European Young Chef Award 2016


  1. Regions should confirm their participation and finalist’s name by (date to be confirmed) by submitting the fully completed registration form. Regions should support their finalists in the compilation of the registration form and preparation of accompanying documents and materials. IGCAT is available to clarify any doubts concerning the form prior to the registration deadline. After the deadline, incomplete forms will not be taken into consideration and related candidatures will be automatically rejected.
  2. IGCAT reserves the right to select 15 finalists that will compete in the European final. By (date to be confirmed) finalists will receive confirmation of acceptance and will be sent the details to organise their participation.
  3. Finalists need to be aged 18-26 and be full-time students or graduates of a culinary school (graduated within 1 year of the local competition or local selection process). Proof of enrolment or graduation is required in the registration form. In case of any dispute, IGCAT reserves the right of final interpretation of the rules concerning the eligibility of finalists.
  4. The competition dish should demonstrate innovation on a traditional recipe from the region represented. Therefore, on the day prior to the competition, the finalist will be asked to prepare two (2) portions of the traditional dish (as it would be presented in local homes / restaurants), so that the innovation / transformation of the dish will be demonstrated effectively to the jury. This will also provide an opportunity for the finalist to familiarise themselves with the provided kitchen environment. The jury will note if the finalist has succeeded in improving the traditional dish. The preparation of the traditional dish should not exceed 1 hour and 30 minutes from start to completion.
  5. Finalists are required to conceive and produce the innovative dish themselves, bringing their own style and imagination to the competition as declared in the Code of Ethics which needs to be returned with the registration form. The innovation on the traditional recipe is ideally inspired by a local artist / musician from the finalist’s region.
  6. General kitchen equipment will be made available to all finalists unless specialist equipment is required. The host will require a full list of equipment needed at least one month in advance of the competition to confirm availability. Each finalist is expected to provide their own specialist equipment and no cost of same will be borne by the host. All finalists must bring their own knives.
  7. Finalists are required to specify in advance in the registration form whether they intend to pair their innovative dish with wine or other beverages from their region for the jury taste, and what kind of glasses / cups / etc. they will need. This is fundamental to check in advance actual availability of such with the host.
  8. The dish presented in the competition must use local seasonal products found in the markets of the region being represented. Finalists should indicate in the registration form and explain in their presentation to the jury the use of regional plant and animal varieties in their dish. In the scoring process, the jury will give greater weight to presentations that demonstrate the finalist’s knowledge in this field.
  9. The finalist must bring their own ingredients for the preparation of both the traditional and innovative dishes. Basic cupboard ingredients (e.g. salt, oil, sugar, etc.) will be provided by the host. The finalist is required to specify in the registration form all the basic ingredients they will need, in order to verify actual availability at the host premises. However, the finalist is encouraged to use varieties of basic ingredients specific to their region.
  10. The finalist must comply with the food hygiene regulations specified by the host (if any), ensure that high-risk food products are handled appropriately, and that the chill chain is not compromised during transportation. If there are any concerns around this, finalists should contact IGCAT and the host to discuss possible individual requirements. The host will provide help in finding replacement foods (as far as possible) in case finalists’ ingredients arrive in a bad state.
  11. On the day of the competition, finalists will prepare four (4) portions of the innovative dish that has been presented in the local competition / selection process.
  12. If the local competition / selection process takes place in a different season than the European competition, finalists will be allowed to adapt the innovative recipe by replacing out-of-season ingredients with seasonal products, without causing a radical disruption of the dish, and as long as a clear connection with the traditional recipe is preserved.
  13. The innovative dish can be a starter, a main course, or a dessert. Finalists are advised that dishes in the form of tapa servings, canapes and side dishes should be avoided, as they will be penalised by the jury in the scoring process.
  14. On the day of the competition, in no event can the preparation of the innovative dish exceed 2 hours and 30 minutes from start to completion.
  15. Partially cooked food is not permitted. The only pre-competition preparations allowed are: fermentation, curing, marinating, dehydration, rehydration or pyrolisation. Any excessive preparation in advance of the competition will be noted and, in a tie-break situation, may be counted against the finalist. If in doubt, please seek advice from IGCAT prior to the competition.
  16. During their visit to the kitchen, the jury will observe the preparation and outcome of the dish including kitchen order and hygiene.
  17. The jury will assess the ability of finalists to reduce food waste and single-use plastics to a minimum during the preparation of their dishes. Finalists’ food and plastic waste related practices will be scored as part of their final evaluation.
  18. In case that the innovative dish contains meat or fish ingredients, the jury will evaluate the ability of finalists to balance the proportionality of vegetables to meat/fish in the recipe in light of current sustainability concerns
  19. Finalists will have a maximum of 3 minutes to present their dish to the jury. This will be followed by jury questions. Please note that the jury will assess the finalist’s ability to communicate an original story, explain the cultural connection of the dish with the region, and present the local plant and animal varieties used. The presentation should be given in English. The finalist may be assisted by their supportive team member in the interpretation of the presentation to English.
  20. The region should prepare a 3-4 minute video about the finalist and the inspiration behind their innovative dish, to be shown before or after the presentation of the dish. The video can also emphasise the agricultural landscape, heritage and cultural characteristics of the region and introduce the story of how the finalist was selected. The video either needs to be in English and/or have subtitles in English.
  21. The finalist should bring two sets of uniform (kitchen jacket, trousers and hat). One for the first day and a second set, which may include sponsor logos, for the competition day. On the competition day, the finalist will be given an apron for use in the kitchens so as to ensure a clean jacket during the presentation.
  22. The order of presentations will be staggered and therefore the start time for cooking preparation will be given to each finalist. IGCAT will decide the order of plates and the Head of Kitchen will ensure students start cooking at 10-minute intervals. The order will be communicated by IGCAT on the day of the competition.
  23. Finalists are expected to attend all activities and meals as organised in the programme. Finalist should be reminded that they are acting as ambassador for their region and their behaviour and conduct needs to be appropriate at all times.
  24. The jury have a set of criteria to mark each plate. When participation is confirmed, finalists will receive the criteria and weight applied to each. The jury are experts in their fields and the winners will be selected following a calculation of the scoring and a discussion between the jury. In a tie-break situation, the President of the jury (always a celebrated chef) will make the final choice. The jury verdict is final, and jury members are not obliged to answer the finalist’s concerns individually on the day of the event. The jury will however provide written feedback to all finalists, including an individual breakdown of their own scores and accompanying jury feedback, within one week following the competition. No further correspondence will be entered into.
  25. Only 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be announced. All finalists however will be celebrated through the signing and awarding of IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassador title. As Joan Roca aptly notes – all finalists are winners!
  26. The present rules will be sent to regions and finalists in advance of the competition. It is recommended to read them carefully. IGCAT will be available to clarify any doubt concerning the rules prior to the competition. IGCAT will not accept any objections to the present rules during or after the competition.
  27. All rules and regulations are subject to interpretation by the organising body (IGCAT) whose decision shall be final.
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The European Young Chef Award 2021 is organised by IGCAT and hosted by

Camara Municipal Viana do Castelo                   Minho_European Region of Gastronomy 2016