Gulf News interviewed some of the chefs who will be participating in the Emirates International Salon Culinaire to find out what's cooking.

One of the highlights of the Gulfood exhibition is the Emirates International Salon Culinaire, organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild (ECG), the UAE's association of professional chefs. This four-day event brings together some of the country's most exciting and respected chefs and food lovers, and includes live cooking demonstrations and competitions, which are eagerly awaited every year. We speak to some of the chefs who will be participating in this star-studded culinary spectacle.

Uwe Micheel, President, Emirates Culinary Guild and Director of Kitchens, Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek

We have always had 20 or more medals and have also won trophies for the 'Best Gastronomic Team' and 'Best Arabic Chef' and I am very confident that my team will put up a great show this year, and hopefully bring home some awards. Another important thing about the event is that the competitors (chefs) start research and training long before the event, so they start learning even before the event.

At the Salon Culinaire, they learn from other competitors. They pick up new and good ideas; they also learn from their own mistakes as well as those made by their colleagues. The Salon Culinaire is also a great motivational tool. It's also a good place to network with people from the industry.

Sascha Triemer, Chef De Cuisine, Burj Al Arab

Over the past five years, the Salon Culinare has definitely improved due to the organisation and dedication of the members belonging to the Culinary Guild who are investing a lot of time organising these events every year. The interest in this competition is also growing.

In the past years we have won various awards in this competition, including 'Chef of the Year', second runner up to the 'Chef of the Year', 'Hygiene Award', 'Best Participating Hotel' and also numerous gold, silver and bronze medals. For the past six years, we have won the 'Junior Chef of the Year' in the Junior Salon Culinaire competition, as well as best 'Arabic Chef of the Year' and 'Hygiene Award' in Salon Culinaire (July 2006).

Leslie Stronach, Resort Executive Chef, Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Salon Culinaire has raised the profile of the Gulfood exhibition and is a very challenging event. It has also helped raise the standards and recognises the quality of the work of chefs.

Last year, our team won 10 silver and six bronze medals, and the second-runners-up title. In 2005, we won two gold, five silver and two bronze medals.

Monal Malhotra, Executive Chef, Jumeirah Bab Al Shams

Young budding chefs look forward to such an event, as it gives them immense exposure and at the same time makes them realise where they stand in terms of competition. It also provides chefs with a chance to step out of their kitchens and do something exciting in front of food lovers.

Last year, we won five medals and in the year before that we won six medals and three merits.

Alun Sperring, Senior Souf Chef, Madinat Jumeirah

The Salon Culinaire is a great opportunity for chefs of different ages and experience to see what the competition (other hotels and companies) is producing, and to learn and better themselves. As chefs, we have the opportunity to learn until the very day we retire, as there is always something new being introduced or something that's done differently.

You also have the opportunity to meet other people with a similar passion and drive at such an event.

In 2006, the Madinat participated in the new international buffet competition representing the Emirates Guild and the UAE, and we were awarded the gold medal for it.

Luigi Gerosa, Executive Chef, Jumeirah Emirates Towers

The Salon Culinaire is a platform for chefs at all levels to showcase their ability. It's also an opportunity for chefs to see where they stand in terms of the competition.

We look forward to the event because we have won countless medals here — the most important ones being for the 'Chef of the Year', which we have won for two years in a row (2005 and 2006) and the runners-up title (first runner-up in 2006 and second runner-up in 2005). The 'Chef of the Year' award is the highlight of the event, and our having won this twice shows off the high standards we have at Jumeirah Emirates Towers.

Chandrasena Sudusinghe, Executive Chef, Traders Hotel, Dubai

The Salon Culinaire is an important event as it presents a great opportunity for young chefs to further develop their skills and enhance their knowledge.

At the same time, this occasion ensures interaction with different culinary experts, thus creating a platform where an exchange of ideas can take place. It's also an important event, as it provides an insight into culinary trends for the year.

My team and I will be taking part in a total of six categories including those such as the pastry showpiece, wedding cake, five-course set menu and live cooking competition, among others.

Sebastien Castelot, Executive Sous Chef, Crowne Plaza

The Salon Culinaire is a great platform for chefs to display their skills. It's a challenging environment and involves a very different approach to cooking compared to what chefs are used to under normal circumstances.

It's also a good team building effort, as chefs from the same hotel work together to achieve the best results.

I think the Gulfood exhibition is also very important because you get a chance to see the latest equipment from regional and international companies and new concepts in the food and beverage sector.

Last year, we won two silver and numerous bronze medals in addition to other merits and individual titles.

Didier Gusching Executive Chef, Jebel, Ali Golf Resort & Spa

Salon Culinaire is an important event for chefs across the UAE because it showcases new trends, new products both food and non-food, and gives us a chance to meet other colleagues from the hotel industry.

In a location such as Dubai, which is becoming an important hub, the Salon Culinaire is a fantastic window to showcase your skills to the region and the rest of the world.

Mathieu Mostape, Sous Chef, Oregano, Oasis Beach Hotel

Salon Culinaire is a good training ground for all chefs.

Young chefs can increase their knowledge at such an event. The competitions held during the event are also a good source of motivation.

It's also an opportunity for people working in four-star hotels to test their calibre against that of chefs working in five-star hotels.

Last year, our team won one gold and silver medal. We also won two bronze and four merits.