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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Dubai goes fierce-competition for the title 'Dubai's Best Risotto 2015'

Dubai’s top Italian restaurants compete 
for the title: “Dubai’s Best Risotto” in the World Risotto Contest

Today is the final competition for the title “Dubai’s Best Risotto” and it is taking place live at the Speciality Food Festival, where the chefs will compete in front of the watching eyes of a panel of jury and the attending guests who will then taste the risottos and mark the whole process and finished dish to decide the winner of this year’s Competition. 

This 'Dubai's Best Risotto' journey concludes today, but for the chefs it was a road that started in the beginning of 2015, having decided to go for the competition they have been at work honing their skills, creative concepts and preparing to win their restaurants the bragging rights of serving the city's best Risotto. 

The Qualifications:
From the early morning hours, on Sunday 25th October, at the Emirates Academy for Hospitality Management, an assembly of chefs, judges, photographers and organizers were all getting ready for what would be a day full of action. It was the qualification day for the World Risotto Contest, organized by the Italian Cuisine World Summit. 

While the judges sipped on their morning coffee and discussed the criteria of their upcoming verdicts, the chefs were in the kitchen, each on his/her station, unpacking their ingredients starting to make stock, grate cheese, prepare the many steps to what each believes is their best ever risotto. Soon after that, one by one, started plating and passing their finished plates of their “winner” risotto to the judging panel to taste, critique and mark.

Besides the heat known to reside in professional kitchens, the heat of competition was also on high. Each chef of course wants to qualify and so the kitchen was packed with energy, stirring, sautéing, boiling and plating, it looked to the eye like a time lapse of movement that one could not notice the passing of time and is left at awe for these brilliant chefs manifesting their passion and love for what they do and love for their ingredients and pride in what they serve.

The level of talent present in that kitchen was very high, and each one of the chefs served a beautiful, aromatic and flavorful dish. They were all great that the judges declared it was a very close call and it boiled down to details in the end.

“The Italian restaurants in Dubai are definitely heading in the right direction. The quality of Italian cuisine present in the city is very high and the chefs have done a wonderful job especially under such pressure. There’s been a very broad spectrum of flavours in the risotto qualifications today and I am very pleased with the standard.” Said Chef Michael Kitts, Director of the Culinary, Emirates Academy for Hospitality Management.

The four restaurants shorted listed for the final competition are:
  •          Bice Mare: Chef Giovanni Cortese – “Sapori del Passato”.
  •          Roberto’s: Chef Mohamed Farouk Nasr – “Risotto ai Porcini Freschi”
  •          Segreto: Chef Sampath Wajira – “Carnaroli with foie-gras, hazelnut and truffle honey”
  •          Eataly: Chef Gardini Davide – “Risotto Terra Mia”

The Jury Panel selecting the finalists are:
  • ·      Chef Michael Kitts, Emirates Academy for Hospitality Management
  • ·      Chef Luther Maitland, SCAFA, School of Culinary And Finishing Arts
  • ·      Chef Uwe Micheel, President of Emirates Culinary Guild
  • ·      Mrs. Maria Luisa Panzica, Italian Food Expert
  • ·      Mr. Maurizio Pelli, Food Writer and Private Chef. President of the Jury

All participating Restaurants in the Risotto Qualifications: Segreto, Casa Mia, L’Olivio, Bice, Bice Mare, Prego, Positano, Roberto’s, Eataly, Per Te, Sapori di Bice, Toscana, Cavalli.

I leave you with some pics from the qualifications....

Good Luck to the finalists!