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Velaa Private Island wins seven gold medals at Hotel Asia culinary challenge

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Chefs from Velaa Private Island has won seven gold medals at the recently concluded Hotel Asia International Culinary Challenge.

At the culinary challenge held from September 17-20 at the main convention centre of Dharubaaruge in capital Male, the talented culinary team at Velaa won trophies for the Best Maldivian Dish, Best Young Chef, Best Plated Hot Dish, Dress the Cake, Best Tapas and Finger Food, Best Hot Pasta, and Best Appetiser.

“…. [this win proves that] Maldives is not only a place to relax, you can enjoy the best gastronomy as well,” an announced by the resort said.

“What are you waiting for? Come and let our Executive Chef Gaushan de Silva and his winning team pamper your palates while in paradise!”

Tucked away within the collection of islands that form the northern Noonu atoll, Velaa Private Island is elegantly positioned to overlook enchanting vistas of a cerulean ocean. Its name derived from generations of sea turtles that flock there to nest and hatch; it is comprised of 47 private villas, houses and exclusive residences. The resort also includes a Romantic Pool Residence which can only be reached by boat.

The Tavaru restaurant at Velaa Private Island. PHOTO/ VELAA

At Velaa Private Island, all details have been considered: each villa comes with a personal butler, all services offered can be tailored to personal specifications. Attention to detail everywhere is also impeccable: stone pavements from the desert in Jordan, Indonesian flowerpots, luxury wood panelling from Borneo, and glimmering Italian marble.

Named one of the world’s Top Five Best Hotels and more recently the ‘Best Wedding Hotel in the Maldives’, Velaa Private Island offers endless exclusive opportunities. These unique offerings include the Maldives’ first and only snow room, the largest and most extensive wine collection in the region, one of the few Maldivian resorts with a private submarine, an extraordinary kids’ club conceptualised as the world’s ideal kids’ club by the owner’s seven-year-old daughter, and the only resort in Asia with a My Blend by Clarins spa.

Personalising and tailoring the entirety of the island depending on specific requirements, there is no limit to ensure the ultimate experience. Guests can sit back in the knowledge that the island’s highly trained and dedicated butlers will cater to each and every whim. Whether it is watching a spectacular fireworks display within the Maldivian night sky, dancing into the early hours with an Al fresco live music event, stepping aboard the island’s private yacht for a glamorous sunset cruise or enjoying a private, open air cinema night, anything is possible. Other interactive activities perfect for private groups include gourmet cooking classes with one of the resort’s chefs or wine tasting within the Maldives’ largest wine cellar.

For those looking to get involved in some Indian Ocean adventure, Velaa’s new high-tech water toys including the hover board, jetpack and fly board serve as the definitive adrenaline rush. While discovering the wonders beneath the island’s welcoming waters, guests can learn to dive or simply snorkel the coral rainbow.

The Hotel Asia International 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.

This year’s edition saw the participation of 630 chefs in 20 categories. Their dishes were judged by world-renowned chefs from the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WorldChefs).

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Joy Island hosts first Gourmet Week with Chef Roberto Valbuzzi

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Joy Island has successfully hosted its first Gourmet Week appointment with the young and talented Chef Roberto Valbuzzi from 30 September to 9 October 2023.

The well-known Italian television personality Chef Valbuzzi strives to combine contemporary cooking techniques with family-passed culinary traditions to produce culinary masterpieces in the Lake Maggiore region. As a result, he was given the title of Territory Ambassador on the Gambero Rosso 2023/2024 Lombardy guide.

Arrival of Chef Valbuzzi has delighted the guests of Joy Island with a culinary experience that was inspired by Crotto Valtellina, creating menu items that resonates with his artistic persona. Ranging from typical Italian “Sciatt” to dishes that mix tradition and innovation, the aim is above all to enhance Italian food and wine heritage, well represented in Joy Island which even boasts a dairy in the resort.

The Cocoon Collection gastronomic weeks events always pledge an unforgettable culinary experience, loyal to Italian tradition and philosophy but full of creative ideas.

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Kandolhu Maldives announces extraordinary collaboration with renowned Chef Yoni Saada

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Celebrated for his expertise in Contemporary Mediterranean cuisine, Chef Yoni Saada will be gracing the island from 13th -18th November 2023. During his stay, he will be showcasing a series of exclusive culinary events at Olive, one the five enticing restaurants on offer on the island, for our guests on the island.

Yoni Saada, the son, and grandson of esteemed Marais butchers, ventured into the culinary world early on at 19, he started by pursuing studies of cuisine and bakery at Ferrandi in Paris. In 2006, at 25, he opened his very first restaurant “Osmose”, and became renowned after participating in the TV show Top Chef show in 2013. The same year, he opened “Miniatures”, a semi-gourmet restaurant of French tapas. In 2014, his new project “Bagnard” was selected Project of the Year by the Gault & Millau guide. Yoni Saada also received the 2014 Young Talent prize.

This extraordinary collaboration with Chef Yoni Saada continues with the resort’s dedication to creating unforgettable moments for our guests, assuring a culinary experience that stands unparalelled. Moreover, a handpicked array of Chef Yoni Saada’s exceptional creations will become a beloved addition to the Olive menu, extending the opportunity for future guests to relish and savour his culinary mastery long after the exclusive event has concluded.

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Hurawalhi Maldives announces exclusive collaborations with Michelin-star Chef Dominik Kappeler

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Hurawalhi Maldives, the adults-only paradise located in the Lhaviyani Atoll, is set to welcome Michelin-star Chef Dominik Kappeler to collaborate with Hurawalhi’s very own Executive Chef Harshal Antil to create culinary masterpieces at Hurawalhi’s world famous 5.8 Undersea restaurant.

Chef Dominik Kappeler, chef and owner of Munich’s celebrated dining destination Showroom, was born to a restaurant-owning family and in the culinary world his name is synonymous with excellence and innovation. The bespoke menus will incorporate local ingredients picked from Hurawalhi’s organic gardens and will emphasise Kappeler’s playful style with an elevated twist to inspire discerning palates.

“I am honoured to be the guest chef at Hurawalhi Maldives. The beauty of this tropical paradise is a perfect canvas for our culinary creations,” says Chef Dominik Kappeler, “Collaborating with the talented Chef Harshal Antil and the remarkable team at Hurawalhi promises to be an unforgettable experience, and I am eager to bring a taste of Showroom to the resort.”

Apart from this exciting culinary partnership, Hurawalhi Maldives will host Sommelier Christophe Pelaud showcasing a palette of Moët Hennessy exquisite selection and Sommeliere Dora Dzurjak. Together with Hurawalhi’s resident sommelier team, they will curate a delightful selection of champagnes and wines from around the world to impeccably complement Chef Dominik Kappeler’s menus.

Sommelier Christophe Pelaud is originally from France and travelled all over the world gaining over 35 years of experience including training in several three Michelin star restaurants in Paris. Sommeliere Dora Dzurjak started her career in Budapest’s hospitality scene, today she has over 15 years of professional experience.

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