Who will be the IKA CUP winner? Go for Gold! Also the defending champion of 2016, the Stockholm Culinary Team, has used the past months for training. Photo: Stockholm Culinary Team

„Ready for Culinary Art“: We introduce the different categories and competitions of the IKA/Culinary Olympics 2020. This time: Regional Teams.

Aina Keller

The 25th IKA/Culinary Olympics from the 14th to the 19th of February at INTERGASTRA 2020 occupies many teams and coaches worldwide. The regional teams are “ready for culinary art”.

Meant to be hot, presented in cold: The classic Culinary and Pastry Art show with its artistic exhibits is probably one of the most traditional categories at the IKA/Culinary Olympics (see info box). On the way to Stuttgart, the teams are currently training all the required elements and are fine-tuning every detail of the two-part program.

Gergő Balázs, team captain of the Hungarian Military Culinary Team, is looking forward to his fourth IKA participation: " It is our dream to win the gold medal". Photo: Hungarian Military Culinary Team
Gergő Balázs, team captain of the Hungarian Military Culinary Team, is looking forward to his fourth IKA participation: ” It is our dream to win the gold medal”. Photo: Hungarian Military Culinary Team

From the Italian region of Campania comes a team of experienced and multiple award-winning individual exhibitors who, under the leadership of team manager Giuseppe Spina, have set themselves the task of presenting a mixture of tradition and modern-style in 2020: “The aim of Team Campania is not only to collect medals, but above all to make the flavours of our country known through unique dishes. The authentic taste combined with innovative culinary techniques will become art.“

Equally important to the teams is the learning from others. It is the first time for the ACF Regional Culinary Team USA with team captain Robert Marilla to be part of this team line-up: “We look forward to showing our dishes and creating unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.” The dedication during the trainings is enormous – long nights, a lot of team spirit and endless correction loops. ” Each one of us practices for himself on a regular basis and the entire team comes together at least once a month,” reports Lukáš Paluska from the Czech Intergast Culinary Team. “During our training sessions, we always evaluate each others’ products and also invite external consultants to attend.”


Team spirit and culinary art across all borders

The great efforts are well worth it, because the IKA experience is very unique, everyone agrees on this. How it feels to get a gold medal is something that the Regional Culinary Team Cyprus knows (among others) from 2016: “The last IKA was unforgettable for us and we are very proud to be able to represent our home country Cyprus and hopefully bring home precious metal again.”

This is also the hope of the Swedes, whose teams Stockholm Culinary Team (1st place in 2016) and Skåne Kulinar 2020 are the defending champions. “The time between Culinary World Cup and the upcoming IKA is quite short and the training is therefore very intensive”, says Stockholm coach Jens Ericsson, who is working with his team towards gold medal and overall victory. Runner-Up Skåne Kulinar is also “hot for Stuttgart”. “Most of the members are there for the second time, which brings stability to the team and creates a good basis for smooth processes,” says team manager Linus Hornwall.

Coming from two different countries, the Texman Culinary Team arrives from Waco in Texas, USA (Culinary) and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (Pastry). The respective cook federations of the countries maintain a good friendship and the team participates since 2004 in this form. “We love this event because of the visitors from all over the world,” says team manager JD Braid. “When we meet our colleagues in Germany, we build up friendships that last forever.”

Photo: Chefs de Cuisine Lucerne
Photo: Chefs de Cuisine Lucerne

Last but not least: A special constellation can be found in the Team Cercle des Chefs de Cuisine Lucerne from Switzerland, who returned from Luxembourg as vice world champion in 2018. Chef Karin Steiner and team manager Marco Steiner are teammates, married couple and parents of two small children: “Besides the family, we give everything for the art of cooking.”


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In the regional teams category, teams from all over the world show the high art of the cold exhibition. The teams of five, supported by three helpers, will be challenged in two competitions in 2020.

  • Competition: Culinary Art –  This competition includes four finger foods, a cold show plate, three starters and a five-course menu.
  • Competition: Pastry Art –  This means four plate desserts and pastry or chocolate variations each.

The team with the highest total score will be awarded the title of IKA CUP Winner on 19th of February 2020.

Teams, competitions, menu tickets: You can find all information at a glance here.

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


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