As a leading food service provider, inspirational food is at the heart of everything we do. And to reaffirm our commitment to food excellence in the Central Asia, Middle East, Africa, India & China (CAMEA) region, we launched the very first Chef of the Year competition.
The oven gloves were off as chefs from each of the CAMEA countries showed off their ability to create exciting food spiced with their unique cultural and food heritage.
The final culinary battle took place in South Africa’s foodie capital Franschhoek Valley at the Leopard’s Leap vineyard on Thursday the 29th of November 2012.
The contestants had just an hour to produce two outstanding dishes from a mystery box, and were judged not only on flavour, presentation and the ‘wow’ factor of their dishes but also on cleanliness, sanitation, work habits, professional preparation, supervision of their runner, timing and the proper use of ingredients as well.
The judging panel of Andy Furlong (CAMEA MD), Lynn Angel (Kitchen Angel Cooking School) and South African celebrity chef Reuben Riffel had their work cut out for them. The variety and range of dishes were impressive, but eventually the first ever Chef of the Year Award went to Lloyd Jennings of Hong Kong, with Darren Shinners of South Africa and Moataz Khaled of Egypt taking second and third places respectively.
The ecstatic winner commented: “I think the competition was a great success and it was very beneficial to my career. It was a fantastic opportunity to show off my culinary skills, and also to network with other chefs and managers within the Compass Group.”
Andy Furlong added: “The aim of this competition is to demonstrate the skill, enthusiasm and expertise that our teams all over the region have in abundance. The high standard, not only of the dishes but also of health and safety in the kitchens, is really encouraging and inspiring for everyone at Compass.”
The competition served as an opportunity to bring our network of talent and innovation together. After all this fusion of styles, techniques and flavours is exactly what we’re about.