The flags are raised and the bugle is calling. The stage is being prepared and the countdown has begun to the world’s biggest culinary extravaganza, International Young Chef Olympiad 2018 (YCO 2018), organized by International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM). Season IV promises to be much bigger and better than the previous ones with more than 50 countries participating. It is scheduled to take place from January 28 to February 2, 2018. Participating in the Young Chef Olympiad is a dream comes true for any young chef anywhere in the world who will step into the world of varied tastes and cuisines.
YCO 2018 flagged off with the Lucky Draw held in London. This curtain raiser event was attended by the celebrity chefs who will judge the competition. They are Chef Chris Galvin, Chef John Wood and Chef Enzo Oliveri, who will be the senior judges of Young Chef Olympiad 2018. Also present were Zenobia Nadirshaw and Ron Scott, the adjudicators and Prof David Foskett, the chairman of the jury for the competition. Along with the star judges was Dr Suborno Bose, the chairman of the Young Chef Olympiad 2018 Committee and Ahmed Abdullah, member of the Young Chef Olympiad 2018 Committee and director of IIHM Delhi.
On the occasion, Dr Suborno Bose, the chairman of the Young Chef Olympiad 2018 Committee said, “The 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 glad to see a great response from the international community, who have come together to make this event a great success over the past three editions. We have put India at the centre of the culinary map of the world. In future, we intend to make Young Chef Olympiad bigger with over 100 countries participating in our next edition.”
Through the Lucky Draw, the fifty participating countries were divided into five groups from Group A to E. Young Chef Olympiad is supported by Incredible India, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the various state tourism departments.
The 2018 Olympiad has three rounds as compared to four rounds in previous years. The opening ceremony will be held at Talkatora Stadium in Delhi. The first round of competition for each team will take place in Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. Round II and the Grand Finale is scheduled to take place in Kolkata at the Hyatt Regency and the IIHM campus.
Before the finals, a special event will be organized for all the participants and their mentors. A symposium will be held for mentors at the Hyatt Regency on the penultimate day which will be followed by a special cooking session, not a part of the competition. Called United World of Young Chefs, this event will have each student prepare their national dish. At the end of the evening, the finalists’ names will be announced. The Grand Finale will be on February 2 from where the winner will be crowned and will receive a cash prize of USD 10,000.
Young Chef Olympiad 2018 will glitter by the presence of 10 celebrity chefs from across the world to see and judge the competition till the end. They will jointly shoulder the responsibility of selecting the winner. The star chefs are Chef Chris Galvin, Chef John Wood, Chef Enzo Oliveri, Prof David Foskett, Zenobia Nadirshaw, Ron Scott, Shaun Kenworthy, Chef Udoleick, Chef Andreas Mueller and Chef Karl Guggenmos.
IIHM’s own team of chef led by Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will also judge the competition. IIHM brand ambassador Chef Ranveer Brar and celebrity chef Kunal Kapoor will also be present. Other guest judges will include Chef Saurav Sahai, Chef Abhijit Ghosh and Chef Pradip Rosario among others.