Luke flies flag for England at Young Chef Olympiad in India

January 2019

A University College Birmingham student is battling it out with star young chefs from around the globe at a prestigious worldwide competition this week. 

Luke Hayward is representing England at the fifth annual Young Chef Olympiad, taking place in India between 28 January and 2 February .

The 19-year-old, who is currently studying a foundation degree in Professional Cookery at UCB, will be hoping to progress through the opening two rounds of the competition for the chance to go for gold in this weekend’s Grand Final.

Luke is being supported at the event by Neil Rippington, Dean of the College of Food at UCB, who will act as his chef mentor.

Organised by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), the Young Chef Olympiad 2019 opened in Delhi on Monday and involves three phases of competition held in four cities across India.

Competitors from 50 countries around the world are divided into groups for the first two rounds, which take place in Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. Luke is competing in Delhi on 29-30 January, where he faces two different culinary challenges judged by a host of celebrated chefs and industry figures.

Round one tests the chefs’ basic skills and ability to follow a recipe, with two hours to prepare four portions of a classical chicken sauté chasseur with fondant potato and eight portions of a classical rum baba.

Round two will then see competitors tested on their creativity, innovation and cooking techniques, giving them two hours to prepare four portions of a vegetarian dish and four portions of a king prawn dish based on their own recipes.

The 10 competitors with the highest scores over the opening two rounds will then qualify for the Grand Final in Kolkata on Saturday, with gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs. The chefs will have two-and-a-half hours to prepare four portions of a salmon and potato dish and four portions of an innovative dessert.

There is also another title, the Plate Trophy, which will be contested earlier on Saturday by the 10 best chefs who do not qualify for the Grand Final. They will be required to produce four portions of a chicken dish and four portions of a potato dish using a variety of ingredients.

Other special awards are also presented, including prizes for the best vegetarian and dessert dishes, a hygienic practice award, a prize for the best ambassador and a Rising Star award for the first two rounds, as well as awards given based on nominations by the chef mentors.

It is not the first prestigious culinary competition for Luke, who previously represented UCB in the grand final of the Toque d’Or in April last year.

He follows in the footsteps of former UCB student Jack Gameson, who picked up the award for Best Vegetarian Creation at the Young Chef Olympiad 2018.

Find out about our range of courses at UCB’s College of Food here.

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