Chefs battle for LUX* Super Chef title, winners to go to Hotel Asia culinary challenge

Chefs in LUX* South Ari Atoll engaged in a tough battle Thursday for a chance to represent the resort at the upcoming Hotel Asia International Culinary Challenge.

Titled LUX* Super Chef 2017, 11 chefs contested in the Hot Cold Kitchen category while two participated in the Pastry Kitchen category. Participants include Raja Adil Akram, Daunphen Philawan, Sajol Howlader, Noden Sherpa, Debojyoti Mondal, Nuwan Geethanga Silva, Ruwan Sameera, Navin Kumar Pariyar, Anjul Singh Rawat, Mamum Bepari and Gehan Jayantha Godapitiya Makuralage.

Chef Mamum Bepari, whose dish was also voted the Most Creative Dish and won a separate Jury’s Special Award, was crowned the champion. Chef Gehan Jayantha Godapitiya Makuralage secured the second spot, while chef Nuwan Geethanga Silva finished third.

The three will represent LUX* South Ari Atoll at the Hotel Asia International Culinary Challenge, which would be held in September.

Contestants prepare the dishes during the LUX* Super Chef 2017 competition. PHOTO/ LUX*

During the competition held at the overwater East Market restaurant, contestants in the Hot Cold Kitchen category were given a black box containing 10 compulsory ingredients — salmon, scallops, samphire, fennel and Lardo di Colonnata for the starter, and chicken, root vegetables, starch and Ras el Hanout for the main course — to prepare a starter and a main course.

For the contestants in the Pastry Kitchen category, compulsory ingredients for the dessert included dark chocolate, orange, raspberry, caramel and hazelnuts, while they were allowed to use any ingredient of their choosing to make the bread.

Dishes prepared by the contestants during the LUX* Super Chef 2017 competition. PHOTO/ LUX*

All the contestants were given three and a half hours to plan, prepare and cook their two courses, with each asked to produce four plates per course; two for blind judging, one for the show table and one for the chef’s judging.

In addition to two chefs in the kitchen who analysed cooking techniques, hygiene and work flow on the spot, an eight-member judging panel was presented with the final dishes for blind judging based on taste, texture and presentation.

Judges evaluate the dishes prepared by the contestants. PHOTO/ LUX*

Speaking at the closing ceremony, General Manager Glenn Daniels hailed the enthusiasm shown by the chefs, saying that the event was part of the management’s efforts to support the work of the chefs and to develop their talent. An internal competition dedicated to honour and recognise the work of the chefs is not seen in any resort in the Maldives, he added.

“We hope this competition will be held across the LUX* properties,” Glenn said.

Executive Chef Dave Minten also recognised the participation of his team and advised all to constantly work towards perfecting their craft.

This year’s edition of the Hotel Asia exhibition is scheduled to be held from September 18-20 with the culinary challenge taking place from September 17-20 at the main Dharubaaruge convention centre in capital Male. The culinary challenge has established itself as the premier culinary event in the Maldives, attracting chefs from local and international resorts whose work and creativity are evaluated by experts, including celebrated chefs from the world over.

Fresh from its relaunch late last year, cutting-edge designer villas and world-class dining can be found only a 30-minute seaplane flight away from the main Velana International Airport, making LUX* South Ari Atoll one of the most exciting resort in the Maldives. Excellent eating and drinking is always a cut above the rest at LUX* and at South Ari Atoll, there is authentic South East Asian street food in the Maldives’ only over-the-water gourmet night market and world-class Chinese cuisine at East, along with the Japanese restaurant, Umami, which offers live teppanyaki and dazzling selection of sakés.

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