IKA 2024, we can be visible together with the “Power of the white Jacket” and carry this peaceful message to the world, which unites us colleagues.It is also in our hands to create a healthy future for the next generation. Gastronomy can play an important role here, because: Eating and drinking together has always had a peace-building effect. The participants from 55 different countries cooking side by side in fair competition for gold at the IKA/Culinary Olympics are the best proof of this.

Never miss a thing: Always get the newest information about the IKA/Culinary Olympics.


What are you searching for?