If the world of culinary arts has a caste system, then its young chefs are well on their way to being Masters of their craft and our tummies, of course, our happy to help contribute to their success.
Last week, Matt and I joined a group of friends to help Time Out magazine judge which one of four chefs, all under the age of 30, would be crowned the Top Young Chef in Dubai. It was grueling work, and a thankless task to serve as a judge - it was all we could do to eat delicious food for a few hours and offer our humble critiques (what a strain)!
All the ingredients were standardized across the chefs and provided by sponsor Galleries Lafayette, but chefs could use them for any course that they wished. We saw some really fantastic showmanship, beautiful presentation, and had our taste buds tickled while we watched the chefs perform in a shared open kitchen.
At the end of it all, there was just one point separating first and second place, and just four points between first and four - talk about by the skin of your teeth!
All said and done it was Chef de Cuisine Wesley Berghoff who won the night (third from left above).
Wesley did it with a starter of slow-cooked salmon and cured red snapper, a beef consommé soup with braised topside, a main course featuring sous vide lamb and saffron lamb jus, and a dessert of roasted white chocolate, pandan parfait spiced berry jelly and coconut cream.
Here's just a few of the courses the competitors whipped up. There may have been only one chef that could take the prize, but all the diners definitely left winners!