They compete in two categories. The first is a cold buffet, which consists of appetisers as well as various main courses along with desserts and confectioneries. The decor, lighting, and place settings are also a part of the Olympic contest. The second category is called a “blind competition”, as the team has to serve three courses to 120 people and no one knows at which table sits the four Olympic judges nor at what point during the competition they will place their order.
The Icelandic chefs’ team currently ranks as the 10th among 34 nations competing at the culinary Olympics and the plan is to climb a few places up that ladder.
Icelanders have access to raw materials of excellent quality and can boast of world class chefs. Icelandic cuisine, however, is almost non-existent as such. I put this problem to Gissur Guðmundsson, the leader of the Olympic team, who said that they have a cunning plan.
“It might take a century or so, but we are working on it. In the mean time we rely on the uniqueness of our excellent raw materials, the lamb and fish that comes from an unpolluted environment.”
But the chefs have other gigs this month. The World Association of Cooks Societies have the snappy acronym WACS. WACS has 72 member nations with over 8 million members and they are organising their very own annual day. They have claimed the third Wednesday of October each year to be the International Chefs’ Day and on that day they celebrate their craft.
On October20th the world’s chefs will get involved with all kinds of charity work. And here in Iceland they will be visiting crèches and playschools to teach the children all about healthy eating and the art of cooking. At least three chefs or student chefs will visit more than 30 playschools during lunch break to show off their skills.