a Chocolate MasterClass in Dubai

Published April 21st, 2010 - 10:20 GMT

Twenty aspiring chefs from the UAE are to be treated to a Chocolate MasterClass in Dubai this week. Following the pastry workshop in April, this three-day workshop is the second MasterClass to be hosted by Fonterra, and is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to improve the skills of chefs in the region.

Renowned Swiss Maitre Chocolatier, George Willi Germann, has worked with the popular ingredient for over 40 years and his vast experience includes running his own patisserie in South Africa for seven years before becoming a Maitre Chocolatier/Patissier.

The purpose of the event, organised by Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, is to provide education and offer new skills and techniques to chefs from the UAE, and give them the opportunity to work alongside a master in his field.

“Following the success of the pastry workshop last month, we are delighted to be offering the region’s chefs another leader in the culinary field to learn from”, says Chef Peter Hallmanns, Advisory Chef for Fonterra. “Although the UAE has arguably the finest hotels and restaurants in the world, the skills of the chefs have to be constantly updated to remain ahead of the competition.

“At Fonterra, we realize the importance of working with, and more importantly, supporting the industry to enhance the skills of chefs in not just the UAE but throughout the GCC.”

The talented twenty chefs Fonterra Brands Middle East has selected are as follows:
• Bernard James Madurawalage and Karudin Kadi Libert (Grosvenor House, Dubai);
• Phillip Gomes and Roel Villanueva (Media Rotana, Dubai);
• Shirley Fernandes and Renate Bruckner (The Monarch, Dubai);
• Deepesh Gupta and Tuan Hirshan Assen Musafer (Westin Hotel);
• Dedy Supriady and Gege Arianto (The Address Dubai Mall);
• Basker Babu (Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai);
• Samir Gokhale (Emirates Golf Club, Dubai);
• Saman Agara (InterContinental Dubai Festival City);
• Raja Singh (Hilton Dubai Jumeriah Resort);
• Anubhav Sethi (Crown Plaza Hotel, Abu Dhabi);
• Houssni Baddah (Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah);
• Amr Elzyat (Hotel Holiday International, Sharjah);
• Saman Herath and Sukitha Vimukthi (The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah);
• Asanka Gurunasaelage (Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah)

The workshop will be conducted at Fonterra's state-of-the-art Culinarium – their brand new innovation kitchen in Al Quoz – Dubai.

Chef Germann is one of the most skilled and knowledgeable Maitre Chocolatiers in the industry, and has acquired a host of accolades from across the world, making him a true inspiration to the delegates.

For him, this discipline allows him the most creativity. “Working with chocolate allows chefs to create stunning works of art. Thanks to Fonterra, I feel fortunate that I am able to work with the region’s brightest culinary talent and I will equip them with the skills to take what I show them back to their own kitchens – this is not simply a three-day observation workshop – they will be hands-on throughout and will learn techniques that will hold strong for their entire careers.”

Chef Peter Hallmanns adds Fonterra’s initiatives are a great opportunity for the chefs, and for the profession to which they belong.

“We are hosting a third workshop in May – ‘Covered in Sugar’ – and the Pastry Challenge in June, where chefs throughout the GCC will compete, and we anticipate the competition to be even fiercer than during our Anchor MasterChef Challenge in January.

“Fonterra really believes in offering practical ways to teach new skills to the chefs and offering a platform for them to demonstrate their skills – talking about it is just not enough.”

The third day of the workshop is reserved for the chefs from the UAE Junior Culinary Team, who are eight of the best young culinary talents in the UAE – Zin Maw Win (Atlantis Palm Jumeirah Hotel, Dubai), Akila Fernando (Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek), Rumesh Fernando (Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek), Sunil Poulose (Hilton Dubai Jumeirah), Heru Purwanto (Fire and Ice Raffles Cellar and Grill Restaurant,   Raffles Dubai) and Leander Gonsalves, Victor Mondal and Xavier Biswas (Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai).             

While the chefs will learn the practical side of shaping, curling, twisting and garnishing, there is also plenty of theory, including the history of chocolate.

One of the highlights of the event, which runs from 21 – 23 April, will be the chefs creating their chocolate showpieces.

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