Popular Arab chef invites five local food bloggers to battle it out in his kitchen
Armed with culinary passion and a little help from an Arab celebrity chef, food bloggers from around the UAE tested their skills in a heated (pun intended) competition for kitchen glory.
The ‘iBlog, iCook, iBlend Challenge’ hosted by television personality Chef Osama El Sayed in his role as a Braun Celebrity Ambassador kicked off an exclusive cooking challenge for five local food bloggers.
Taking place at the Traiteur Restaurant at Park Hyatt, the event brought together Mary-kei, the author of Cameras&Cucumbers blog, Nausheen Noor, author of DubaiBites blog, Sukaina Rajabali, author of LickMySpoon blog, Arva Ahmad, author for ILiveinaFryingPan blog and finally Shaima Al Tamimi, author of Lgeimat junkies blog.
Each blogger was able to bring her talented culinary skill to create, cook and present one main dish within an hour, with a choice between chicken or fish, working under pressure with a minimal amount of other ingredients provided. Each participant had the opportunity to take part in an interactive cooking demonstration with Chef Osama, a famous face on daytime televisions across the region.
“I was really looking forward to this cooking challenge event…and I was very excited to see the meals that would be prepared by these passionate home chefs”, Chef Osama said. “The bloggers were judged based on the originality of their concepts, taste, innovation and the presentation of the meal.”
The five dishes that were cooked by the bloggers ranged from pan fried fish with rice and tomato soup, chicken breast with mashed potatoes and coconut sauce(pictured), salmon and chilli, fish cakes with coconut cream dipping sauce, chicken and avocado crostini to seared salmon with roasted fennel and white asparagus, garnish of basil and chive oil. Choosing a winner proved difficult, the chef admitted.
“The judging for the competition was so tricky because the bloggers showed a sure hand in the kitchen and congratulations go to all of them,” he added.
Chef Osama, from Egypt, commands a TV audience of over a million viewers around the world with his shows Ma’ Osama Atyab (It’s More Delicious with Osama) and Bil Hanna Wa Shiffa (With Joy and Good Health). He also writes a syndicated column that is featured in various publications in the Middle East and has orchestrated banquets for some of the most influential figures in the world including former US president Bill Clinton.
Other judges at the Braun cooking challenge included Chef Michael Clinton and Chef Franck Detrait from Park Hyatt alongside guests who took part in naming Shaima Al Tamimi - author of Lgeimat junkies blog – as the grand prize winner.
Al Tamimi, a resident of Abu Dhabi, created her blog to kickstart her aspirations to be in the culinary industry,
“I was delighted to participate...and get the chance to meet other UAE culinary bloggers who share my passion in the kitchen. The event was really fun, exciting and one of the greatest cooking experiences I participated in,” she said.