Greatest culinary art from around the world
From 2 to 7 February 2024, the IKA/Culinary Olympics will take place parallel to INTERGASTRA for the second time. In the Olympic year 2024, international teams of chefs compete over four days for medals at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre. INTERGASTRA visitors have the opportunity to watch almost 1,800 chefs from round about 67 countries live as they cook, to cheer them on as they prepare around 8,000 international menus, and then to enjoy the top-quality dishes from around the world.
Comments by participants
"I am taking part in the IKA for the first time as the Team Captain for Japan and am already very excited about the competition. Although the Olympic motto is 'Taking part is everything' – our objective is naturally to win the gold medal. We want to try and combine traditional Japanese cuisine with various other national cuisines such as French cuisine.“ (© DEHOGA Baden-Württemberg)
"I love challenges, that's why I am taking part in the IKA. It will be exciting to see what the rest of the world has to offer in the way of culinary delights. The IKA is a unique opportunity for us chefs to exchange knowledge and experiences. You never stop learning. It's not just about the competition – networking with colleagues is also extremely valuable." (© DEHOGA Baden-Württemberg)
"It will be exciting to experience the next IKA at a new venue. I am Chairwoman of the 'International Chefs Day Committee‘ and, in my opinion, it is a new professional experience for us chefs to take part in the competition. There they will be able there to experience the entire spectrum of culinary skills and the future of gastronomy." (© DEHOGA Baden-Württemberg)
"I am looking forward to meeting many international colleagues and being inspired by their creativity. However, the IKA is not just an exciting competition, it is also a great opportunity to encourage young people to pursue a career as a chef. The Junior National Teams include a large number of talents whom we can attract to our industry." (© DEHOGA Baden-Württemberg)
"I travelled to the draw in order to get in the mood for the competition and exchange information and experiences with colleagues. I am already looking forward to the IKA, after all it's the Culinary Olympics – the world's largest event for us chefs. I work for Unilever, i.e. in the area of community catering. I am taking part in the IKA for the first time and regard it as a good opportunity to develop my skills still further." (© DEHOGA Baden-Württemberg)
"We are really looking forward to the IKA – also because we have a new Finnish team. We want to strengthen our team through new experiences and ideas. A large number of different nationalities will be represented at the IKA – but food will bring us all together. We will bring traditional Finnish dishes to Stuttgart – everyone will then be able to experience Finland." (© DEHOGA Baden-Württemberg)
Become the face of the IKA 2024 now!
The IKA/Culinary Olympics brings together culinary artists from all over the world. Here, international teams and individual exhibitors compete for Olympic gold and create top-class culinary highlights. For the first time in 2024, private individuals from all over the world can also support the event - and thus secure a place on the digital "IKA Faces Wall".
- Perfection and precision: about the competition
- Culinary showdown: National Teams
- Junior National Teams
- Regional Teams & Community Catering
- Individual Exhibitors
- The path to Olympic glory: it works like this
- Collective strength: VKD and its partners
Teams from all over the world, gathered together for a unique competition: that’s the IKA/Culinary Olympics. In no other cooking competition do so many professional chefs measure their skills against each other.
The teams apply to take part in the following categories:
Anyone who has ever attended the IKA/Culinary Olympics will always remember it’s special flair and the feeling that makes this event so unique. No other international competition for chefs is as diverse, comprehensive and exciting as the mega event in Stuttgart. The IKA/Culinary Olympics bring together the most talented culinary artists from all over the world – a ‘once in a lifetime’ event that has been repeated every four years since 1900.
Divided into different categories, talented chefs with a particular passion for the competition meet at the Culinary Olympics. They face up to their competitors and the attentive jury of experts, show award-winning creations on the plates and start culinary trends .
The competition calls for maximum concentration and a great deal of know-how. Additionally, on the way to the podium, creative achievements count at least as much as cleanliness, hygiene and sustainability in the workplace. And: In the team categories, team spiritis often decisive when it comes to winning.
Caps, magic and menus: a unique cooking experience
There is always a hint of magic in the air when the kitchen masters step up to the stove. Quick, precise work and the beauty of the culinary creations are combined in breathtaking moments to form superb culinary art. The question is: will this work withstand the probing glances of the jury members? Visitors will be able to experience how this is done – and see the boundless jubilation of the winners – at close quarters.
Whether a menu or a buffet – in every competition discipline the participants demonstrate what true culinary art can achieve. They work with high concentration and always under the rigorous eyes of the omnipresent jury. Every individual plate must be perfect since the competitors do not know which one is judged. The results are ingenious ideas and creations which participants and visitors will still remember years later.
The ‘supreme discipline’ for culinary teams from around the world: The teams take on this renowned competition with the will to represent their own country and show their best on their plates.
- Restaurant of Nations: a three-course menu for more than 100 guests will be served at the restaurant table.
- Chef’s Table: half a dozen different dishes, at a large table in front of the competition kitchens – with personal service and close seating to the culinary team.
The talents of tomorrow cook here: The members of the Junior National Culinary Teams ?on the IKA stage in Stuttgart are not older than 25 years, highly motivated and ambitious.
- Restaurant of Nations: a three-course menu for more than 50 guests will be served at the restaurant table.
- Junior Chef’s Table: half a dozen different dishes, at a large table in front of the competition kitchens – with personalservice and close seating to the culinary team
With pride and passion for their respective region, the teams from all over the world compete against each other and demonstrate their cooking skills in the cold kitchen – just to look at. The challenge lies in the two-part competition.
- Culinary Art: finger food and an exclusive menu.
- Pastry Art: artistic desserts and pastry variations.
They are the specialists for excellent food on a grand scale: The team members of community catering and the armed forces show their strengths in organisation and culinary skills at lunchtime. With a changing shopping basket, selected products and a fixed cost of goods
- Restaurant of Community Catering: Creating a lunch menu including preparation, service and calculation of ingredients and prices.
International food artists and knife virtuosos create unique sculptures and artworks from chocolate, fruit, sugar in different categories.
With fingerfood, a five-course menu and dessert platters, the Individual Exhibitors create further culinary art just to look at.
Live Carvers will also sharpen their knives to create masterful figures made of vegetables and fruit.
The goal is clear: be present, be excellent, be successful. The path to the IKA/Culinary Olympics starts many months, if not years,
before the grand opening ceremony in Stuttgart. In countless training sessions and meetings, the teams and Individual Exhibitors work on their Olympic menus, programmes and showpieces. Later, the best of the best will stand on the podium. But despite all the ambition and personal commitment, it is the sense of community and fair cooperation that make the winners in the end.
Start at the end of 2022: After months of preparation, Individual Exhibitors and teams can register online for the IKA/Culinary Olympics.
Who? When? How? A draw will be held in spring 2023 to determine which teams will compete against each other on which day. This is going to be exciting!
Opening and Competitions
The IKA can finally get started: After the parade of the nations at the opening ceremony, it gets exciting for the participants, who compete against each other in different disciplines and competitions. Whoever has the most points at the end of the day will be the winner of the day’s individual competition. Depending on the score, several gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded per category.
The day of honours At the overall award ceremony, all those involved in the IKA celebrate the grand finale at Messe Stuttgart. The Olympic champions are chosen, the teams are thrilled and the audience is cheering. Who will be the Olympic champion? Who will win the medals and who will be immortalised in the Olympic books? Goosebump moments are guaranteed.
There will be an Olympic champion in every discipline:
- National Teams
- Junior National Teams
- Community Catering Teams
At the end of the four days of competition, the total number of points in all disciplines will determine who will secure the top step on the podium as the overall winner of the IKA/Culinary Olympics in the senior and junior team categories. The victorious regional team will be the proud bearer of the title “IKA CUP Winner”.
The German Chefs Association (VKD) acts as the supporter and organiser of the IKA/Culinary Olympics. Numbering around 9,000 members, the VDK is the largest group of chefs in Germany. The Association supports and advises its members on professional matters. It promotes young people and the development of the chef profession.
The Baden-Württemberg branch of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) coordinates the Olympic villages and helps in the organization of the training kitchens and accommodation of the competitors. More than 12,500 entrepreneurs from the hotel and restaurants industry are organised in the Baden-Württemberg branch of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA). DEHOGA represents the interests of the hospitality industry towards politicians and supports its members by offering a large number of services.
As the new venue for the IKA/Culinary Olympics, Messe Stuttgart will answer all questions relating to organisation and infrastructure during the event. Messe Stuttgart is one of the largest and most modern event venues in Europe. It has a trade fair and congress centre with multi-award-winning architecture and ideal air, road and rail connections.