The 6th edition of the International Young Chef Olympiad was flagged off to a glamourous and colourful start on 28th January 2020 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi. Organised by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), in partnership with the International Hospitality Council (IHC) London, YCO 2020 has participants and mentors coming from 55 countries of the world.
The gala event was attended by various dignitaries along with the iconic chefs from around the world including Chef Brian Turner, Chef Chris Galvin, Henri Brosi, Chef John Wood, Chef Enzo Oliveri and several other iconic international and Indian judges. YCO 2020 will be held across five Indian cities- Delhi, Pune, Goa and Bangalore and Kolkata.
The Opening Ceremony started with participants marching in with their mentors led by their national flag and taking their seats on the stage. India’s cultural heritage is always a feast for the eyes at any international event and to give the event a glamorous start, a short classical Kathak dance performance by Anushka Chhabra, a student of IIHM and a disciple of Uma Sharma, set the stage on fire. As YCO 2020 has embraced an important and significant theme of Sustainability, Anushka performed to the 17 SDG song that was recorded and launched in 2019.
“Organising YCO is a huge logistical challenge that team IIHM and Team YCO overcome every year. But the satisfaction comes when in a divided and fragmented world, YCO stands as a shining example of world unity. This is the United Nations of Young Chefs. We can see almost the entire world in front of us,” said Dr Suborno Bose, CEO of International Hospitality Council (IHC) and Founder YCO, in his opening address. “We are all living in a divided and fragmented world but we all forget that when we come to YCO. I think food has proved to be the most important unifier of the entire planet and nothing can be more satisfying that this. As hospitality ambassadors we need to emphasise on the cultured teaching of hospitality because hospitality and culinary skills is what we in India stand for,” added Dr Bose.
Prof David Foskett, the chairman of IHC and the Chairman of the Jury in YCO 2020, said in his address, “This is not just a competition, but it’s a celebration of youth, brining young people together through the medium of culinary arts, the passion and love for food. The theme is Sustainability because these young people are the future of the planet.”
The significant part of the evening was the historic unveiling of the YCO trophies on stage by Prof David Foskett, Dr Suborno Bose in the presence of all the eminent judges present at the ceremony.
Prior to the Opening Ceremony, Dr Suborno Bose and Prof David Foskett held a press conference at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium along with chief judge Chef Brian Turner and other senior judges Chef Chris Galvin, Chef John Wood, Chef Enzo Oliveri and Ron Scott. Members of the press asked questions on the vision of YCO, the Sustainability theme and the competition and judging process on the whole.
The competition has commenced from 29th January. The first two rounds will take place at Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Goa. The final round will take place in Kolkata followed by the prize distribution and closing ceremony on February 2. The winner will be presented with the trophy, medal, a Gold Toque and a prize cheque of $10,000. The United World of Young Chefs, a unique programme where the participants will cook and present their national dishes will take place on 1st February at the Hyatt Regency, Kolkata.
About IIHM:- IIHM (International Institute of Hotel Management) is the largest chain of premier hospitality and hotel management schools across India that started its journey in 1994 at Kolkata. IIHM is a part of Indismart Group, the conglomerate that operates the Indismart Hotels. IIHM campuses are located across ten national and international cities with the associate institute IAM-IHM located in Kolkata, Goa and Guwahati. Students passing out of IIHM are armed with an international degree from the University of West London and equipped with global hospitality skills that enable easy placements in any hospitality brand across the world. IIHM is dedicated to its pursuit of excellence in teaching and placements. Real time experience is the key to success in hospitality and that makes the institute popular. In recent years, IIHM has been instrumental in organizing the Young Chef Olympiad, a unique idea and initiative inviting young culinary talents across the world to participate in the biggest cookery reality shows of all times.
The institute has bagged several prestigious awards in the past 24 years. The list includes the Best Education Brand Award from Economic Times consecutely in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Was featured in Forbes Magazine as Great Indian Institute and Great Place to Study consequently in the year 2018 and 2019. IIHM was also awarded as one among the World’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2015-16 by URS International (IMEA – Process Reviewer PriceWaterhouseCoopers PL) and also received the Best Institute in Hospitality Education 2017 Award by Assocham from Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister of State for HRD (Higher Education), Govt. of India.