After an intense first round, four teams of the best, young culinary talent from leading hotels across the UAE will compete in the final of the Anchor MasterChef Challenge title later this week (15 February).
In just two days time, chefs from The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina; The Address Downtown Dubai; Grand Millennium Abu Dhabi and Grosvenor House, Dubai, will be facing a ‘mystery basket’ round, which will test their culinary skill and creative flair to the limit.
Over the past week, eleven teams have been producing their signature dishes in the hope of being one step closer to the title. The 22 participating chefs represent top hotels and restaurants from across the UAE including Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai; Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai; Millennium Airport Hotel, Dubai; The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai; The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah; Al Hamra Fort Hotel & Beach Resort, Ras Al Khaimah and Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi.
Peter Hallmanns, Fonterra’s Advisory Chef, said the competition once again is serving to showcase the skills and talent on offer in the professional kitchens throughout the UAE. “is is the second year we have held the Anchor MasterChef Challenge, and I believe the teams this time around have taken culinary imagination and creativity to the next level. We have seen some very unusual flavour combinations with spectacular results.”
“In the first round, the chefs had to produce a three-course meal of their signature dishes – and the judges got to experience some simply outstanding food. For the final, the chefs will not know what ingredients they will be faced with until the morning of the competition, and there will definitely be a few challenges on offer!” he added.
“I have never taken part in a competition that I have felt so passionate about,” says Ranu B. D. Kaboel, Chef De Cuisine at Grosvenor House who is in the final with his partner, Pastry Chef Nana Supriatna. “Being a chef requires creativity under pressure and we have to think on our feet. It’s great to have the opportunity to compete against fellow chefs in the UAE and show what we can do. I’m nervous and excited about Tuesday, it’s going to be tough but we’re looking forward to getting started!”
Once again, the competition is being held at Fonterra’s state-of-the-art innovation kitchen, the Culinarium, in Dubai. After the judging at the kitchen, the winning team will be announced at an exclusive event on Tuesday afternoon at the Al Murooj Rotana Hotel, Dubai, where a prize pot will be divided amongst the top teams.
The Anchor MasterChef Challenge is just one of a number of culinary events being hosted by Fonterra between January and July 2011. The New Zealand-based company is committed to providing young chefs with the opportunity to develop their skills through demanding competitions and challenging workshops.