BBM hosts masterclass ahead of Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge

BBM Master Class 1A Masterclass featuring Michelin starred Chef Roland Debuyst was held in Hulhule Island Hotel’s Uduvilaa restaurant on Saturday August 29th. The class, which was hosted by Bestbuy Maldives (BBM) and Maldives Exhibition and Conference Services (MECS), was attended by more than one hundred participants, most of whom will be taking part in the Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge next month.

Alongside the Belgian Michelin-star chef were two others from Sri Lanka, Chamaka Perera who had recently received an accolade in his home country, and Rohan Fernandopulle, an accomplished chef who is on the judges’ panel of the competition. All three were introduced by veteran Swiss Chef Alan Palmer, who briefed the attendees on the expectations of judges at the competition. Palmer himself will be the chief judge and moderator at the competition.

Debuyst explained the philosophy of the competition prior to commencing work. With assistance from other chefs, he prepared meat and fish dishes that were beautifully presented. These were followed by dessert. All dishes were created using Sosa ingredients, premium gastronomy and pastry ingredients, which are exclusively imported by BBM. During the preparation of the dishes, Fernandopulle urged attendees to create stories about their dish to impress judges. All dishes were enthusiastically received by the audience who were able to inspect them closely and in the case of desserts, have a taste.

BBM Master Class 2Participants were very pleased with the class, which lasted from 9am to 1pm. One remarked: “It made me think about things I would not have thought of otherwise; coming up with a story about what’s on my plate for instance. Plus, it’s a rare treat to see a Michelin star chef in action.”

Chef Debuyst, who was delighted with the class, said: “I hope it helps the candidates to become better and that they understood the philosophy of the competition. They have to be focussed, they have to respect the ingredients and they have to do it with love.”

The organisers too were thrilled with the event. “It’s meant to prepare the contestants for the competition ahead,” said Aasim Mukhthar, CEO of Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services, the holding company of co-host MECS. “We need them to perform on an international level, to live up to the expectations of the judges. This is our first masterclass, and we’re very pleased with how it went, and will conduct more in the coming years.”

Mohamed Mazloom, CEO of BBM, the main sponsor of the event commented: “At BBM we believe in infusing knowledge to the Maldivian hospitality industry. We do this through various means including the organization of training opportunities on a diverse range of culinary skills and F&B programs. We believe these experiences are crucial to enhance our industry to be in line with the best in the world.”

The Maldives’ largest annual food and hospitality event, Hotel Asia Exhibition and International Culinary Challenge 2015, will be held at Dharubaaruge Exhibition Hall, Male Maldives from the 19th to 21st September 2015 while the culinary competitions will run from the 18th to 21st September.