After a grueling culinary battle held across four Indian cities over a period of six days, Cyrene Randrianasolo from France has been crowned the winner of the International Young Chef Olympiad 2019. A student of Albert de Mun Hotel and Catering School, Cyrene has beaten competitions from 49 other nations to emerge as the winner of the fifth edition of the world’s biggest culinary competition for student chefs. Along with the winner’s trophy, Cyrene also received a gold medal and a cheque for $10,000. She also got to wear the Golden Chef Cap that was given for the first time this year to the YCO Winner. The silver trophy went to Romania’s Bogdan-Petru-Alin Vandici of ICEP Hotel School and the bronze trophy went to England’s Luke Hayward from the University College of Birmingham.
The event was organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) in partnership with the International Hospitality Council (IHC) London. The event commenced on 28thJanuary with a Grand Opening ceremony in Delhi. After that the countries completed two rounds of competition in Delhi, Pune and Bengaluru before heading to Kolkata for the final round. Cyrene bagged the winner’s trophy after the final round held at the IIHM Global Campus in Kolkata. The final round included preparing a salmon-based dish, a potato-based side and a dessert. Apart from the winner’s trophy, Cyrene also bagged an award for Best Hygienic Practice.
Elated at her victory, Cyrene said,“I am honoured to win this recognition from IIHM at YCO 19. I want to thank them all for this wonderful opportunity and I am overwhelmed to have won this trophy and prize”.
YCO 2019 had an additional attraction with a Plate Trophy for countries that ranked between 11 and 20. The Plate Trophy winner was Matthew Potgieter from South African Academy of Culinary Arts. There were several other category prizes that went to the countries. The Best Dessert Dish in Round 1 went to Ahmed Alawadhi from Bahrain, the Late Shakuntala Devi Award for Best Vegetarian Dish Creation in Round 2 went to Andrea Guardiani from Italy. Apart from France, the Best Hygienic Practice Awards also went to Jordan McKenzie of Scotland and Henry Tan Jung Ming from Singapore.
The Best Ambassador Awards went to Ryan Malone of Ireland, Eden Frank of New Zealand and Gizem Öznacar from Switzerland. The Mentors Nomination Awards went to Elina Seguin of Canada, Daniel Busuttil of Malta and Jordan Mckenzie of Scotland. The Rising Star Award selected from the Delhi rounds went to Yea Rim Kim of South Korea. The Rising Star from the Pune round went to Tafadzwa Nigel Siyanga from Zimbabwe. The Welcome Skills Special Achievement Award went to Aqsa Iqbal of Bangladesh.
“It is indeed heartwarming to see the extraordinary response that the International Young Chef Olympiad has received from the hospitality and culinary industry globally, with 50 countries participating this year. YCO is emerging as an annual global convention for the culinary stars of tomorrow. I feel that this platform is about bringing the world together. It is about global harmony, coming together, bonding cultures and making ‘one world’. YCO is much bigger than just a cooking competition, it is a platform for the united world of young chefs,” said Dr Suborno Bose, the Chairman of the YCO 2019 Committee and Founder & Chief Mentor of IIHM.
Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who is also the Chief Mentor of YCO, said, “When we were studying, there was no platform like YCO. I am happy that students today have the opportunity to experience something like this.”