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Message from WACS President
Looking Back and Looking Forward
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Dear Chefs and Friends around the world,
There is no better time to reflect on the past and look to the future than just before the end of the year.
This year has certainly been eventful for WACS and myself as well. I’ve been honored to travel the world representing WACS, but I am happy to be spending the holidays with my family. I know I am blessed to gather around the table with my loved ones.
When you sit down for your holiday meal with your own families, I urge you to remember the less fortunate. I am very happy to see that many of you have worked hard and given many hours, days, weeks and even months of your lives to help raising funds, gathering food, and giving a helping hand where needed through the World Chefs Without Borders.
This program has seen activity in many countries like Japan, Thailand, New Zealand, Egypt, South Africa and Australia to name a few, but in fact, it is happening in many other countries around the world when chefs do small or big actions for others. I congratulate you all for this and may your passion and will to help and support never go away from you. We should remember also that we get a lot of help from outside our community and I would like to especially mention our good friend Frank Frank from Aviation Without Borders for his hand in our actions.
On a note that is just as important, the education component of WACS has been blooming this year with our new Culinary Education Recognition Program. I am extremely pleased with the members of the Education Committee with John Clancy as chairman. What a challenge they have undertaken and how hard they worked to achieve it! This committee is dedicated to ensure that WACS is the leading body of educational opportunities around the world and is improving the culinary standards of global cuisines. All of us should help in any way we can to make their work as smooth as possible.
Culinary programs have also been blooming. With now over 500 WACS Approved Judges from over 60 countries we are getting closer to our goal to have members of all our countries involved in judging. This is very important to ensure global standards in culinary cuisine. There will be 10 to 15 judging seminars held next year.
The WACS Endorsement of large and smaller culinary competitions has been a great step taken to ensure that culinary competitions which bear the WACS approval seal are conducted fairly and according to the established rules. Today, some of the larger food shows are contacting us and asking to be recognized by WACS. New international vegetable carving rules are in place, standardized cold table set up for the Culinary Olympics and a new way of drawing for the teams have been set in action. A new glazing seminar will be available next year and more and more of the historically experienced nations are connecting with the less experienced nations to share knowledge and help with training. This is only possible because of the strong Culinary Competition Committee we have under the leadership of Robert Oppeneder.
Global Chefs Challenge and Hans Bueschkens Junior Challenge semi finals have been ongoing all this year in various part of the world, all leading up to the final at our congress next year. Without the strong support of our sponsors, host countries and their members and dedicated leadership from Rick Stephens, this would not have been possible. A special thanks to Hungary, United Emirates, Canada, England, Slovenia, Hong Kong and New Zealand for hosting.
It has been extremely exciting to work with the team preparing the upcoming World Chefs Congress in Daejeong City, South Korea. Under the leadership of Charles Carroll, we have set up a brand new and exciting program that is focusing on education, competition, culinary performance, junior influence, roundtable discussions and setting world records. Speakers and leaders from around the world are helping and supporting our dream. We have the pleasure to have a strong alliance with the mayor of Daejeong City who is dedicated to have the largest culinary show happening in his city next year. Gear up for an forgettable event in South Korea from the 1st to 5th of May 2012.
Juniors from around the world are now building a strong network under the leadership and vision of Andy Cuthbert and will be strongly represented at our congress next year. It is my hope that the leaders of the Chef Associations around the world will support and help the young people in their countries to get this opportunity to take part in a global network of young chefs. This will open up for them many doors and give them an inside look into another level of gastronomy; something many of us have missed out on in our young days. This is our opportunity to open up the doors to them.
Our office in Paris has been very busy with Ragnar Fridriksson working hard to ensure quality and fast feedback to members and the Board of WACS. I have to say that I am extremely proud of the work our office has achieved over such a short time. Our website has been flooding with regular news and updates, with more available in all four of our official languages and more will be coming up next year with Chinese, Russian and Arabic versions. I am also very glad to have on board with us a sub-office in Singapore with Jenny and Charles Tan supporting the Asian and Pacific part of our membership and opening up new doors for WACS. Our dream is to see a sub-office opening in the near future in the Americas to ensure we are covering also that time zone. Please don’t miss out and remember to register for our monthly newsletter and free online magazine. This is your opportunity to follow what is happening around the world and also share your stories.
I lack the space here to thank everybody I want to thank but I have to say that without the voluntary support from each and every one of you, WACS would not have moved an inch forward. You all have made WACS what it has become and this board and members are extremely grateful and look forward to continuing working with you.
From my family to yours, I’m wishing you a safe and happy holiday season. May your holidays be filled with joy and love.
With thanks to you all,
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