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Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung
Culinary Olympics

View FINAL RESULTS of 2000 CULINARY OLYMPICS

The Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung, commonly called the "Culinary Olympics", is the oldest and most prestigious international culinary competition in the world. It is being held in Erfurt, Germany, for the first time in it's 100 year history. Since it's founding as the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) in 1896, all competitions were held in Frankfurt until 1996 where it was moved to Berlin.

IKA was founded for the purpose of promoting education and tourism, with the goal of sharing ideas and culinary techniques with other nations. It began in 1896 when a group of German chef visionaries had a dream of an international cooking event that would cross language barriers and communicate world trends in cuisine. Those early pioneers thought tourism would increase if people became more aware of the quality of cuisine of their native homeland, as well as by observing chefs in kitchens where language differences were not a barrier to communication. Their dream became a reality and today the event is so large it has been dubbed the "Culinary Olympics". The success of this concept is apparent in the growth of this and other international competitions which now take place on every continent and have made significant contributions to the global food industry.

The first IKA was held in 1900 and included four nations competing in a local cooking contest at the Frankfurt fairgrounds. Since that time the event has grown to more than 750 chefs from 31 nations, and has events for individual competitors as well as national, regional, student, and military teams.

"Culinary Olympics" is the common name for the IKA Quadrennial Culinary Competition and is adapted from the German phrase meaning "Olympiad of the Cooks" used since World War II by the founding organization Verband Koche Deutschland (VKD) or German Society of Cooks. The original name of the organization was the International Verband Koche Deutschland until Hitler banned all international societies during World War II.

The United States culinary teams have competed in IKA since 1956 when they were clearly the underdogs. But the Americans soon established themselves as world class cooks. The 1960 Team, headed up by Paul Laesecke, captured the world championship on a menu of Maryland Fried Chicken, Prime Rib, and Stuffed Baked Potato cooked in aluminum foil. By 1988, the American team had won the prestigious hot food competition three times in a row, and still hold the record for the most consecutive wins.

Results of 2000 IKA Culinary Olympics
United States Brings Home the Gold!
Results of the Culinary Olympics Berlin 1996
 


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