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IIHM Young Chef India Schools 2017

New Delhi, June 20, 2017: India's biggest culinary hunt for class 12 students supported by Incredible India, Ministry of Tourism and organized by International Institute of Hotel Management reached its grand finale after screening 30,000 student chefs for 6 months and shortlisting 8 best Young Chefs across four zones - East, West, North and South to the grand finals of IIHM Young Chef India Schools 2017 on NDTV Good Times. These selected 8 were keen to cook up a storm in IIHM's Delhi campus with only 2 hours on the clock to cook a main dish with 2 accompaniments and a pre-decided dessert - Malpua Sandwich. The eight sharpened their knives and set off to the meal that could win them the title and bring a cool Rs. 5 Lakh cheque home.

The Chef Teams travelled across the country in over 3000 schools, 40 cities, spanning over 180 days, clogging 17,000 kms across the length and breadth of the country with the intent to hunt the culinary sensation amongst these class 11th and 12th school students. With every round and shortlisting, the competition got tougher and the best were screened to represent their schools and cities. What the finals saw was the finest of the country that amazed the chef judges to see the hidden talent in these contestants and the master strokes each possessed towards their food creation apt for the culinary battle.

The Top 8 Finalists were:

- East Zone was represented by Muskan Hossain from Sri Sri Academy, Kolkata and Ishika Poddar from Mahadevi Birla World Academy, Kolkata.
- West Zone was represented by Ekta Ganwani from Lalji Mahrotra Lions School, Ahmedabad and Mansi Verma from Sardar Dastur Junior College, Pune.
- North Zone was lead by Chetna Agarwal from Welham Girls Dehradun and Mehak Jain from Mata Jai Kaur Public School, Delhi.
- South Zone finalists were Tirthanka Chatterjee from Delhi Public School, Bangalore and Trisha Reddy from Hyderabad Public School, Hyderabad.

These 8 had precisely 2 hours to make 2 identical main course dishes with accompaniments. The basket of ingredients was informed only 48 hours before the cook off along with 2 portions of identical dessert that also were to be prepared within the same time, the recipe of which was revealed 24 hours in advance and was none other than the Malpua Sandwich. This intense culinary battle tested every student's planning and out-of-the-box thinking. Judges had a tough time in deciding who the lucky winner should be for all the top 8 were the best of their zones.

In the 'Hall of Flames' every move made was recorded by NDTV Good Times and every expression of each of the contestants captured had a story to reveal. Finally, Trisha Reddy from Hyderabad was announced as the Champion and winner of IIHM Young Chef India Schools 2017 and took home the title, the pride and a cool 5 Lakh cheque home.

Trisha Reddy, Winner IIHM Young Chef India Schools 2017 remarked, "As we neared the day, I lost sleep. I was very tense but when they announced my name, I was shocked. I couldn't believe it was me. For the cook off, my game plan was Hyderabadi flavours. The tang of the tomato and spice from the cloves is a winning combination and I had to use it to my benefit. None expected me to win. I am happy now and with this money that I won, I would love to donate to a blind school In Hyderabad, while the rest will be kept for my future."

The panel of Judges along with Celebrity Chef, Kunal Kapur had special awards as well to be handed over to the worthy winners. The Jury Award was given to Ekta Ganwani while The Digital Chef Award was handed over to Mansi Verma. The Best Organised Chef Award was taken by Muskan Hossain.

These top contestants who represented different zones from India were equally talented and were prepared to fight it out till the last, leaving no stone upturned to win the coveted title.

Ekta Ganwani from Ahmedabad remarked, "Trying my best with every opportunity and never giving up is the way to go."

Mansi Verma from Pune remarked, "It is very important to be clean and organized in the kitchen."

Muskan Hossain from Kolkata remarked, "Time management will stay with me for life. I have found my passion, I will never stop cooking."

Chetna Agarwal from Dehradun remarked, "Practice makes perfect. I decided to cook prawns in the finals and I practiced it so I could do it smoothly during the cook off."

Mehak Jain from Delhi remarked, "The importance of planning ahead and time management can help you in any sphere of life. This was my mantra during the competition."

Tirthanka Chatterjee from Bangalore remarked, "A recipe has no soul. As a chef you have to put love, spirit and your soul in it. I want to be a celebrity chef because I love cooking as well as entertaining."

Ishika Poddar from Kolkata remarked, "Confidence is key. Also, it is very important to enjoy the competition and no to be stressed out. I made some very good friends and memories."

These Top 8 were the best Young Chefs that India produced, giving judges a tough time to choose the worthy winner. Making it to this place from a crowd of 30,000 students pan-India is indeed a very proud moment for all.

Celebrity Chef and Judge of Young Chef India School 2017, Chef Kunal Kapur remarked, "I saw a bit of me in Trisha. She was nervous but focused. She understands flavours and is bold to be intuitive while cooking. These are the traits of someone who can cook a good meal."

Culinary Director of IIHM, Celebrity Chef and Judge of Young Chef India School 2017, Chef Shaun Kenworthy remarked, "Its never just about the dish in these competitions. Overall points for method of work, cleanliness, hygiene are all taken into consideration. But Trisha's dish was well balanced and full of flavor. The chicken was well-cooked and sauce perfectly seasoned."

Culinary Director of IIHM and Judge of Young Chef India School, Chef Sanjay Kak remarked, "Trisha's plate was traditional, the cooking technique was perfect and her gravy, silky. Throughout the competition she was calm and composed and stuck to her game plan."

Dr Suborno Bose, Chairman of IIHM Hotel School remarked, "I am very happy that we have a winner from south India for the first time ever. I congratulate Trisha for her awesome cooking and presentation. It's been very satisfying to see the end of yet another absolutely fantastic Young Chef India Schools with over 30,000 youngsters competing with a lot of passion and enthusiasm."

PRNewswire

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