The Olympic flame is burning for the culinary arts!

The IKA/Culinary Olympics will be taking place in Stuttgart concurrently with the Intergastra next year and MKN is exclusive partner of this competition. International teams will be battling it out against each other and demonstrating their expertise under competitive conditions at this outstanding cooking event.
I met with MKN Vice President Sales & Marketing Martin Ubl for an interview and spoke to him about the significance of the IKA as well as our involvement. 


Mr Ubl, as an industry expert with many years of experience who has attended the IKA/Culinary Olympics on numerous occasions, what do you think makes this event so special?

The IKA/Culinary Olympics has a long tradition. Its origins date back to the year 1900, making it the oldest cooking event in the world. Initially established as a culinary exhibition, it has now developed into an international branch highlight. More than 2 000 professional chefs from around the world will be taking part and a jury will be critically evaluating how the young chefs and master chefs conjure up unique culinary creations in a fair team competition. And then there's the Olympic spirit which creates a unique atmosphere and keeps spectators on the edge of their seats. 


MKN also has a long tradition. Is this why the company can identify itself better with the event?

Certainly. First of all, we share a passion for cooking. Over the years MKN has developed from a small factory to a state-of-the-art market leader and global player of the industry. Our professional chefs travel around the world and understand the daily challenges faced in commercial kitchens as well as the spirit of the IKA/Culinary Olympics. As manufacturer of professional premium cooking technology, MKN stands for exceptional quality and reliability and that's exactly what it comes down to during the competition.


MKN has been a partner of the IKA/Culinary Olympics for many years and is in the middle of things again as Exclusive Partner in 2020. What is the significance of this involvement?

We feel connected to the IKA/Culinary Olympics and have supported the event for many years. Passionate cooking on an international stage is exactly where our focus lies. MKN is equipping all 22 competition kitchens with professional thermal cooking equipment, ranging from conventional cooking technology to combi steamers, all made by MKN. Not only excellent taste and presentation of the prepared dishes are included in the judging at the IKA/Culinary Olympics competitions but also the complete work organization and time management. Reliable, top quality equipment is therefore essential and this is exactly what MKN provides. We're thrilled that our cooking equipment can contribute to the success of this superlative event. As Frank Sinatra said, “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere“.

What motivates participants to compete against each other?

First and foremost, it's the special significance of the Olympics. It's THE highlight for every competitive athlete and THE superlative event for every professional chef. We spoke previously about the long tradition of this competition and the high international participation. There are no other such large and multifaceted competitions in this industry and the Olympic spirit motivates everyone to top performances.

Preparations are well underway and teams are probably training intensively already. Is MKN providing support in the run-up to the event?

MKN is represented in more than 100 countries worldwide. Our international chefs' team is already providing support and tips and tricks around the equipment used at the competition. We can also give assistance when teams are looking for training opportunities in their respective countries. They can gladly contact us under


The event is taking place at the Stuttgart exhibition and trade fair centre from 14th to 19th February 2020 concurrently with the Intergastra. A worthy setting for the competition?

Definitely! With around 1 400 exhibitors and 100 000 trade visitors, the Intergastra serves as an established meeting point for the industry and for many of them it's a not to be missed event of the year. Both events are a perfect match and the modern exhibition and trade fair centre in Stuttgart offers optimal conditions for this partnership


National Team title holder is Singapore. How do you rate Germany's chances?

Competition is fierce. In particular, the Scandinavians and Switzerland rank among the top teams and you can never underestimate the title holder Singapore. However, I still think that the German team has a realistic chance. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed anyway and wish all the participants lots of success and a fair competition!


Thank you for taking the time for this interview.


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