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Kolkata: Aspiring Indian Chefs Dream Big After Faring Well in 7th World Food Competition

The competition included 12 international judges, 30 countries and about 160 participants.
Kolkata: Aspiring Indian Chefs Dream Big After Faring Well in 7th World Food Competition

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PxHere

Kolkata: The 7th World Food Competition, held at the JIS University campus, has opened opportunities for several Indian participants, who are dreaming of making it big in the country and abroad.

The competition, which included 12 international judges, 30 countries and about 160 participants, was inaugurated on February 21, including from Nepal, Uganda, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Australia, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Austria, South Africa, Vietnam, Portugal, and Namibia.

“The inaugural event witnessed participants from different countries with their mentors,” said Sardar Simarpreet Singh, Director, of the JIS Group. The participants were welcomed with Dhunuchi Naach (native Bengali dance) along with dhaks (the percussion instrument played during Durga Puja).

Singh said: "The World Food Competition gives prospective chefs a platform to demonstrate their skills and originality, learn from expert cooks and evaluators, and become acquainted with the newest cooking trends and methods. Additionally, it gives foodies the chance to know and learn about new tastes from around the globe. We try to organise this event every year to give exposure to our students.”

Rahul Kumar (20) from Jharkhand is a student of a premier hotel management institution in Kolkata. His father is a government employee. Kumar, one of the participants, said he was exploring avenues to go abroad after completing his studies. “I am not born with a golden spoon in my mouth and going abroad means I can earn in dollars and secure the future of my parents. I am training to be a chef and such competitions help us to shape our future better,” he told NewsClick. 

The Guru Nanak Institute of Hotel Management, run by the JIS Group, organised the event.

The winning participant for the category of the best chef was Chandru Basson (Namibia), the best cake icing was by Lize-Van Der Merwe (Namibia), the best fruit carving was by Subha Ray (India), and the best mixologist was Viola Hoeflien (Austria). The closing ceremony witnessed expertise from celebrity chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor, Kunal Kapur and Ajay Chopra. 

Talking to NewsClick celebrity Masterchef Sanjeev Kapoor said everything was looking up for the Indian food industry at the moment. “Our consumption, our productivity is increasing, our conversion of farm to table is rising, the hotel restaurants business is showing positivity, the tourists are coming back, occupancy in hotels has increased,” he said. However, he warned that rural demand was going down and high inflation was hitting the rural market. 

The World Food Competition not only claimed to be a ‘celebration of food’ but also a platform for promoting sustainable practices in the food industry

Talking to NewsClick, Xavier Gomes, advisor to the JIS group, said the yearly food competition sees “participants from various nations compete against one another, using their distinctive ingredients and culinary methods. A group of accomplished and well-known cooks, culinary reviewers, and business professionals assess the competition and rate the meals submitted by the competitors,” he added.

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