Management

A battle for culinary honours

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The 10th edition of The Great Indian Culinary Challenge, held alongside the recently concluded FHW 2016 Mumbai, witnessed around 150 chefs from leading hotels and hotel management institutes in India showcasing innovative cooking techniques to battle it out to the finish By Rituparna Chatterjee

Sumptuous and exotic dishes were the norm at the 10th edition of The Great Indian Culinary Challenge (GICC), a professional culinary competition in India held alongside the recently concluded Food Hospitality World (FHW) 2016 Mumbai exhibition from January 21-23, 2016 at MMRDA Grounds, Bandra BKC, Mumbai. This year, the competition received participation from around 150 chefs representing various leading hotels and hotel management institutes across the country. GICC, supported by the Western India Culinary Association (WICA), is a food preparation competition wherein senior and apprentice chefs across India are able to showcase their individual and collective skills, learn and share experiences, partner and network in a competitive environment.

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This year, the GICC was divided into six different categories namely A Themed Chocolate Showpiece – Theme ‘Fashion’, Plated Appetisers, Breads Display, Plated Desserts, Professional Competition – Indian or International Main Course – Meat/ Poultry/ Seafood/ Vegetarian, and Inter College Team Competition – Indian Meal. The event was judged by eminent chefs like Chef Vernon Coelho, president, WICA; Chef Vikas Bagul, executive pastry chef, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts; Chef Lawrence Fernandes, pastry chef, Sahara Star; Chef Prashant Sabne, pastry chef, ITC Maratha Mumbai; Chef Vivek Kadam, executive pastry chef, Grand Hyatt Mumbai; Chef Ajay Chopra, consultant chef; Chef Rahul Dhavale, executive chef, The Westin Mumbai Garden City; Chef Vijay Malhotra, executive chef, ITC Maratha Mumbai; Chef Bhaskar Sankhari, executive chef, ITC Grand Central Mumbai; Chef Sudhish Pande, consultant chef; Chef Prem Ram, joint secretary, chef award, Indian Culinary Forum; Chef Ramu Butler, corporate F&B manager and chef, Ramada Cochin Resort; Chef Paul Kinny, group director – hospitality, The Phoenix Mills; Chef Salil Fadnis, executive chef, Aamby Valley City and Sahara Star; and Chef Nawzar Iranpour, consultant chef.

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Speaking about the evolution of the GICC over the years, Fadnis stated, “It started off as a very small competition but today it has turned into a professional competition with standardised categories. In the past three-four years, we started giving the participants a theme to work with the chocolate display. Moreover, two years ago we started the live cooking category for only Indian plated main courses.”

20160229eh43Sharing his views on the different culinary techniques showcased at this year’s GICC, Butler opined, “The young participants at this year’s GICC have displayed creative ideas. They have focused on molecular gastronomy and new techniques of plate presentation.” Adding to this, Ram stated, “The hospitality industry in India is mushrooming and to see a lot of these young chefs participate is the one thing we appreciate. It is good that the GICC has given housewives the opportunity to participate too. They participated equally well like the professional chefs. A lot of new techniques were showcased here.” While Sankhari said, “I have been judging GICC for few years now. As a member of WICA it is our responsibility to look for fresh talents, nurture and bring them under WICA.”

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