So far, we have touched upon the importance of rice, showcased our favorite local drinks, and explored some of Japan’s historical and cultural roots. As we reported it earlier, our chef is preparing for this year’s Washoku World Challenge: as the next qualifying round kicks off in Paris next week, it’s time to take a quick behind-the-scenes tour!

The prestigious competition’s name – ‘washoku’, literally means ‘food of Japan’ – is the word we use when referring to traditional Japanese food collectively: known for its wide range of tastes and healthy elements, its significance is also reflected in the fact that it has been registered on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

Written in kanji characters, 和 (wa) stands for Japan or Japanese, representing harmony at the same time, while 食 (shoku) means food or to eat.  Harmony is truly present in this absolutely special cuisine: meals have a strong connection to seasons as their ingredients revolve around the fresh and mellow elements nature provides throughout the four changing periods.

The basis of washoku includes four essential components: cooked rice, soups, side dishes and tsukemono, A.K.A. Japanese pickles.

The Washoku World Challenge is organized for the 5th time this year: initiated by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the main goal was to show appreciation for the diligence and devotion of the many foreign chefs who work on presenting Japanese meals the best possible way, passing on the incredible tastes and compositions of Japanese cuisine all around the globe. It’s not the first time Sushi Sei’s chef participated in such a prominent international competition: last year, Zsolt Kurkó came third at the European finals.

Our team is already on the spot, getting ready for the big cook-off, while we’re cheering for our chef from Budapest. Updates on the Washoku World Challenge are coming soon – in the meantime: follow our blog for more interesting details about Japanese gastronomy, culture and heritage. Visit Sushi Sei for an authentic culinary experience: you can reserve a table here, or order your favorite sushi boxes and tasty Japanese treats right to your doorstep!