Putting the focus on culinary excellence across its organisation, Al Nab’a Supplies and Catering Services LLC – a leading provider of industrial catering solutions – hosted a culinary contest on the lines of the globally popular Top Chef competition in the city on Wednesday, 11th April 2018. The event was additionally an acknowledgement of the hard work put in by the chefs on a daily basis.
The venue was the training kitchen of Oman Tourism College (OTC) in Airport Heights where 16 of the company’s finest chefs went head to head in a brilliant showcase of their culinary prowess to craft a signature three-course menu. The winners, chosen by a panel of distinguished F&B experts drawn from leading institutions in the city, went on to receive prizes and accolades at a spectacular awards ceremony attended by prominent government and private sector personalities.
What was initially conceived as an in-house contest indeed had the hallmarks of an exciting contest played out in true Top Chef style. It began with the company’s officers nominating 16 of their best chefs – comprising Indian, Omani, and Yemeni nationalities – to participate in the inaugural edition of the Al Naba Top Chef competition. The contestants were assigned a mentor drawn by among Oman Tourism College’s elite cadre of chefs.
With the superb kitchen facilities of the college placed at their disposal, the chefs were asked to come up with a starter, main course and dessert each delectably created to impress some of Muscat’s most-talented and accomplished chefs. The panel of judges comprised of leading experts in the field of food and beverage in Oman.
Dishes presented at the end of a tough four-hour long contest were adjudged against a set of ‘golden rules’ that gave weightage to: Content and Nutrition, Hygiene, Teamwork, Time Management, Presentation and Taste. Not surprisingly, the judges were hard-pressed to come up with the top winners, given the culinary ingenuity and long experience employed by the contestants in preparing some exceptional dishes.
The competition culminated in a gala finale and prize distribution ceremony held in the auditorium of Oman Tourism College. Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi, Group Chairman – Al Nab’a Holding, led a large gathering of dignitaries and Group executives at the finale. The Chief Guest was Oneza Tabish, a well known personality in food circles, regular contributor to local publications, winner of several cooking talent shows and administrator of ‘What’s Cooking Oman’. The Guest of Honour was Mrs. Neelu Rohra, Second Secretary (Community Welfare), Embassy of India, Muscat, Oman.
Gold, Silver and Bronze stars were awarded to the top three winners along with cash prizes specially designed coats, scarves and aprons. Certificates were presented to all of the participants. The Chief Guest and judges were also felicitated by Sayyid Khalid at the event.
Adding to a memorable evening were musical performances by a pair of Al Naba’s very own ‘singing sensations’ who crooned their way into the Top 20 ranking in a popular singing competition recently held in Oman.
All in all, the Al Naba Top Chef competition was a testament to the company’s growing quest for culinary excellence in line with its ambitions to evolve into Oman’s unrivalled industrial catering services provider.
“In hosting the competition, our goal was to recognize and applaud culinary talent within the organization, and also encourage young Omanis to pursue rewarding careers in this field as well,” said Amresh Singh, Business Head of Al Naba Supplies and Catering Services LLC. “Teamwork and positive attitudes are also key to success as a chef – qualities that we want to foster across our workforce as well. We plan to have this event on an annual basis in an effort to raise the bar on culinary excellence within the industry.”
A subsidiary of the well-diversified Omani commercial services group Al Naba Holding, Al Naba Supplies and Catering Services LLC currently serves up tens of thousands of meals a day to its clientele, spread across diverse sectors all over Oman. Driving its corporate success is its well-established team and it’s commitment for adherence to hygiene and food safety standards. Al Nab’a Supplies and Catering Services LLC is an ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System and ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management System certified company.