The 8th International IIHM Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) organised by the International Hospitality Council (IHC) and hosted by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), YCO 2022 was a resounding success. YCO, the World’s Biggest Culinary Battle was a seven day event that was held across six continents and 24 time zones. IIHM Global Campus, Kolkata was the nerve centre of all the action that was happening on all seven days of the mega culinary event. YCO 2022 was a larger and more inclusive edition because the whole event happened virtually.
This year IIHM Young Chef Olympiad 2022 winner was Matteo Cignetti from Italy. He has been awarded a gold trophy, certificate and cheque for USD 5000. The silver went to Chong Jia De of Singapore took the Silver place and Halldor Haflidason of Iceland bagged bronze.
The winners names were announced via video conference by Prof David Foskett,chairman of the Jury, YCO and Padma Shri Awardee & principal judge of YCO Chef Sanjeev Kapoor
Speaking at the grand Finale Dr Suborno Bose, CEO, International Hospitality Council (IHC) and Founder, YCO said, “YCO 2022 has been exemplary in showing how we can beat a pandemic and the obstacles that it brings with it and we have done it together. This has been an incredible YCO with the support of the countries, mentors, judges and everyone who was involved. It has been tough for everyone including those who have even tested Covid positive during the competition. YCO 2022 has shown the light of hope and positivity to the hospitality industry and I think this is the beginning of good days again. We are absolutely committed to the UN SDGs and we are also proud and grateful to the UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili for his support. This YCO was dedicated to the SDGs and it is an honour to be able to be associated with these goals.''
YCO 2022 theme was very important and significant that aims to achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A special award, the Zenobia Nadirshaw Diamond Research Award, went to students who had done research on the SDGs and how to achieve them to make the world a better place to live. Four awards in this category went to Kenya, Bangladesh, India and Italy.
Connecting over 50 countries of the world through state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure, YCO22, was one of the biggest in size and scale with 176 cameras catching all the action of 40 participants, 200 judges, 150 hospitality stalwarts.
Besides the top three, YCO 2022 had a long list of special category winners. The Plate Trophy round held the next best ranked between 11 to 20 in the competition went to Gayane Simonyan of Armenia. The Kitchen Cut Management Award went to Switzerland. The Best Vegetarian Dish went to England while the Best Crème Caramel Dish went to Bulgaria.
Six Mentor Awards were given away based on each of the mentor’s recommendations about their respective participants. The awards went to Nigeria, Canada, Italy, Nepal, Spain, and England. The six Best Young Chef Ambassador Awards went to India, Mexico, Switzerland, Iceland, Greece, and Namibia. Participants were also marked on Best Hygiene and Kitchen Practice maintained during competition and this award went to four participants from Greece, Iceland, Iran and Nepal. The Best Knife Skills Award went to four participants from Iran, Italy, Canada and Namibia.
Two special awards of The Spirit of YCO 2022 went to Kulsum Hussin, CEO, Welcome Skills International School of Hospitality, Bangladesh and Chef Andreas Mueller, Programme Director (International Cuisine) at VTC, Hong Kong, who is also one of the chief judges at YCO 2022.