Best Chefs of India honoured by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant
The Indian Culinary Forum (ICF) organized the 16th Annual Chef Awards, India’s largest Culinary Awards, at the Hotel Le Meridien in Delhi in the presence of renowned master chefs and hospitality industry veterans. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog was the Chief Guest of the evening. The event was organized to celebrate International Chefs Day. Padma Shri Awardee, Grand Master Celebrity Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who is one of India’s most respected and loved chefs, was also present on the occasion. Anil Bhandari former MD ITDC & HCI and other leading hospitality veterans were also present at the awards. Around 400 industry professionals including young chefs and students participated in this spectacular evening.
In the glittering ceremony of ICF awards night Chef Machindra Umakant Kasture from The Ashok Hotel won the Golden Hat while the Silver Hat was jointly awarded to Chef Sanjay Agrawal and Chef Vivek Saggar. Chef Rekha Sharma was adjudged the Lady Chef of the Year. Sushil Chugh, Executive Chef, Hotel Country Inns & Suites by Radisson was recognised for his long contribution to the hospitality industry with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
During the Chef Awards organized by ICF, awards were given in 16 different categories. In 10 categories, the awards were given to the winners of the Culinary Competition and 6 top prizes were given to the veterans of the industry selected by the top jury of the Indian Culinary Forum. The Chef Awards are aimed at enhancing India’s culinary reputation internationally and honoring the Chef profession on a large scale. The ICF established the Chef Awards in 2004 to select and honor Chefs who have contributed to the hospitality industry, and to society as a whole.
The event was organised in systematic and transparent manner and grand rehearsal were made to give perfection. Four days Prior to this very grand show, the Culinary Competition in 10 different categories among more than 100 chefs was organized at RIG Institute of Hospitality and Management, Greater Noida and Academy of Pastry Arts, Gurugram. Many chefs demonstrated their creativity and skills during this competition. These competitors were assessed by certified chefs and hotel industry representatives from the World Association of Chef Societies (WACS). Famous Chef Peter Chan of Malaysia was the chairman of the jury at this year’s competitions, while Chef Sirish Saxena was the convening secretary.
Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog, who was the chief guest at ICF awards ceremony said “Indian chefs are one of the most talented and best in the world. Indian chefs are the best brand ambassador and will play pivotal role in bringing Indian cuisine in world map. They should get more recognition like Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan”.
Anil Bhandari, Chairman of the convening committee of ICF, speaking on the occasion stated, “It has been a great experience to successfully organize the Annual Chef Awards for the last one and a half decades. Our idea behind setting up the Chef Awards was to provide both experienced and young chefs a professional stage where they can showcase their culinary skills. We want Indian Culinary Art to receive more international recognition and acclaim. We are thrilled to see how the valuable experience gained by all the chefs here over the years has helped them to grow their potential and growth. We hope the Chef Awards continue to inspire and encourage similar chefs.
Chef Devinder Kumar, President Indian Culinary Forum said, “The purpose of the Chef Awards is not only to honor the contribution of our Chef members, but to inspire thousands of young people to adopt this profession. It is not possible for us to successfully host Chef Awards without the encouragement of industry experts, jury members, sponsors and participating chefs. All of us have made great efforts to bring our fraternity closer year after year and will continue to do everything possible for the betterment of the Culinary profession. By providing better education and organizing grand industry-specific programs, we will strive to set new standards in the hospitality industry.
Padma Shri Awardee, Grand Master Celebrity Chef Sanjeev Kapoor said, “Chefs need to be seen as artists because what they prepare is nothing less than it requires a lot of imagination and creativity. It is a one stage, where young chefs can meet veterans of the hospitality sector and exchange ideas. It is India’s largest Culinary Awards about chef’s profession. It will spread more awareness and highlight the main role of chefs in the hospitality sector.”
The winners of the 16th Annual Chef Awards are: Special Jury Award: Excellence in Culinary Art – Chef Vikas Khanna – For his outstanding contribution in promoting Indian cuisine globally. Lifetime Achievement Award, Chef Sushil Chugh, Golden Hat Chef Award, Chef Machindra Umakant Kasture, Silver Hat Chef Award, Chef Sanjay Aggarwal & Chef Vivek Sagar, Pastry Chef of the Year Award, Chef Ranojit Kundu, Lady Chef of the Year Award Chef Rekha Sharma, Food Critic / Writer Award Kalyan Karmakar, Master Chef International Queen Chef Jatin Bhatia, Master Chef Oriental Cuisine Chef Swapnil Mendiratta, Master Chef North Indian Queen Chef Dhoom Singh, Master Chef South / East / West Indian Chef Govind Singh Deupa, Master Chef Kabbas Chef Ravindra, Master Chef Indian Sweets Chef Sukanta Pal, Master Chef Baker Deepak James, Master Chef of the Year Chef Raj Kumar Gupta, Master Chef International Confectionery Chef MPK Reddy and Student Chef of the Year Female / Male Chef Ashi Nibekar, DIHM & Chef Karthik Aggarwal.
It may be noted that Indian Culinary Forum is the Indian Association of Professional Chefs in India. It was established in 1987 in New Delhi as a uniquely non-profit organization which is fully dedicated to the advancement of culinary arts in India.