Worldchefs Congress in KL features chefs Alvin Leung and Andre Chiang

Chef Alvin Leung
Chef Alvin Leung

(THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Most chefs work insanely long hours. Sixteen-hour days are the norm and some chefs have even been known to call a 12-hour day a short one.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a group of chefs together in a single room, simply because most of them don’t have the time for get-togethers, except when the biennial Worldchefs Congress & Expo is in question.

Worldchefs is a global network of more than 100 chefs associations that was founded in 1928 with celebrated French chef Auguste Escoffier as honorary president. The network is an authority on food and aims to make an impact through education, events and competitions, and humanitarian and sustainability initiatives.

The Worldchefs Congress & Expo was launched 90 years ago as an avenue for board meetings. It has since undergone a drastic transformation since the 2012 edition and now includes celebrity chef speakers in its line-up. The event is eagerly anticipated as it offers a rare opportunity for F&B leaders and influencers to network and learn from each other.

This year, the network’s biennial Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018 will be held in KLCC in Kuala Lumpur from July 11 to 14, with an expected turn-out of 4,000 leading chefs from 105 countries, 200 exhibiting companies and 20 illustrious speakers.

Taiwanese chef Andre Chiang

The starry cast of speakers at the congress will include Andre Chiang, chef-founder of two-Michelin starred Restaurant Andre (which he closed in February this year) who will be delivering a keynote speech. Chiang will be speaking about his famed “Octophilosophy” or the eight elements that make up his meals.

Another keynote speaker at the event will be self-proclaimed “demon chef” Alvin Leung, the executive chef of three-Michelin starred eatery Bo Innovation in Hong Kong. Leung is a bombastic personality who will be talking about how chefs can successfully run their own restaurants.

Dutch chef Edgar Buhrs

Other F&B leaders who will be speaking include Australian celebrity chef and TV personality Peter Kuruvita, Food Aid Foundation CEO Rick Chee, popular Dutch chef Edgar Buhrs and Charles Carroll, immediate past president of Worldchefs.

The congress will also host the finals of the eagerly-awaited Global Chefs Challenge. Over the past year, chefs from over 70 countries have duked it out to bag a place in the finals, and now they will be sharpening their knives, ready to battle each other for the coveted top prize.

The competition categories also include a Global Young Chefs Challenge (for young chefs under the age of 25) and a Global Pastry Chefs Challenge.

The expo element of the event meanwhile, offers chefs the opportunity to meet with movers and shakers in the food industry, whether it’s producers of culinary equipment or suppliers of frozen produce.