There is a new competition in Cairo for those who think their taste buds are better-trained than the rest of us simple folk. The Egyptian Chefs Association (ECA) invites you to test your taste buds and be the judge of new and innovative recipes from the capable hands of their chefs.
The competitions will vary from the Makro mystery basket competition, where chefs will be given a mystery basket with surprise ingredients to challenge their spontaneity, to the female chef competition by Wadi Food and the El-Nour vegetarian dish competition. Other competitions include the Unilever competition with awards for senior and junior chef of the year, where the senior chef winner will get to travel to South Africa and represent Egypt in the International Unilever Chef of the Year competition in 2013.
The competitions are scheduled to take place during the at the Cairo International Convention Center, where the association has a booth every day of the fair from 11am to 8pm. The competition coincides with the 15th anniversary of the ECA, so to commemorate the event a visitors’ choice “best cake” prize will be awarded on Thursday.
According to the competition’s leaflet, there are several criteria by which the participants will be judged: cleanliness and hygienic setting, correct professional preparation, arrangement and presentation, and of course, taste.
The competitions emphasise fun and innovation but a more tangible reward is also at hand; each participant will receive a certificate of participation and, there will be gold, silver, or bronze medals issued to the team members. Markus Iten, president of the ECA, said the best chefs are usually the ones with some sort of formal training, who have mastered their techniques under culinary experts. “Education really pays off, of the six prizes awarded Monday, four went to graduates of the culinary training centres.”
The event is certainly a fresh breeze for Egypt’s tourism and hotel industry after a less-than-optimal year in the wake of the Arab Spring. The competition also offers more than enough diversity to satisfy both the savvy niche demographic the exhibition is hoping to attract, as well as mainstream audiences, from those with an interest in food to those who are simply curious.
The sheer variety of both competitors and products will guarantee a lively competition.