Press Release – 1996


Every four years since 1900 the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) or International Culinary Art Exhibition, considered to be one of the world’s most4 impressive collective displays of culinary expertise, takes place in Germany.   Attended by only 4 nations in its first year, this event now draws more than 60,000 visitors and features the talents of over 1000 professional chefs participating with national teams from 30 countries and as many as 15 independent teams.  Not surprisingly, due to the difficulty and magnitude of the exhibition, it is often referred to as the Culinary “Olympics “, although its formal name in English is International Festival of Chefs.   This international competition, which has always been held in Frankfurt, was founded in 1896 by C.M. Barner, the associate Director of the German Chefs Association, the current honorary sponsor.  For the first time in nearly 100 years the Culinary Olympics, which took place September 8-12, 1996, was moved from Frankfurt to Berlin.  Ion their pursuit of excellence, professional chefs from all over the world competed daily for bronze, silver and gold medals either as teams or individuals

American Natural Foods, Inc. President, Ron Pickarski, founded the American Natural Foods Team after winning bronze medals at the Culinary Olympic in 1980 and ’84 using plant-based foods only.  In 1988, the A.N.F. Team won 2 silver medals at this event, then went on to win 1 silver and 1 gold medal in the 1992 Culinary Olympics.  In the history of this event, this was the first gold medal ever won featuring plant-based food with no special category.

The ANF Team is the first and only culinary team in the world to promote plant-based (Vegan) foods exclusively and they entered 2 new displays in the 1996 Culinary Olympics, both in the Hot Food Displayed Cold category (B).  One of the displays was in the traditional gourmet cuisine competition in which all previous awards have been won.   The other display was entered in a new category called “Alternative” which is for vegetarian foods only, and indicator of the growing interest in this style of cuisine.  Another new category is called Special Diet (D) and although it is not vegetarian it requires the cuisine to be low in fat and cholesterol.   The other major traditional categories are Cold Festival Foods (hors d’oeuvres, etc. – A), and Desserts & Pastries (C).

The judging criteria includes 10 possible points awarded for each of the following: presentation (appetizing, elegant, tasteful), composition (well balanced appearance, taste and nutrition), correct professional preparation, and arrangement/serving (clean, natural, practical).  A team of judges wiew each display and may award a certificate (24-27 points), bronze medal (28-31), silver medal (32-35), gold medal (36-39), or gold medal with distinction and certificate for a perfect score (40 points).

American Natural Foods, Inc., P.O. Box 17878, Boulder, CO 80308-0878     Phone 303 402-0289     Fax 303 402-0246

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