The world’s biggest culinary competition for student chefs – the International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) – is back with a delicious and delectable bang! The fifth edition of the event will be held across four cities of India – Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Kolkata – from 28thJanuary 2019 to 2ndFebruary 2019. YCO 2019 will witness participation from budding chefs from 50 countries, including England, Wales, Canada, Russia, Spain, South Africa, UAE, Switzerland, Thailand, France, Italy and Hong Kong among others.
These contestants will represent some of the world’s top culinary and hospitality institutions. During a 5-day long intense competition, they will undertake 3 rounds of culinary challenges in their quest to win the coveted YCO 2019 winner’s 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 event is being organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) in partnership with the International Hospitality Council (IHC) London. Launched in 2015, YCO aims to create an international platform to showcase young professional culinary talent from around the world as well as create camaraderie and goodwill among nations by connecting them through the world’s most preferred language – food!
In the competition’s first round, the contestants will be required to prepare 4 portions of a Classical Chicken Saute Chasseur (served with a fondant potato)as well as 8 Classical Rum Baba in two hours. In this round, they will be judged for their ability to follow the recipe and display of basic skills. In Round 2 of YCO 2019, two hours will be given to the contestants to prepare a vegetarian dish and a King Prawn dish, suitable for a lunch menu at a Bistro or Brasserie restaurant, from a basket of ingredients and based on their own recipes. The primary judging criteria for this round will be creativity, innovation and cooking technique. For the Plate Trophy Finals, the contestants will be required to prepare a chicken dish and a potato dish from a variety of ingredients, including 4 essential ingredients, in two hours.
The Grand Finale of YCO 2019 will be a test of the contestants’ creativity, innovation, skills and professional good practice. The 10 finalists will be given 2 hours and 30 minutes to prepare4 portions of a Salmon dish with a contemporary garnish and a creative potato dish to complement it using only the basket of ingredients provided. They will also have to prepare 4 portions of a new innovative dessert of their choice, again from a basket of ingredients provided. Both dishes have to be prepared and served as appropriate in a Brasserie Restaurant environment. There will be a Mystery Ingredient added to the Basket of Ingredients, which must be used in the Salmon dish only.
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) and Lai Jia Yi from Malaysia (2018).