logo

Jury Panel

Fotis Pastras

Rebecca Femino

BIO

Rebecca Femino

Specialized in Restaurant Pre-Opening and Opening Motivated, dynamic and dedicated professional with experience in managing overall operations. Team and customer-oriented, innovative individual, multi-tasking, leadership skills. 10 years professional experience as a manager in hospitality, food consultant, organizing events, staff trainer in Italian and International Restaurants. Diploma in Diet and Nutrition Level 4 Oxford Home Study Center, Dubai 2019. Bachelor’s Degree Event Management Conservatory of Music and Art “A.Corelli” Messina, Italy 2008. Internship in Professional Chef Restaurant Academic, “Accademia Italian Chef” Rome, Italy. Qualification HACCP Food Worker Administration, Dubai,2014.

Ali AlAshkhari

BIO

Ali AlAshkhari

This is Ali, a local Emirati who participated in the R&D of cocoa beans and chocolate and studied in the most prestigious culinary schools in Belgium, New York, London, UAE, and France. I am a certified chocolate taster & cocoa beans evaluator and source-r and eligible to be part of the International Chocolate Award globally. I have hosted several chocolate tasting sessions in UAE, and the recent one was on 12 April 2022 at Coffee Architecture in
Abu Dhabi.

Ahmad Samour

BIO

Ahmad Samour

A dynamic, flexible and reliable professional employee with Swiss education background, holding a Master degree in Hotel Management from Swiss Hotel Management School, Switzerland, Montreux, as well as a degree in Masters of Art in International Hotel Management from the University of Derby. WSET Certified, Having international F&B experience which includes Italy, Switzerland, UAE, and Jordan, currently working as Beverage and Bar Manager at The Bridge lifestyle hub in Abu Dhabi where I am creating Organic Beverage Recipes and Food Pairing Strategies.

Fayyad Elzioud

BIO

Fayyad Elzioud

  • Chairman of Jordan Olive Products Exporters Association (JOPEA).
  • Member of The Advisory Committee of IOC.
  • Jordanian Olive Oil Professional Taster Since 2002.
  • Producer of High-Quality Olive Oil.
  • Works at The Agriculture Sector Since 1990.
  • Expert with The Olive and Olive Oil Sector for More Than 30+ Years.
  • Participate in A lot of International Certified Olive Oil Tasting Advanced Courses.
  • A judge in Many International and National Competitions.

Ilias Doulamis

BIO

Ilias Doulamis

His motto is: “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” He was Executive Chef at Hyatt Hotels Corporation for the last 5 years (Oman). He is Executive Chef at Conrad Dubai from Spt 2021.

Mai Moawad

BIO

Mai Moawad

She is a specialist in the food and agriculture sector. She was graduated from the faculty of agriculture Cairo university, department of reclamation and cultivation desert lands. The graduation project was to produce healthy frozen meat products by using sustainable materials. She attended and obtained certificates in – the F&B innovation lab boot camp related to F&B innovation lab challenge 2020 affiliated with the UAE Food and Beverages business group. – Fundamental concept of bioinformatics. – Basics of DNA, RNA & protein bioinformatics. She was part of the research cell team that prepared the UAE AgriTech report as an intern. She participated in the future food forum 2021 at expo 2020 as a speaker to discuss my experience in the F&B innovation lab and UAE AgriTech report.

Enrico Maria Costa

BIO

Enrico Maria Costa

In 2006, As European Pizza Champion, making him one of the key figures in the Italian Food Industry. Since then, he has traveled around the world, working on helping restaurants create the most unique signature pizzas in Europe, China, the United States, and currently with Casinetto in the Middle East.

Howard Ko

BIO

Howard Ko

Chef Howard Ko is the Executive Chef at the highly acclaimed Asian restaurant CÉ LA VI Dubai. The dining destination overlooks stunning views of Dubai’s skyline and combines innovative flavors and ingredients to cater to the most discerning palates. With an impressive drinks selection and world-class hospitality, CÉ LA VI is an unforgettable experience for all. Raised in Los Angeles, CA, Howard recognized a deep-rooted love for food and found himself exploring his curiosity in the kitchen throughout his childhood. To pursue his dream of becoming a chef, he moved to New York to train at The Culinary Institute of America, which focuses on culinary, baking, and pastry arts education with renowned alumni including Anthony Bourdain and Grant Achatz.

Helen Morris

BIO

Ms. Helen Morris MSc., MIH, WSET

Helen began her culinary career two years after obtaining a recognized culinary qualification in the UK. During her extensive career, she has worked mainly in the culinary field, including event catering, private dining, professional training, and education. Her first role began as a Commis Chef followed by various chef roles in 4- and 5-star hotel properties and independent restaurants across the UK and Australia while progressing into senior culinary positions. Helen’s career eventually led to a teaching opportunity as a Chef/Lecturer position at the prestigious Butlers Wharf Chef School in London. This role was followed by heading a curriculum department at a further Education Institute at the College of North West London. This teaching and management role covered all aspects of the hospitality sector, including employee teaching quality, student engagement, and departmental financial targets. The education roles provided a new dimension and agility to her profession leading to her current role as Executive Chef / Senior Lecturer at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Dubai.

Kaouther Ben Hassine

BIO

Kaouther Ben Hassine

Assistant Professor in Food -Agriculture, Ministry of agriculture and Water Resources. Institution of Agricultural Research and Higher Education.

Francesco Trani

BIO

Francesco Trani

I am a young Chef that has a diploma in a culinary school from the small island of Ischia, Italy. I have started as a pastry chef from my family’s pastry and began my passion for cooking from there onwards. I have 4 years of experience in a 5-star hotel and experience in a 3-star Michelin restaurant in Italy. Came to Dubai 5 years ago as a Sr. Chef de Partie, presently working as a Sous Chef in Roberto’s restaurant. Nominated as one of the best Chefs under 30 by Caterer Middle East. I love Italian cuisine and cooking tradition is my torment.

Andrea Fioravanti

BIO

Andrea Fioravanti

Chef Andrea Fioravanti’s culinary journey began at a very early age when he was inspired by the passion for food that his Italian parents and grandmother held so strongly. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of Rieti at the age of 19, Chef Andrea truly began to develop and refine his culinary techniques in his first position at Relais & Châteaux Lord Byron in Rome, which also caters for Relais Le Jardin.

Preet Sanghvi

BIO

Preet Sanghvi

Graduating with a Master’s degree in Marketing from the University of Bath & Masters in Gastronomy from University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy- Preet has extensively worked in the hospitality industry in various departments right from marketing to pre-opening and launches of restaurants, analysis, menu planning, and branding to operations. Preet founded Gourmet Tales Co- which is an exclusive food curation company with a network of over 400 F&B brands & Homegrown concepts across India, Europe, and the Middle east. Preet creatively curate’s food courts in events and festivals, malls, airports, and corporates and also provides F&B consultancy to the brands in both India & the middle east. She is also an International food tourism consultant & food taster and travels a lot for food and learning about different concepts, food products & markets around the world.

Trisha Henault

BIO

Trisha Henault

Chef Trisha Henault is the executive pastry chef at the newly opened hotel 25hours in Dubai. She´s been recognized as one of the best chefs under 30 by Caterer Middle East and has been nominated to the Marriott Awards of Excellence. Her passion for flavor pairings, a play of textures, and balanced complexity in her work make her amongst the most creative chefs in the Middle East. Having been the chef chocolatier at the Bulgari Resort, Dubai, and having participated in a pastry competition in India gives her great expertise about flavor, presentation, and quality of ingredients.

Terence Mcilroy

BIO

Terence Mcilroy

Terence Mcilroy, 43 years old, is from Northern Ireland UK. I have been a chef since I was 13 years old, and I have always stayed at the senior management level of every company I have been employed with. Throughout the last 30 years in the hospitality industry, I have gained incredible experience and knowledge with my passion for the very best ingredients, whilst constantly creating innovative recipes and menus.

Ahmed Desouki

BIO

Ahmed Desouki

I am a Chef with over 13 years of experience gained from Egypt, UAE, and the USA. I have been working with well know chefs in Dubai and USA. I got the chance to travel and see food in so many places. The key to success in that career is a passion for cooking.

Sanjar Mukhamedov

BIO

Sanjar Mukhamedov

Experience Head Chef with extensive training in international cuisine and dish creation. I Possess over 15 years of kitchen experience and growth beginning in London, UK. I have demonstrated great initiative and solid career progression including promotions to Head Chef, Master Griller, and Chef de Party. Commended for outstanding work numerous times. Featured in ‘Shortlist Magazine’ in 2016. Eager to begin a new career in the right city where culinary talent and passion are desired.

Tamer Qeblawi

BIO

Tamer Qeblawi

Chef Tamer Qeblawi comes from a background in Food. He started his training at the Hilton Culinary School, to then work for the Hilton development team and successfully be part of several hotel openings. His career later took him to Cornwall where he worked for Michelin star chef Rick Stein for 6 years. Currently consulting on new concept development within the F&B industry in the UAE and abroad. Some of the projects developed by Chef Tamer are; Society Cafe, Massina, Gossip, Eat Artisanal Bakery, Aprons and Hammers, Mezza House, and The Host.

Ravindra Eranda

BIO

Ravindra Eranda

Ravindra Eranda (Chef Ravi) From Sri Lanka, currently culinary head at LEGOLAND Dubai, with a demonstrated history of working in the Hospitality industry. Skilled in Italian cuisine, fine dining, catering, menu engineering, food & beverage operation, theme parks food & beverage management. With 14 years of culinary experience in both Sri Lanka and UAE, some of Anilana resorts, Ferrari World, Rixos Palm Dubai. The winner of Gulfood UAE. Strong operations professional and graduated in hotel management. Excellent communicator, with well-developed analytical skills and aptitude for identifying critical drivers and structuring solutions for the culinary industry.

Shrinath Nair

BIO

Shrinath Nair

I am 24 years old, from Mumbai, India. I’ve been a chef from the age of 15 I started my own food delivery service when I was in college. Trained with one of the most renowned hospitality brands The Oberoi. Then moved to Dubai & worked for the Emirates flight catering in menu planning & presentation. Currently working with The Meat co.

Sonal B Chhibber

BIO

Sonal B Chhibber

Sonal Chhibber is an Indian-born and Dubai-based Award-winning Writer, Poetess, Motivational Speaker, Authorpreneur, and an exemplary Wellness Influencer. She is a multi-talented stylist diva, who lives life on her own terms and encourages all to do the same. She is the founder of a lifestyle blog, which is now considered one of the most loved Lifestyle blogs in Dubai. She is a sassy Lifestyle Blogger, who is passionate about Fitness, Fashion, Food, Friends, & Films. Sonal has been a Social Media Star for a long and has years of experience in being an Editor, Writer, and Global Indian Influencer. She likes to motivate people and I guess that pushed her to start her own blog on social media that eventually grew into a community.

Jagbir Singh

BIO

Jagbir Singh

I am working with Millennium Place Barsha Heights hotel – Dubai UAE. as an Executive Sous Chef.

Basel Abboud

BIO

Basel Abboud

Accomplished director with more than 23 years of experience in Food and Beverage at world-class hotel properties in the GCC region. Accustomed to leading large-scale operations, with up to 8 outlets, large banquet & catering facilities, and teams with up to 120 members. Leader and mentor, ready to be hands-on when needed, always staying in close contact with the team, actively promoting and participating in their personal career development. As an active change agent, successfully planned and executed the opening of Stella Di mare hotel and 4 food and beverage outlets. Experience implementing and running efficient organizations, with optimal resource utilization, always keeping high standards of service quality.

Marjon Andesha

BIO

Marjon Andesha

Founder of home-grown brand Nolu’s Restaurants in 2011. Nolu’s, a modern Afghan concept with a healthy Californian twist has become a staple in the capital of Abu Dhabi and now Dubai. Currently holding over 9 locations under her belt and 4 more in the pipeline she has showered her culinary passion within the Emirates.

Maria Gallegos Carranza

BIO

Maria Gallegos Carranza

Chef Maria Gallegos Carranza brings over 10 years of culinary experience to the vibrant Trader Vic’s restaurant at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah. A graduate of Universidad del Valle de Mexico, Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in Restaurant Management. Maria ventured overseas to the United Arab Emirates in 2015. Since then, Maria’s career has seen her working across a number of leading establishments in the United Arab Emirates, such as Maya, Modern Mexican Kitchen, and Asia de Cuba in Abu Dhabi. Now, she’s at the helm of Trader Vic’s Hilton Dubai Jumeirah’s kitchen operations for one full year, heading a team of 14 chefs and kitchen team members who assist her from daily dinner operations to the busy operations of Tiki Hula Hula Saturday Brunch.

Matthijs Stinnissen

BIO

Matthijs Stinnissen

Spending time in Dubai under the attentive care of the UK’s, and perhaps the world’s, best chefs Aikens and Atherton, Matthijs has an unparalleled understanding of local ingredients and the varying palates of the Dubai and the UAE market. Joining award-winning Mediterranean restaurant BOCA in February 2018 he kept all the original elements that guests know and love while using his expertise and creativity to take its sustainability drive and menu quality and execution further.

Mohammed Al-Ghazzaoui

BIO

Mohammed Al-Ghazzaoui

25 years of experience in Hospitality F&B, Advisory Chef and Consultant with a unique combination of business and culinary knowledge and experiences, driven from a multinational FMCG company and large national distributors. Established brands in F&B operation, ROI < 3 years. Experience leading a cross-functional team and cross-divisional team to identify opportunities and generate business growth up to 100%. Quick learner Industrious and make decisions and implement them effectively with time management.

Prashant Chipkar

BIO

Prashant Chipkar

Chef Prashant’s foray into the culinary world began by exploring flavors in the kitchens of Mumbai and Goa that eventually led him into working at some of the top and prestigious restaurants in cities like Bangkok, Geneva, and Dubai. His passion for Indian cooking and constant pursuit for discovering its diversity has given him opportunities to be a part of some of the best kitchens in the world including GAGGAN in Bangkok which was named ASIA’s No1 and No10 in World’s 50 Best restaurants from 2015-2018.

Gita Bahadur

BIO

Gita Bahadur

As a driven and passionate culinary enthusiast, I strive to produce an excellent quality of food that bursts with flavor and delights in presentation. I work with the philosophy of simplicity based on natural ingredients executed with elegance to produce a classical but modern style cuisine. With a proven track record for going the extra mile and experience of working in varied establishments, I feel that my skills and capabilities are easily applicable to the advertised role. I am a confident and loyal person who leads by example to demonstrate an exceedingly strong work ethic and the ability to multi-task whilst working under extreme pressure.

Harshith Shetty

BIO

Harshith Shetty

Marketing and E-commerce Manager at Taste of Spain LLC Dubai, overseeing innovations, corporate and marketing communications. He leads the digital transformation through the implementation of marketing strategy, streamlining approaches for B2B brands, and customizes the needs for B2C through the marketplace for the group. Harshith has accumulated 9 years of retail marketing and digital transformation experience in managing FMCG/F&B brands in UAE, Oman & India, helping to build brands through extensive digital, communication, and marketing initiatives.

Jordan Jacinto

BIO

Jordan Jacinto

I’ve been in the culinary industry for almost 10 years. I think I made a big impact on myself when I was in the UAE working in different brands of luxury hotels and stand-alone restaurants. For now, I’m here in Europe pursuing to grow my career even more. In my own opinion, cooking is not just a passion or what is called a “past-time”, I see a deeper meaning in me as a cook and it’s now a definition of who I am as a person and I’m probably sure that kitchen is the comfortable place where I belong.

Jolbi Huacho

BIO

Jolbi Huacho

Peruvian chef specialized in Nikkei, Japanese, Asian and Peruvian Cuisine. I started my career at a very young age and I had the opportunity to work in recognized and fine dining restaurants in multiple countries like Peru, Brazil, EEUU, and the Middle East. These experiences were decisive for my training as a chef. My work is my passion and I consider that one of my main virtues is discipline but what makes me stand out is my creativity. For me, the only way to exploit my full potential as a chef is through innovation, hard work, and blending of flavors and techniques. I had the honor of leading the kitchen in award-winning Clay Bahrain and now Clay Dubai is my recent project, so we are ready to take Nikkei Cuisine to the next level.

Josè Carlos Sierra Garcìa

BIO

Josè Carlos Sierra Garcìa

Hailing from Veracruz, Mexico. Chef de Cuisine takes care of the culinary operations of Jumeirah Zabeel House, The Greens. Graduated from the Culinary Institute of Veracruz, holding a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. After working in Madrid, Spain for a few years and Arizona, USA, Chef Jose arrived in the UAE in 2015 for the Al Habtoor city pre-opening team, from there his journey have taken him to work and different companies such as Four Seasons, Marriott, Oberoi Hotels and currently Jumeirah Hotels. With nearly 15 years in culinary, He has led 5 successful restaurant openings in Dubai and around the globe, managed culinary teams of 20+ chefs. Private Chef in Gulfood Manufacturing in 2017, 2018 & 2019 in the Chilean and Peruvian pavilions.

Eby Joseph

BIO

Eby Joseph

Relevant Experience through the years with reputed hotels and restaurants worked and performed necessary tasks in the kitchen team with all levels of management members. Achievements and awards were a part of work we’re able to present and bring up a team for food competition achieving best of results. Managed and led a HACCP Implementation with ISO 22000 Managed and lead a team of multinational was an advantage were a symphony of aroma and flavors in my kitchen to achieve the best results.

Oscar Montelongo

BIO

Oscar Montelongo

Rising to new challenges is what I do best; my hard work and dedication had let me work in different countries such as Mexico, Ireland, the United States of America, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands, Dubai, and now here in Singapore. Constantly learning and adding new techniques to my culinary repertoire. As a Chef, I pride myself on understanding my principal and their preference. I love creating new dishes and offering a wide variety of culinary styles. I believe in creating the right mix of entertainment, food, atmosphere, service, and location to achieve my principal’s desired effect.

Gareth Haggerty

BIO

Gareth Haggerty

15 years experience in culinary art, starting off in 3 Rosette Alderley Edge hotel in Manchester serving the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Premier League Football players. Guided by Chef Warrick Dodds at the Restaurant bar grill is where I truly grew and learned every section of the kitchen. I moved on to Living Ventures and Artisan a 320-cover restaurant in Central Manchester managing a team of 25, After having our first child I ventured into Catering, Working at Holloyoaks a UK Drama series, and launching my own catering company along with a 40-cover restaurant in the North west of England. Now the Executive Chef of Restaurants and concepts of Majid Al Futtaim I have Vastly expanded my Knowledge using my experience and creativity to successfully open multiple restaurants and brands across the region, Being Nominated for Chef of the year twice and winning Healthy Restaurant in 2018.

Monsef Belmouden

BIO

Monsef Belmouden

Preopening Restaurant General Manager for one of the largest hotel Restaurants in MEA, which is going to be at the most anticipated Atlantis, The Royal. Recently joined from W hotel Dubai – The Palm, where I held the role of Multi Restaurants Manager (2020-2021) Prior to that I was the head of Restaurants at the Oberoi hotel, Marrakech (2019). 2017-2019 I was the Operations Manager for Feast Restaurant at the Sheraton Grand Dubai. In 2012-2017 I was the Operations Manager for Kicthen6 Restaurant at the tallest 5-star hotel in the World JW Marriott Marquis Dubai (The Largest Restaurant across Marriott Worldwide).

Linda Angel Pelu

BIO

Linda Angel Pelu

Bulgari Food And beverage crew for Italian Pavillion, Dubai Expo 2020.
Master’s Degree – University of Gastronomic sciences: Food Innovation and Management. Project Management and Marketing applied to both small and big industries and restaurants. Advanced communication courses on Wine and Food. Bachelor’s Degree- Alma Mater Studiorum Bologna- Anthropology Of food: Holistic knowledge of the historical, cultural, and anthropological roots of food; preservation and enhancement of material and immaterial heritage.

Nidhi Mall

BIO

Nidhi Mall

Currently working as a Head chef at Gourmet Catering-Dubai Police Headquarters. I am Classically trained at the IHM Goa (B.sc in Hospitality& Hotel Administration), I worked at Table 9 a European restaurant as Commi following this experience now. Had an experience in Cuban, Arabic, Continental, Japanese, Indian, French, Italian, Cantonese (Asian), and British as Chef in Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and Saddiyaat Rotana Abu Dhabi, worked as Jr sous and Sous Chef for the Royal Family and hosting VIP Parties, conferences and intimate gathering. Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of experiencing many genres of food service, such as business dining, high-end hotels, wellness retreat spas, independent living, porch clients, and the education market. All of this has taught me the importance of food safety, providing the best service to the industry.

Adriana Fernández

BIO

Adriana Fernández

Industry professional, who believes F&B is a lifestyle and not just an industry we work for. Having recently worked for Expo 2020 Dubai F&B Commercial and Operations Department, I’ve had the opportunity to liaise with a number of incredible brands from local gems to international brands and Michelin Start chefs doing cook-offs. This has resulted in wanting to thrive with a more entrepreneur-curious mind, continuing to create, build and support Home Grown concepts, sourcing more sustainable food products and or ingredients, as well as, packaging materials to complete customer experience.