NEW DELHI, January 19, 2019:The world is gearing up once again to watch India host the biggest culinary extravaganza for student chefs from 28th January to 2nd February. The fifth edition of the International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) will be held across four cities – Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Kolkata – and this time, young chefs from 55 countries will be battling for the crown through a five-day intense competition. The participants and their mentors, coming from some of the world’s best culinary and hospitality institutions, will fight for the YCO 2019 winner’s title, organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) in partnership with the International Hospitality Council (IHC) London, YCO 2019.
Preparations for the grand event started months in advance. The official draw held at the University of West London in November 2018, segregated the countries into six groups for the event. A gala opening ceremony at the Dr. Sarvepalli Auditorium Delhi Cantt, in Delhi on 28th January will declare the Olympiad open after which the cook offs will begin from 29th January and a tough battle will ensue over the next three days in Delhi, Pune and Bengaluru.
The best 10 contestants from the first two rounds will go through to the Grand Final of YCO 2019, to be held in Kolkata on 2nd February while the contestants in the next 10 positions, from 11 to 20, will compete for the YCO Plate Trophy on the same day. All the ‘cheftestants’ will be fighting for a total of 18 titles at this year’s YCO.
Dr. Suborno Bose, Chairman and Chief Mentor of IIHM and Chairman of the Young Chef Olympiad 2019 Committee, said, “Young Chef Olympiad was conceptualized as a platform for young chefs in training from around the world to interact and showcase their talent. We are overwhelmed by the response from the international community who have come together to make this event a grand success.”
A culmination of cultures:
As in previous years, YCO 2019 will again be an experience of world cultures mixing together at one place. The World of International Gastronomy will happen on February 1, 2019 where the participants from every country will present their national dishes. Through this cultural exchange, YCO becomes more than just a competition; it is the melting pot of world cultures.
Like other years, this year too, YCO 2019 will be a star-studded event with celebrity and stalwart chefs attending as judges. Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the Mentor and Principal Judge of YCO 2019. He said, “Events like the Young Chef Olympiad provide a platform for budding chefs from across the world to showcase their skills and interact with others in the field – right from fellow students to industry insiders. It can be a stepping stone for a solid career in the F&B Business. IIHM has ensured the standard in terms of talent, attention to detail, organization and output of the competition gets better each year. At YCO, you don’t just compete in the kitchen, but also take back valuable lessons on culture, attitude and markets. You learn to compete fairly and strive to be your best.”
Prof David Foskett (OBE), the Author of the bestselling book ‘Practical Cookery & Theory of Catering’ and Emeritus Professor at London School of Hospitality and Tourism, University of London: “This is the greatest competition in the World. The students at IIHM are world-class and have exceptional professional employability skills who are completely involved in organizing and coordinating this World event.“ Professor Foskett is the Chairman of the Panel of Judges. The distinguished panel of judges will include renowned international chefs such as Chef John Wood, Chef Andreas Muller, Chef Andy Varma, Chef Vincenzo Oliveri, Chef Scott Baechler, Chef Stefan Hogan and Chef Karl Guggenmos. The ‘cheftestants’ will be judged on their skill as culinary students and also on their ability to manage a food production area with due care to health and safety, good hygiene, ability to follow a recipe, culinary skills, creativity and initiative, presentation, balance and taste.
India’s proud representative at YCO 2019, Madhumitha Krishnasamy, is a third-year student at IIHM Bangalore. Madhumitha is a fan of Chef Marco Pierre White and ardently follows popular cookery show Nigella’s Kitchen.