Guneev Sachdeva bags IIHM Young Chef India Schools 2018 trophy


By K Ashwin Mobile: 09920183006

Months of toiling in the kitchens and fighting the battle of woks and ladles concluded on June 9, 2018. India found yet another brilliant, talented and ambitious student Chef in Amritsar’s Guneev Sachdeva at the Grand Finale of Young Chef India Schools 2018. This year was the eighth edition of Young Chef India Schools, conceptualised and executed by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM). 

The Young Chef India Schools 2018 was a fantastic culinary battle between 30,000 higher secondary students and 2,800 schools across India. Enthusiastic and energetic higher secondary students from across the country took up the challenge to fight for a spot among the top eight finalists after five rounds of rigorous competition held through four zones – North, South, East and West. The first three stages of the competition were held at the contestants’ home cities or at the nearest IIHM campus. The finalists were selected from each zone after the preliminary competition and the best 10 arrived in Delhi for the fourth round. Eight cheftestants qualified for the Grand Finale held on June 9. The competition this year was aired through a five-episode series on the popular Food Food Channel.


India’s Best Young School Chef 2018

Seventeen-year-old Guneev Sachdeva, is a student of Welham Girls’ School, Dehradun. Her joy knew no bounds when she won the title of the best young chef of India. “When they announced my name, I felt like I am on top of the world. I couldn’t believe that I have actually won the Young Chef India Schools competition. I have received immense support from family, friends and my school and that kept me motivated till the end,” said Guneev. She performed consistently well through the competition, but her master stroke at the Grand Finale made her the best school chef of India. She prepared Tomato Fish, Honey Chilli Lotus Stem, Arbi Tadka, Jeera and Onion Rice and the common dessert, Gulab Jamun Cheesecake, all in a span of two-and-half-hours. The dishes were presented for tasting to the panel of judges comprising, Chef Sanjay Kak, Culinary Director, IIHM, Chef Shaun Kenworthy, Culinary Director of Indismart Group and Surya Sekhar Roy Choudhury, the first runner-up of the IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad 2018.


Other Finalists and Winners

While Guneev outshone the rest, the other cheftestants of IIHM Young Chef India Schools 2018, had equally commendable performances at the Grand Finale. Guneev’s main course preparation won the Best Main Course Dish Award. Tanya Yadav, DAV Public School, Sector 49, Gurgaon, the other finalist from North Zone, bagged the Best Dessert Award. Zahan Gafoor from Mallya Aditi International School, Bengaluru won the Best Organised Chef Award. The other finalists were Sarthak Soni of Birla High School and Suvankhi Roy from Modern High School for Girls’ from the East zone. Pratiksha Hinduja from Frank Anthony Public School was the other finalist from the South zone. The West zone was represented by Mrunal Khedekar of St Patrick’s Junior College, Pune and Siddhi Rashivadekar from SNDT College of Home Science, Pune.


About IIHM Young Chef India Schools

A unique concept and first-ever initiative by any hotel management institution in India, The IIHM Young Chef India Schools set off seven years ago as a platform for young, aspiring and talented chefs from among the upcoming generation of school students. It is a unique opportunity for high school students across India to get a glimpse of the culinary world and also to display their talent and skills to gain global recognition. Through eight seasons, the competition aims to bring forth budding young culinary talent from across the country on a single platform. “The IIHM Young Chef India Schools is the biggest platform for the young students of India who aspire to become successful chefs in future. The other objective is to make cooking a basic life skill for all young Indian children so that they can successfully survive in every situation,” said Dr Suborno Bose, Chief Mentor and CEO of IIHM.

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