World Association of Chefs' Societies

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The World Association of Chefs' Societies (WACS), is a global network of chefs associations first founded in October 1928 at the Sorbonne in Paris. At that first congress there were 65 delegates from 17 countries, representing 36 national and international associations, and the venerable August Escoffier was named the first Honorary President of WACS. Today, this global body has over 100 official chefs associations as members. The biennial congress is a hallmark tradition of WACS and has been organized in over 20 cities across the world throughout its illustrious 89-year history, WACS is managed by an elected presidential body consisting of the WACS president, vice president, treasurer, secretary general and ambassador honorary president, as well as a board of continental directors that look after the regions of Asia, Europe, Africa, the Pacific and the Americas. A separate committee manages all culinary competition-related affairs.


Hong Kong Meeting Alan Palmer, Michael Strautmanis, Otto Weibel

End of 19th Century Contact between various chef associations established.
1919 International labour office opens in Geneva, Switzerland
1920 Swiss cook federation introduces the idea of an international chef association in May.
1928 WACS established in Sorbonne, Paris.August Escoffier appointed as the first honorary president.
1930 Congress held in Paris, France
1936 Congress held in Nice, France
1939/45 WWII breaks out and contact between WACS members are suspended
1949 SKV secretary W. Salzmann and the Swiss cook federation reinstate WACS
1951 Congress held in Frankfurt, Germany. Switzerland assumes WACS presidency
1954 Congress held in Berne, Switzerland
1956 Congress held in Frankfurt, Germany. Austria assumes WACS presidency
1958 Congress held in Brussels, Belgium
1960 Congress held in Vienna, Austria. Germany assumes WACS presidency
1962 Congress held in Stockholm, Sweden
1964 Congress held in Frankfurt, Germany. Switzerland assumes WACS presidency
1966 Congress held in Tel Aviv, Israel
1968 WACS celebrates its 40th anniversary. Congress held in Geneva, Switzerland. Austria assumes WACS presidency
1970 Congress held in Budapest, Hungary
1972 Congress held in Frankfurt, Germany. German cook federation takes over presidency
1974 Congress held in Banff, Canada. Landmark meeting between members from different continents. Emile Perrin is selected to honorary presidents
1976 Congress held in Frankfurt, Germany. France assumes WACS presidency
1978 Congress held in Paris, France
1980 Congress in Rome, Italy. Canada assumes WACS presidency
1982 Congress in Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary
1984 Congress in Orlando, USA. Canada retains WACS presidency
1986 Congress held in Ljubljana, Slovenia
1988 WACS celebrates its 60th anniversary. Congress held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Germany assumes WACS presidency
1990 Congress held in Singapore
1992 Congress held in Frankfurt, Germany. USA assumes WACs presidency
1994 Congress held in Stavanger, Norway
1996 Congress held in Jerusalem, Israel. South Africa assumes WACS presidency
1998 WACS celebrates its 70th anniversary. Congress held in Melbourne, Australia
2000 Congress in Maastricht, Netherlands. Germany assumes WACS presidency
2002 Congress held in Kyoto, Japan
2004 Congress held in Dublin, Ireland. USA assumes WACS presidency
2006 Congress held in Auckland, New Zealand
2008 Congress held in Dubai, UAE. eightieth anniversary of the World Association Iceland takes over the presidency
2010 Congress in Santiago de Chile / Chili
2010 Congress in Daejoan / South Korea

          Iceland takes over the presidency

2014 Congress in Stavanger,/ Norway
Norbert A. Schmidiger retired as Treasurer WACS

February 2015 Charles Carroll USA takes the Presidium 
G.Gudmundsson retired from the presidency

2016 Congress in Thessaloniki, Greece Thomas A. Gugler elected as new President of World Chefs

2017 Historical Committee Established by World President Thomas Gugler -

Chairman Otto Weibel, Vice Chairman Alan Palmer Secretary Michael
Strautmanis, Members Jaqueline Rodriquez, Norbert Schmidiger

27.4.2017 Minutes of Historical Committee at Equatorial Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City

Meeting commenced at 10.00

In attendance:-

Otto Weibel Chairman (OW) Alan Palmer Vice Chairman (AP) Michael Strautmanis Secretary (MS)

Welcome by Chair and explanation that due to distance constraints the other two members of the Committee - Jaqueline Rodriquez(JR) and Norbert Schmidiger (NS)could not attend. Chairman moved that this meeting had the required quorum (half of membership plus 1), and therefore could proceed as the first formal meeting of this committee. Seconded AP, passed on the voices. Chairman then moved that MS be appointed formally as Secretary of the committee, seconded by AP, accepted by MS and carried on the voices. Meeting agenda was to discuss in general terms the aims and objectives of this committee, which were outlined in a documented meeting between World President Thomas Gugler and OW & AP in Dubai, document attached by OW as addendum to minutes. The committee feels that if possible we should attempt to document wherever possible the history of WACS and World Chefs since its inception and its first President in 1924, namely Auguste Escoffier. That the whole purpose of this committee should be to develop a "living document", forming the basis of the historical events of WACS/Worldchefs, but allowing this document to be fluid and dynamic, providing a platform for all of the members of WACS/Worldchefs to add to this document. It might be an idea that it not only resides with the office in Paris, freely accessible to all members through the internet, but that it might even be published in Wikipedia for world wide access by anyone interested (this stream to be investigated in further meetings) The committee should also source and publish interesting historical events in the Worldchefs magazine on a regular basis.

From this meeting the current action plan is as follows 1. MS to contact Paris Office requesting that all Worldchef chapter presidents are contacted, requesting historical information to be included in the history annals. 2. AP to follow up with Ferdinand Metz to establish where the documentation developed by Ferdinand Metz for the Greek Congress can be accessed. 3. AP to further collate all available WACS/Worldchefs Congress brochures to incorporate into the annals. 4. OW to keep other members of committee informed by sharing of minutes and other documentation, and also to be the liaison between the World President and this committee. 5. Two informal meetings between OW,AP and MS planned during Hofex and the Philippine's Culinary Cup, as all three are attending these as jury members. 6. Progress meeting between all members planned for 21 September 2017 in the Maldives, also World President co-opted for this meeting, as he will be in attendance in the Maldives for other business, to aid in the development of a recurrent budget for the continued work of this committee. 7. AP to issue formal invitations to JR and NS with the provision of $US 500 each and accommodation to also act as members of the Jury of the Maldives Culinary competition.

OW thanked AP and MS, and looked forward to a great future for this vital committee, as he said, if we can not learn from our history we are bound to lose so much of our hearts. Meeting closed 12.20 to reconvene as an informal meeting on 8 May in Hong Kong to approve minutes so that actions can commence.


M. Strautmanis

10.5.2017 Meeting in Hong Kong and responses to Head Office questions:- Committee: Historical Committee Otto Weibel Chairman (OW) Alan Palmer Vice Chairman (AP) Michael Strautmanis Secretary (MS) In attendance to respond to questions posed. Members and Special Advisers:

Otto Weibel, Chairman Singapore, Allan Palmer, Vice Chairman Sri Lanka, Michael Strautmanis, Secretary Australia, Jaqueline Rodriquez, Member Chile, Norbert Schmidiger, Member Switzerland

What is the mission of your committee?

As we are approaching the 90th anniversary of the foundation of our Society in October 1928 and the appointment of the Doyen of Chefs, Auguste Escoffier as the first Honorary President of the Society, it is paramount for our committee to ensure that the historical significance of our craft is preserved and recorded. The sole mission therefore is to provide a platform for all of our various chefs’ societies to be able to contribute their historically significant events to this documentation.

How long have you been involved in this committee?

The first meeting of this Committee was held in Vietnam on 27.4.2017 Minutes of Historical Committee at Equatorial Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City have been provided, and also published in Wikipedia Meeting commenced at 10.00 in attendance:-

What types of projects or initiatives can Worldchefs Member Associations expect?

The most important aspect of this commencement of activities is the establishment of an interactive forum to record the historical facts of WACS and Worldchefs. This has been provided on Wikipedia, which is accessible to all members, and free to edit and add significant milestones. For the record, the web address is

What can members look forward to from your committee this year?

Hopefully a record of achievements freely available to peruse and augment on Wikipedia

What is the kind of work that goes behind the planning of your projects or initiatives?

Meetings held in Vietnam and Hong Kong have set the initial framework for the work of this committee, and now the actions follow.

How can Worldchefs Member Associations play a part to help?

As the Wikipedia site is accessible to all of our members around the globe, it is their living document, and therefore will only survive with the contributions that each and every one of them provides.

Is there a way Young Chefs can be involved?

As they are not only our history in the making, but more importantly the future of our artisan tradition it is imperative in two ways that they can be involved – contribute, and learn from our mistakes, otherwise, as in all other history, if we do not learn from it, we will be forced to repeat them

Over the next 3 years, what is the impact you hope to make?

To have planted the first acorn, and with the provision of sunlight and water from our chefs worldwide, that we may have a strong sapling that will grow into a wonderful large Oak tree, with its branches laden with historical fruit.

Where do you hope to see Worldchefs in 3 years?

Alive and contributing to the sustainability of our art and craft, and a platform for the betterment of our planet.

Complete the sentence.

Worldchefs is …. A platform for researching, sourcing, collating and publishing our achievements around the globe.

May 12 2017 J. Rodriquez submits her resignation to Historical Committee due to change of employment status

January 2018 Greetings from World Chefs Office - 90 years of WACS

WACS First meeting 1928 Paris

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