On the 17th of February this year, the Jordanian Chefs Association was officially inaugurated in their temporary headquarters at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. “Establishing such an association was not an easy task” Chef Ahmad Sammour said, the current president of JCA. It is apparent that Sammour is excited by having such an association, and it is obvious that he, as well as all the board members, consider this as a society rather than an association. “We are aiming to uplift the culinary scene in Jordan, and it’s not easy. Our mission expands from providing educational opportunities for Jordanian chefs, fostering social interaction among its members, strengthening its ties with other international chef associations, to planning and organizing cooking competitions and congresses” Sammour added.
The official launching was after JCA was accepted as a member of the World Association of Chef Societies (WACS). WACS is a global network of chef associations that were first founded in Paris 1928, with 93 worldwide chefs association and more than 10 million chefs under their umbrella. “This will add a lot to our association” Sammour said. “We will be having our first Jordan Junior Culinary Challenge as JCA with Chef Thomas Guglar being the honorary guest for this annual event”. Chefs from 6 five-star hotels in Jordan, will be competing to prove that they have the creativity and professionalism needed to win this challenge.
As a Jordanian association, JCA is aiming to ensure industry’s professionalism and ethics in addition to encouraging creativity to help place Jordan on the culinary world map. “Jordan is more than Mansaf and Kunaffah. We have a variety of ingredients and local produce that we can implement in our recipes. We must present to the world our unique culinary heritage and prove that we can incorporate it creatively in the current modern cuisine.” Sammour explained. Association’s board member officer, with the help of JCA board advisory member Chef Markus Kalberer is in the process of writing a cookbook based on Jordan’s heritage cuisine. The book will explore the diverse ingredients and dishes of our rich culinary culture.
Based on this initial foundation, JCA is planning to expand in the years to come. “Our agenda is full of activities throughout the year, including HORECA Jordan, where we will contribute with a culinary saloon including a chocolate and wedding cake display, live cooking shows and various competitions including the first Black Box competition organized by JCA.” In addition to this, they are organizing two culinary workshops in June and October to cover areas that the industry is in need of. Their website is already under construction and will be officially launched soon, where Sammour hopes the word about Jordan’s first chef’s society will be spread.