Hospitality by Dubai World Trade Centre scooped one of its largest medal hauls to date at the Salon Culinaire, the world class culinary competition firmly established as the definitive event for chefs, with an impressive 47 medals across 67 categories.
A core team of 52 chefs from Dubai World Trade Centre’s award winning Hospitality team took part in the five day showpiece, which ran alongside the mega Gulfood event, the world’s largest annual food, beverage and hospitality show, taking home seven gold medals, 14 silver, 26 bronze and 19 merit awards.
Leading the charge for the team was 38-year-old Chef de Cuisine Shyju Varghese, who took gold in both the ‘5 Course Plated Gourmet Menu’ and ‘Tapas, Finger Food and Canapé’ categories, bringing his overall tally to 11 gold meals and 21 medals in total over the last nine years.
“It is such a great feeling being able to add to my total. We have such a rich and dynamic training scheme working within Dubai World Trade Centre, which really pushes our skills in many different directions. Being able to harness that and then direct what we learn every day on the job into this high pressure event, helps give us an advantage. For me, focusing on the simplicity of food is at the heart of what we do, plus it is backed up with a lot of dedication and commitment. Practice makes a chef perfect. And a lot of sleepless nights,” said Chef Varghese.
He was joined at the top of the medal table by his other gold medal winning colleagues, Chef Mario Fernandes in the 5 Course Plated Gourmet Menu; Chef Kamal Patabedige in Fish & Seafood Practical Cooking; Chef Thusitha Priyantha in the Four Plates of Dessert category; and Chef Jayson Cueto and Chef Leonardo Sasa in the Team Ice Carving event.
Chef Harald Oberender, Director of Kitchens at Dubai World Trade Centre, said that whilst the medal results were the icing on the cake, the experience of the Emirates Culinary Guild-organised Salon Culinaire is where the real reward lies.
“Coming back with so many medals is really a testament to how hard the team works, and the dedication they put into both their day jobs and this event. During Gulfood week, it is probably our busiest time as the entire venue is stretched to capacity, so to see how the Chefs balance work and Salon Culinaire is really encouraging,” said Chef Oberender, who manages 148 chefs from 19 countries under his watch at Dubai World Trade Centre.
“What is even more important is how the event is focussing on developing the next generation of young chefs. These are the future of our industry and to see how well they do against the best in the world is a tribute to how Dubai’s culinary credentials have grown in stature of the years.”
Hospitality by Dubai World Trade Centre has seen its deserved reputation grow in the last few years, as it continues to deliver a raft of end-to-end catering solutions, both at the venue and off-site. Some of the team’s biggest contracts to date off-site include the Dubai Airshow 2013, as well as catering for the Dubai Rugby 7s and the Yas Trackside Terrace at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
DWTC’s ultramodern kitchen, with 3,650m² of working area, allows for full in-house production and has been awarded the highest Dubai Municipality rating every year since opening in 2003 – only a handful of establishments to achieve the distinction.