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Bengaluru: The International Young Chef Olympiad, the biggest culinary competition of the world is back in 2020 in its 6th edition with yet another exciting and interesting culinary competition. This year’s competition will be held from January 28th to February 2nd, 2020 through five cities of India – Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Goa, and Kolkata. Like every year, YCO 2020 promises to be bigger and better than its previous editions with 60 countries participating in the competition this year. Besides the excitement of the culinary competition that will take place between the 60 countries, YCO 2020 has embraced the special cause of ‘Sustainability’ as its theme this year and an underlying message of unity and peace among nations through its all-embracing global character.
YCO 2020 is being hosted by the International Institute of Hotel Management, which is the institutional partner of the International Hospitality Council (IHC). The 5-day long intense competition will include three rounds of tough challenge that the ‘Cheftestants’ will have to overcome in order to win the coveted winner’s title. The prizes will include a cash prize of $10,000, the Winner’s trophy and a Gold Toque with which the winner will be crowned.
India’s YCO 2020 participant is Varun Tej Reddy, a bright and talented young chef from the IIHM Hyderabad campus.
The Olympiad will commence with a Grand Opening Ceremony on 28th January, befitting the scale of the competition, that will take place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. The culinary challenges will begin on 29th January. The first two rounds will be held in Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, and Goa. The Top 10 cheftestants who will qualify after their performance at the first two rounds, will cook in the third round that will be held at the IIHM Global Campus in Kolkata on 2nd February. The winners will be announced the same evening amidst a colorful evening of celebration at the closing ceremony of the competition.
It does not end here. Introduced last year, the cheftestants will also compete for the Plate Trophy, also scheduled for 2nd February. The participants who will rank between 11 to 20 in the first two rounds will get to compete for the Plate Trophy. Apart from these, the participants will be competing for 25 other prizes in the competition like the ‘Rising Star Award’, ‘Best Vegetarian Dish’ ‘Best Dessert’, ‘Best Hygienic Practice’ and other prizes.
In the first round of the competition, the participants will be required to prepare four portions of a boned chicken dish with accompanying garnish in one and a half hours. In this round, the cheftestants will be judged on their basic skills, innovation, and creativity. In Round 2, the competition gets a little tougher as the participants will be judged on cooking technique, portioning, presentation, colour and finesse of the dishes. This is the vegetarian round and they will have to prepare a dish suitable for lunch at a Bistro or Brasserie along with a Pear Flan Bourdaloue and a basic custard sauce based on the ingredients provided to them.
The Grand Finale and the Plate Trophy Finals will test the participants’ creativity, innovation, cooking skills and professional good practice in a time-bound environment. The finalists in both categories will be given two hours to prepare four portions of a vegetarian starter and four portions of a King Tiger Prawn main course dish with the same basket of ingredients. Both dishes must be prepared to be served at the Brasserie Restaurant.
The grand finalists will be provided with a secret ingredient and they will have to write about the health benefits of this secret ingredient and hand it over to the judges before the commencement of the final competition.
The Judges – A Distinguished Panel of National and International Chefs and culinary professionals:
Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the Principal Judge and Chief Mentor of YCO 2020. Professor David Foskett (MBE), the Chairman of the International Hospitality Council, will also be Chairman of the Jury. The Chief Judge of YCO2020 will be Chef Brian Turner (CBE), President of the Royal Academy of Culinary. The Deputy Chief Judge will be Chef Andreas Muller, the Programme Director (International Cuisine) at VTC, Hing Kong.
The Chief Adjudicator of the competition will be Ron Scott, the International Director of the Indismart Group. The Deputy Adjudicator will be Paul Jervis, the Programme and Operational Manager for Culinary Arts, Westminster Kingsway College, England.
A panel of distinguished international judges comprising celebrity, iconic chefs from across the world will preside over the competition at various stages.
YCO 2020 will be judged by stalwarts of the like of :
Chef Chris Galvin, Michelin-star chef and co-owner of Galvin Restaurants
Chef John Wood, Michelin-star chef and co-founder of a consultancy firm, Kitchen Cut
Chef Vincenzo Oliveri, celebrity chef of Italian cuisine, popularly called Italian Chef of London
Chef Stefan Hogan, Executive Chef of The Corinthian Palace Hotel, Malta
Chef Garth Stroebel, Judge for the World Association of Chefs’ Societies
Chef Anton Edelmann, chef and cookery writer who was maître chefs de cuisines at the Savoy Hotel, London
Chef Stuart Littlejohn, the executive chef of the Oxford and Cambridge Club, UK
Dr David Graham, Principal Lecturer, International Hospitality Management, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Chef Steve Carter, Executive Chef, Boodles, London
Chef Henri Brosi, former Executive Chef at Dorchester Hotel London
Chef Andy Varma, experience International Indian Chef, leading global consultant and celebrity executive chef.
The judging panel will also include celebrity Indian chefs like:
Chef Parvinder Bali, the Dean of Culinary School at the Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development, India
Manu Chandra, Chef Partner of Olive Cafés South Pvt Ltd.
Chef Abhijit Saha, Founding Director and Chef of Avant Garde Hospitality Pvt Ltd
Chef Avijit Ghosh, Corporate Pastry Chef of Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts, India
Karen Anand, a celebrated author and TV host and founder of Karen’s Gourmet Kitchen Pvt Ltd and of Markets by Karen Anand.
The special category of Ambassador and Mentors Awards will be judged by Prof Dr Zenobia Nadirshaw MBE and Kulsum Hussain, CEO, Welcome Skills, Bangladesh and UK.
The YCO 2020 Theme – Sustainability:
The International Hospitality Council (IHC) and the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) have pledged to support the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a blueprint that will help to achieve a better and more sustainable future for the world. The goals address the challenges that plague the world today including poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, peace, prosperity and justice. Every goal is interconnected and in order to ensure that no one is left behind, the UN has set a target till 2030 to achieve all the goals. The participants coming from each country will present a paper on Sustainability at the Olympiad and the best presentation will win a Green Toque.
“YCO 2020 has embraced the theme of Sustainability and the world’s biggest culinary extravaganza aims to show the world how to make the world a better place for future generations. “YCO brings people together and one of the biggest takeaways of YCO 2020 is that it will bring young people of the world on one platform. Sustainability is the theme of YCO 2020. At a global level, we are all looking towards this single most important thing that can really make us all suffer a lot in the future if it is not taken care of from now itself. There will be a great educational factor in YCO from this year onwards. It is not just about cooking, culinary presentations but also about sustainability and how you can introduce it in your institution in your country,” said Dr. Suborno Bose, the CEO of IHC and Founder YCO.
United World of Young Chefs:
Showcasing the multicultural and global spirit of YCO 2020, the United World of Young Chefs will see all the participants from 60 countries coming together at the United World of Young Chefs. Each participant will be dressed in the traditional or national costume of their country and will present a national dish from their land. The event will be held before the Grand Finale at Kolkata.
Speaking on the YCO 2020, Dr. Suborno Bose, said, “With 60 countries coming together under one roof to celebrate the diversity of food from across borders, YCO 2020 is not just the biggest culinary competition in the world but also a global platform fostering the spirit of youth, friendship, inclusiveness, and camaraderie. Moreover, by making sustainability as the theme for this year, we are championing the cause with the involvement of young people who will help determine and shape the future through a global impact.”