"Like a well-oiled machine"

05.11.2019 - 11:50

IKA/Culinary Olympics, INTERGASTRA and GELATISSIMO require top logistical performance in planning, delivery and construction

The logistics team at Messe Stuttgart is facing a hot winter: The IKA/Culinary Olympics, INTERGASTRA and GELATISSIMO events have to be planned precisely so that they can be set up on the intended logistics areas within a tight schedule. "The whole thing has to run like a well-oiled machine and, during the Culinary Olympics, we also have to coordinate around 2000 cooks, their equipment and the kitchen fittings," says Project Manager Markus Tischberger. All food must also be delivered on time to the right places during the four days of competition. Bernd Weiss, Department Director of the Traffic and Safety department at Messe Stuttgart, and his team have been busy preparing "Operation Olympics" since the beginning of the year. "The constant deliveries to the site and their distribution represent the greatest challenges for us." Especially during ongoing competitions, as the logistics space is limited. "New teams compete against each other twice on each competition day. Each team brings its own equipment and cooking ingredients, which have to be unloaded and stored – and all this is in addition to normal trade fair operations."
Perfect planning and precise specifications for the teams are indispensable, "but we will master that challenge," Weiss assures.

22 professional kitchens at the heart of the Culinary Olympics

Constructing and dismantling the competition kitchens in hall C2 also has to be planned precisely. There will be 22 fully equipped professional kitchens – six for the national youth teams, eight for the national teams and eight for the community catering and military teams. "Our big issue will be delivering the kitchens, kitchen systems and appliances – the time windows must all be coordinated and five vans can't arrive at the same time," explains Jürgen Gärtner, Director of Business Development and Consulting at Edgar Fuchs GmbH. The company from Aschaffenburg specialises in planning, designing and implementing catering objects and is responsible for the kitchen planning and construction at the IKA/Culinary Olympics. According to Gärtner, this includes an additional 200 Euro pallets with thermal appliances, work tables and transport trolleys, refrigerators and mobile cooking stations. His team of 14 has just four days to set up the kitchens before the event kicks off. "It is a real race against time and we don't have a time buffer. But it's an Olympic Games after all!" says Project Assistant Marie Berner.

A restaurant with 850 seats

Monday, 20th January 2020, is the deadline for Luis Núñez, District Manager at Aramark, the catering company responsible for the trade fair. Why? Núñez organises and trains the service personnel for the IKA/Culinary Olympics. During the event, his team will receive service support from trainees at the vocational schools in Baden-Württemberg.

By the deadline, his team must be ready for 850 à la carte seats and all the equipment, from plates to the dishwasher trolleys, must be in place.
"Since last year, we have been planning the personnel service support and meticulously scheduling the entire process so that every step during the competitions is thought through down to the last detail and recorded in a workflow," explains the Aramark manager.

If you want to set culinary highlights at the highest level, you have to be well rested. The competition organiser, the German Chefs Association (VKD), receives active support in planning and organisation from the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) in Baden-Württemberg and Messe Stuttgart. Together, DEHOGA and VKD coordinate the overnight stays of the teams. In addition, the VKD is responsible for registering
teams and individual exhibitors, setting up and equipping kitchens and restaurants and locating for preparation kitchens. In addition, the VKD does accompanying press work. DEHOGA will make the state vocational schools' teaching kitchens for the hotel and catering industry available to the youth national teams as a contribution. In addition to logistics, Messe Stuttgart is also responsible for trade fair communications and the ticket shop.

The IKA/Culinary Olympics (14 to 19 February 2020) will coincide with INTERGASTRA, the leading trade fair for the hotel and gastronomy business (15 to 19 February 2020), for the first time at Messe Stuttgart. The competition is the world's oldest and largest exhibition of culinary art and is organised by the German Chefs Association (VKD). The approximately 100,000 visitors to INTERGASTRA and its subsidiary trade fair GELATISSIMO, the trade fair for gelato, can look forward to five great industry days, while an unforgettable competition awaits the approximately 2000 chefs from more than 70 countries.


With the two trade fairs INTERGASTRA and GELATISSIMO as well as the IKA/Culinary Olympics, three major events will take place simultaneously in the grounds of Messe Stuttgart. This requires careful and perfectly timed planning and preparation of all processes – especially logistics.
Photo source: Messe Stuttgart

A logistically demanding point is admission control, as there are different tickets for INTERGASTRA, GELATISSIMO and the IKA/Culinary Olympics. A specially programmed admission system ensures that visitors get to the right event.
Photo source: Messe Stuttgart

Constructing and dismantling the competition kitchens for the IKA/Culinary Olympics must be planned accurately. Twenty-two fully equipped professional kitchens are planned, which will be set up within four days – perfect planning is indispensable here.
Photo source: 2016 IKA/Culinary Olympics | Photo: VKD

To ensure that the teams have their equipment and all cooking ingredients ready for the four competition days of the IKA/Culinary Olympics, the planning team starts the organisation very early.
Photo source: 2016 IKA/Culinary Olympics | Photo: VKD

About the Association of German cooks
The German Chefs Association (VKD) (Verband der Köche Deutschlands e. V.), as sponsor of the IKA/Culinary Olympics, is organising the competition. With around 9000 members, the Association of German cooks is the largest association of chefs in Germany. This community is the basis for the professional development of its members and for the future of the profession. The German Chefs Association shares a passion for cooking and all things associated with a culinary career. It is a point of contact for all culinary-related topics and supports its members in all professional aspects.

INTERGASTRA in Stuttgart is the leading trade fair for the hotel and gastronomy business. At INTERGASTRA 2020, over 1400 national and international exhibitors will present their wide range of products and services in the areas of kitchen systems, food, atmosphere and equipment for hotels and restaurants, services, beverages and coffee. Around 100,000 visitors from over 70 countries will come to the trade fair to obtain information about the latest products, trends and forward-looking ideas on an exhibition area of more than 115,000 square metres. INTERGASTRA takes place regularly at Messe Stuttgart in conjunction with GELATISSIMO, the largest trade fair for gelato north of the Alps.
From 15th–19th February 2020, INTERGASTRA will start the Olympic year in accordance with the Olympic motto #takingpartiseverything and will celebrate with the IKA/Culinary Olympics, the oldest and largest international cookery exhibition and a fantastic première at the highest level. Around 2000 chefs and patissiers from all over the world will then compete against one another and will create future nutrition trends with their cooking creations in Stuttgart.

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