Following tense competition among Hilton Worldwide’s finest kitchen talent in Middle East & Africa, a panel of top industry and lifestyle media judges named Executive Chef Grant Parry and Sous Chef Steven Gendron, from Hilton Northolme Seychelles Resort & Spa as the Hilton Worldwide Middle East & Africa Culinary Challenge winners, 2011.

Three teams, shortlisted from over 40 entries from Hilton Worldwide hotels in Middle East & Africa, took part in the grand final at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah and battled it out to create two two-course appetiser and main course menus.

The teams’ first challenge was to cook their original entry submission, while the second was designed to get the creative juices flowing, as the teams dipped into a ‘black box’ of surprise ingredients and were asked to serve up their most imaginative offering to the judges.

Those with the tough job of deciding the winners included Lauren Hills, Editor of BBC Good Food Middle East, Saba Wahid, Food Blogger and TV Presenter, Hugh Sato Gardiner, Head Chef of Okku Dubai, Essam Abouda, Vice President, Operations, Hilton Worldwide, Arabian Peninsula & Indian Ocean; Knud Bundgaard, Area Executive Chef for Hilton Worldwide, MEA, Rudi Jagersbacher, Area President Middle East and Africa, and Simon Lazarus, Senior Area Director of Food & Beverage, Hilton Worldwide, MEA.