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Indian Culinary Forum organised the 18th Annual Chef Awards to honour the best culinary artists of India

Thursday, October 21, 2021, 11:20 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

To recognise and honor the chefs and their exemplary contribution to the Hospitality industry, the Indian Culinary Forum (ICF), in their bid to commemorate the International Chefs Day, hosted the 18th edition of Annual Chef Awards alongside the 9th edition of Knowledge Summit, at The Park Hotel, Connaught Place, New Delhi.


The best chefs in 16 different categories were bestowed with awards in the presence of Chief Guest, Mr. K.B Kachru, Chairman Emeritus, and Principal Advisor, Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia among other top-notch names from the culinary fraternity. Keeping the Covid-related SOPs and guidelines in mind, the series of events had been planned and organized to ensure a safe and protected environment against coronavirus fears.


The Annual Chef Awards returned with its 18th edition and continued their tradition of providing the chefs a platform where they could exhibit their culinary, preparation, and presentation skills and get rewarded. To further adorn the event, ICF conducted the 9th edition of its Knowledge Summit. The Knowledge Summit provides a platform for discussing and deliberating the issues concerning the Industry, planning how to put Indian cuisine on the global culinary map, and chalking out the way forward for the Food and Beverage Industry.


The 9th chef summit added a significant milestone in the Indian Culinary Forum knowledge summit. The summit, which was phased over three sessions, was themed “A Healthy Planet For Future Generation: A step towards sustainability”. The guest of honor for the occasion was Mr. V.s. Datta. The Knowledge Summit provides a platform for discussing and deliberating the issues concerning the duty to pass on our knowledge and culinary skills to the next generation of chefs with a sense of pride and commitment to the future. The first panel was focused on the Innovative Gastronomic trends post-pandemic: survival strategies. The session was moderated by Mr. Maneesh Baheti the panelist for the session were Mr. Surjit Dhillon and Chefs - Davinder Kumar, Manish Mehrotra, and Rajeev Janveja. The panel discussed the gastronomic trends and the increased use of local ingredients and millets in the menu. The Pivot, in kitchens, was also discussed and chefs also mentioned one of their favorite key ingredients. Fusion with a sense of tradition, acceptability among consumers, and understanding of the pairing ingredients are very much important. The panel also discussed the HACCP point of view in post-pandemic.


The second session was on Sustainability through consumption: a new mantra. The session was moderated by Chef Vineet Manocha the panelist for the session were Chefs - Saby, Vinod Bhatti, Ankit Gaurav, and Prakarshi Pulkit. The panel discussed the sustainable consumption mantra, a plant-based diet was recommended but the focus was consumption of available ingredients in a limited and natural way that will lead to sustainability. Vocal for local was also the point considered for sustainability. A plant-based diet is the latest trend chef Prakarshi introduced about the vegetarian egg to the panel and how the mock meat started. Giving the right taste with natural ingredients was the key feature of sustainability.


The third session was on culinary skills building: knowledge, skills, and attitude. The session was moderated by Chef Rajiv Gulshan and the panelists for the session were Chefs-V. S. Datta, Amit Wadhera, Aditya Jaimini, and Utkash Bhalla. The session discussed the bridging of the gap between academia and industry. Chefs discussed how they improve the skills and knowledge of their staff under their guidance. Attitude towards learning is the key factor discussed also the lack of feedback from the workplace supervisor during the internship was also the point of concern.


Vote of thanks was extended by Dr. Chef Prem Ram, Convener of the summit he concluded the session by emphasizing sustainable practices and the environment to ensure a healthy planet for future generations. He also focused on the importance of teaching students the impact that the production and consumption of food have on the environment.


Speaking about the events, Chef Davinder Kumar, President Indian Culinary Forum, said, “We have been organizing the Annual Chef Awards since the last 18 years as part of the celebrations of the International Chefs Day. The prime objective of the Chef Awards is to provide the chefs with a platform where they can exhibit their culinary, preparation, and presentation skills and get rewarded for the same, in our bid to encourage them to match the International standards. The event would also serve as a medium to bring the best out of the upcoming chefs while also maximizing the potential of the existing ones for their growth in the sector”.


Preceding the Chef Awards, three-day-long event of culinary competitions were organised at the Indian Culinary Institute, Noida wherein, over 100 odd chefs, coming from starred hotels and high-end stand-alone restaurants, competed in 10 different categories amongst themselves in their bid to take home the coveted Best Chef awards. The Jury comprised renowned chefs under the chairmanship of a WACS-certified chef. Noted Chef Chef Umesh Mattoo presided as the Chairperson of the jury in this year’s competitions, while Chef Sireesh Saxena served as the organizing secretary. The Chef Awards also honoured the industry veterans in six other sought-after categories and the winners were selected by a panel of an esteemed jury.


Chef Vivek Saggar, General Secretary of Indian Culinary Forum, says, "The platform will not merely be a competition as chefs will be updated with modern techniques and mechanisms that are used in kitchens across the world. You can have a great career only if it's built on a solid foundation. The right training can take you places and therefore, the Chef Awards is more than just a competition. They understand the value of getting basics right even while innovating. The association has been giving due recognition to the unknown faces, who bring smiles on the faces of diners for 18 years now. By imparting improved education and organising grand industry-specific events, we keep moving one step ahead and set new benchmarks in the hospitality industry.”, he concluded. 


The following are the winners of the 18th Annual Chef Awards:


Top 6 Jury Awards

1.      Lifetime Achievement Award: Chef Sireesh Saxena        

2.      Golden Hat:                                  Chef Rajeev Janveja                                     

3.      Silver Hat:                                     Chef Mahendra Khairiya

4.      Academic Silver Hat:                   Chef Varinder Rana    

5.      Pastry Chef of the Year:              NQ              

6.      Lady Chef of the Year:                NQ


Awards through Culinary competition

7.      Master Chef of the Year:                          Chef Lukesh Bajaj, Radisson Blu, Paschim Vihar

8.      Master Chef Kebabs:                                 Chef Ganesh Chandra Papnai, Country Inn & Suites, Sahibabad

9.      Master Chef Indian Pattissarie               Chef Nitin Bisht, Radisson Blu, Paschim Vihar

10.  Master Chef Indian Sweets:                     Chef Sukanta Pal, Lemon Tree Premiere, Delhi Airport      

11.  Master Chef International Cuisine:        Chef Vineet Khanna, Le Meridien, New Delhi

12.  Master Chef North Indian Cuisine:        Chef Hasan Ali, Country Inn & Suites, Sahibabad 

13.  Master Chef Oriental Cuisine Award:    Chef Sonu Kunwar, Radisson Blu, Delhi Airport            

14.  Master Chef Baker Award:                      Chef Vinod Kumar, Devyani International Limited

15.  Master Chef South East & West              Chef Ignatius Hansdak, Radisson Blu, Delhi Airport

16.  Student Chef of the Year Female            Ms. Gunjan Sanghal, ICI, Noida

17.  Student Chef of the Year Male                Mr. Abhigyan Roy Burman, Vedatya, Gurugram

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