From Left: Uwe Michael, director of kitchens, Radisson Blu Hotels, Mohammad Sharif, vice-chairman, Hospitality Championship, Mohammad Al Falahi, chairman Hospitality Championship, Jasem Al Bastaki, sponsorship committee chairman, and Andy Cuthbert, General Manager, Jumeirah Group, during a press conference to announce the championship at the World Trade Centre. Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: International cooking teams from 12 countries as well as Emirati based chefs and restaurants, will compete in the first edition of the Dubai World Hospitality Championship 2013 that will be held between November 16-18 at The Dubai World Trade Centre.

The Championship will also focus on bringing out Emirati talent who cook Emirati food — whether they cook at home or in public kitchens – and help them refine their talent and bring it to the local scene and in the future the international scene.

Dubai World Hospitality Championship 2013 is under the directives of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, and is organised by Zabeel Palace Hospitality in cooperation with World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and The Emirates Culinary Guild (ECG).

Mohammad Bin Harib Al Falahi Chairman of Dubai World Hospitality Championship and Director General of Zabeel Palace Hospitality said, “Shaikh Hamdan confirmed his complete support for the competition and that it will have the most esteemed awards compared to other similar competitions.”

The awards have not been specified yet.

He added that the competition will help bring out the traditional food of the UAE, and allow people to taste it at the competition, as well as promote all local produce.

“In the future we are planning to have Emirati restaurants in every hotel, so tourists can experience the local cuisine… and this competition will help us reach that goal” Al Falahi said.

The event will consist of the International Tournament - where the 12 official country teams will participate, The Emiratis Tournament, the Local Tournament, an Emirati Heritage Village- where people can learn more about the UAE culture, and a station where international chefs will provide educational demonstrations, Ahmad Mohammad Sharif, Vice-chairman of the Dubai World Hospitality Championship said.

The International tournament will see four seven-member teams from each country competing everyday to prepare a gourmet meal for 50 people. Individual competitions will include a verity of activities such as ice carving, sugar decorations, wedding cakes and chocolate carving.

The teams participating are the US, Germany, Australia, Russia, China, Singapore, South Africa, Canada, Wales, Slovenia, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. Al Falahi explained that time constraints did not allow for more participants this year, but Shaikh Hamdan is hoping that “next year’s edition will have at least 24 teams competing.”

In the Emiratis tournament, teams of Emirati professional chefs and amateurs will prepare authentic traditional Emirati dishes. Visitors will be offered an opportunity to taste the traditional Emirati dishes prepared at Zabeel Palace Hospitality.

Al Falahi said that there will be a private area for women who do not want exposure, where they can cook in comfort and privac, “but women who want to be known, will have their own stall and get the exposure she wants.”

As for the Local Tournament, over 700 chefs representing more than 100 restaurants and hotels operating in UAE will compete in preparing a hot and cold buffet, a dessert buffet and an ala carte main course.

The championship will also showcase a variety of traditional Emirati homemade production of spices and pickles, as to promote the local production regionally and internationally and encourage the homemade production of food in the local markets.

Arab and foreign chefs, such as Osama Al Sayed and Gary Rhodes, will partake in cooking demonstration. School and University students will also be invited to taste the various dishes prepared on a daily basis by famous chefs.

The competition is an added value to Dubai’s events agenda and is expected to boost Dubai’s position as a global destination for hospitality and the food industry.

The jury of the competition committee will be composed of members from the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and each participating country shall select a member from the WACS to represent it in the championship. Chef Otto Weibel from Singapore will head the competition committee.