An international competition to find the best maitre d' in the world was under way in Tokyo on Thursday. Contestants from 14 different countries were being tested on everything from serviette etiquette to their knowledge of which wine works best with a chef's speciality dish.

A professional jury will be awarding points in nine categories of service as it looks for the winner of the Georges Baptiste Cup among the 24 entrants.

The competition will pick two winners: one student and one professional, who will show a combination of waiting and butlering skills.

The Georges Baptiste Cup was established in France in 1961 in honour of the chef and butler of the same name.

It expanded to include European entrants three decades later and in 2000 went global when it was held in Canada. Subsequent editions were held in France, Mexico and Vietnam.AFP