TAMPA (FOX 13) - They are culinary athletes working side by side to slice the competition.
Chef Rene Marquis and his wife Vanessa train, not only for the upcoming World Cup culinary competition, but also the culinary Olympics in 2020 as part of Team USA.
"I'm very, very honored and proud to be able to represent our flag, our country," said Vanessa.
"The culinary Olympics are exactly like the regular Olympics you have opening ceremonies where people walk in with their flag represented," said Rene.
He is a pro. He's competed in three world cups and three Olympics.
"I've won 17 gold and 16 silver medals," said Rene.
They practice for competition outside of their jobs with the Hillsborough County School District. Rene has a culinary program at Bloomingdale High School. He's also a business manager for team USA.
He's keeping an eye on his favorite competitor, his wife. This will be Vanessa's first time.
"My toughest judge is my husband he will make sure that I go hard or go home," said Vanessa.
"We spend all of our time and all of our energy on this," said Rene.
Team USA practices together one weekend a month. The chefs say culinary Olympic training is just as physically intense as any sport.
"When you're doing 19 hours on your feet in a hot kitchen it definitely wears you down," said Rene.
"Even if you are a runner or a jogger whatever it may be it's just different because you are in the kitchen using different muscles," said Vanessa.
While they can't reveal their menu, they're going for gold with the right ingredients.
"The winning recipe for a gold medal at the Olympics is practice perfectly to achieve perfection," said Rene.