9th IIHM Young Chef Olympiad 2023 concludes its 1st round in Pune

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Pune, 31st January 2023: IIHM (International Institute of Hotel Management) Young Chef Olympiad 2023 successfully wrapped up its first round of the competition today at their campus in Pune. The competition saw aspiring students from across 10 countries competing against each other. Participants from Botswana, France, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uganda, England, Netherlands, Thailand and Bangladesh participated at the Pune campus.

These participants demonstrated their culinary skills for over 3 hours in front of a panel of the finest Chef Judges, composed of some of the best-known chefs and hospitality stalwarts from all over the globe. The students received an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of an esteemed panel of judges including Chef Rahul Akerkar, Mumbai Based Celebrity Chef, Restaurateur and Founder of Indigo (India); Chef Peter Jones, Dean of the eHotelier Academy (England); Chef Steve Munkley, Executive Chef at the Royal Garden Hotel (England); Chef John Crockett, Senior Chef lecturer, Cardiff & Vale College (Wales); Chef Hoshang Debta, HOD Food Production at IIHM Pune; and Karen Anand, Indian food writer, TV personality and recipient of Trophée de l’Esprit Alimentaire award.

The students were judged on two stages. Stage one included a skill test while stage two was all about the cooking test. In the skill test, the students were judged on their cutting and chopping techniques and in the cooking test they were evaluated on the taste of the dishes and presentation skills. The students were asked to present a dessert and 4 portions of a main course vegetarian dish suitable to be served at a brasserie-style restaurant.

Chef Rahul Akerkar, Mumbai Based Celebrity Chef, Restaurateur and Founder of Indigo (India), said, “I have been a part of IIHM YCO competition for a while now and I am very excited to be back in person after the pandemic. It is such an amazing view to see all the budding chefs from all over the world, teeming with energy. It is my pleasure to experience the dishes these chefs make and to help them through in the championship. Every great chef has had humble beginnings, and it’s electric to know that these folks will soon be making a name for themselves, and some great cuisines too.”

Mr. Rupinder Singh Khurana, Director IIHM Pune & Executive Committee Member for YCO 2023, said, “It has been an exciting day at IIHM campus in Pune today. We witnessed exceptional enthusiasm in all the students who showcased their culinary skills in front of the finest culinarians in the industry. I am humbled and grateful to receive constant support for the participants from all the jury members, country mentors and the esteemed judges. I look forward to the next stage of the competition in the beautiful city of Kolkata as the students depart from Pune today.”

Following Round 1, all the competitors and mentors will leave for the cultural city of Kolkata for the next stage of the competition. The leading 10 competitors from Round 1 will compete in the Grand Final; the next 10 competitors filling the 11th to 20th positions will compete for the Plate Trophy and the remaining competitors will take part in the YCO Dr Suborno Bose Challenge.

The Grand Final’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Medallists; the Plate Trophy Winner; the YCO Dr Suborno Bose Challenge Winner and all other award winners will be announced at the closing awards ceremony on the evening of 4th February 2023. While the Gold winner will be awarded a prize money of US$ 5,000, the Silver winner will bag US$ 3,000 and the Bronze winner US$ 2,000.

2023 being the International Year of Millets, the 9th IIHM Young Chef Olympiad 2023 is also promoting Millets in a big way, putting a spotlight on them as well as on sustainability.