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India Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs

Bengaluru, May 3, 2015

The second edition of India’s National Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition was organised by the Bailliage of Bangalore and held at The Lalit Ashok, one of Bengaluru’s premier hotels.

Ten fresh-faced and enthusiastic chefs from the top hotels and restaurants in the country lined up to take a tilt at winning the big prize – a chance to participate with his or her peers from Chaîne member countries around the world at the International Final being held this year in Budapest, Hungary.

It was an early Sunday start for the young chefs, their mentors, the judges and the Chaîne officers. After an inspection of their kitchen tools, Rishad Minocher, Bailli of Bangalore, detailed the rules of the competition to the competitors. The black box was then opened – its contents included local lamb, tiger shrimp and pomfret fish, as well as peppers and red wine.

With the clock ticking, the young chefs planned their menus – an exercise to showcase their creativity as well as their kitchen skills. Menus done, it was off to their cooking stations – outdoors in the leafy gardens of The Lalit Ashok! The hotel had pulled out all stops to ensure that nothing would be lacking in preparations for this grand day.

The 10 chefs – one young woman and nine young men – were soon hard at work. They were watched by media, Chaîne members and an eagle-eyed group of kitchen judges selected from the top chefs in the city: Abhijit Saha, Nimish Bhatia, Jean Michel Jasserand and Ajay Vij.

The three and a half hours whizzed by. Time arrived for the young chefs to plate up, and present to a formidable team of five tasting judges, headed by International Vice-President Marie Jones. One set of each of the plates was displayed outside the judging room. Chaîne members and visiting chefs could readily inspect the three courses each chef had prepared.

Bailli Rishad Minocher observed that considering the relatively short time the competitors had to prepare for the competition, the level of proficiency was impressive. After the judging the announcement of winners and the presentation of the prizes took place in the ballroom of The Lalit Ashok.

The anxiety on the exhausted young chefs’ faces was writ large. However it was celebration time for Sathya Raj of the Ritz-Carlton, who won first prize. Sri Ram R of The Leela Palace’s Le Cirque Signature Restaurant was adjudged Runner-up. Third placed Hitesh Shakya of The Grand Mercure impressed the kitchen judges with his kitchen management as well his cooking skills.

The sponsors contributed generously with prizes –
- Principal prize sponsor Four Seasons Wines
- Hospitality sponsor The Lalit Ashok
- Ingredients sponsor SPAR Hypermarkets
- Grill sponsor Weber Grills.

Special jury awards for the best of each course (starter, main course and dessert) ensured that several chefs went home with a smile on their faces vowing to return and compete even better next year!

Ruma Singh, Vice-Chargée de Presse (Bailliage of Bangalore)