The Gran Concorso di Cucina is a cooking competition that was held on November 22 at Shiodome. Hosted by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ICCJ), chefs from the nation’s best Italian restaurants came together and battled it out in Tokyo Gas Studio “Chu-Bo Shiodome”. The contest was held as part of Italian Cuisine Week, a worldwide event organised by the Italian government to celebrate Italian food culture. For its ninth edition, the theme was “New Italian Lifestyle,” a concept developed with the competition’s main sponsor, Peroni Italy.

Gran Concorso di Cucina Cooking chef competition salt

From Hiroshima to Hyogo Prefecture, the final eight chefs sprung into action, slicing, stirring and crafting their ultimate dishes all under two hours. The contestants were judged based on five aspects: presentation, taste, creativity, connection to the competition’s theme and respect for Italian culinary tradition. A grand panel of culinary professionals (including former Italian embassy chef and Gelato World Cup 2018 winner Paolo Colonnello) oversaw the process and critiqued the dishes. The competition brought the professionals to the limelight, showcasing their impressive techniques and highly innovative meals such as burdock carbonara and anago (Japanese eel) foie gras. The winner, chef Kenichi Kushida, was awarded with a 5-day training opportunity at the International Academy of Italian Cuisine in Lucca, along with a free trip to Italy with Alitalia airlines.

For more information and future events, visit the ICCJ’s website:

The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan
FBR Mita Bldg. 9F
4 Chome 1-27 Mita, Minato-ward
108-0073 Tokyo
Tel: 03-6809-5802