Culinary experts from across the region gathered for the market-leading awards ceremony
The fifth annual Pro Chef Middle East Awards 2017 saw a record turnout, with 350 head chefs, distributors and culinary experts gathering for the industry-leading awards ceremony in Dubai on Monday 6th November.
Held at the Habtoor Grand Resort Autograph Collection, 137 restaurants and hotel groups were represented at the event, along with 20 key Middle Eastern distributors and industry bodies.
Well-known chefs in attendance included Gregoire Berger, who won the Seafood Speciality Chef of the Year award and Greg Malouf, who achieved Michelin success at Petersham Nurseries Café in the UK, before opening a string of restaurants in the Middle East including his most recent venture, Zahira at the H Hotel.
A record number of voters from across the region took part – 28,954 members of the industry voted for their favourite chefs and bar staff online in the six-month lead up to the event.
The winner of the prestigious Pro Chef of the Year award went to Roberto Segura, from newcomer Waka restaurant & bar. Segura, who joined the restaurant’s launch team as head chef earlier this year said: “I’m so honoured to receive this award from The Pro Chef Middle East, it’s been a fantastic year.”
The full list of winners at The Pro Chef Middle East Awards 2017 were:
African Speciality Chef of the Year – Beide Worku, Gursha
Americas & Caribbean Speciality Chef of the Year – Roberto Segura, Waka restaurant & bar
British Speciality Chef of the Year – Christopher Graham, At.mosphere
French Speciality Chef of the Year – Luigi Vespero, Demoiselle by Galvin
Indian Speciality Chef of the Year – Himanshu Sani, Carnival by Tresind
Italian Speciality Chef of the Year – Maurizio Bosetti, Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
Mediterranean Speciality Chef of the Year – Juan Carlos Gonzalez Hernandez, El Sur
Middle Eastern Speciality Chef of the Year – Ali Fouad Hassan Al Nafoorah
Japanese Speciality Chef of the Year – Herve Courtot, Nobu
Pan Asian Speciality Chef of the Year – Reif Othman, PLAY Restaurant & Lounge
Thai Speciality Chef of the Year – Nguyen Thanh, Thiptara
Bartender of the Year – Emilio Valencia, Aji
Sommelier of the Year – Bala Salian, Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
Seafood Speciality Chef of the Year – Gregoire Berger, Ossiano
Meat Speciality Chef of the Year – Raymond Wong, Seafire Steakhouse
Pastry Speciality Chef of the Year – Jade Saducas, Madinat Jumeirah
Innovation Speciality Chef of the Year – Reif Othman, The Experience by Reif Othman
The Taste New Zealand Chef of the Year – James Knight-Pacheco, Vida Hotels & Resorts
Outstanding Achievement of the Year – Colin Clague, Ruya
The Pro Chef of the Year Award 2017 – Roberto Segura, Waka restaurant & bar
Prior to the event, guests enjoyed canapes and drinks created by executive chef Corrado Pani along with demonstrations from Richemont Masterbaker, who provided samples of their baked goods and information about their chefs’ courses. Caviar specialist La Maison Nordique was also on hand to discuss their products.
The 2017 awards also coincided with the relaunch of The Pro Chef Middle East magazine. Guests photographed themselves with copies of the new magazine on social media at the event, under the hashtag #tprochefmeawards.
The event was presented in partnership with New Zealand Trade Enterprise, Aqua Panna & San Pellegrino from Horeca, Kitchenware Partner, Sara Hospitality, Vertea of The World by Tea Trading, Richemont Masterbaker, La Maison Nordique, Ital Touch, African & Eastern, Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa.