ICF honours the best culinary artists of India

Handpicked by an eminent jury, best chefs in 16 categories bestowed with awards

To recognise and honour chefs and their exemplary contribution to the hospitality industry, the Indian Culinary Forum (ICF), to commemorate the International Chefs Day, hosted the 18th edition of Annual Chef Awards alongside the ninth edition of Knowledge Summit, at The Park Hotel, Connaught Place, New Delhi. Best chefs in 16 different categories were bestowed with awards in the presence of Chief Guest KB Kachru, Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor, Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia, among other top-notch names from the culinary fraternity.

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, preparations and presentation skills and get rewarded. To further adorn the event, ICF conducted the ninth edition of its Knowledge Summit that 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, divided in three sessions, was themed A Healthy Planet For Future Generation: A Step towards Sustainability. The first panel was focused on the Innovative Gastronomic trends post-pandemic: survival strategies. The session was moderated by Maneesh Baheti the panelist for the session were Surjit Dhillon and Chefs - Davinder Kumar, Manish Mehrotra, and Rajeev Janveja. The panel discussed the gastronomic trends and the increased use of local ingredients and millets in the menu. The Pivot, in kitchens, was also discussed and chefs also mentioned one of their favorite key ingredients. Fusion with a sense of tradition, acceptability among consumers, and understanding of the pairing ingredients are very much important. The panel also discussed the HACCP point of view in post-pandemic.

The second session, on Sustainability Through Consumption: A New Mantra featured Chefs Saby, Akshay Malhotra, Ankit Gaurav, and Prakarshi Pulkit and was moderated by Chef Vineet Manocha. The panel discussed the sustainable consumption mantra, a plant-based diet was recommended but the focus was consumption of available ingredients in a limited and natural way that will lead to sustainability. Vocal for local was also the point considered for sustainability. A plant-based diet is the latest trend chef Prakarshi introduced about the vegetarian egg to the panel and how the mock meat started. Giving the right taste with natural ingredients was the key feature of sustainability.

The last session was on Culinary Skills Building: Knowledge, Skills and Attitude in which Varendra S Dutta, Amit Wadhera, Aditya Jaimini, Ashish Bhasin, and moderator Rajiv Gulshan participated. The session discussed the bridging of the gap between academia and industry. Chefs discussed how they improve the skills and knowledge of their staff under their guidance. Attitude towards learning is the key factor discussed also the lack of feedback from the workplace supervisor during the internship was also the point of concern.

Vote of thanks was extended by Dr. Chef Prem Ram, Convener of the summit he concluded the session by emphasising sustainable practices and the environment to ensure a healthy planet for future generations. He also focused on the importance of teaching students the impact that the production and consumption of food have on the environment.

Speaking about the event, Chef Davinder Kumar, President, Indian Culinary Forum, said, “We have been organising the Annual Chef Awards for 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 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 maximising the potential of the existing ones for their growth in the sector.”

Preceding the Chef Awards, three-day culinary competitions were organised at the Indian Culinary Institute, Noida wherein over 100 chefs, from starred hotels and high-end standalone restaurants, competed in 10 different categories in a bid to take home the coveted best chef awards. The awards also honoured the industry veterans in six other sought-after categories and the winners were selected by a panel of an esteemed jury comprising Chef Umesh Mattoo as the chairperson of the jury with Chef Sireesh Saxena as the organising secretary.

"The Chef Awards are more than just a competition. They understand the value of getting basics right even while innovating. The Association has been giving due recognition to unknown faces who bring a smile on the faces of diners. By imparting improved education and organising grand industry specific events, we keep moving a step ahead and set new benchmarks in the hospitality industry,” said Chef Vivek Saggar, General Secretary, ICF. 

The list of awards and awardees:

Top 6 Jury Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

Chef Sireesh Saxena

Golden Hat

Chef Rajeev Janveja

Silver Hat

Mahindra Khairiya

Academic Silver Hat

Chef Varinder Rana

Pastry Chef of the Year

No one qualified

Lady Chef of the Year

No one qualified

Chef Sireesh Saxena, excitedly thanked ICF and the chef fraternity for bestowing him with the Lifetime Achievement Award. "I look forward to doing more and contribute to the fraternity," he said.

The Corporate Chef of Lemon Tree Hotels, Chef Rajeev Janveja, expressed his gratitude upon receiving the Golden Hat. "This is one of the most prestigious awards and one keeps wishing to get it. This hat takes you to the sky," he observed.

Thanking his family, wife and kids for their support during his journey, Chef Mahindra Khairiya said, "I have been waiting for this prestigious award for long. Thank you so much ICF for selecting me."

Awards through culinary competitions
Student Chef of the Year (Female)Gunjan Sanghal, ICI, Noida
Student Chef of the Year (Male)
Abhigyan Roy Burman, Vedatya, Gurugram
Master Chef Oriental Cuisine AwardChef Sonu Kunwar, Radisson Blu, Delhi Airport
Master Chef KebabsChef Ganesh Chandra Papnai, Country Inn & Suites, Sah
Master Chef Indian Sweets AwardChef Sukanta Pal, Lemon Tree Premiere, Delhi Airport
Master Chef Baker AwardChef Vinod Kumar, Devyani International Limited
Master Chef of the YearChef Lukesh Bajaj, Radisson Blu, Paschim Vihar
Master Chef Indian PattissarieChef Nitin Bisht, Radisson Blu, Paschim Vihar
Master Chef North Indian Cuisine AwardChef Hasan Ali, Country Inn & Suites, Sahibabad
Master Chef International Cuisine AwardChef Vineet Khanna, Le Meridien, New Delhi
Master Chef South, East & WestChefIgnatius Hansdak, Radisson Blu, Delhi Airport


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