International IIHM Young Chef Olympiad (YCO), the biggest event in the annual calendar of the International Hospitality Council (IHC) and the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), is returning in its 9th edition to mark a new chapter in the stellar legacy of this global event. 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 six cities of India Delhi, Hyderabad, Goa, Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata, gear up to host the 9th International Young Chef Olympiad 2023, from 29th January 2023 to 4th February 2023. This year, the event is bigger and more ambitious than ever before and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in addition to the Governments of 10 Indian States.
With over 50 countries participating this year, the grand and star-studded event of global proportions has new countries including Australia, The Netherlands, Egypt, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Azerbaijan and Tanzania, in the fray.
Snippets from the YCO event
YCO 2023 is a joint initiative of the International Hospitality Council (IHC) UK and IIHM. The 7-day intense competition will be overseen by a 28-member Grand Jury featuring the who’s who of the culinary and hospitality world.
Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the Principal Mentor for YCO in India and globally acclaimed Chefs Andreas Muller and John Wood are Co-Chief Judges. Prof. David Foskett is Chairman, YCO Grand Jury; Paul Jervis is the Chief Adjudicator; Peter Jones is the Research Chair.
The Grand Jury comprises renowned culinary exponents including Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar, Michelin Star Chef Manjunath Mural from Singapore, Chef Mario Perera- Executive Chef of The Dorchester Collection, Chef Gary Maclean, National Chef of Scotland; and renowned Chocolatier and Pâtissier Chef Sarah Hartnett, among others.
The competition will be inaugurated on 29th January with the IIHM-YCO International Congress on Sustainability in Tourism and Hospitality in Delhi, and the participants will compete in the intermediate rounds of the competition in Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad or Goa. The consecutive rounds will take place in the Cultural Capital, Kolkata.
The Top 10 contestants will compete for the gold, silver and bronze trophies. Contestants placed from position 11 to 20 will compete for the Plate Trophy and the remaining participants will compete for the Dr Bose Challenge Trophy.
The winners of these three categories along with all other award winners will be announced at the closing awards ceremony on 4th February, in Kolkata. While the Gold winner will be awarded a US$5,000 prize, the Silver winner will bag US$3,000 and the Bronze winner US$2,000.
On the occasion, Dr Suborno Bose, Chairman of YCO Global Council, who has conceptualized and guided this event since its inception in 2015, said, “The 9th International YCO is the first major Culinary Olympiad post-pandemic anywhere in the world. The theme this year is premised on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which assumes great significance in light of India’s G20 Presidency, and will sensitize young chefs from around the world to the critical importance of sustainability in the field of hospitality.”
In addition to sustainability, YCO 2023 is focused specifically on promoting original, natural grains viz. Millets, primarily owing to 2023 being declared as the International Year of Millets.