Regional Culinary Richness Masterfully Displayed At the 26th IKA/Culinary Olympics, 24 Regional Teams will be showcasing the special features of their home region with their exhibits. Photo: IKA/Culinary Olympics

In Stuttgart, international Regional Teams present the delicacies of their local area to a wide audience. The exhibitions are “to view only” and show culinary craftsmanship at the highest level.

Text Anna Häuser   Photos IKA/Culinary Olympics

For the Regional Teams, the name IKA (International Culinary Arts Exhibition, orig. Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung) says it all, as they create culinary exhibitions for the eyes only. With pride and passion for their respective regions, a total of 24 teams from all over the world will compete against each other at the 26th IKA/Culinary Olympics in February and put their culinary skills to the test. The challenge lies in the two-part competition. In “Culinary Art”, finger food and an exclusive menu are required, both of which contain vegan components. In addition: prepared hot and presented cold starters as well as a buffet platter. The requirements for “Pastry Art” include artistic desserts and pastry variations. The five-person teams, together with three helpers, must have set up all the exhibits by 7 am before the jury and then the visitors to the IKA critically examine and marvel at the dishes presented. 

To the Top with Local Ingredients  

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The Regional Teams present masterly craftsmanship and filigree culinary art for the eye.

“We want our team to play at the top again and take one of the coveted podium places,” says Alexander Limbach from the Swiss team Cercle des Chefs de Cuisine Lucerne, which brought victory to Lucerne at the last IKA. “Our motto is ‘Switzerland 365’. Only products that are produced in Switzerland and are local are used on our plates and platters. Switzerland is diverse and this gives us the opportunity to present this great country through a wide variety of creations.” Linus Hornwall from the Regional Team Skåne Kulinar from Sweden will also take part. “This will be my third time at the IKA/Culinary Olympics, our team has been represented since the early 2000s,” he says. „In 2024, we try to use our locally processed greens and traditional dishes. I am looking most forward to the community of chefs in Stuttgart.” 

Learning from Each Other   

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Visitors can view the exhibits of the Regional Teams from 10 am to 6 pm.

“I had the opportunity to participate at the IKA in Erfurt twenty years ago as a supporter of the Romanian National Team,” recalls Procopeț Ovidiu-Nicu. “I was impressed by the level of the competition and not least by the logistical dimension of this world event. Since then, I have dreamed of being able to represent Romania in a competition of this scope.” In February, his dream will come true when he captains the Gastro Cuisine Regional Team from Romania to the Culinary Olympics – one of five Regional Teams from Romania. “We have set ourselves the goal of presenting all the flavor and richness of natural ingredients from the Bucovina area, that grow in nature without human intervention – such as pine nuts, wild mushrooms or berries,” he says. “We have high expectations of ourselves as professionals, but at the same time we hope to meet wonderful people from whom we can learn. Because in gastronomy, which is so dynamic, there is always something new to learn.” 

Who will win the race in a few weeks and take home the Olympic title as the best Regional Team will be announced on 7 February. Until then, visitors can look and marvel. The exhibitions of the Regional Teams can be visited during the opening hours of Intergastra, which takes place parallel to IKA, between 10 am and 6 pm at the East Entrance of the International Congress Center (ICS). Admission is either with an IKA menu ticket or an Intergastra trade fair ticket.

Icons Ika Für Website (2)

IKA 2024: Regional Teams at a Glance 

  • Competition: Culinary Art & Pastry Art 
  • Event Venue: Entrance East, ICS  
  • Offer: culinary exhibitions  
  • Visit: between 10 am and 6 pm with IKA menu ticket or trade fair ticket 

Overview of teams, menus and how to get there:

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