The United Arab Emirates took home the gold medal at an inaugural Beijing culinary competition, in which 200 contestants from 34 countries cooked for a crowd of 10,000 spectators.
For three days last week, the Bird's Nest stadium was transformed into a culinary battleground for the first annual Beijing International Cuisine Competition, where chefs were tasked with creating a four-course meal that consisted of an appetizer, main course, soup and dessert.
In the team competition, the Emirates Culinary Team led by Uwe Micheel took the gold medal. Micheel has worked at the InterContinental Hotels Group in Germany, Korea and Japan as well as the Hyde Park London and is currently the president of the Emirates Culinary Guild.
Meals were judged on appearance, taste and nutrition profile.
The US team from Le Cordon Bleu North America took home the silver medal, followed by the Tunglok Group Team from Singapore.
In the individual chef competition, US chef Khai Duong of Ana Mandara, a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant owned by US actor Don Johnson in San Francisco, took home the gold medal.
Russia's Igor Tumarkin of the SIA Center of Hospitality took home the silver medal, followed by Thailand's Thanaphat Buapijit of Thai Terrace Restaurant in Dubai.
The splashy culinary cooking competition was organized with a larger view in mind: like France, which gained UN recognition for the rites of its gastronomic heritage in 2010, Beijing's tourism commissioner said he hoped the international event would shine the spotlight on China's culinary heritage for future admission in the same UNESCO club.