Chefs from Jeddah’s Mövenpick Resort Al Nawras cooked up a storm to be crowned champion kitchen at Saudi Arabia’s first ever Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition.
Pitted off against ten of the Kingdom’s finest hotels, the Mövenpick team came out on top as the chefs’ quick-thinking, creative spark and cooking prowess were put to the test by the contest’s Mystery Box challenge.
Each team were given three hours to whip-up four courses using ingredients only revealed to them once they stepped inside the kitchen, with their efforts judged by four leading chefs from the Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association and the Saudi Arabian Chefs Table Circle – and played out in front of thousands of spectators at The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia.
With almost 50 mouth-watering dishes served over the three-day WORLDCHEFS endorsed competition, it was eventually the Mövenpick’s “innovative and tasty menu” that saw their five-man team take home the gold medal.
Ali Salloum, Executive Chef at the Mövenpick Resort Al Nawras Jeddah, said: “This is the first time my kitchen has participated in such a competition. It has been amazing to be given such an opportunity, and I am very proud of our team on winning the gold.”
Chef Yasser Jad – Founder & President of Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association (SARCA), and Food and Beverage manager at Saudi Airlines – chaired the jury, a line-up of expert international judges.
Jad commented: “We would like to congratulate Mövenpick Resort Al Nawras Jeddah. They have done a marvellous job creating a simple, presentable and very tasty menu from some of the more tricky ingredients in the mystery box including tuna for the starter, fresh vegetables for the soup, chicken for the main course, and the creation of a crème brulee for dessert. This team also stood out for its excellent presentation and perfect portion sizes.”
Elaf Jeddah Hotel and Makarem Ajyad Makkah Hotel took the silver and bronze medals respectively, the latter being unique as it was the only team in the competition comprising of entirely Saudi female chefs.
Jad said: “We would like to thank all of the teams that took part in the competition for their outstanding efforts. Through competitions such as this, Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association aims to highlight the talent and skilled roles of chefs in the Kingdom. There are excellent opportunities available in the Food and Beverage sector here, and we seek to assist the goals set by Saudi Vision 2030 in increasing the number of jobs occupied by Saudi nationals in hospitality.”
Judge and Master Chef Adrian Meyer of Switzerland added: “We witnessed very interesting combinations and innovations and our taste buds were put to the challenge. We certainly learned something, and we hope that the contestants did too. We were very happy to have them – and we hope that they return for next time.”
The Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition – Mystery Box Challenge 2017 was sponsored by Chbib Kitchens Company Ltd., RATIONAL, Alabna Est, and RAK Porcelain, and took place on the show floor at the fifth edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia – an annual event that unites thousands of hotel and restaurant professionals for three days of business and networking.
The competition will return next year for the sixth edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, taking place 10-12th April 2018, at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events.
For further information, please visit www.thehotelshowsaudiarabia.com
Don’t miss The Hotel Show Africa coming up from 25-27 June in Johannesburg.