Following a long and meticulous judging process, Chef Anup Pawar, of the Address Downtown Dubai, was crowned the winner of Time Out's second Young Chef of the Year Awards last night in front of a ballroom packed with the city's biggest food fans.
The five chef finalists – all aged under 30 – were tasked with creating a four-course menu from a list of ingredients provided by Galeries Lafayette and Badoit water. Their dishes were presented to a professional judging panel, including Uwe Micheel, president of the Emirates Culinary Guild; Scott Price, executive chef at Table 9 by Nick & Scott; Russell Impiazzi, gourmet culinary director at Galeries Lafayette, and Becky Lucas, editor of Time Out Dubai. Chefs then presented their menu to more than 150 diners and honorary Time Out food critics for the evening, including some of the city's most high-profile food bloggers. These guests were served four courses by one chef to their table and sampled tasters created by each other chef. By 10.45pm, the scoresheets were in, the votes tallied, and the winner revealed.
'This is dedicated to my team, who have all worked so hard over the past few weeks, my GM who has always supported me, my wife and my new two-month-old son who I haven't seen for the past two days,' said a shiny-eyed Anup.
Chef Luke Wonnacott, of Atlantis The Palm, came in a very close second, causing quite the stir with his very popular Chocolate Bomb dessert.