Inês Branco, Coimbra Region’s young talent at the EYCA 2021_2

Inês Branco, Coimbra Region’s young talent at the EYCA 2021

18-year-old Inês Branco is the young talent that will represent Coimbra Region, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2021-22 at the European Young Chef Award 2021 (EYCA 2021), to be held in Braga (Minho, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2016) on 23-24 November 2021.

After concluding a course of Cooking and Pastry at EHT Coimbra, Inês is now a student of the Pastry Management and Production course at EHT Porto.

The inspiration for the dish she will present at the EYCA 2021 came from her childhood. She grew up in Cantanhede, happily surrounded by flour and sugar at her grandparents’ bakery. Since she was a little child, she has always been around her grandmother to watch her preparing cakes. A small apron on, she would receive some dough to make her own creations.

To Inês, cooking is much more than doing something she enjoys. In her opinion, chefs do not only work to satiate others, but have the power to bring people together and give them great memories. Through a dish, chefs have the power to awaken all the senses and, the more they appeal to the senses, the longer the eater’s memory of it will last.

About the EYCA 2021, Inês affirmed: “I’m looking forward to participate to meet people from all over Europe and learn more about their cultures and regional foods. For me it will be an opportunity to grow and improve my skills and knowledge. Although winning the competition would be amazing, I believe that having the chance to take part in this experience is already a big victory.”

Inês has proudly been a scout for four years. When she is not cooking, she enjoys horse riding, music and being with her friends.

For the EYCA 2021, she worked to innovate on the traditional recipe Arroz Doce, a dessert based on rice and milk that is usually prepares in Coimbra Region for celebrations like Christmas and birthdays.

About the European Young Chef Award

The European Young Chef Award is an annual competition organised by IGCAT that gathers young culinary talents from the awarded and candidate European Regions of Gastronomy. Selected each year through local contests, finalists to the European Young Chef Award compete by innovating traditional recipes from their regions using local ingredients.

The 5th edition of the European Young Chef Award is organised and promoted by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) and hosted by the Municipality of Braga (Portugal) in Minho, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2016. The competition will be held in the renovated Municipal Market of Braga on 23-24 November 2021 and will gather finalists from 10 European Regions of Gastronomy.

About the European and World Regions of Gastronomy

Candidate and awarded European and World Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; drive environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; support balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlight and support expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practises; and contribute to community health and well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance to protect and promote distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguard our planet, health, wellness and local economies.

IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT founded the European and the World Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the European and World Regions of Gastronomy Platform. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the European Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers and the Food Film Menu.