The raging COVID-19 pandemic has not deterred the community of chefs from the Indian Culinary Forum to celebrate their annual events of Chef Awards and Knowledge Summit on the occasion of the International Chefs Day. Rather, the challenge of organizing the event under constrained circumstances has infused more enthusiasm and excitement in them. Digital platforms and technology have been harnessed to bridge the physical distance between the organisers, participants, and guests.
The chefs have, in fact, done their bit in the fight against Corona by live – streaming of cookery demonstrations of immunity building recipes for 23 consecutive days.
For the last 17 years, the Indian Culinary Forum has been rendering yeoman’s service to the chefs and culinary arts. The deserving chefs are given awards in 8 different categories every year on the occasion of the International Chefs Day to recognize their talent and accomplishments. The chefs pan-India compete for these awards in trade tests organized by ICF. The entries are judged by a jury comprising renowned national and international chefs.
Since last 8 years, ICF has widened its scope of activity by conducting a knowledge summit before the award ceremony, wherein the veteran chefs and stalwarts linked with the food and beverage industry share their knowledge and experiences with the new and upcoming chefs. The knowledge summit also provides a platform for discussing and deliberating the issues concerning the Industry, planning how to put the Indian cuisine on the global culinary map and chalking out the way forward for the food and beverage Industry.
Anil Bhandari, Chairman, Organising Committee of ICF, says, “COVID-19 crisis has inspired unlearning, recalling past lessons as well as fresh learning. We have realized that we need to discard the outdated systems and adopt new ones. We also need to re-evaluate our priorities. The new mantra is sanitization, hygiene, and social distancing. Those who adapt to the new normal will succeed.”
This year over 60 chefs from starred hotels and stand-alone restaurants have competed in the 4 days of trade tests supervised by the Organizing Secretary, Chef Sireesh Saxena. The Awards will be presented by Meenakshi Sharma, Director-General, Tourism at an elegant ceremony on October 26 at Pride Plaza Hotel, Aerocity, New Delhi. The awards ceremony will be followed by chef and child charity high tea.
The awards ceremony will be preceded by the 8th annual knowledge summit wherein eminent persons from the culinary industry like Zorawar Kalra, Chef Himanshu Taneja, Chef Rajeev Janveja, and Dewan Gautam Anand will be debating on the topic ‘Exploring New Horizons and Challenges: Experts Perspectives on Opportunities During These Times’. The discussion will be moderated by Dean Rajiv Gulshan.
Chef Davinder Kumar, President of Indian Culinary Forum informs, “This year’s theme of International Chefs Day is ‘Healthy Food for Future’ – focused on sustainability and environment.” He adds, “Most activities are being hosted on a virtual platform with adherence to safety norms!”
Chef Vivek Sagar, General Secretary, Indian Culinary Forum, says, “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 not just a competition. It is an opportunity for chefs to learn about modern techniques and mechanisms that are used in kitchens across the world. They understand the value of getting basics right even while innovating.”
The Indian Culinary Forum is India’s association of professional chefs of India. It was formed in New Delhi in 1987 as an exclusive non-profit-making organization, dedicated solely to the advancement of the culinary art of India. The forum’s objective is to act as a link, a platform, and an instrument for the enhancement and overall development of the national community of chefs. The World Association of Cooks Societies (WACS) is a 110-nation fellowship comprising the world’s various professional chefs’ organizations representing over 9 million professional chefs. The ICF has an international culinary focus in the staging of its various competitions, seminars, and events.
The aims of the ICF, broadly, are:
– To encourage and inspire junior chefs through training and competition
– To enhance international, the culinary prestige of India
– To encourage Indian nationals to consider a career within the hospitality industry
– To promote Indian cuisine globally
– To help young chefs to hone culinary skills through training, workshops, and competition.