Food Forum

KTE supports young chefs in France

Workshop in Japan for Concours Kikkoman Winners


The five Concours Kikkoman winners and Dr. Yukio Hattori (fifth from right), president of Hattori Nutrition College, with instructors

Since 1994, Kikkoman Trading Europe GmbH (KTE) has sponsored the Concours Kikkoman, an annual culinary competition of young chefs from throughout France, who present recipes that feature Kikkoman Soy Sauce. In Fall 2022, Kikkoman invited the five most recent winners to Japan, where, as the highlight of their rewards tour, they participated in a two-day workshop on the fundamentals of Japanese cooking, held in conjunction with Hattori Nutrition College.

On the first day of the workshop, participants attended a lecture on different types of Japanese kitchen knives, then practiced special cutting techniques on vegetables and fish. The young chefs then learned to make dashi, and prepared miso soup and tendon tempura rice bowls. In this hands-on experience, they successfully gained an understanding of how to make proper tempura batter and check oil temperatures for deep-frying, after which they enjoyed their own delicious tempura. The second day involved lectures and practical training on preparing sushi, soba and udon noodles. Participants also learned to make oyakodon chicken and egg rice bowl, katsudon pork cutlet rice bowl, and sukiyaki—each of which involves mastering appropriate ratios of soy sauce, mirin and other seasonings. As on the first day, the chefs prepared all dishes themselves, learning how to handle Japanese kitchen equipment.

Workshop Day 1: Preparing tempura and tendon

Workshop Day 2: Making katsudon and oyakodon

In tasting their freshly made dishes, the students were able to experience first-hand the authentic and delicate flavors of Japanese cuisine, which enhances individual ingredients through umami. The enthusiastic young chefs asked many questions, eager to acquire new knowledge during this unique cultural experience. Following the workshop, the five Concours winners expressed gratitude for this opportunity, and a desire to share their new skills upon their return to France. Learning directly from Japanese culinary professionals will likely be a considerable asset for these young chefs and serve as inspiration in their future careers.

KTE continues to promote the international exchange of food culture by integrating Kikkoman Soy Sauce into food cultures in Europe. The company supports activities such as the Concours Kikkoman in order to nurture young chefs such as these, who will lead the future of global cuisines.