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The Dominican Republic Wins Gold Medal in Culinary Olympics

Chef Ana Lebrón Represented the Country in the Gastronomic Contest, Along with
Patricia de Marchena and Laura Rizek

Stuttgart, Germany, February 17, 2020. The Dominican Republic won the gold medal in the “Individual Culinary Art” category during the Ika Culinary Olympics 2020, the largest, oldest and multifaceted culinary competition of the world, where more than two thousand chefs from 70 nations participate. The Dominican Republic and Mexico were the only Latin America nations to classify.

Chef Ana Lebrón, with the assistance of chefs Patricia de Marchena and Laura Rizek, represented the Dominican Republic that competed in the “Individual Culinary Art.” The Dominican team won the gold medal in this particular category. Sixty European jurors and the World Association of Chefs Societies recognized the aesthetic and the excellent presentation of the Dominican team. The gastronomic dish presented elevated a traditional dish to the category of “fine dining,” prepared in a truly exceptional manner. The jurors highlighted the Dominican creativity, as well as the work carried out by chefs Ana Lebrón, Patricia de Marchena and Laura Rizek, and stated that “…the team had the talent and capacity that every nation would like to have.”

The Dominican delegation won the gold medal category by presenting a “high cuisine” menu, consisting of four “Finger Foods” and followed by a five-course dinner. The execution and techniques used by the Dominican team elevated to the highest level the Dominican ingredients used, such as the macadamia, chocolate, heart of palm, avocado, coconut, mozzarella, shrimps from the country’s north coast region, and other ingredients such as coconut, mozzarella, shrimp from the country’s north coast and various tubers.

“I am moved. I have always been convinced that we have excellent products and talents, but to see the judges and colleagues from all over the world surprised by the visual level of our dishes surpassed all my expectations,” explained chef Ana Lebrón. She also added that “this is the first time that the Dominican Republic participates in this world Olympics, winning a gold medal and positioning Dominican gastronomy as a country brand in a Brand new setting.”

“We managed to reach the 100% of the visual umami visual the judges are looking for. They continuously congratulate us for having taken our national dishes and presented them with such ‘Fine Dining’ qualities, and that they were enjoyed by individuals that are completely unfamiliar with our flavors,” explained Ana.

Winning Dominican Menu in the Olympics

Finger Foods:
• National yucca rolls filled with black beans and mozzarella cheese.
• Squid covering Dominican squash crackers, aioli pearls, roulade and pepper mignonettes.
• Ceviche covering potatoes, caviar and tuber crackers.
• Terrine mix of meat covered with pumpkin rolls.

Five-Course Meal:
• Broth: Seven-meat stew, corn stuffed with sausage, pumpkin, yucca and banana roll.
• Salad: Terrine Mousse of Heart-of-Palm and Avocado. The Heart-of-Palm is stuffed with various vegetables such as celery, macadamia nuts, among others.
• Velouté fish stuffed with shrimp from the D.R.’s north coast; Chen Chen presented with cream. Stuffed peppers with mozzarella and coconut sauce.
• Main Dish: Tenderloin with Cow’s Tongue and Shrimp; Potato VIP with tripe, accompanied with vegetables.
• Desert: Coconut sable with white chocolate, mango and pineapple.

The Three Winners:

Ana Lebrón is a distinguished professional of “white-gloved Dominican professional.” She has participated in international competitions as participant and jury. Today, she is the “Director of the Culinary Cup of the Americas.” She is also president and founder of the Dominican chapter of the American Culinary Federation. During the competition Ana worked with Dominican chefs Patricia de Marcha and Laura Rizek who, as Ana, belong to the American Culinary Federation. Between them they have twenty five years’ experience in the Catering Gourmet industry.

Lebrón, de Marchena and Rizek trained for a period of three months under U.S. chef and George Castañeda in order to reach the levels of perfection demanded in this world renowned competition.

The Dominican culinary team will return to the country on February 23, where they will be officially received by the institutions that supported their participation in the Culinary Olympics, such as the Ministry of Tourism and the Dominican Gastronomy Academy.

The success of the Dominican delegation in Germany was made possible thanks to such sponsors as Paragourmet, NTD Ingredientes, Kah Kow, FontGamundi, Induveca, Peperoni Restaurant and Bocatips Communications Agency.

The IKA Culinary Olympics 2020

The IKA Culinary Olympics is the most prestigious event of its kind. It is held every four years in Europe, and in each event some 70 countries participate. This year, the competition has a tremendous following, with some 1700 visitors daily.

The competing chefs participate in one of the Olympic’s six great categories: National Teams, Junior National Teams, Regional Teams, Catering Teams, Armed Forces Team and Individual Exhibitors.

It is in this last category that the Dominican team participated, in the “Individual Culinary Art” category. Participants must also present sculptures and works of art made with vegetables, butter or chocolate.

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