x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Chefs battle it out in Fujairah cookery competition

Competing are chefs from 34 five-star hotels in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Croatia.

KAC Prasad, the executive chef at the Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort. Courtesy Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort
KAC Prasad, the executive chef at the Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort. Courtesy Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort

Chefs from five countries will compete tomorrow, June 9, in the East Coast Culinary Competition at the Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah. The event, which is in its third year, is a collaboration between the hotel, the Emirates Culinary Guild (ECG) and the World Associaton of Chefs. This is the first year the competition has accepted global participants.

Ashraf Helmy, the general manager of the resort, and K A C Prasad, the resort’s executive chef, work closely together every year to organise the competition. In the event’s first year, only a handful of hotels participated from the UAE’s east coast. In the second year, participants came from 14 hotels, including some from Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. “It started to evolve and it became much bigger. It’s great for our industry,” says Helmy.

At this year’s competition, there will be chefs from 34 five-star hotels in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Croatia. Chefs will compete in 14 categories, which include a three-course gourmet dinner, a three-course gourmet Arabic dinner, tapas and finger foods, practical cookery, international desserts, Arabic desserts, a three-tier wedding cake, a chocolate showpiece and a live vegetable carving. An international team of judges will be on hand to critique the dishes and determine the winners.

More than 100 senior chefs will compete in this year’s event. Helmy says chefs need competitions such as this to evolve. “People have to upgrade themselves. You’ll be learning more. You’ll be seeing more. You’ll be getting more exposure. Chefs need to be in competitions all the time to educate themselves and to motivate themselves to learn new kitchen knowledge.”

Prasad credits the collaboration with the ECG for the success of the competition. “The amount of encouragement and the way we’ve worked together as a team – they’ve given me a lot of support,” he says.

The competition is open to the public and is free of charge. Prasad expects up to 2,000 visitors at this year’s event. Visitors can watch live cooking demonstrations and sample food and beverage products from the many vendors on hand. The competition starts at 7am. It will open for visitors at 10am.

For more information, call the Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort on 09 244 9994

sjohnson@thenational.ae