Pune: The 4th edition of Young Chef Olympiad (YCO), conceptualised and executed by International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) will be held in India at Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and Kolkata from January 28 to February 2. Fifty countries will be competing for the coveted YCO trophy and a cash prize of $10,000.
The contest is supported by Ministry of Tourism and Government of India. The participants have been divided into five groups comprising 10 countries each. The event is divided into two phases. The opening ceremony will be at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi on January 28. The first round featuring Group 'A', 'B' and 'C' will be held in Delhi on January 29. Group 'D' and 'E' will compete for their first round in Bengaluru and Pune at IIHM, Viman Nagar respectively on January 30.
After the first round, the participants will reassemble in Kolkata on January 31 for the International Chefs Forum at Hyatt Regency. There will be no elimination till round 2. After round 2, the selected 10 contestants will head for the final round on February 2 in Kolkata.
Rupinder Khurana, Director at IIHM and Member of YCO Executive Council, said the participants will have to make two dishes in round 1 in two hours which includes Poached eggs, Florentine and Lemon Souffle. The participants will proceed to the two-hour round 2 in Kolkata. There the competitors will prepare three-course menus including starters as a vegan dish, a vegetarian main course, followed by a vegetarian dessert.
Khurana said, "After round 2, the scores will be aggregated and the top ten will be selected. These top ten will compete in the finals. There are sub-prizes in the competition. The final round will be of three hours, the competitors will be given chicken, in which they have to use their creativity. They have to prepare a dessert out of a Choux pastry. These participants are selected by the Country Chef Association. Only one participant from each country is allowed to participate. The participants are those who are undergoing culinary education in their country. From Pune, Surya Shekhar a student of IIHM, Kolkata will be representing India this year."
Chef Ritesh Sen said, "The challenge for the participants will be working in a new environment with different ingredients. They will be judged on skills, techniques, safety, hygiene practice, working methods, minimal waste, best use of ingredients, professional appearance, attitude, dish presentation, taste and flavour. There will be two judges for each round. The first set of judges will be marking on technical and production element and the other on presentation, taste, flavour and culinary knowledge."
Rupinder Khurana, Director at IIHM and Member of YCO Executive Council said, "Round one is recipe-driven. We will see how technically sound they are. In round two their creativity will be tested. They have been given the list of ingredients they will be getting. In the final round, they will have a mystery ingredient which will be disclosed one day prior to the finals and they have to use it either in the main course or the dessert."
Chef Ritesh Sen said, "They have been informed about the dish they will be making. So the competition is about productivity and the capability."