The World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) famous global culinary challenge will start its Australian leg with the semi-final in Perth this week. For the first time in the challenge’s history, Dilmah tea will form a key component of the competition menus, emphasizing tea as an important ingredient in fine food.
As a key part of the competition during each semi-final and final, entrants are required to select from one of six exquisite Dilmah teas and use them as a core ingredient in their dessert course, which also has a chocolate and fruit component. Teas that can be used in the competition include Dilmah’s English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Mango & Strawberry, Moroccan Mint Green Tea, Springtime Fragrant Oolong and Pure Camomile Flowers. The chefs will each receive a box containing the selection of teas prior to the competition in to trial various cooking methods and techniques.
Gissur Gudmundsson, President of the 10-million strong Chefs’ Association explains why Dilmah was the obvious choice as a partner for this challenge; “in recent years tea has grown from a simple hot beverage to become one of the most intriguing ingredients in gastronomy today, taking prize place on menus in top restaurants around the world. As an industry leader and producer of the finest single-origin Ceylon tea, Dilmah understands the potential of this versatile, natural product and shares our passion for pushing its culinary boundaries”.
Dilhan C. Fernando, son of Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando enthused: “Being involved with WACS and this global culinary challenge helps us to share the delicious and luxurious aspect of terroir in tea. Tea is naturally good for our health and fresh tea also offers infinite variety in flavour, texture, aroma and character. This makes tea a unique ingredient with enormous potential in the hands of imaginative Chefs. My family is devoted to making tea in the artisanal style to protect the identity that nature gives each tea; we are working with WACS to educate chefs about the wonderful herb. We started our exploration of tea gastronomy over a decade ago and our learning’s are expressed in initiatives like this, and also our Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge, which kicks off in Australia in June this year.”
There is also a humanitarian aspect to the partnership, with Dilmah supporting WACS’ World Chefs without Borders – the charitable arm of WACS though a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the Dilmah Book of Tea Inspired Cuisine and Beverage.
The prestigious event involving 93 countries from seven different regions, includes, the Global Chefs Challenge, Global Pastry Chefs Challenge and Hans Buesckens Young Chef of the Year.
The WACS competition semi-final in Perth will take place 14-16 April 2013. The grand final including winners from seven different regions will take place in Norway in 2014.