UAE’s junior chefs awarded

Chef Ulrich Jablonka from the Burj Al Arab triumphed with the coveted Junior Chef of the Year award

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By  Lynne Nolan Published  August 1, 2006

This year’s Junior Chef’s Competition saw over 600 entrants from chefs across the UAE, which was held as part of Dubai Summer Surprises. Organised by Emirates Culinary Guild, the competition took place in the central galleria of the Mall of the Emirates from July 6 to 20. As part of the event a number of competitions were held, including pastry showpiece, chocolate carving showpiece and individual ice carving. A number of hot and practical cooking competitions were also held, including traditional Arabic mezze and Emirati cuisine meat dish. However, it was chef Ulrich Jablonka from the Burj Al Arab who won the coveted Junior Chef of the Year award. As winner, he will now have the chance to work with Andrew Bennett, executive chef of the Sheraton Park Lane in London, and The Lanesborough’s executive chef, Paul Gayler. As part of his trip to the UK, he will also attend The Restaurant Show, which is being held at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre in September, and work at The Square, Phil Howard’s two Michelin star restaurant. “I think the show will be a great event. However, I can’t wait to be working in some top kitchens, meeting all the top chefs, seeing new things and getting new ideas,” said chef Ulrich. Aimed at inspiring junior chefs, the event involved 42 four- and five-star properties, and also aimed to attract visitors to see what the regional catering industry has to offer. “The display of international cuisines appealed to a lot of visitors. Food decoration, as well as ice and butter sculptures were also a major draw for the public,” commented Ayesha Mohammed Bin Tayeb, manager, events and food surprises committee, Department of Tourism and Marketing, Dubai. Demonstrations included Far Eastern appetisers by the Arabian Courtyard Hotel, pasta preparation by the Ramada Hotel, and marzipan modelling by the JW Marriott group. Chef Polash Desmond Gomes, who won the silver medal in the Four Plates of Dessert class, was among a number of winners from the InterContinental Resort Al Ain. Also scooping medals for the InterContinental Al Ain was chef Dinesh Attapatu, for the dessert classes, and chefs Harshaka Rangana and Rudy Casera, who won silver in the open cookery and practical cover classes. The Burj Al Arab’s 30 participating chefs also proved victorious in this year’s event. Having entered in 42 classes, the property triumphed winning 41 medals. Chef Siswanto Siswanto won first runner up, whilst chef Moorthy Kavanawage received the hygiene award. In total, the hotel brought back a merit, seven gold, 17 silver, and 17 bronze medals. “The fact that there was an international jury made sure that this year’s competition was at a high level like in other parts of the world,” said chef Ulrich. “Also, these competitions give me an insight into the culinary skills of other competing chefs, and the standards maintained by them,” he added.

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