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Lai Jia Yi from Malaysia wins the International Young Chef Olympiad 2018

Indian student chef becomes the first runner-up and makes it to the podium in the four-year history of the World’s biggest culinary battle of student chefs

Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 17:15 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Mumbai

Lai Jia Yi from Malaysia has recently won the fourth edition of the International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO), dubbed as 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 Chef was awarded the YCO 2018 Trophy and a cash prize of USD 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 fourth Edition of YCO, a six-day event held across Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, and Kolkata saw great competition between culinary student chefs from leading universities and hospitality institutes from 43 countries, as they showcased their skills in technique, hygiene and other key areas while using the same ingredients to come up with the best dish possible. The competition was conceptualised and executed by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM).

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 this win, 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, said, “It is the first time that we’ve got the trophy back home. It is an honour. It is a superb feeling. The exposure like this, meeting chefs like John Wood and Chris Galvin, makes one want to push themselves to greater heights.”

Other than YCO 2018 Trophy, there were other category awards presented where, Jack Gameson from England won the Late Shakuntala Devi Award for Best Vegetarian Creation, Traviskyle Lindeman Collins from Australia won Dr. Zenobia Nadirshaw Award for the Most Outstanding Young Chef, while Belgium’s Yannick Haast won the Food Safety & Hygiene Award.

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, 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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