Malaysia Bags Gold at 4th International Young Chef Olympiad 2018

NEW DELHI, February 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Malaysia bagged the gold trophy and USD 10,000 at yet another sizzling and nail-biting competition between 43 countries at the 4th IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad 2018. The award was given away at a grand and colourful ceremony organised at Wet-o-Wild, Nicco Park on February 2. Twenty-one-year old Lai Jia Yi is a final year student of Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management (Hons) at Taylor's University. India's boy Surya Shekhar Roy Chowdhury, a student of IIHM, Kolkata, made the country and his institution proud by bagging the silver trophy. The bronze was jointly won by Henry Lee of Hong Kong and Keith McCafferty of Scotland.

     (Photo: )

     (Photo: )

The 4th IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad 2018 organised from January 28 to February 2 was as big and glamorous as is promised year on year. Almost 50 countries were united by food, in India. The colourful opening ceremony at Talkatora Stadium, Delhi was held on January 28. The ceremony was a convergence of the world with 43 participating nations gathering at what is undoubtedly the world's biggest culinary event. From Armenia to Zimbabwe, the participants and mentors got to meet their competitors. The budding chefs mingled, bonded and shared their ideas and cultures before descending into the biggest culinary battle of the world. YCO contestants take an oath before they descend into the battle arena and this year India's Surya Sekhar Roy Chowdhury, Scottish mentor Gary MacLean and judge Andreas Mueller took the oath on behalf of the contestants, mentors and judges respectively. The final torch-lighting ritual declared the Olympiad open.

IIHM YCO 2018 saw three rounds of competition between five groups. The countries had earlier been divided into groups at a Lucky Draw held in November in London. Two rounds of the cook-off for all the groups were held at Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Kolkata. The grand finale was held in Kolkata followed by the Grand Closing Ceremony on February 2.

11 talented finalists were selected after tough competition in Rounds 1 and 2. The lucky finalists were Scotland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Armenia, Iceland, New Zealand, Ireland and England. The final cook-off took place on February 2 morning, where Principal judge and mentor Padma Shri Sanjeev Kapoor and celebrity judge Ranveer Brar were present along with other celebrity judges to mark the finalists. "Practice is the mantra of YCO. You cannot stop practising. Those who have reached the finals are talented and lucky. They are trying to achieve their goal through sheer hard work," said Padma Shri Sanjeev Kapoor.

"IIHM YCO is more than just a culinary competition. It's all about friendship, bonding and camaraderie among nations unified through food. It is the biggest culinary event of the world where the best talents from around the world have come forward to represent their nations and exchange ideas and cultures and most importantly, their traditions which are best expressed through food. After four years of organising this competition, today we are celebrating the grand success of YCO," said Dr Suborno Bose.

"IIHM YCO has grown bigger and better over four years. This year's IIHM YCO competition level has been twice as better than last year. IIHM YCO is today has achieved the necessary success and fame which will go forward and only get bigger and better every year," said Padma Shri Sanjeev Kapoor.

The other awards given away at the ceremony were Dr Zenobia Award for the Most Outstanding Young Chef Ambassador that went to Travis Kyle Lindeman - Collins of Australia.

The Sakuntala Devi Award for Best Vegetarian Creation went to Jack Gameson of England.

The Judges: 

A distinguished panel of judges each of them well-known in the culinary world were present to judge the competition this year. Celebrity chefs like Chef John Wood, Michelin-Starred Executive Chef, Chef Chris Galvin, co-owner of Galvin Restaurants- Michelin-Starred restaurant group, Chef Karl Guggenmos, renowned culinary leader and teacher, Chef Enzo Oliveri, Sicilian Chef and celebrity TV chef, Chef Abhijit Saha, Founder Director and Chef of Avant Garde Hospitality Pvt Ltd. and many others scrutinised the participants' performances. The panel was led by chairman of the jury, Prof David Foskett, renowned culinary teacher and author. The Principal Judge and Mentor of YCO 2018 was iconic chef Padma Shri Sanjeev Kapoor.

"This is a pioneering initiative with almost 50 countries participating under one roof. IIHM has brilliantly executed the entire event and I think it is a great way of promoting the culinary arts," said Chef Karl Guggenmos.

"IIHM YCO is one of the best competitions in the world which promotes companionship, friendship and breaks barriers through food. It unifies the world through food. Like the great philosopher Socrates said, 'Life is not worth living if it is not investigated.' So, food is also an investigation into the cultures, traditions and characters of people around the world," said Prof David Foskett.

United World of Young Chefs: 

History was created on the lawns of the Hyatt Regency, Kolkata on the night of January 31where 43 young chefs gathered to cook their national dish and served all under one sky. The first initiative of its kind, United World of Young Chefs was a pioneering event this year in the world at IIHM YCO 2018. Most of the guests at UWYC believed that no such event has ever taken place before anywhere in the world. From Spain's traditional Paella to Egypt's savoury rice pudding called Roz ME'Mar and Mexico's sweet and spicy Mole Pablano, every item was a wonder to the tastebuds. "This programme is a path-breaking initiative by IIHM. It is something that should be supported by the national and state tourisms around the world. It's a great ambassador of unity and harmony around the world," said iconic chef Padma Shri Sanjeev Kapoor. "This initiative is so huge that you can actually write a book on it. Thinking about this idea is one thing and executing it is totally different. IIHM and Dr Suborno Bose's efforts are truly commendable. I am sure other countries will follow in their footsteps," said celebrity chef John Wood. "United World of Young Chefs was initiated to promote harmony, friendship and bonding among the nations. It's the first such initiative in the world and IIHM has set the path for many more of such programmes in future. Such an event will bring nations closer and help them explore each other's culture," said chief mentor and chairman of YCO 2018 committee, Dr Suborno Bose.

International Culinary Forum: 

Another path-breaking event at IIHM YCO 2018 was the International Culinary Forum held at the Hyatt Regency, Kolkata on January 31. The seminar was a great opportunity for the mentors of IIHM YCO 2018 to listen to inspiring stories of how renowned master chefs achieved success through sheer passion and hard work. They spoke on the journeys of becoming chefs and entrepreneurs. Celebrity chefs Chris Galvin and Enzo Oliveri were the keynote speakers while Padma Shri Sanjeev Kapoor gave an inspirational speech about his journey from being a chef to becoming a successful entrepreneur. A panel discussion including Birjit Holm, General Manager, Hyatt Regency, Ritu Jolly, HR Specialist, S Hinduja, Food Columnist, Shiv Mahapatro, Training Specialist and Manvinder Singh, Alumni IIHM was also organised. Led by Prof David Foskett, the panelists discussed the change in 60 years between the X Generation and Z Generation in attitude and expectations and the impact on career choice. The discussion was followed by an interactive session with the audience.

About IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad: 

The IIHM Young Chef Olympiad is an initiative of International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) and the event is partnered by International Hospitality Council (IHC). YCO 2018 is the fourth season of the event since its inception in 2015. The event is supported by the Department of Tourism, Government of India as well as West Bengal Tourism. Dr Suborno Bose, the chairman of the Young Chef Olympiad 2018 Committee said, "Young Chef Olympiad was conceptualized as a platform for young chefs in training from around the world to interact and showcase their talent. We are overwhelmed by the response from the international community who have come together again in the 4th season to make this event a grand success."

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 in Kolkata. 2018 marks the 25th year of IIHM that is part of Indismart Group, the conglomerate that operates the Indismart Hotels. IIHM campuses are located across eight 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 from across the world to participate in the biggest cookery reality show of all time.

The institute has bagged several prestigious awards including the Best Education Brand Award from Economic Times in 2017. 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 bv Assocham from Dr.Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon'ble Minister of State for HRD (Higher Education), Govt. of India. Dr Suborno Bose, the chief mentor of IIHM was awarded the Economic Times Most Promising Business Leaders of Asia Award in November 2017.   

Media Contact:
Abdullah Ahmed
International Institute of Hotel Management

SOURCE International Institute of Hotel Management

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