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Taichung sophomore wins gold medal at world culinary arts competition

2024-02-21
Focus Taiwan
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Photo courtesy of Hungkuang University Feb. 19, 2024
Photo courtesy of Hungkuang University Feb. 19, 2024

Taichung, Feb. 19 (CNA) A sophomore from the Department of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management at Hungkuang University in Taichung won a gold and bronze medal at the IKA/Culinary Olympics 2024 in Stuttgart, Germany from Feb. 3-7, the department announced Monday.

Wang Yu-hsiang (王宥翔), a second-year student in the department, clinched a gold medal in the individual classic fruit and vegetable carving category by bringing his finished showpiece to the exhibition and secured a bronze in the live carving category, department dean Wu Sung-lien (吳松濂), said at a publicity event.

In addition, Hsu Kai-tun (許凱敦), an associate professor at the university, took a silver in the culinary art category at the competition, according to Wu.

Wang said at the publicity event that his pumpkin carving work featuring images of popular deities from Taiwan, including the sea goddess Mazu; the Mysterious Lady of the Ninth Heaven, a goddess of war, sex and longevity; and the Monkey King, earned him full marks from the judges.

According to Wang, he spent at least four nights a week and about four hours per night practicing his carving before the winter vacation, when he practiced even more intensively, usually starting at 4 a.m., taking a break for around an hour at 5 p.m., and then practicing until late at night.

He eventually crafted eight deity sculptures with two boxes of pumpkins, Wang said, adding that he created the three-dimensional shapes of the deities by referencing photos and images from the Internet.

Hsu's silver medal-winning work was 75 centimeters high, made with 10 kilograms of cinnamon spice and took 70 days to complete, he said.

The IKA/Culinary Olympics takes place every four years and is the world's largest international exhibition for culinary skills. This year, the competition involved more than 3,000 talented culinary artists from 67 countries around the world, according to Wu.

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