ICCA Dubai Shaikha Almemeri wins the Bronze and 'Best Hygienic Chef' at the East Coast Competitions, UAE.
“Although I finished everything before the allotted time without much hustle, it never occurred to me that I would be among the top three or even bag an extra award considering I was competing for the first time “, said Shaikha Almemeri after winning the Bronze Medal and also the award for ‘Best Hygienic Chef’ at East Coast Competition for Chicken Live Cookery, Fujairah. Shaikha least expected an award for her hygiene practices in the kitchen while cooking, but then it definitely didn’t go unseen by the Jury.
There were even moments during the competition when Shaikha was very much unsure of her work when all she was striving for was to give her best without thinking much about the result. “I made Chicken Log Wrap with Pistachios at the competition. When it was taken out for judgment, I was called out of my station by the judges when no other contestants were asked to do so. I really felt something is wrong with my dish. But to my surprise, the judges were very much impressed with the sauce I had served with my dish. They called me out to know whether it’s a store bought one or I made it by myself”, said Shaikha.
Participating in a cookery competition was not in her mind until Chef KAC Prasad, Director of Culinary/VP Emirates Culinary Guild for East Coast, Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort, saw the potential in her while she was doing her internship at the resort.
If it was Chef KAC Prasad who encouraged her to participate in the competition then it was Chef Daniel Hiltbrunner, Master Chef Instructor at ICCA Dubai from where Shaikha completed her studies in Culinary Arts, who helped her to get prepared for the competition. “As she was doing her internship with Miramar, it was not easy for her to come to the school and practice for the competition. She had to manage to do the preparations from her home itself, for which I was doing more of an online mentoring for her”, said Chef Daniel.
“I was in a hurry to leave after collecting my Bronze medal and that is when they announced my name again for the award for ‘Best Hygienic Chef’. I clearly remember some of the judges were smiling at me after seeing the bin next to my station full of gloves. I was changing gloves after every wash and couldn’t really read the smiles in their faces then. But when my name was announced for the award the smiles on their faces back then made sense”, said Shaikha with a smiling face.
Now that her first attempt at competing with other experienced chefs has brought so much confidence in her, she’s positive about participating in more competitions and get some good exposure. On this note, we from Team ICCA would like to congratulate her and wish her good luck in all her future competitions.