Languedoc chefs vie for the title of best sushi chef in the world

In the centre with a green hat, Thibault Latour, chef of Wasabi Sushi Bar in Nîmes. / © Versa RP

The world meeting place of Japanese gastronomy, the sushi world cup will be held 23-23 August in Tokyo, and two Languedoc chefs will be taking part.

Ping Zhang from Béziers and Thibault Latour from Nîmes will be in the French team.

Ping Zhang on the left, from Béziers.

In total, 40 participants from around the world will try to win the title, which was won by Malaysia last year.  The crown is the best sushi chef in the world.

Among the competitors, five French chefs have been selected to make up the national team, including the two chefs from the Languedoc.  Last year, France finished second in the world.

Here is the France team at the end of the national selections:

Emanuel Bombardier, French champion of sushi 2019 and chef in Paris

Yann Rousselot, Versailles, French champion of sushi 2018 and catering chef in Versailles

Ping Zhang, vice-champion of France sushi 2019 and chef in Béziers

Mickaël Pankar, Angers, third of the French championship of sushi 2019 and chef in Angers

Thibault Latour, fifth in the 2019 French sushi championship and chef in Nîmes

The candidates are supervised by chef Eric Ticana, coach of the French sushi team, vice-world champion of sushi (2016 and 2017) and chef at Chessy.

Thibault Latour started at 25 years old in an Asian restaurant in Paris. He opened his first sushi restaurant in Nîmes 16 years ago, on the rue des Petits Chaussiers.  This is his third attempt at the title.

As for Ping Zhang, who has distinguished himself on the podium at the French Championship of sushi, he runs the kitchen in the Osakaya restaurant in Béziers.

There are five events in two days in the World Cup program:

  • fish preparation
  • cutting white radish
  • sashimi cutting
  • creation of a plateau of 35-45 pieces in less than 45 minutes
  • the creative plate, with total freedom.

Source: France 3