The IIHM (International Institute of Hotel Management) Young Chef Olympiad, the biggest event in the annual calendar of the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), is returning for its 9th edition with much fanfare. After being held virtually for the last two editions owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the much-awaited Olympiad is back in its physical form. It’s an exciting time as IIHM campuses across India gear up to host the 9th International Young Chef Olympiad 2023. This year the event is bigger and more ambitious than ever before and is being supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and 10 state governments; states a press release.
The 9th YCO is being held between Sunday, 29 January and Saturday, 4 February, 2023 in five cities across India. The Grand Opening Ceremony takes place in Delhi on Sunday, 29 January. The First Round of the competition will take place over the next two days with competitors being split into groups and competing in either Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad or Goa. Following Round 1, all the competitors and mentors will be transported to the cultural city of Kolkata for the next stage of the Olympiad. 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 9th International IIHM Young Chef Olympiad looks all set to be the mega culinary competition and conclave of the year.
With over 60 countries participating this year, the International IIHM Young Chef Olympiad is slated to be a grand and star-studded event of global proportions. This year, several new countries are in the fray, including Australia, The Netherlands, Egypt, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Azerbaijan and Tanzania.
YCO 2023 will be evaluated by a 28-member Grand Jury featuring the who’s who of the culinary and hospitality world. Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the event’s Principal Mentor. The Co-chief judges are Chef Andreas Muller and John Wood. Professor David Foskett is the Chairman of the YCO Grand Jury, Paul Jervis is the Chief Adjudicator, and Peter Jones is the Research Chair. The Grand Jury also includes renowned culinary names such as Chef Ranveer Brar – Indian Celebrity Chef; Chef Manjunath Mural – Michelin Star Chef from Singapore; Chef Mario Perera – Executive Chef at The Dorchester Collection; Chef Gary Maclean – National Chef of Scotland; Chef Sarah Hartnett- Renowned Chocolatier and Pâtissier; Chef Rahul Akerkar- Master Chef, Restaurateur and Founder of Indigo, India; Chef Russell Bateman – Celebrity Chef; Chef Steve Munkley- Vice President of Craft Guild of Chefs, UK and Former Executive Chef Royal Garden Hotel, London, England; Chef Parvinder Bali – Programme Manager, Culinary Services, at the Oberoi Center of Learning and Development (OCLD), New Delhi and others.
“I would like to congratulate IIHM and Young Chef Olympiad for organising the World’s biggest culinary competition. Year 2023 is the year of the Millet and I am pleased to know that YCO has used ‘MILLETS’ as one of the ingredients in the competition. This promotes sustainability and the message of United Nations to its use to address the global issue of hunger and make India as the global hub for Millets. Goa welcomes all the participants from various countries and wish them the best of luck for this global event. Thank you to IIHM and International Hospitality Council London for getting the World to India, said Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant.
Dr. Suborno Bose, Chairman, YCO Global Council & CEO International Hospitality Council, London & Founder & Chief Mentor Indismart Group, who conceptualised and has passionately guided this event since its inception in 2015, said, “The 9th International Young Chef Olympiad is the first major Culinary Olympiad post pandemic anywhere in the world. In 2023, the theme is the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This assumes great significance in light of India’s G20 Presidency. This year over 60 countries are participating in the Olympiad. This is the first time in the history of the event that there is participation in such large numbers. IIHM campuses across the country are eagerly looking forward to hosting this mega culinary competition which will not only inspire young chefs from around the world to do their best but also sensitise them to the critical importance of sustainability in the field of hospitality.”
2023 being the International Year of Millets, the 9th International IIHM Young Chef Olympiad 2023 is also promoting Millets in a big way, putting a spotlight on them as well as on sustainability.
IIHM has announced the schedule of YCO 2023, which is as follows:
29th January 2023 – IIHM-YCO Global Congress on Sustainability in Hospitality and Tourism at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi
29th January 2023 – Opening Ceremony at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi
30th January 2023 – Round 1 at IIHM Delhi Campus for Group A and B
31st January 2023 – Round 1 for Groups C to F at IIHM Goa, IIHM Bangalore, IIHM Pune and IIHM Hyderabad Campuses
1st February 2023 – Announcement of qualifiers for the Grand Finale, Plate Trophy and YCO Dr Suborno Bose Challenge; Final of Sustainability Presentations to Panel; International United World of Chefs at IIHM Global Campus, Kolkata
2nd February 2023 – YCO Dr Suborno Bose Challenge competition at IIHM Global Campus, Kolkata
3rd February 2023 – Grand Finale at IIHM Global Campus Kolkata
3rd February 2023 – Plate Trophy Finale at IIHM Global Campus Kolkata
4th February 2023 – Awards Night and Closing Ceremony at Nicco Park Complex, Salt Lake City, Kolkata
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.
Meanwhile, IIHM is organising the IIHM-YCO International Congress on Sustainability in Tourism and Hospitality at New Delhi. This Congress is being organised on the lines of the LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will bring together world leaders in Sustainable Hospitality such as renowned author and hospitality educator Prof David Foskett MBE; Aradhana Khowala, CEO of Aptamind Partners, United Kingdom; Anita Mendiratta, Special Advisor to Hon’ble Secretary General of UNWTO; Michelin-starred Chef John Wood; Sunjae Sharma, Managing Director, India and South West Asia, Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Puneet Dhawan, Senior Vice President, India and South Asia, Accor Hotels.