As the second edition of the Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) kicks off today at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi, it fills me with a sense of pride to pen my article on this spectacular event.
YCO is the world’s largest competition for students engaged in the formal study of culinary arts. This year more than 67 countries across the globe are expected to send in their single, best, young talented chef to India to compete in this exceptional culinary tournament. YCO is organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
For scores of food enthusiasts like me, who are curious to know more about YCO, IIHM hosted a master class very recently with Chef Shaun Kenworthy in Mumbai as a curtain raiser to the main event. Shaun Kenworthy is a celebrity chef, restaurateur, consultant, food & travel columnist and chef mentor & director at IIHM. While apprising us of YCO, Chef Kenworthy took us through a chapter of his life when he was merely 16. Chef Kenworthy very passionately explained how at this young age his first job as a novice pastry chef was getting fruits prepped to create a fruit salad.
Drawing inspiration from this incident, he went on to create his dessert masterpiece called “A Trifle Indian”, which was Fruit Trifle with an Indian flavor to it owing to the use of the popular Indian sweet, rasmalai. He also went on to transform this humble sweet delight into a gourmet dessert with inventive sugar works and presentation style. His demonstration of working with caramel and creating different kinds of sugar works had all attendees spell bound.
It then dawned upon me what kind of thought process is being expected of participants in this competition. I believe young chefs have to demonstrate their prowess in keeping their food creations simple, yet make these creations shine like a star with their creativity and imagination.
YCO will be taking place over a period of 6 days from 27th January to 1st February 2016 and will have luminaries of the culinary world like Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Karen Anand, Professor David Foskett, Chef Kenworthy and many more on the judging panel. The opening ceremony being held today will witness the largest culinary heats of the world in New Delhi. This will be followed by cook-offs in Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi & Kolkata. The event will culminate in a Grand Finale to be held in Kolkata on 1st February, 2016 where the winner will walk away with the grand title and a cash prize of USD 10,000.
Here is wishing all the young chef participants all the very best. All of them are winners already in their own right when they are participating in this mighty gastronomic challenge.
For more details on the event one can visit http://www.ycolympiad.com
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast