Salty, delicious, and easy to customize to specific tastes – everyone loves ramen. Perhaps that’s why the Tokyo Ramen Show 2014 attracted so many visitors, who flocked to watch up-and-coming ramen chefs battling it out for the title of  “Best Newcomer.” The eventual winner was Mr. Takeo Kanda, with his special “Sea Chicken Ramen”. But Mr. Kanda isn’t even a ramen chef – he’s just an ordinary salaryman. And in a shocking move, he refused to accept his cash prize of 500,000 yen (US$4,500).

“I cannot possibly accept this prize,” Mr Kanda explained in his victory speech. “I’m a salaryman, and I have no plans to open a ramen restaurant of my own. The prize money was raised thanks to the hard work of the National Ramen Association, so I would like to see the money go to them. As for me, I’m perfectly content with my usual monthly pocket money of 45,000 yen ($400).”

Mr. Kanda was no doubt referring to the spending money given to Japanese salarymen by their wives, who often control the family finances. Perhaps he doesn’t feel confident enough in his ramen-making skills to quit his day job, but as one of the judges stated, “Using maguro (tuna) in ramen was a very rare and innovative move. I wish he would accept the prize money. I also wish that he would open his own restaurant, but what can you do?”

Here’s a retweet from Mr. Kanda’s personal Twitter, with a picture of him accepting his trophy. That’s him in the middle in the white hat.

And here’s a snap of the famous Sea Chicken Ramen!

Mr. Kanda also showcases his delicious creations on his website, (warning – viewing this website may result in hunger pangs and ramen cravings!)

While it’s natural to groan in second-hand disappointment at the loss of that sweet, sweet prize money, we have to respect Mr. Kanda’s integrity, as well as his undoubted culinary skills. But does this mean that we’ll never get to taste a bowl of Kanda’s Prize-Winning Sea Chicken Ramen ourselves?

Source: Hochi
Image: ©Evie Lund/RocketNews24