The École Ducasse campus in India recently hosted a three-day culinary fest at its world-class institute in Gurugram. The event was held from the 23rd to 25th of May and saw culinary enthusiasts from across the country compete for a spot at the winners’ table. Professional chefs from top hotels and restaurants participated on Day 1, and the second day saw home cooks fight for the first prize. While Day 3 was the most exciting as students from various culinary academies and high schools competed on the final day.
The event included competitions like Pizza Making, Artistic Breads, and Three-Course Dinners. Some contests, like Dress the Cake and Plated Desserts, allowed participants to prepare the elements earlier and assemble them at the event. The Mystery Box Challenge, sponsored by Nestle Professionals, was highly anticipated by all! Contestants got a few select ingredients, including the Nestle Spice Mix, and cooked a signature dish in two hours.
The Pro-Am competition, where a working professional paired up with an aspiring chef, saw the most participants. Amongst these dynamic duos were a few culinary students and their parents. Through the competition, they got to see their children in action and cook with them in commercial kitchens. Talking about her experience, Mrs. Harpreet Kaur says, “It’s incredible to see my daughter, Gurneesh, transform into the incredible woman she’s become. I thank ISH, its faculty, and its founders for creating such a conducive learning environment for her to grow and flourish.”
Dr. Zubin D’souza, the Dean of Culinary Studies at École Ducasse ISH Gurugram, talks about the significance of the Culinary Fest and the reason for hosting it. He says, “Distingu-ISH-ED is the perfect platform for professionals to challenge each other, for home cooks to receive recognition and for students to be inspired by industry leaders. Aspiring chefs can learn the beauty of competing and the challenges of dealing with their contemporaries’ talents and skill sets. Given the spectacular success of the competition in the last three days, we look forward to organising more such festivals each year.”
While Nestle was our main sponsor, many others contributed generously to the event. These included Bakers Fantasy, 7 Sugar Lane, Elle & Vire, Damati Foods, Mangharam and Robot Coupe. They all sent us cooking equipment, ingredients and over 700 gift hampers for all winners and participants.
We even invited some prominent guests to judge the contest. These included celebrity hairstylist Sylvie, Chef Reetika Gill, food influencer Pawan Soni, publisher Sanjay Anand, and Sanjeeb Ghatak, the General Manager of Devyani International.
Social media star Gurpreet Singh Tikku was also part of the jury on Day 3. Talking about his experience at ISH, he said, “I loved the dishes and desserts I tasted at the Distingu-ISH-ED Culinary Fest! The attention to precise techniques and cooking methods is visible in the way students prepare and plate their food. The most enjoyable part of today was hearing the story behind each recipe. I’m looking forward to returning to this campus and interacting with the students again.”