Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 October 2019

Chef Gregoire Berger wins at Best Chef Awards 2019 for Dubai restaurant Ossiano

A number of other chefs with restaurants in the UAE were also named in the awards

Chef Gregoire Berger represented Dubai seafood restaurant Ossiano at the Best Chef Awards 2019 
Chef Gregoire Berger represented Dubai seafood restaurant Ossiano at the Best Chef Awards 2019 

The world's best chefs were crowned at an awards ceremony in Barcelona, Spain last week. Bjorn Frantzen, of Restaurant Frantzen in Stockholm, Sweden, won top honours at the Best Chef Awards 2019, followed by Spain’s Joan Roca and David Munoz. Roca runs El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, while Munoz is the man behind Madrid’s DiverXo.

Ossiano Dubai in top 50

While a number of chefs who have outposts in the UAE were in the top 50 this year, the restaurants they won for are all located in their home countries in other parts of the world. Except, that is, for chef Gregoire Berger, who came in at position 49, for Ossiano – the "underwater" seafood restaurant he heads at Atlantis the Palm Dubai. Berger was also the only chef who is based full-time in the UAE to make the list.

If you haven’t been already, head to Ossiano for some award-winning fare, which includes Gillardeau oysters, Wagyu beef tartare, Alaskan king crab, poached blue lobster and North Sea langoustine, which chef Berger says is akin to a work of art.

Chef Gregoire Berger says the North Sea Langoustine served at Ossiano is akin to a work of art 
North Sea langoustine at Ossiano

Some of the other chefs who won this year and have a UAE presence include:

Chef Virgilio Martinez, Lima

The Peruvian chef came in at number six, for Central in Peru. Lima Dubai, which opened at City Walk in 2017, has a delicious array of ceviche, tiraditos, anticuchos, bocados and causas, plus an unmissable black cod served with coconut lobster bisque.

Chef Yannick Alleno, Stay

French Chef Yannick Alleno oversees operations at One&Only The Palm. Courtesy Nicolas Buisson
French chef Yannick Alleno oversees operations at One&Only The Palm. Courtesy Nicolas Buisson

The Frenchman was 12th on the list for his Parisian restaurant Pavilion Ledoyen. In Dubai, he oversees the eateries at One & Only Palm Jumeirah, including Zest, 101 and Stay. The latter, in particular, is renowned for its good, solid cooking. Dishes we’d recommend include the poached langoustine, pan-seared foie gras with confit peach and almond, and slow-braised veal shank.

Chef Massimo Bottura, Torno Subito

Dining booths on the beach at Torno Subito. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Dining booths on the beach at Torno Subito. Photo: Chris Whiteoak / The National

The Italian chef followed protégé Alleno at number 13 at the Best Chef Awards 2019, for his Osteria Francescana in Modena, arguably one of most famous Italian restaurants in the world. The chef opened his first eatery outside his native Italy at W Dubai – The Palm. Torno Subito serves a handful of the chef’s signature dishes, including pappa al pomodoro; focaccia with robiola cheese and black truffle; mozzarella and scamorza calzone; roasted octopus with green pea velvet and pickled vegetables; and a fassona beef tartare.

Chef Heston Blumenthal, Dinner

British chef Heston Blumenthal. Courtesy Alisa Connan
British chef Heston Blumenthal. Courtesy Alisa Connan

OK, so this is not yet open, but Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is gearing up for a 2020 launch at The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai. The British chef and his Fat Duck claimed position 18 at this year’s awards.

Chef Pierre Gagnaire, Pierre’s Bistro

White pizza; Dh95
White pizza at Pierre's Bistro

The exacting French chef was placed at number 35, for his eponymous three Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris. Gagnaire has had a lasting connection with the UAE; he launched Reflets at InterContinental Dubai Festival City in 2008, replacing it with Pierre’s Bistro in 2018 – and he will create the menu for Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first restaurant Fouquet’s in 2020. On the sharing-style menu at Pierre’s Bistro are the chef’s famed white pizza, madeleines with rosemary and Parmesan, and tuna tataki with crispy rice.

Updated: October 6, 2019 04:19 PM

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