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The Great Indian Culinary Challenge (GICC) tastes Puneri Tadka

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EF&H Staff

The Great Indian Culinary Challenge (GICC) was held at Symbiosis School of Culinary Arts (SSCA) recently. The day-long competition witnessed participation from over 70 culinary enthusiasts who presented their culinary talent. The competition was declared open for professionals as well as hospitality management college students who undertook live cooking in International and Regional cuisine categories. The competition witnessed participation from well-known institutions and hotels in Pune.
Some of the participants represented reputed hotel and foodservice brands including White Copper Gastronomy, Novotel Imagica Khopoli, JW Marriott Hotel Pune, Flying Duck Co, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park, Sayaji Pune, Lemon Tree Premier Pune, Oakwood Residence Naylor Road Pune, Radisson Blu Pune Hinjawadi, and Mineority by Saby, etc. The students represented many institutions of repute such as SSCA, the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), AISSMS College of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (CHMCT) among others.
The Great Indian Culinary Challenge is an initiative by  Express Food and Hospitality to showcase Indian culinary talent. The platform has been curated by Le Cordon Bleu Chef Michael Swamy and entrepreneur Chef Gautam Chaudhary. For the Pune edition of GICC, apart from Chef Swamy, the eminent jury included Chef Nilesh  Limaye, Chef Vijayendra Pawaskar, Chef Sahil Arora and Chef Niket Drego.
On the sidelines of the live competition, Masterclasses on topics of key importance were disseminated to the participating chefs. Dr Priyadarshini Karve of Samuchit Enviro Tech addressed the need of sustainability in kitchens; Chef Arora of 266 – The Wine Room & Bar presented a live demonstration session on pasta techniques. Chef Swamy spoke about why and how a chef’s dish should tell its tale to the patron for the experiential element. He also shared about the skills one should don to be a food photographer. Chef Karan Umrani from SSCA presented a live session on designer breads.
The winners across the four categories included – Live Cooking (International Cuisine) for professionals – Siddhesh Kore from JW Marriott Hotel Pune who bagged Gold, Gaurav Singh and Chandra Bhatt both from Novotel Imagica Khopoli who won Silver and Bronze respectively. The second category was Live Cooking (Regional Cuisine) for professionals in which Pawan Singh Negi from White Copper Gastronomy won Gold; Joseph Raj from JW Marriott Hotel Pune won Silver and Manoranjan Bag of White Copper Hospitality bagged Bronze. In the third category – Live Cooking (International Cuisine) for students, Joshua Devarajan from SSCA won Gold while Soham Bharambe from IIHM and Kshitiz Sehgal from SSCA won Silver and Bronze respectively. In the fourth category – Live Cooking (Regional Cuisine) for students Aniket Nagawade from AISSMS bagged Gold, and Swarali Dhumal and Kushal Gupta both of SSCA won Silver and Bronze accordingly. Avon Appliances was the Cookware Partner for the Pune edition of the GICC Live Series while SSCA was the Venue Partner.


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