Japanese Cooking Contest Looks to the Future

Japan Cooking Contest, 1st prize chef in action in the kitchen
Meticulous prep and presentation are the signs of a real winner
Sep 21, 2022
TOKYO – USA Rice conducted the finals for the tenth annual U.S. Medium Grain Cooking Contest here last week.  The theme of this year’s hands-on competition for professional chefs was “Future Rice Menus.”  Student chefs submitted a slate of rice dessert recipes for their competition that were reviewed by four judges.  

Seventy people competed in the professional chef category and 291 in the student category.

Judges praised the winning recipes for their innovation and ingenuity in going well beyond the style of conventional rice recipes and menus.  

The results of the contest will be published on the USA Rice Japan website, on social media, and in print publications.  Articles about the contest also will be placed with specialized papers and magazines targeting the foodservice industry.

“Most of the U.S.-origin rice that reaches the market in whole kernel form in Japan is destined for foodservice,” said Jim Guinn, USA Rice director of Asia promotion programs.  “Recently, however, USA Rice has made headway in the consumer retail market with a rice wholesaler introducing a smaller package – 300 grams versus 5 kilograms – to encourage consumers to give the new product a trial run.”

Japan is the largest export destination in Asia for U.S. rice, averaging 310,000 MT of mostly U.S. medium grain japonica over the last five years, valued at $250 million.