The fifth edition of the International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO), the world’s biggest culinary competition for student chefs from 50 participating countries kicked off yesterday with a grand opening ceremony at the Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Auditorium in Delhi. Sam Chutintorn Gongsakdi, the Ambassador of Thailand to India, graced the event with his presence as the Guest of Honour.
Organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) in partnership with the International Hospitality Council (IHC) London, the competition will be held from January 29 to February 2 across four cities – Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Kolkata. A cash prize of $10,000 will be awarded to the winner.
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.
Talking about the growth and future of YCO, Dr Suborno Bose, Chairman of the YCO 2019 Committee and Founder; Chief Mentor of IIHM, said, “While YCO 2015 saw 15 participating countries, in 2019 we are hosting 50 countries, which speaks volumes about the kind of enthusiasm and acceptance we have received from the international culinary fraternity. Now we are planning to build a sustainable model for YCO for the next 50 years. We are looking at not just being stationed in India, but taking the Olympiad abroad to different countries, where it would be easier to unearth even more local talent.”
This year, apart from YCO regulars such as England, Wales, Canada, Russia, Spain, South Africa, UAE, Switzerland, Thailand, France, Italy, Malaysia and Hong Kong, countries like Indonesia, Iran, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Uzbekistan, Botswana, Fiji, Namibia, Uganda and Ghana will be participating in the mega culinary battle for the first time.