The award for best local chef of the International Culinary Challenge of this year’s Hotel Asia Exhibition was awarded to defending champion Ahmed Fatheen of Bandos Island Resort.
Born to Shaviyani atoll Foakaidhoo island, Fatheen had learned culinary skills in Canada and demonstrated his prowess at resorts such as Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, LUX* South Ari Atoll and Anantara before his current tenure at Bandos.
Hotel Asia Exhibition’s organiser Maldives Exhibition and Conference Services (MECS) held the awarding ceremony late Wednesday at Hulhule Island Hotel after wrapping up the exhibition. Fatheen had also won third place for the Honeymoon Cake category from the 20 categories featured in this year’s challenge.
A record number of local and international chefs had participated in the Culinary Challenge this year with total 566 participants in an event targeted towards 550.
“Over 200 of those participants were Maldivians. With this competition, local chefs have received the opportunity to improve their quality and take their skills to another level,” said MECS’ general manager Husnee Rauf.
A special panel of 16 internationally renowned culinary judges, including prominent chef Alan Palmer, had evaluated the Culinary Challenge.
Husnee described this year’s exhibition as the best so far with a total of 3,876 visitors.
“Looking at the number of visitors or participants of the exhibition and Culinary Challenge, this year’s is the strongest fair we’ve organised,” he said.
He declared that next year’s Hotel Asia Exhibition will be even bigger and better.