Japan to certify foreign cooks of 'washoku'

posted on November 25, 2015

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry is planning a certification system for non-Japanese cooks working at washoku traditional Japanese cuisine restaurants abroad.

The popularity of Japanese food is growing worldwide, helped in part by the addition of washoku to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2013.

However, experts fear that many non-Japanese chefs have failed to learn proper cooking methods and are serving dishes that depart significantly from genuine washoku.

The ministry has thus decided to certify cooks by assigning one of three grades in accordance with their knowledge, skill and experience.

According to a survey by the ministry, the number of overseas washoku restaurants came to some 89,000 as of July, up 60 percent from 2½ years earlier.

By spreading Japanese food culture globally through washoku, the ministry also hopes to boost exports of soy sauce, seafood, wagyu beef and other Japanese foods, and develop new markets.

Under the certification system, the top grade — gold — will be given to chefs who have at least two years of practical experience in Japan, the silver grade to those who graduated from schools that teach cooking methods of Japanese cuisine and the bronze to those who have attended a short-term workshop.

source by japantimes
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