IIHM Kolkata to commence Young Chef Olympiad 2017 in Jan

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Young Chef Olympiad 2017 will see budding chefs from over 55 countries, representing renowned hotel schools and institutes, coming together to showcase their culinary skills

Kolkata’s International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) will host the third edition of International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) 2017 at New Delhi’s Talkatora Indoor Stadium on January 28.

“YCO 2017 will see budding chefs from over 55 countries, representing renowned hotel schools and institutes, coming together to showcase their culinary skills and compete,” said Dr Suborno Bose, chairman, executive committee, YCO; and chairman and group CEO, IIHM and IndiSmart Group Worldwide.

Last year, budding chef Daniella Geramond of Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) at Niagara College emerged walked away with the winner’s trophy, a gold medal and a prize money of US $ 10,000.

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Elaborating on this year’s edition, Dr Bose said, “The grand inauguration will be held in the presence of luminaries from the fields of culinary arts, hospitality and travel and tourism industry. Senior officials of the Union Ministry of Tourism, Government of India too would be also attending the inaugural event. The Tourism Ministry is extending a big support to the event. Leading hotel groups, airlines and organisations are in the process of associating with the event.”

Some of the hotel schools and institutes, which have confirmed so far are Box Hill Institute of Australia, Niagara College of Canadian Food & Wine Institute, University College of Birmingham, Albert De Mun Hotel & Catering School of France, Hong Kong’s Hotel and Tourism Institute, Kenya Utalii College, Taylor’s University of Malaysia, CESSA Universidad of Mexico, Singapore based At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy and others.

The multi-city Olympiad will provide an opportunity to showcase the world cuisine and at the same time will provide an opportunity to the Indian students to compete and excel. This proves the growing acceptance of hospitality and culinary arts as a sought-after career option”, said Dr. Bose.

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Elaborating on the itinerary of the olympiad, a senior official of the IIHM Hotel School explained that the event is spread across six days and four locations, namely New Delhi, Bangaluru, Pune and Kolkata. Competitors will undertake three rounds with differing culinary challenges and at the end of which the ‘Top-10’ contestants with the highest aggregate score from all the three rounds will go through to the finals, slated to be held in Kolkata on February 2, 2017.

All rounds will be marked on culinary skills and techniques, adherence to good health and safety and hygiene practice, working methods, minimal waste and best use of ingredients, professional appearance, attitude, dish presentation, taste and flavour.

Besides, there will be two sets of judges for each round and for the final. One set will be marking on the technical and production element and the other set of judges will be marking on the presentation, taste, flavour and culinary knowledge.

Celebrity chefs, food critics and authors would comprise the panel of judges, which include names like Prof David Foskett, OBE and author of the book, Practical Cookery & Theory of Catering. Chef Boris Leung from Hong Kong will be the chief judge. The principal judge and mentor will be Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and the panel comprises of celebrity chefs like Chef Andreas Muller from Hong Kong, Chef Udo Leick from Dubai, Chef Kunal Kapur, Chef Ranveer Brar, Chef Abhijit Saha, Chef Vicky Ratnani, Chef Manjit Singh Gill, Chef Parvinder Bali, Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, Chef Karen Anand, Chef Ajay Chopra and Chef Shaun Kenworthy.

Commenting further, Dr Bose said, “YCO has been a unifying force behind the culinary institutes of different countries. Not only does it teach the young chefs to work under pressure, but also teaches them time and human resource management. The competition teaches the young chefs to innovate, adapt and deliver during a closely fought competition. Such skills are required to be successful in today’s demanding world of professional chefs.  The ‘Global Connect’ platform has helped educate students of different countries on regional and national cuisines. On the audience front, we have witnessed a huge surge in inquiries regarding culinary arts education.”

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