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Indian Culinary Forum organised the 18th Annual Chef Awards to honour the best culinary artists of India


To recognize and honor the chefs and their exemplary contribution to the Hospitality industry, the Indian Culinary Forum (ICF), in their bid to commemorate the International Chefs Day, hosted the 18th edition of Annual Chef Awards alongside the 9th edition of Knowledge Summit, at The Park Hotel, Connaught Place, New Delhi.

The best chefs in 16 different categories were bestowed with awards in the presence of Chief Guest, Mr. K.B Kachru, Chairman Emeritus, and Principal Advisor, Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia among other top-notch names from the culinary fraternity. Keeping the Covid-related SOPs and guidelines in mind, the series of events had been planned and organized to ensure a safe and protected environment against coronavirus fears.

The Annual Chef Awards returned with its 18th edition and continued their tradition of providing the chefs a platform where they could exhibit their culinary, preparation, and presentation skills and get rewarded. To further adorn the event, ICF conducted the 9th edition of its Knowledge Summit. The Knowledge Summit provides a platform for discussing and deliberating the issues concerning the Industry, planning how to put Indian cuisine on the global culinary map, and chalking out the way forward for the Food and Beverage Industry.

The summit, which was phased over three sessions, was themed “A Healthy Planet For Future Generation: A step towards sustainability”. The inaugural session was done by Mr. Surjit Dhillon and Chefs – Davinder Kumar, Manish Mehrotra, and Rajeev Janveja on the topic, “Innovative Gastronomic Trends Post Pandemic Survival Strategies”.

 The second session was on “Sustainability Through Consumption: A New Mantra” by Chefs – Saby, Akshay Malhotra, Ankit Gaurav, and Prakarshi Pulkit moderated by Chef Vineet Manocha. The third and the last session of the day was on the topic “Culinary Skills Building: Knowledge, Skills and Attitude” with Varendra S. Dutta, Amit Wadhera, Aditya Jaimini, Ashish Bhasin, and moderated by Rajiv Gulshan.

Speaking about the events, Chef Davinder Kumar, President Indian Culinary Forum, said, “We have been organizing the Annual Chef Awards since the last 18 years as part of the celebrations of the International Chefs Day. The prime objective of the Chef Awards is to provide the chefs with a platform where they can exhibit their culinary, preparation, and presentation skills and get rewarded for the same, in our bid to encourage them to match the International standards. The event would also serve as a medium to bring the best out of the upcoming chefs while also maximizing the potential of the existing ones for their growth in the sector”.

Preceding the Chef Awards, three-day-long event of culinary competitions were organised at the Indian Culinary Institute, Noida wherein, over 100 odd chefs, coming from starred hotels and high-end stand-alone restaurants, competed in 10 different categories amongst themselves in their bid to take home the coveted Best Chef awards. The Jury comprised renowned chefs under the chairmanship of a WACS-certified chef. Noted Chef Chef Umesh Mattoo presided as the Chairperson of the jury in this year’s competitions, while Chef Sireesh Saxena served as the organizing secretary. The Chef Awards also honoured the industry veterans in six other sought-after categories and the winners were selected by a panel of an esteemed jury.

Chef Vivek Saggar, General Secretary of Indian Culinary Forum, says, “The platform will not merely be a competition as chefs will be updated with modern techniques and mechanisms that are used in kitchens across the world. You can have a great career only if it’s built on a solid foundation. The right training can take you places and therefore, the Chef Awards is more than just a competition. They understand the value of getting basics right even while innovating. The association has been giving due recognition to the unknown faces, who bring smiles on the faces of diners for 18 years now. By imparting improved education and organising grand industry-specific events, we keep moving one step ahead and set new benchmarks in the hospitality industry.”, he concluded.

The following are the winners of the 18th Annual Chef Awards:

Top 6 Jury Awards

  1. Lifetime Achievement Award: Chef Sireesh Saxena
  2. Golden Hat: Chef Rajeev Janveja
  3. Silver Hat: Chef Mahendra Khairiya
  4. Academic Silver Hat: Chef Varinder Rana
  5. Pastry Chef of the Year: NQ
  6. Lady Chef of the Year: NQ

Awards through Culinary competition

  1. Master Chef of the Year: Chef Lukesh Bajaj, Radisson Blu, Paschim Vihar
  2. Master Chef Kebabs: Chef Ganesh Chandra Papnai, Country Inn & Suites, Sahibabad
  3. Master Chef Indian Pattissarie: Chef Nitin Bisht, Radisson Blu, Paschim Vihar
  4. Master Chef Indian Sweets: Chef Sukanta Pal, Lemon Tree Premiere, Delhi Airport
  5. Master Chef International Cuisine: Chef Vineet Khanna, Le Meridien, New Delhi
  6. Master Chef North Indian Cuisine: Chef Hasan Ali, Country Inn & Suites, Sahibabad
  7. Master Chef Oriental Cuisine Award: Chef Sonu Kunwar, Radisson Blu, Delhi Airport
  8. Master Chef Baker Award: Chef Vinod Kumar, Devyani International Limited
  9. Master Chef South East & West: Chef Ignatius Hansdak, Radisson Blu, Delhi Airport
  10. Student Chef of the Year Female: Ms. Gunjan Sanghal, ICI, Noida
  11. Student Chef of the Year Male: Mr. Abhigyan Roy Burman, Vedatya, Gurugram