The World’s Biggest Culinary Competition for Young Chefs Begins Online on 31st January

The 7th IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) will be hosted online from January 31st until February 6th with The Chefs’ Forum’s, Neil Rippington as one of the lead judges.

The competition will see young chefs from 50 countries, including Spain, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Turkey, UAE, Sweden, compete against each other over two rounds to win a cash prize of $10,000.

This year’s theme is ‘Forward Together’ and aims to unite the young talents of the culinary world through their positive action. The opening ceremony is scheduled on Sunday Jan 31, 06:30 PM India Time OR 1 PM GMT and can be viewed at

Neil Rippington said: ‘I am honoured to be invited to judge this year’s Young Chef Olympiad competition. I have mentored the UK candidate twice before and enjoyed the most amazing experience, meeting the young chefs and mentors from countries from all corners of the world.

Unfortunately, this year, we are unable to compete in India, but the spirit of Young Chef Olympiad has broken through the barriers we are all facing to host an amazing virtual version of the event. I will be judging alongside some industries icons, including Chris Galvin, Henry Brosi, Brian Turner and Gary Maclean, as well as international judges Sanjeev KapoorI (India), Andreas Muller (Hong Kong), Stefan Hogan (Malta), Garth Stroebel (South Africa) and Enzo Oliveri (Italy), among many others. It demonstrates the great community across the culinary world and the positivity we share to ensure the show goes on.’

Dr Suborno Bose, the CEO of International Hospitality Council (IHC) and Founder of YCO, said, “The COVID-19 Pandemic and an era of social distancing has not deterred our spirit to take the International Young Chef Olympiad to the next level. With 50 countries coming together virtually to celebrate the diversity of food from across the borders, YCO 2021 is not just the biggest culinary competition in the world but also a global platform fostering the spirit of youth, friendship, diversity and inclusiveness. Moreover, it brings all the young and talented future stars of the international culinary scene on a single platform where they connect with each other and share insights out of their experiences.”

Competition rounds will start from 1st February on Zoom video conferencing. The top 10 contestants will compete in the Grand Finale of YCO 2021 on 4th and 5th February split in 2 groups of 5 countries in each, across 2 days in different time zones.

The Plate Trophy will also be held on the 4th and 5th February wherein the contestants holding positions 11 to 20 in the first round will compete. The Olympiad will conclude on 6th February with a closing ceremony, where the YCO 2021 Champion, runners-up and other awardees will be announced. This year, the participants will be competing for awards such as ‘Rising Star’, ‘Best Vegetarian Dish’, ‘Best Hygiene and Kitchen Practice’, ‘Best Chicken Sauté Dish’, ‘Ambassador Award’, ‘Mentor Award’, ‘Sustainability Award’, ‘Best Use of Kitchen Cut’ and ‘Best Afternoon Tea Profiteroles’.

In the competition’s first round, the contestants will be required to prepare three dishes – 4 portions of a chicken cut for sauté with a garnish and sauce, 8 chocolate eclairs suitable for a luxury afternoon tea and 4 portions of a vegetarian dish using the mentioned ingredients in two and a half hours. The contestants will be judged on their basic skills, nutrition, health and safety, taste and creativity in this round.

The Grand Finale and Plate Trophy Finals of YCO 2021 will test each contestant’s creativity, innovation, cooking skills and professional good practice in a time bound environment. For the grand final, the contestants will be given two and a half hours to prepare 2 litres of chicken stock into a consommé with a garnish, and Gâteau St. Honoré for 10 persons using a sweet pastry as the base and choux pastry filled with a crème chiboust. For the Plate Trophy Finals, the contestants will be required to prepare the same Gâteau St. Honoré for 10 persons, but in 2 hours.

Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the Principal Judge and Mentor for YCO 2021 while Professor David Foskett (MBE) will be the Chairman of the Jury. The panel of judges will include an array of internationally acclaimed judges and celebrity chefs.