The Culinary Olympics: 5-10 October

5 October sees the start of the Culinary Olympics in Germany. Krister Dahl, Executive Chef here at Gothia Towers, is captain of the Swedish Culinary Team which will be competing for Olympic gold in just a few days’ time!

Just like the regular Olympic Games, the Culinary Olympics have been held for more than a hundred years and take place every four years. However, the Culinary Olympics are always held in Germany.
Sweden is the only country to have won twice in a row since the competition was founded in 1900. And Krister is the only chef in the world to have won three gold medals.
Will you be bringing home a fourth gold?
“We’re an extremely talented team of eleven, with a common goal,” says Krister, who is on-site in Germany where preparations are now in full swing. “We’re very well prepared, and we’ve practised together a great deal. So we’re aiming for gold, but the competition is tough with plenty of excellent opponents.”

Competing has always been a big part of Krister’s life. He won his first competition back in 1993, and he has been captain of the Swedish Culinary Team since 2005. However, this year’s Culinary Olympics will be Krister’s last.
“That’s right. Although I’ll continue to act as a mentor for the new team that will be put together after these Culinary Olympics. I’ve also been asked by WACS (the World Association of Chefs Societies) to continue as a judge, and to further develop the competitions and training organised by WACS. So the future’s incredibly exciting.”

The Swedish team started working on the menu for this year’s Culinary Olympics immediately after winning bronze in 2008. The team has worked hard to devise what they believe is a winning menu. But the competition is tough, and as always it’s hard to predict the outcome of the judging. We at Gothia Towers will be keeping all our fingers crossed that things go well for the Swedish team and our Executive Chef Krister!

Here at our blog you can follow the Swedish Culinary Team in Germany and see how they are doing behind the scenes during the course of the competition.

You can also follow Krister on Twitter: @KristerDahl

About the Culinary Olympics

Sweden will be competing against 36 national teams from all over the world at the Culinary Olympics. The participants in the various classes come from more than 50 different countries, with a total of around 1,500 chefs and pastry chefs taking part.

The Culinary Olympics were first held in 1900 in Frankfurt. Since then, the event has taken place every four years. Sweden is unique in being the first nation ever to win gold at two consecutive events, and the first nation to enter a completely organic menu in 2004.

Participants compete in two events: “Cold platters display” and “Hot kitchen”.
Sweden’s competition days have been drawn for 7 October (Cold platters display) and 9 October (Hot kitchen).
– Cold platters display consists of more than 30 dishes and menus presented on a 12 m² table, with a large chocolate and/or sugar sculpture and a party platter for eight people as the centrepieces.
Hot kitchen is a full-scale restaurant event with 110 diners. A three-course menu is created from scratch in the competition kitchen by six chefs and pastry chefs in 6½ hours.

Each dish is graded on a scale from 0 to 100, based on taste and composition. Cooperation in the kitchen is also assessed, and this is an area where the Swedish team has scored highly in previous Culinary Olympics.
All the events are assessed by a jury, with each jury including one German judge and judges from other countries.



Lena Johansson, Gothia Towers