The annual Emirates Culinary Guild Salon Culinaire takes place this month at Gulfood 2017, comprising a series of practical and display-based culinary competitions that aim to test the skills of professional chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and bakers.

At the time of going to press, Uwe Micheel, president of Emirates Culinary Guide, said about 1,060 entries from 130 hotels and restaurants had been submitted, with teams signed up from around the world, including from the Maldives, Russia, Turkey, South Korea and Pakistan.

Micheel, who has been actively involved in Salon Culinaire for 23 years, also told Caterer that 40 judges are gathering in Dubai for the contest, with some flying in from Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, France, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Egypt, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Switzerland, England and Scotland.

The judges are mandated by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) to judge culinary competitions around the world. They will be awarding gold, silver and bronze medals, certificates, and also special trophies to individuals who have attained excellence at the competition in their particular field.

Speaking about how competitors can impress the judges and grab their attention, Micheel said: “Amazing taste and great matching flavours in all the live tasted dishes. The first impression is important — a clean, fresh look. The plate has to say ‘Eat Me’.”

Some of Salon Culinaire’s competitions are entered by single competitors while others are designed as team events. Each competition is called a class and participants compete in everything from practical cooking competitions to buffet and banqueting show pieces.

For the crowds observing, Salon Culinaire is consistently one of the most entertaining aspects of Gulfood, with eye-catching ice carvings on show, artistically decorated buffet platters, and whimsical pastry and chocolate creations.

Visitors can also watch many of the real-time cookery competitions taking place over the course of the week.

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