The 3rd International Young Chef Olympiad – A Curtain Raiser !

                              In today’s world, food has become a universal language and represents a nation’s culture to a major extent. It is something that brings and binds communities together globally.It has the power to bond nations and if you are wondering what I am referring to here , your wait is over – The 3rd edition of International Young Chef Olympiad(YCO) 2017 is back bigger and better than it can ever be !

What is the YCO ?

YCO is a concept executed by IIHM ( International Institute of Hotel Management ) for budding young chefs-in-training to showcase their culinary talent. This is an International cooking contest with over 50+ countries competing for the coveted winner trophy and a cash prize of $10,000 ! YCO has become an arena for International Hospitality school students to engage, learn, interact and understand the culture aspect of each nation they represent. The event has gained immense popularity and support from so many countries and has been growing big every edition. This benchmark event is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and this speaks volumes of the recognition this Olympiad has garnered !


The Curtain Raiser

The curtain raiser for the YCO 2017 was held in Bengaluru on the 17th of January. The event was attended by 

  • Chef Abhijit Saha – Founding Director & Chef of Avant Garde Hospitality
  • Chef Shaun Kenworthy – Culinary Director , IIHM Hotel School
  • Mrs Shalini Khanna Charles – Director,IIHM Bengaluru
  • Mr Suresh Hinduja – CEO of and an acclaimed food critic 

Chef Shaun briefed us on the competition and the format. Chef Saha gave insights on the judging criteria with himself being one of the technical judges for the Olympiad and Mr Suresh Hinduja threw some light on the success of the Olympiad and how the event has grown and supports  young chef’s all over the world.


The highlight of the event was the Food styling demo by Chef Shaun who with his expertise kept the audience enthralled with a styling of a savoury and a  dessert on a milky white acrylic sheet. The  Smiling faces, the informal discussions, the formal interviews, the selfie’s, the group photo’s  – it was all excitement in the air in lieu of the Olympiad.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Schedule and Format 

The event will be held from January 28th to 2nd February across four cities – Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata. The inauguration will take place in Talkatora stadium, Delhi on 28th January.

  • Round 1 will  be conducted in Delhi on 28th and 29th of January with the theme being – ‘Following Recipe and displaying basic skills’
  • Round 2 will be conducted in Bangalore on 30th January and in Pune on 31st January. The Theme for this round will be Creativity and Innovation
  • Round 3 will be held in Kolkata on 1st February. The theme for this round will be following a traditional recipe and displaying creativity and innovation.
  • Round 4 which is the Finale round will also be conducted in Kolkata  on February 2nd with the theme being – A test in Creativity, Innovation, Skills and Professional Good Practice. The finale will also be followed by the closing ceremony with the announcement of the winner.

 The students will be judged on a lot of technicalities with the difficulty level increasing with every round.

Judges Panel and Experts from Culinary World

  • Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the Brand Ambassador, principal judge and YCO Mentor
  • The Judging panel will have Celebrity Chefs such as Ched Ranveer Brar, Chef Parminder Singh Bali and Chef Kunal Kapur.
  • Prof. David Foskett (Author of best selling book Practical Cookery & Theory of Catering) will be the chairman of the Jury.
  • Chef Abhijit Saha will be the technical judge for all four rounds of the event
  • The panel of judges will also include Chef Boris Leung and Chef Andreas Muller from HongKong, Chef Udo Leick from Debai, Chef Karen Anand, Chef Parminder Singh Bali, Chef Andy Verma, Chef Ajay Chopra amongst others.

Masterchef Junior ( US) Season 2 Winner – Logan Guleff will be visiting India as the Celebrity Mascot for the third efition of the Young Chef Oympiad.

Who is representing India ???

Ms Puja Mishra, a hospitality student from IIHM Kolkata, is the chosen one from among 800 students to represent India. With the trophy still elusive with India not winning in the past 2 editions, all hopes are on Puja now to bring the trophy home. Go Puja ! 


This event would not have been possible if IIHM had not conceptualised the idea. To provide some details on this conglomerate – IIHM was founded in 1994 and is a part of the IndiSmart Group. The group operates the IndiSmart Hotels and this institute is the largest Hotel School Chain leading in the field of International Hospitality Management Education in India with campuses at Kolkata, Delhi, Pune,Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad,Hyderabad and KBU Bangkok in the capital city in Thailand

For more information on the event and details , refer to the below sites

  • YCO site –
  • FB page –
  • IIHM site –

Here is a short video with highlights of the 2016 edition of this event

Let’s support the budding chef’s from all over the world and make this amazing culinary event with amalgamation of various cultures, a huge success !



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s