President Message

Dear Members and Partners,
With our team of 30 chefs heading to Germany for the IKA Culinary Olympic 2024, February promises to be an exciting month for the Guild. The chefs will compete in artistic classes and pastry arts, and we have high hopes that the team will once again make us proud and bring home the gold. A big thank you to Sounbula Mills and its managing director, Mr. Karim Al Azhari, for their generous support toward our team, making it possible for us to travel once again and represent the country in the world's best culinary competitions. Stay tuned for a comprehensive rundown of the competition in the upcoming March edition of the magazine. Good luck, Team Emirates.
In October 2024, there will be an election for the new presidium at the Worldchefs Congress. And I have put myself forward with a team from around the world to run as president, something I have been thinking about for a long time. I believe that with the strength of our ECG behind me and with my running partners, Rick Stephen from Australia, Alain Hostert from Luxembourg, Kristine Hartviksen from Norway, and, of course, my partner in everything, Guild Chef Uwe Micheel, we have a team that can lead the World Association into the next century. I thank my wife, Jo, as well as the ECG membership and committee for their support. More from Team Andy in future magazine editions.
The Jumeirah Creekside Hotel hosted the Guild's first 2024 meeting. We would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Nandana Wirasinha, Chef Ramola Bijendra, and their entire team for the wonderful hospitality and arrangements for the partners and chefs. It was a fantastic way to kick off the year. New members were welcomed, and it was great to see so many presentations highlighting the work that companies are doing around food security and the best proactive measures for the future.
One of the backbones of the guild is its corporate partners. We are grateful to them, as without them, we would not have had the opportunity to do many of the activities that we are able to undertake now.
We extend our gratitude to Emirates in Flight Catering for graciously hosting a tour and interactive session for our young chefs in their facility in January. This visit provided young chefs with an eye opening experience as they were given a firsthand glimpse into their vast facility.
A team of eight members of our senior committee also accompanied Helen Raudaschl and the Indoguna team on a factory and production tour in Jebel Ali. During this tour, we were able to firsthand witness the innovations that are at the heart of their great food products. Additionally, we also experienced the philosophy of Helene's company and colleagues. This was, of course, followed by an amazing tasting session with the team in the R&D kitchen, where we were able to sample some of the best innovations being developed by Indoguna for the market here in the UAE. Thank you, Helene.
Our partner ARLA Pro Pastry Chef of the Year competition is in full action, and we call upon all pastry chefs in the UAE to compete in this fantastic competition. It's free to enter, and the winner will get an all-expenses-paid trip in 2025
At the upcoming Emirates Salon Culinaire in May 2024 at EXPOCULINAIRE, participants will have the chance to win five exclusive international trips! To obtain comprehensive information, kindly visit our website and navigate to the competition page for complete details on the class briefs. Our competitions hold great significance, and we request from our supportive partners that they consider giving educational prizes to our winners. By doing so, we can further push the education of our aspiring young chefs and offer them opportunities that come once in a lifetime.
Another great competition making its way back in June will be the Hotel Show and the Chefs Table. If your hotel is interested in this interactive F&B experience, email me or Madame Jo so we can register your team. We continue to see young chefs do well in our partner school, ICCA, which is offering the Annual One Million Dirham Continuing Education Award for UAE Young Industry Chefs. This prestigious scholarship is making lives happen by offering a group of passionate young men and women an opportunity to seal their career paths.
The selected candidates will receive weekly training at the school, where we are actively seeking experienced culinary professionals and industry leaders to mentor and train these dynamic young individuals. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Chairman Raghu Pillai or Chef Harald Oberender directly to assist in liaising with the school.
Looking ahead, February and March are expected to be busy months for the industry as we carry the momentum from a strong finish in 2023 into 2024. We remain optimistic that this positive trend will continue throughout the year, benefiting everyone involved in the industry.

With Regards,
Andy Cuthbert
President and Editor