In a bid to bring young culinary minds around the globe under one roof, the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), in partnership with the International Hospitality Council London, is organizing the sixth edition of the International Young Chef Olympiad. The world’s biggest culinary battle for student chefs, YCO 2020 will be held from 28th January to 2nd February across five Indian cities – Delhi, Pune, Goa, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
Student chefs from 60 top culinary and hospitality institutions across the world, including Escola Superior d’ Hostaleria de Barcelona (Spain), The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (Jordan), South African Academy of Culinary Arts (South Africa), At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy (Singapore), IPPSAR Maffioli (Italy), Johnson and Wales University (USA), Albert De Mun Hotel & Catering School (France) and B.H.M.S Business and Hotel Management School (Switzerland) among others, will be participating in this grand culinary battle. Adopting the theme of ‘Sustainability’, this year the competition will be uniting the young talent of the culinary world to champion the sustainability revolution through positive action.
In a 5-day long competition, the contestants will not only battle to achieve the top spot but will also get an opportunity to explore culturally diverse cuisines from 60 countries including Scotland, England, Singapore, USA, Spain, Portugal, Kenya, Iran, Cambodia and Germany, among others. The Opening Ceremony for YCO 2020 will take place on 28th January in Delhi, followed by qualifying rounds across five cities. The event finale will be held in Kolkata on 2nd February. The winner will get the coveted YCO 2020 Champion Trophy, a cash prize of USD 10,000 and a validation of their skills by globally renowned experts from the food and hospitality industry. The winner will also be crowned with a Gold Toque, a new introduction to the competition.
Talking about YCO 2020, Dr Suborno Bose, the CEO of International Hospitality Council (IHC) and Founder YCO, said, “YCO, today, is the biggest and the best culinary event in the world for student chefs. It was curated with the intention of bringing the young and promising future stars of the international culinary community on a single platform so that they could connect as well as share ideas and innovations while creating something exceptional out of their experiences. It provides a global platform fostering the spirit of youth, friendship, inclusiveness and camaraderie. Moreover, by making sustainability the theme for this year, we are championing the cause with the involvement of young people who will help determine and shape the future through a global impact.”
Varun Tej Reddy from IIHM Hyderabad will represent India at this global event. Sharing his excitement, he said, “It is a moment of pride for me to represent India at YCO 2020. The process was tough but I am glad that through my dedication and hard work, I made it to the top out of more than 5000 applicants. YCO will give me a great opportunity to exchange knowledge with Michelin star chefs and other industry experts.” Varun, who has great interest in French cuisine, added, “This platform will give young talents, who have received the same kind of training and same kind of discipline, an opportunity to come together for a great cultural and knowledge exchange.”
Through the last five editions of the Olympiad, the world has seen culinary stars been born and dreams been celebrated on the global culinary stage. The winners of the past editions of YCO were Ashwin Nicholas Oon from Malaysia (2015), Daniella Germond from Canada (2016), Tham Jiajun Mathew from Singapore (2017), Lai Jia Yi from Malaysia (2018) and Cyrene Randrianasolo from France (2019).