The Emirates Palace Hotel received five awards in the Gourmet Abu Dhabi festival 2011 during a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi last Thursday.
The Palace managed an outstanding performance in the festival to win most of the titles: Regional Cuisine Manager of the year for Zakaria Charaf of Diwan L’Auberge, Executive Chef of the year for Wolfgang Fischer, Regional Cuisine Chef of the year for Serajudin Nasari of Anar, Regional Cuisine Restaurant of the year for Anar and Honorary Mention for Chef Ali Ebdowa of the Mezlai restaurant, the first 5 star Emirati restaurant in UAE. Emirates Palace scooped most of the awards, as part of one facility during the ceremony.
And for his part, HE Saif Mohammed Al Hajiri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi National Hotels along with Mr Nasser Al Nowais, chairman, Rotana Group , handed over the prizes to winners from the Emirates Palace. Mr. Hans Olbertz, General Manager of Emirates Palace Hotel, was delighted by this achievement and said, "Winning the regional cooking contest highlights the excellent cooking choices available at the Emirates Palace. And we are proud to formulate new standards of excellence with achieving these prestigious titles in the field of cuisine and restaurants.” For his part, Chef Fisher said, “While I personally have received the title of "the best chef", the real win remains to the Emirates Palace, for its numerous numbers of awards.” The Emirates Palace celebrated and announced more award winners, like the Honorable Chef of The Year award to the Emirati chef Ali Ebdowa, from the fantastic Mezlai restaurant, the first of its kind in the world that specializes in UAE cultural cuisines, in honor to his role in disseminating traditional cooking. Chef Ali Ebdowa said, “In the Kitchen, we try to add the UAE’s cultural dishes on the global culinary map. This award is an honor to all of us and a strong push to continue the hard work of more innovation and creativity, and we look forward to securing a large share of the restaurants food and beverage sector in Abu Dhabi, which is characterized as a strong competitor.” The Palace however praised the success of the ‘Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2011’, which lasted for 16 days consisting of special dinners and special cooking classes and offers with the contribution of a group of the most remarkable chefs from around the world. The audience participated from 34 countries in the process of the ‘e-vote system’ to select the list of shortlisted candidates, and have noted a rise in the number of votes by participate upto 30% compared to last years. The list then was transferred to the international French jury, chef Bruno Menard, winner of three Michelin stars, to determine the winner in each category.