MEA jury for S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 revealed

Uwe Micheel, David Higgs and Joe Barza to be part of Middle East and Africa jury panel

Joe Barza is one of the judges.
Joe Barza is one of the judges.

Sanpellegrino has revealed the Middle East and Africa jury panel for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Award 2015 - and it includes celebrated names like Uwe Micheel, David Higgs and Joe Barza.

Micheel, director of kitchens, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek and president of The Emirates Culinary Guild, Higgs and Barza will be responsible for selecting one finalist from their region to join 19 other regional finalists for the grand final in Milan in June 2015.

A recognisable and powerful fixture in the UAE F&B scene, Micheel is originally from Celle in northern Germany. He moved to Dubai in 1993, and became director of kitchens at the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek. He has won numerous awards and has held the position of president of the Emirates Culinary Guild since 1999.

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Higgs, of Five Hundred at The Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, has had a long and distinguished career spanning almost a quarter of a century. Named 2013 Eat Out S.Pellegrino Chef of the Year, he has set up numerous award winning restaurants in South Africa, as well as his own cookery school - The Higgs School of Good Cooking. He counts cooking for the late Nelson Mandela as one of his proudest career highlights.

These chefs are joined by Barza, who is well known to Middle Eastern TV audiences, having co-hosted the popular Top Chef show. He is also the executive chef behind a host of restaurants in the Middle East, as well as Bioland, a store selling organic ingredients in Lebanon. A member of the organising committee for the Dubai World Hospitality Championship, he is currently rolling out the Beb Idris restaurant across London and the Middle East.

The deadline for online applications concluded last week. All the candidates are being divided according to the geographic area they are from; there will be 20 regions.

Alma, the international educational and training centre for Italian cuisine is currently selecting the first 10 semi-finalists from each region according to five 'Golden Rules': Ingredients, Skills, Genius, Beauty, Message.

The 10 semi-finalists will then compete at a local event in presence of the jury panel. By the end of February, the 20 best local young chefs from each world’s region will be announced as the official finalists.

The culminating event of the project – the S.Pellegrino Talent Awards - will be held from June 25-27 in Milan, where S.Pellegrino will be the official water of Expo Milano 2015 and of the entire Italian Pavillion.

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