The 8th edition of the International Young Chef Olympiad, which is the world’s biggest culinary battle for student chefs, has kick-started with a Grand Opening Ceremony, held virtually on Sunday i.e 30th January 2022.
Organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), in partnership with the International Hospitality Council (IHC) London, YCO 2022 will host student chefs from more than 40 countries, including Spain, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Hong Kong, Scotland, Thailand, South Korea, Turkey, UAE, and Sweden, among others.
The opening ceremony commenced with a video of the YCO journey from 2015 to 2022 and a live session welcoming the participating countries. The evening also witnessed live speeches by Dr Bose, Prof Foskett, and Celebrity Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The oath-taking ceremony of the participants, mentors, and judges preceded the unveiling of the YCO 2022 Champion Trophy and the torch.
YCO 2022 has adopted the theme of Global Goals to encourage the culinary world to work together for a greater cause of environmental protection with a positive call to action towards sustainability.
Following the Opening Ceremony, a 5-day-long culinary battle will begin from today i.e 31st January through video conferencing.
The top 10 contestants as per the scores of the previous round will compete in the Grand Finale of YCO 2022 on 3rd and 4th February split into 2 groups of 5 countries in each group, in different time zones to accommodate all. The Plate Trophy will also be held on the 3rd and 4th February wherein the contestants holding positions 11 to 20 in the first round will compete.
The Olympiad will conclude on 5th February with a Closing Ceremony, where the YCO 2022 Champion, runners-up, and other awardees will be announced. This year, the participants will be competing for awards such as ‘Plate Trophy’, ‘Best Knife Skills’, ‘Best Vegetarian Dish’, ‘Best Creme Caramel’, ‘Best Hygiene and Kitchen Practice’, ‘6 Ambassador’s Awards’ ‘6 Mentor Awards’, ‘Best Use of Kitchen Cut Management Award’ and ‘Spirit of Young Chef Olympiad International Award’, ‘International Diamond Research Award’.
The Principal Judge of the competition, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor said, “As the principal judge of YCO 2022, I welcome all participating countries to the world’s biggest virtual culinary Olympiad for the young chefs. Last year we saw a newer version of YCO, but this year the 8th edition of YCO has raised the benchmark altogether with around 176 cameras across more than 40 countries. The world of hospitality is changing and soon the contributions of hospitality will be globally acknowledged through our young chefs”.
Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar also spoke at the occasion and congratulated all the participant countries. He also said “YCO brings light to the hospitality industry and the culinary world. The spirit and the sophistication of the event have always amazed us. Whereas the last year showed us the ardent spirit of all the participants, this year the spirit has brightened. This year YCO has levelled up to support the cause of the UN through 17 Sustainable Development Goals which has deeply inspired hospitality worldwide”.
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), Cyrene Randrianasolo from France (2019) Chen Khai Loong from Malaysia (2020) and Lee Maan Ki from Hong Kong (2021).