Cheong Cherng Long from Malaysia receiving the Gold Prize Crystal Trophy from State Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ken Saito at an awards ceremony held in a Tokyo hotel
The original dish prepared by Gold Prize winner Cheong was “Akamutsu no kenchin yaki.” This is a dish prepared by roasting “tofu” and winter vegetables wrapped in “akamutsu” (rosy seabass), which is delicious in winter. This time the competitors were required to use winter vegetables and Cheong added a side dish of “gobo” stuffed with soft-boiled pumpkin with seeds removed, while also devising a way to add “edamame” tempura, demonstrating an awareness of giving variety to the coloring and texture of the dish. He was highly evaluated for the overall degree of perfection of the dish, including not just flavors but also the arrangement.
The original dish “Akamutsu no kenchin yaki” created by Cheong Cherng Long.
Cheong held the trophy as he spoke about his renewed determination to “use what I have experienced and learned on this trip to Japan for my future self and to do everything I can to share genuine Japanese food with the world.”
The Washoku World Challenge 2016 received entries for 205 dishes from 26 countries and regions. After the entry deadline, 23 dishes entered by 20 candidates who passed the initial screening were recreated in Tokyo according to their recipes and judged on elements such as their understanding of washoku techniques, taste, appearance, originality, and viability in their home countries. From those 20 candidates, 10 were selected to compete in the final round.