Agrisud Cambodia will organise the first edition of “Angkor Chefs Challenge” under the theme “Territory and Innovation” on November 17 in Siem Reap province.

The cooking contest will require participants to use agricultural products grown and produced by Cambodian farmers in order to make the dishes they will be judged on as a means to promote Cambodian agricultural produce.

The programme will also arrange for a tour of the farms focused on the agro-ecological practices being employed there.

According to the organisation’s press release, all candidates are required to prepare the local dish teuk kroeung using two Siem Reap-based traditional products as well as vegetables recently introduced to Cambodia.

“The candidates are invited by the Cambodia Chefs Association (CCA) from restaurants in the province: Angkea Dei, Butterfly and a restaurant from Preah Dak,” it said.

Agrisud Cambodia vice-president Chinh Pheareak said the programme aims to promote Cambodian agricultural products and to introduce future chefs to know and participate in using local produce for cooking.

Pheareak added that Agrisud also wants to showcase the skills of the chefs in Siem Reap as well to promote innovation in the food system in the province by highlighting the Siem Reap dish teuk kroeung – vegetable platter traditionally served with prahok dipping paste.

“We created this contest because we wanted to show that there are also vegetables grown in Siem Reap. We want to promote the use of local products by publicising the places where we grow safe vegetables and we have arranged an exhibition on safe vegetables grown by local farmers,” he told The Post on November 13.

According to Pheareak, traditional products and recently introduced produce grown by Cambodian famers include angkea dei, sesbania flower, water hyacinth flowers, small round eggplants, green papayas, climbing wattle, amaranth, winged beans, yard long beans, cucumbers, water mimosas and organic gourds.

“For safe vegetables, we don’t have enough to supply the market yet because we are at family-scale farming and following the seasonal patterns. But the demand for safe vegetables is high, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

According to the program me’s agenda, the winner will receive a medal and a certificate to be decided after an evaluation from members including Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Prak Sophoan, CCA president Long Bunhor and four members of Agrisud visiting from France.