The spirit of Pakistan International Culinary Championship emanates from the idea of projecting a positive and soft image of Pakistan across the globe.
By Fraaz Mahmud Kasuri
Chefs’ Association of Pakistan (CAP), founded in 2006, is the proud member of Worldchefs, Paris – the global authority on food. It is the only national association of Pakistan, which is internationally recognized. It represents finest chefs, restaurateurs, hoteliers, food & beverage companies, culinarians, educators, learners and other stakeholders of Pakistan’s hospitality, culinary, travel and tourism industries.
The association since 2016 organises the biggest culinary battle of Pakistan ‘Pakistan International Culinary Championship’ (PICC) in which the chefs from all the provinces and other parts of the world participate and compete in different categories.
This year, CAP is organising the 5th season of PICC in which professional chefs not only from local hotels, restaurants and catering companies will participate but teams from Worldchefs’ member associations will also be competing. Young chefs from mainstream schools, colleges and universities will also be competing in different categories.
Professional yet healthy competitions in a country reflect the soft image of its nation. They depict the peacefulness, tolerance and resilience of a nation. In a peaceful and beautiful country like Pakistan, Chefs’ Association of Pakistan (CAP) in collaboration with COTHM Pakistan and Dubai and Lahore Restaurant Association (LRA) marked the beginning of a new era of professional cooking competitions in Pakistan and jointly organized one of its own kind culinary championship under the title of ‘Pakistan International Culinary Festival (PICF).
This year, Pakistan International Culinary Championship (PICC-2023) will take place on March 13, 14, 15, 16, 2023 to showcase, highlight and celebrate the prevalent culinary trends in Pakistan. The PICC-2023 is being jointly organized by CAP, COTHM and LRA. The three-day event will present various segments comprising: ‘culinary championship’ that will hunt culinary talent from Pakistan, ‘Food and Beverage Companies Stalls’ where different food companies will display their products, ‘Artisan at Work’ in which handicrafts of different regions of Pakistan will be displayed, ‘Conferences & Seminars’ to highlight the technical and academic side of the food in Pakistan, and a ‘judging seminar’ in which local chefs will be certified for international judging.
The spirit of PICC emanates from the idea of projecting a positive and soft image of Pakistan across the globe. The PICC-2023 will consist of three tiers of culinary competitions ranging from school children to college and university students and culminating into the competitions among the professional chefs from five star hotels, restaurants, cafes, catering companies and bakery sector.
The first Pakistan International Culinary Championship was held in 2016 initiating the journey of exploring the unmatched talent of the Pakistani chefs. The cuisine of Pakistan has its own idiosyncrasies and a depth beyond imagination. The culinary championship provides the chefs to showcase and demonstrate their unique talent and skills to prove that they are no less than any other nation on the map of earth! The crosscutting theme of the championship is to promote the Pakistani cuisine internationally.
Besides the active participation of international culinary teams, National Culinary Team of Pakistan (NCTP), National Women Culinary Team of Pakistan (NWCTP) and Young Chefs Team of Pakistan (YCTP) in different cooking competitions, the championship will feature amazing food display classes, fun eating competitions, Worldchefs Judging Seminar and many other useful activities.
Such events play a vital role in promoting tourism and bringing huge foreign exchange to the country. Festivals like Gulf-food Dubai, Carnival of Venice, International Istanbul Gastronomy Festival Turkey, Cannes Film Festival Paris and ITB Berlin have become major economic contributors to the national exchequer of their respective countries.
COTHM Pakistan & Dubai CEO Ahmad Shafiq has said that the key objective behind celebrating PICC is to promote the food, culture and heritage of Pakistan and develop and project the soft and positive image of the beloved country internationally. Such events, he added, can play a vital role in creating a culture of tolerance and provide people with opportunities to explore so many good things happening in Pakistan.
In short, professional cooking competitions under the aegis of Pakistan International Culinary Championship can play a permanent role in exploring and developing the immense talent of Pakistan for promoting the soft image of the country in the region and globally.
Worldchefs Judging Seminar
For the first time in the history of Pakistan, Chefs’ Association of Pakistan (CAP) is organising ‘Worldchefs Judging Seminar’ on March 15 to train the Pakistani chefs in international culinary standards. The aspiring chefs who participate in the seminar will receive a certificate which is mandatory to become a Worldchefs Judge. After becoming a Worldchefs Judge, one can attend prestigious culinary events worldwide while developing his/her culinary skills and those of others. Internationally acclaimed chef Domenico Maggi from Italy is coming to Pakistan to train and upgrade the skills of Pakistani chefs. This seminar is conducted purely under the strict terms and conditions of Worldchefs, Paris and those who utilize this opportunity jump into the advanced phase of professional progress.