Hat-trick for UAE chefs at S.Pellegrino Young Chef
Chef Gregoire Berger from Atlantis The Palm won first place in the regional challenge for the Middle East and Africa
UAE-based chef Gregoire Berger has been crowned the winner of the Middle East and Africa regional round of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition 2016.
Grégoire Berger is the head chef of Dubai-based fine dining restaurant Ossiano, at Atlantis The Palm.
The UAE’s young chef were well represented at the MEA regional event, with Dubai-based chefs also taking second and third place in this round. Second place went to Michael O’Shea from The Ivy, Dubai, while third place went to Eka Mochamad from Bateaux Dubai.
The event took place at the South African Chef’s Academy. During the competition, ten chefs prepared one dish for a panel of judges comprised of Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria, Christopher Lester of OIM Restaurant Group, and Moroccan chef Meryem Cherkaoui.
OIM Resaurant Group culinary director Christopher Lester said of the event: “We had 10 very competitive contestants and they all competed fiercely for the end goal with exceptional attributes. We had very different variance of ingredients used for the dishes. It took quite a lot of deliberation to chose the best execution. Chef Gregoire did a great job and would be an ideal candidate to represent the region at the final event.”
Each dish is judged on the principles of “ingredients, skills, genius, beauty and message”. Berger’s winning dish was Kerguelen island legine, cured goose, ponzu insert, potato shell stuffed with agria espuma, roasted and sour jus, artichoke, black truffle, shimeji and tarragon powder.
Chef Berger will now go on to compete in the grand finale round of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016, which will take place in Milan, Italy, on October 13 2016.
Commenting on his achievement, Berger said: “This dish is a token of gratitude to thank all the chefs with whom I used to work. They taught me everything; from different signature products to techniques. The design is inspired by a walk in the woods in autumn, during a rainy day. I’m thrilled to represent the Africa and Middle East region in Milan. The grand finale in October will be a great opportunity to meet and compete against other young chefs from all over the world.”
The finale on October 13 in Milan will be judged by seven international chefs: David Higgs, Carlo Cracco, Gaggan Anand, Elena Arzak, Mauro Colagreco, Wylie Dufresne and Roberta Sudbrack.