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HOTELS & HOSPITALITY

Malaysian Lai Jia Yi wins Chef Olympiad, India’s Choudhury 1st runner-up
Monday, 05 February, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Lai Jia Yi from Malaysia has won the 4th edition of the International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO), the world’s biggest culinary competition for student chefs. Surya Sekhar Roy Choudhury from India has emerged as the first runner-up, while the third place was shared by Kevin McCafferty from Scotland and Henry Lee from Hong Kong.
 
The Malaysian was awarded the YCO 2018 Trophy and a cash prize of $10,000 by chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Prof. David Foskett (chairman of the YCO 2018 jury) and Dr Suborno Bose, founder & chief mentor of IndiSmart Group & IIHM.
 
The YCO saw great competition between culinary student chefs from leading universities and hospitality institutes across the world, as they pitted their skills in technique, hygiene and other key areas while using the same ingredients to come up with the best dish possible. The competition, which was conceptualised and executed by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), saw contestants from 43 countries compete for the title and the cash prize. The event was held across Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and Kolkata over a period of six days.
 
The judges panel included eminent celebrity chefs and Michelin-starred winners such as chef John Wood, chef Chris Galvin, chef Scott Baechler, chef Enzo Oliveri, chef Sanjeev Kapoor and chef Ranveer Brar.
 
Sharing his happiness on the win, Lai Jia Yi said, “I am very excited to win this. It is my first time here and it has been a very good experience at Young Chef Olympiad.”
 
Choudhury, a student of IIHM Kolkata, is the first Indian contestant to get a podium finish at this prestigious competition since the contest’s inception in 2015. He was elated at the win and said, “It is the first time that we’ve got the trophy back home. It is an honour. I hoped I could live up to the expectations I had on my shoulders to perform. It is a superb feeling. The exposure like this, meeting chefs like John Wood and Chris Galvin, makes you want to push yourself to greater heights.”
 
Other than YCO 2018 Trophy, there were other category awards presented as well. Jack Gameson from England won the Late Shakuntala Devi Award for Best Vegetarian Creation. Dr Zenobia Nadirshaw Award for the Most Outstanding Young Chef was awarded to Traviskyle Lindeman Collins from Australia. Belgium’s Yannick Haast won the Food Safety & Hygiene Award.
 
Kapoor, who was the mentor & principal judge at YCO 2018, said, “Thank you very much for making Young Chef Olympiad such a grand success. I would appeal to all people to give your best and make this event a bigger success next year. The competition in 2018 was at least twice as big as last year and that’s a great achievement."
 
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