ChefXChange in Dubai – Cook off at The Impact Hub

[dropcap background_color=”transparent” color=”#0f0f0f” size=”400″]C[/dropcap]hefXChange hosted it’s first Chef cook off event in Dubai at The Impact Hub, with over 80 Foodies and 5 Chefs partaking in it.

The mood was set with the ChefXChange introduction video playing on a loop on a big screen; our banners graced the entrances to the HUB and the main hall. Each station was covered with CXC yellow tablecloth and the loudspeakers were humming lounge music.

[blockquote_sty ver=”2″ border_size=”2px” color=”#b1a193″]The concept of the evening was to select five Chefs that are active on the site, with a representative from each of the three levels: professional, apprentice and amateur.[/blockquote_sty]

Each was given a small budget and the challenge to create sample size bites for all our hungry foodies to rate. Of course there was a catch: there is no kitchen in the Hub! Accordingly, everything was pre-prepared and mis-en-place on the spot.

Following a first come first serve policy, Chef Amro arrived early and strategically picked the green bar diagonally opposite the entrance. As a professional Chef specializing in all Arabic Cuisine, he surprised everyone by providing not one but four gorgeous amuses-bouches. The first consisted of colourful yellow and pink roasted bell peppers with fluffy beetroot and sesame paste puree. Second came cucumber stuffed with herby fresh labneh and home made sundried tomatoes. Third was grilled eggplant salad stuffed into roasted baby eggplant and topped with feta cheese and black olives. Last but not least were roasted new potatoes stuffed with home made chicken liver mousse and topped with fresh oregano and cherry tomatoes. Need we say more?

Second to arrive was our professional Chef Vanessa, who is passionate about Fusion and loves to experiment with her flavours. Her dishes come from all over the globe and that evening she brought smoked turkey mince with lime, cilantro and red onion. Garlic whole grain crusting topped with pomegranate seeds.

Our apprentice, Chef Jupiter had a very strategic approach to his bite size taster. First he considered luring the foodies in with the “oh so enticing” smells of a nice steamy cheese Raclette, the specialty he offers on ChefXchange. Then he realized that the other chefs would probably make appetizers, so he went for desserts. Bold move and it worked out perfectly. His home made short crust Lemon Tarts and Berry Tarts were devoured in the blink of an eye.

Chef Dani is not only beautiful and sweet but boy can she cook! Her cuisine is inspired from generations of traditional family cooking, made with love and tons of flavour. She cooked up some of her all time favourite dishes for our foodies: Hara’ Esba’o which is in essence a simple vegetarian lentil pasta stew, made special with all the extras; crunchy fried croutons, garlic and coriander topping, pomegranate molasses and lots of citrus juice.

To complete the list, professional Chef Mahmoud scored the last high table in the Hub where he presented a Kaiso salad with sesame dressing, accompanied by avocado and yellow fin tuna. Healthy, tasty and with a stunning presentation. Chef Mahmoud is thankful to be cooking in a region that is amazingly varied in cultures and rich in quality ingredients.

[blockquote_sty ver=”2″ border_size=”2px” color=”#b1a193″]We welcomed some eighty foodies who were all very keen to discover the Chefs and their creations. After tickling their taste buds at the different stations they were asked to choose their favourite Chef by adding a “vegetable” token in their dedicated basket.[/blockquote_sty]

It was a very close call and we spotted a few foodies giving out multiple greens, but the honour went to Chef Vanessa! Congratulations on winning the Hub Foodies over with delicious culinary creations!

As they came in, about 40 participating foodies entered for the ChefXChange lucky draw by signing up on the CXC platform.

To win they have to activate their profiles, which about half have done already. The winner of the 500 AED will get to spend it by booking his favourite Chef on the platform.