Bologna, Italy (Hawaii News Now) - The Culinary Gelato Team USA arrived in Italy on Sunday in preparation for the upcoming 2016 Gelato Championship.
Honolulu chef and business owner of IL Gelato Hawaii, Dirk Koeppenkastrop is leading the national gelato team in the competition.
The USA is one of fourteen countries from around the world admitted. USA's roster includes John S. Hui (CA), Dirk Koeppenkastop (HI), Michele Pompei, Tim Brown (RI) and Chris Foltz (OR).
Since 2006 the USA has participated in seven gelato world competitions. Gelato Team USA has received "Best Gelato Cake" award in 2006 and "Best Gelato Tub" award in 2008. Team USA received the International "Best Taste Award" and the "People's Choice Award" in 2012.
The World Gelato Championship - a highly prestigious event in the culinary industry - is held every two years as part of the International Exhibition of Artisan Gelato, Confectionery and Bakery Goods in Rimini, Italy. The competition will take place from January 23 to January 25.
The countries competing for the world title are Argentina, Australia, Chile, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay and the United States.
Each team has chosen a theme, which has to be reflected in seven different championship tests including a decorated "coppa" (sundae), gelato cake, four assorted miniature chocolate gelato cakes, an entrée serving a savory gelato, a mystery box -where the team has to pull an ingredient and create a gelato with it, a center piece croccante sculpture as well as an ice sculpture, and its final presentation.
In 2014 the Gelato Team USA's theme was "Aloha Spirit" inspired by Hawaii's own gelato maker Koeppenkastrop. The theme for 2016 is "Fire & Ice".