Published: 16:00, June 11, 2024
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Macao chef wins championship in China selection culinary competition
By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou
Judges of the Bocuse d'Or 2024 China Selection taste and score the dishes cooked by contestants in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on June 3, 2024. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Macao chef Oscar Wang won the championship in the Bocuse d'Or 2024 China Selection, which ended in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Monday.

Wang, who defeated seven other chefs in the China selection finals, will now represent the country in the Asia-Pacific division of the Bocuse d'Or competition, aiming to qualify for the global finals to be held in Lyon, France, next year.

"During the monthlong period from being told I had qualified for the finals to standing on the finals stage, the tense and challenging preparation process not only improved my cooking skills but also honed my willpower," said Wang from the Sheraton Grand Macao and St. Regis Macao.

Wang, 40, said he would continue to train hard and constantly improve to achieve a good result in the Asia-Pacific finals to bring glory to his motherland, and will also act as a food ambassador to promote cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.

In the finals of the China selection, Wang used water spinach, which is rarely found in Western cuisine, to make sauces paired with spices such as pepper oil, thyme and rosemary.

The prestigious Bocuse d'Or competition is sometimes called the "culinary Olympics".

Stefan Stiller, president of Bocuse d'Or Academy China, said it built a stage for chefs to demonstrate their cooking skills and exchange ideas and was a launchpad from which they could venture onto the international stage.

Jiang Guoyuan, deputy Party chief and general manager of Guangzhou Lingnan Group, said this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, and is also the China-France cultural and tourism year.

"The Bocuse d'Or 2024 China Selection will further promote the exchanges and mutual learning of food and cultural industries between China and France and contribute to enhancing friendly relations between China and the European nation," he said.

As an important Sino-foreign cultural exchange activity, it would also inject strong momentum into Guangzhou's efforts to become a world-class tourist destination and an international consumer center, he said.

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The Guangdong provincial capital has been dubbed one of China's "gastronomic capitals", he added.

In addition to a live broadcast of the competition, a live dialogue invited audience members, judges and chefs to interact and exchange views and share their experiences.

Feng Qi, secretary-general of the Guangzhou Western Food Association, said cooking is not only a skill, but also a culture, an art and an attitude toward life.

The Bocuse d'Or 2024 China Selection allowed more people to understand the charm of the cooking arts and better integrate culinary art into their daily lives, Feng said.

zhengcaixiong@chinadaily.com.cn