In Exclusive for Members, Member Contests by CFF Admin


The Culinary Federation of Fiji, in conjunction with the Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association, is proud to announce a new culinary event at this year’s HOTEC trade show. The Culinary Masters Challenge will test the capacity for inventive thought and quick wit of our top culinary masters. A combination of Iron Chef and boxing, this innovative cooking challenge will see two different chefs work in one shared kitchen to produce one dish each – in just one hour. A total of 12 chefs will compete across two days, with the top two highest-scoring chefs battling it out in a final cook-off to determine who is the 2019 Culinary Master of the Year and take home $2000 in cash and other prizes.

The purpose of this HOTEC showcase event is to demonstrate that a dish is not just how it tastes – you should be able to see, hear, smell and touch food as well to make it a truly gastronomic experience.

All basic wet and dry foods, cooking equipment and tableware will be provided in the stadium kitchen, including a mystery box of ingredients that will change in every round. No outside ingredients may be brought into the stadium kitchen. The mystery box ingredients must be the hero of the dish, which can be an appetizer or main course, so long as it meets the judging criteria of activating all five sensory receptors of our judges. Points are allocated across the five senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste.

  • Competitors must bring their own knives and any specialised tools (e.g. sous vide, smoking guns, spray guns, espumas, dry ice) to accentuate their dishes – but no food ingredients.
  • There will be 6 hourly rounds per day beginning at 8am with last round at approx. 3pm. On the final day, the two top scoring chefs will be invited back at 4pm to fight it out for top position.
  • Two chefs will be selected to compete in each round, and have one hour to present a completed dish.
  • In the following round, another two chefs will compete but with different mystery ingredients.

The Culinary Masters Challenge is only open to experienced chefs who have reached a level of skill to be considered a master in their kitchen. They will also have a deep understanding of Fijian gastronomy and the different uses of our most exotic produce. Applicants are likely executive chefs or sous chefs, and chefs who have successfully competed and won medals at the annual Salon Culinaire. Only 16 chefs will be selected based on experience and accolades.