Annual Chef Awards turns 17: Culinary contest with COVID Cautions

-Press Release

These challenging and uncertain times have seen many changes and tried to adapt to a new normal. Thankfully, some things never changed, like the Indian Culinary Forum’s (ICF) endeavour to help to deserve Chefs thrive in the culinary arts.

Hoping to share a message of strength and positivity to the whole gastronomic world and to recognize and honor the chefs and their exceptional contribution to the Hospitality industry, the Indian Culinary Forum (ICF) started today with the Trade Test, a four-day culinary competition for the 17th edition of Chef Awards, at IBCA Vikaspuri, New Delhi. By observing the Government’s orders and guidelines, the annual awards were planned and curated to ensure a coronavirus-safe event.

Over 60 Chefs from starred hotels and stand-alone restaurants are competing against each other in 8 different categories at this culinary platform. The winners of the Trade Test will be awarded by Director General, Tourism, Meenakshi Sharma, in the presence of noted members & personalities of the gastronomy community at the grand ceremony of Chef Awards 2020, to be held on October 26th, 2020 at Pride Plaza Hotel, Aerocity, New Delhi.

To make the occasion grander, the 8th annual Chef Summit will also be hosted on the same day where well-known faces of the culinary industry will debate on the topics like, “Exploring New Horizons and Challenges: Experts Perspectives on Opportunities During These Times”. It’s a perfect opportunity for veterans to share both wisdom and recipes with the young guns. Eminent names of the industry- Zorawar Kalra, Chef Himanshu Taneja, Chef Rajeev Janveja, and Dewan Gautam Anand, among others, will take part in a panel discussion moderated by Dean Rajiv Gulshan.

Chefs not only play a significant role in preparing scrumptious and nutritious delicacies, they also silently put India on the global culinary map. Therefore, more than a decade and a half ago, the Indian Culinary Forum decided and designed the country’s biggest culinary awards — Chef Awards — to recognize and celebrate the efforts and achievements of chefs every year. The four-day culinary competition will see the participation of over 60 chefs in 8 different categories, like Master Chef of the Year, Master Chef Oriental Cuisine, Master Chef International Cuisine, Master Chef International Confectionary, Master Chef Baker, Master Chef Kebabs, Master Chef North Indian Cuisine, Master Chef Indian Sweets. On the first day of the culinary competition, contestants showcased a series of culinary skills, celebrating the preparation and presentation of the food accouterments in attractive forms. Renowned national and international chefs will be the jury members in this year’s competitions, while Chef Sireesh Saxena is the organizing secretary under whom the trade tests will also be supervised.

The ICF members feel a sense of great pride and pleasure, having taken the tradition to greater glory with a wider reach. Informing about the event Anil Bhandari, Chairman Organizing Committee, says, “The COVID-19 crisis has inspired unlearning, recalling lessons and fresh learning. We have realized that we need to discard the outdated systems and adopt new ones. We also need to re-test our priorities. The new mantra is sanitization, hygiene, and social distancing. Those who adapt to the new normal will succeed.”

L-R. Chef Sireesh Saxena, Avinash Jha, Balendra Singh, Kishan Anand.

He further adds, “The determination and enthusiasm of the chefs of ICF are clear from the fact that they have gone ahead full steam to celebrate the 17th Chef Awards and the 8th Knowledge Summit. We even added a feature of online live cookery demonstrations of immunity building recipes by reputed chefs for 23 consecutive days and also hosted the Chef and Child Charity High Tea in these challenging times of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Chef Davinder Kumar, President Indian Culinary Forum, adds, “In these challenging times of COVID-19, ICF is celebrating the 17th Annual Chef Awards and 8th Chef Summit with month-long activities with absolute determination, enthusiasm, and commitment to excellence.”

This year’s theme is Healthy Food for future-focused on sustainability & environment, which coincides with International Chef Day. Most activities are being hosted on a virtual platform with adherence to safety norms. This event will give an opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills to budding chefs.

Chef Vivek Saggar, General Secretary of Indian Culinary Forum, says, “You can have a brilliant career only if it’s built on a solid foundation. The right training can take you places and therefore, the Chef Awards is not just a competition, it is an opportunity for chefs to learn about the modern techniques and mechanisms that are used in kitchens across the world. They understand the value of getting basics right even while innovating.”

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