The Sri Lankan flag continues to fly high making Top 11 (Finals) on the world culinary stage
Thivara Fernando, Commercial Cookery Certificate III William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT Student has put Sri Lanka back on the world map making the Top 11 (Finals) out 50 Countries at the 4th Edition of the Young Chef Olympiad 2018, the world’s largest youth Culinary Competition. This year Thivara battled her way in a tense competition and came 7th in the world and last year (2017) William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT Student Aldrin Shu made the finals and finished 9th place.
The William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT students (Team Sri Lanka) are now being feared by the other countries competitors as not many countries have made consecutive finals. The Competition which was conceptualized and organized by Dr. Subarno Bose, Chairman – International Institute of Hospitality Management, India with the Government of India, was held across the cities of Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and Kolkata. Students were gearing up towards fighting the battle - fork, knife and ladle in hand.
The 2018 Olympiad had three rounds as compared to four rounds in previous years. The opening ceremony was held at Talkatora Stadium in Delhi on the 28th of January. The first round of the competition for each team took place in either Delhi, Pune or Bangalore. The second round and the Grand Finale were held in Kolkata at the Hyatt Regency and the IIHM campus. Before the finals, a special event was organized for all the participants and for their mentors. A symposium held for mentors at the Hyatt Regency on the penultimate day was followed by a special cooking session that was additional to the competition.
The special session was titled United World of Young Chefs and each student had to prepare their national dish. At the end of the evening, the finalists’ names were announced. Sri Lankan representative/ competitor Thivara (24 years of age) started her Journey along with her Mentor/Coach Chef Kapila Jayanetti, Senior Academic Head Culinary, William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT and mentor for YCO 2015 – 2017 and also the mentor for Young Chefs Club of Lanka (Youth Arm of Chef ’s Guild of Lanka). It was then time for Team Sri Lanka to compete in the 4th season of the World’s Biggest Young Culinary Competition among 50 students from across the Globe.
Thivara stated that despite the fact that her parents are successful Academics, they stood by her decision to become a chef. “This is a great opportunity and as a William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT Student, I have been given the right exposure and the flexibility to study, meet and work with some of the Global Industry Experts.” Thivara also stated that “more students should take up this profession and pursue their dream and passion”. “The world now knows the true colours and flavours of our Sri Lankan cuisine with Thivara cooking up a storm with the United World of Young Chefs. In this special evening all competitors presented their national dish under one roof.
This was a bit of fun and not part of the competition, so no pressure. The young chefs and their mentors shared their roots, culinary culture and the extraordinary ways in which food unites us. 50 countries, one world of food. This opportunity was another brilliant leap by William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT in its commitment to provide sustainable and quality education with international standards in the pursuit of supporting and motivating the students to meet the growing needs of the hospitality sector in Sri Lanka and Globally. On the competition, Chef Kapila Jayanetti said “YCO hosted a unique International Culinary Forum featuring eminent chefs, mentors and other personalities from across the world and the city.
The forum featured two-panel discussions engaging in discourse about the various issues of the industry and potential solutions. Team Sri Lanka would like to thank and appreciate the support of the sponsors from Knorr and the Galle Face Hotel, without their contribution Sri Lanka would be unable to compete. The Culinary Team headed by Chef Kapila, Chef Surene, Chef Gayan and Chef Harsha are always committed in providing quality culinary education, pushing boundaries and maintaining the dream for a young student to shine in the finals and 2019’s aim is for GOLD TO SRI LANKA!