Thirty sushi chefs from 15 nations battled on Aug. 25, in Tokyo for the title for the most creative sushi plate of the year.
The annual competition, World Sushi Cup Japan, was held on the sidelines of a seafood expo in Tokyo.
“Sushi is considered a Japanese food, but I’m very glad and even grateful that this many people are making so much effort to develop the food culture,” Japanese chef, Shigeru Iimura said.
Judges decided the winner based on the creativity and originality of their sushi plate, which consists of about 20 to 40 pieces of sushi. They also looked at their preparation techniques and skills in a 40-minute round.
Making traditional Japanese sushi is not easy. One has to mold the rice at exactly the correct size and consistency, a technique that requires lots of practice and talent.
Chefs carved, burnt and patched the seafood ingredients into shapes of birds and flowers, with spectators at the end getting to taste the finished product.
A Russian chef who runs a restaurant in Norway, Vladimir Pak, won first place at the two-day competition. It was his third try, after two unsuccessful bids for the title.