The first ever Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge in the United Arab Emirates will take place from the 15th to 17th April, 2013. Open to culinary professionals the Challenge will witness the masters of the culinary trade test their metal in one of the most dynamic food capitals of the world today. The Challenge will be conducted in 2 stages. One in Dubai 15th of April at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek and the other in Abu Dhabi on the 17th of April at The Club, Abu Dhabi.

The United Arab Emirates is a treasure trove of culinary styles. With its rich Bedouin heritage, strong Islamic cultural influence and the multitude of ethnicities that converge on its shores, the current Emirati cuisine is as opulent and as majestic as a tale from One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.

Tea is the second most popular drink in the UAE, after water. The preference is mostly for traditional black tea and the tea infused with mint being an after-meal staple, mainly consumed for its ability to help digestion. However there is a current trend building towards green tea with its widely publicised health benefits and a new interest in flavoured tea.

Their historical affinity with tea combined with the legendary Arab hospitality provides a lavish backdrop for the first ever Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge in the United Arab Emirates. A WACS (World Association of Chefs Societies) approved event, the Challenge is conducted in collaboration with the Emirates Culinary Guild. The Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge was launched in 2009 by the Sri Lankan family tea company Dilmah, the makers of finest, Single Origin Ceylon tea. Simply stated, the objective of the Challenge is to put ‘tea’ back in high tea. It aims to bring the focus of the high tea tradition back to tea, which was essentially the heart of the ritual at its inception.

The UAE is acknowledged the world over as one of the bustling and vibrant food capitals of the world, reflecting the country’s diverse demography. Since the Challenge requires a personal, inventive and creative interpretation of the high tea, that still respects the tradition of tea culture and that of the occasion, the participants will get to experiment, explore and embrace that most enduring and versatile ingredient of all – tea. The entries will be assessed by a distinguished panel of three judges: the Black Hat Chef Bernd Uber, Dilmah Founder’s younger son Dilhan C. Fernando and the Director Kitchens at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek and the President of the Emirates Culinary Guild Uwe Michael.

The National Winner will get the chance to travel to Sri Lanka for an exciting hosted programme. They will also travel back to Sri Lanka for the Dilmah Real High Tea Global Challenge in 2014.

The following teams will be taking part in the in the first ever Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge UAE:

Jumierah Beach Hotel, Burj Al Arab, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Hilton Residence JBR, Grand Millennium Al Barsha, Sheraton Creek Hotel & Towers, Radisson Blu Fujairah, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek and Auris Plaza in Dubai.

St. Regis Sadiyat Island, The Club, The Westin, Intercontinental, Le Meridien, Fairmont, Shangri La, Aloft, Grand Millennium and Yas Viceroy will be participating in Abu Dhabi.