Azerbaijan takes away the coveted winner title of the 9th IIHM Young Chef Olympiad 202

After a week of intense cooking and display of culinary skills by 53 teams across six Indian cities, Young Chef Olympiad 2023—the world’s biggest culinary olympiad—came to an end with a spectacular closing ceremony and Awards Night held at Wet-O-Wild, Nicco Park Complex, Salt Lake, Kolkata.

Emil Zeynalzade of Azerbaijan was declared the winner with the top prize—the coveted Gold Trophy and a cash prize of US$ 5,000, Patiphon Lertsurakitti of Thailand won Silver and a cash prize of US$ 3,000 while Naureen Shaikh from India was awarded the Bronze and a cash prize of US$ 2,000.

After a gap of two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Young Chef Olympiad 2023 was held in a physical format at the cultural capital of India – Kolkata. The grand finale saw some of the world’s most talented young chefs compete with each other to be awarded the Best Young Chef in the World. YCO 2023 also witnessed the presence of some of the most eminent and well-known personalities from the world of Hospitality and Tourism.

The top 10 finalists of YCO 2023 were: Azerbaijan, England, France, India, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and the USA. They competed against each other at the IIHM Global Campus in Sector V, Salt Lake, Kolkata.

Dr Suborno Bose, Chairman, YCO Global Council & CEO International Hospitality Council, London & Founder & Chief Mentor Indismart Group, shares, “Organized by sheer determination, the Young Chef Olympiad is not about winning or losing. It is about friendship, camaraderie, bonding, and about making friends for life. Yes, it’s a competition but it’s also the place where the world meets the world. It’s the place where you make memories for life” 

The Closing Ceremony was a star-studded event, symbolizing the unputdownable spirit of the students, mentors, judges and all those associated in making YCO 2023 a mega success. At the grand Closing Ceremony, all the 53 participating countries—young chefs and their mentors—who had traveled from across the world to participate in YCO 2023 were called on stage and introduced to the audience. This is one of the biggest congregation of Young Chefs anywhere in the world.

Dignitaries of the Culinary World shared their past experiences of YCO during the closing ceremony. They also shared insights on the importance of fine detailing and sustainable hospitality to the participating 50+ countries, and it was a riveting experience. 

While Lord Karan Billimoria, Chancellor , University of Birmingham, congratulated the young chefs via a video message, Professor David Foskett, MBE and Chairperson of the Jury for YCO 2023 also graced the occasion.  

The event was graced by Padma Shree awardee Chef Sanjeev Kapoor who is the Chief Mentor of the Young Chef Olympiad. Dr Suborno Bose, the man behind Young Chef Olympiad, who is also a notable name in the hospitality arena shared his visionary thoughts with the participants. It is his dare-to-do-style that has made the World’s Biggest Culinary Olympiad a reality. It is Dr Bose who has single handedly brought 53 countries under one roof, with the event being beamed globally on IIHM’s dedicated channel with over 3.3 Million subscribers.

Dr Ashraf Shikhaliyev, Ambassador of Azerbaijan especially flew in from New Delhi to attend the Closing Ceremony, he was delighted with Azerbaijan’s win and wished the Young Chef from Azerbaijan all the best for his career.

YCO is a one-of-a-kind event wherein countries from across the globe come together on a single platform and participate to compete for the most prestigious title of YCO Winner. IIHM, the proud host, was thankful as another remarkable and memorable edition of YCO came to an end.

About IIHM 

IIHM (International Institute of Hotel Management) is one of the largest chains of premier hospitality and hotel management schools across India that started its journey in 1994 in Kolkata. IIHM is a part of Indismart Group, the conglomerate that operates Indismart Hotels. IIHM campuses are located across eleven National and International cities with the associate institute IAM-IHM located in Kolkata, and Guwahati. Students passing out of IIHM are armed with an international degree from the University of West London and equipped with global hospitality skills that enable easy placements in any hospitality brand across the world. IIHM is dedicated to its pursuit of excellence in teaching and placements. Real-time experience is the key to success in hospitality and that makes the institute popular. In recent years, IIHM has been instrumental in organizing the world’s biggest Culinary Olympiad Young Chef Olympiad, with the participation of over 50 countries, a unique idea and initiative inviting young culinary talents across the world. It has MoUs with over 50 countries for student and faculty exchange bringing the best of education to its students from around the World. The institute has bagged several prestigious awards in the past 29 years. The list includes the Best Education Brand Award from Economic Times consecutively in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. It was also featured in Forbes Magazine as Great Indian Institute and Great Place to Study consecutively in the year 2018 – 2019 and 2019 – 2020. IIHM was also awarded as one of the World’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2015-16 by URS International (IMEA – Process Reviewer PriceWaterhouseCoopers PL) and also received the Best Institute in Hospitality Education 2017 Award by Assocham from Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister of State for HRD (Higher Education), Govt. of India.

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