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10th IIHM Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) to Witness 60 Participating Countries

In Education, Food
January 29, 2024

BENGALURU:
There could be no better expression of the magnitude and grandeur that the IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad has achieved through a decade of its existence. Such an acknowledgement comes at a time when the world’s biggest culinary Olympiad for student chefs from all over the world, is all set to celebrate a glorious 10th edition this year.

The culinary megaevent that is also a celebration of the multicultural diversity of food from across the borders will be held across six cities of India – Delhi, Pune, Goa, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata – from 29th January 2024 to 4th February 2024. YCO 2024 will witness participation of student chefs from over 60 countries, including France, England, Singapore, USA, Spain, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey and China among others. The IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad 2024 continues to embrace the theme of Sustainability, supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while promoting culinary youth diplomacy in its own way to promote unity and inclusivity across the globe.

Bengaluru will host students from Philippines, UAE, Kenya, Nepal, Fiji, Turkey, Mexico, Sweden, Mauritius and Bulgaria. Hyderabad will host students from Malaysia, Jordan, Iran, Luxembourg, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Maldives, Armenia, Ireland and Ethiopia.

The week-long extravaganza, which features an action-packed timetable for the contestants as well as the mentors, is being organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) in partnership with the International Hospitality Council (IHC) London. The contestants will undertake two rounds of culinary challenges in their quest to win the coveted YCO 2024 Champion Trophy and a validation of their skills by globally renowned experts from the food and hospitality industry. YCO 2024 continues to be a significant platform for Sustainability as it continues to embrace the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and spreads the message across the world through this mega platform. The YCO 2024 Sustainability Award is another acknowledgement of any work or contribution towards the SDGs by any country or institution from anywhere in the world.

Talking about YCO 2024, Dr Suborno Bose, the CEO of International Hospitality Council (IHC) and Founder YCO, said, “Through the course of 10 years, the Young Chef Olympiad has grown from strength to strength and has taken on many worthy causes starting from unity in diversity to the UN Sustainability Development Goals and to the promotion of Millets. Through the immersive experience of the Olympiad, we aim to dismantle barriers and cultivate an environment where dialogue flourishes and friendship blossoms.”

Culinary Youth Diplomacy is another important aspect of the YCO that has been highlighted through the 10 years of this grand culinary event. Each participant is a representative of his or her country and brings to the platform a fresh new idea or experience. New friendships and bonds are created through this week-long exchange programme and every one returns with something new. This exchange of culture, brotherhood and ideas is what YCO has always stood for and will continue to showcase in future as well.

YCO 2024 will begin with the grand Opening Ceremony on 29th January at the Siri Fort in New Delhi. The occasion will be marked by the presence of distinguished culinary and hospitality experts from across the world. The 60 participants dressed in their respective traditional attire will assemble on stage. The Opening ceremony’s highlight is the IIHM Young Chef Olympiad Global Hospitality Congress, a panel discussion where distinguished speakers from across the world will participate.

The competition rounds will start from 30th January at the IIHM campus kitchens in Delhi, Pune, Goa, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The top 10 contestants as per the scores of the two rounds will compete in the Grand Finale of YCO 2024 in Kolkata on 3rd February. The Plate Trophy will also be held on the same day wherein the contestants holding positions 11 to 20 in the first round will compete. An additional round has been introduced this epic year and it has been named as the Dr Bose Challenge Trophy.

The Dr Bose Culinary International Challenge 2024 will be a competition for those teams that did not reach the Grand Finale or the Plate Trophy rounds. These countries will be invited to participate in an interesting team event where two participants and their mentors will work and cook together to create a new street food dish for eight people served in sustainable containers and presented to the judges. The YCO panel of senior judges will decide which countries will compete together. Language and communication skills will be fully judged in this round.

The Olympiad will conclude on 4th February with a closing ceremony, where the YCO 2024 Champion, runners-up, Plate Trophy winner and Dr Bose Challenge winner along with other awardees will be announced. As in other years, YCO participants will also be competing for other crowns including Best Vegetarian Dish, Best Souffle Pancakes, five Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea Rising Star Awards, three Best Hygienic and Kitchen Practice awards, six Best Ambassador Awards and six Mentor Awards, Kitchen Cut Chef Management Award for the Best Recipe nutritional analysis and recipe costing and many more.

In keeping with its vision to promote Sustainability and camaraderie the 10th IIHM Young Chef Olympiad 2024 will recognize contestants for the YCO 2024 Sustainability Award. Student teams representing colleges and institutions in their respective countries will have to give a media presentation on any kind of sustainability project that they have been involved in that meets any one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Spirit of Young Chef Olympiad International Award is another special award presented to the competitor who displays outstanding personal attributes and skills during the competition period.

In each of the competition’s rounds, the contestants will be judged on their basic skills, innovation and creativity. Besides, judges will also mark on the cooking technique, along with portioning, presentation, colour and finish of the dishes.

The Grand Finale and Plate Trophy and Dr Bose Challenge Trophy of YCO 2024 will test the contestant’s creativity, innovation, cooking skills and professional good practice in a time bound environment. As in previous years Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the Principal Judge and Mentor for YCO 2024 while Prof David Foskett OBE, the legendary hospitality educator and author is Chairman of the Jury. The judging panel includes internationally acclaimed celebrity chef judges including Chief Judge Chef John Wood, a Michelin Star Chef and Founder of KitchenCUT . The panel of senior judges will include Chef Gary MacLean, National Chef of Scotland, Chef Brian Turner CBE famous British Celebrity, Chef Steve Munkley, Chef Chris Galvin Michelin star Chef, Chef Enzo Oliveri the Sicilian Chef, Chef Rahul Akerkar, Chef Mario Perera, Executive Chef of The Dorchester London, Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar, Chef Dr Parvinder Bali of OCLD, Chef Manjunath Mural, Indian Michelin star from Singapore, Chef Dato’ Abdul Wahab Zamzani, Celebrity Chef from Malaysia and others.

Showcasing the multicultural culinary diversity of different countries, YCO 2024 will also bring together the student chefs and chef mentors for the “United World of Young Chefs”. This event will provide a great opportunity for the 60 participating countries to present their national cuisine to a global culinary audience in Kolkata on 1st February, 2024.