Two of the winners for the US Beef virtual cooking competition were young chefs based in Deira…

In July, the Emirates Culinary Guild (ECG) and the US Meat Export Federation launched a virtual cooking competition to celebrate and unearth burgeoning talent. Open to all GCC residents, the competition featured four categories, with two open for professional chefs and two open for amateurs.

Each category saw the chefs having to create a dish, either main course or starter, with US beef as the star of the show. The participating chefs could choose to enter either a video or photography category.

This year, chefs and amateurs from across the region including participants from Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, Anantara The Palm, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, The Emirates Academy & Hospitality Management, Zero Gravity and Jumeirah Royal Bahrain battled it out to win four coveted titles: US Beef Recipe – Professional; US Beef Recipe – Amateur; US Beef Video – Professional; US Beef Video – Amateur.

And the winners are…

In the amateur categories, the ladies came out on top: Alisa Belousova won the US Beef Recipe category, while Badya Sallam Khaireddin won the US Beef Video category. Both winners used prime US Beef Tenderloin as the centrepiece for their recipes.

Meanwhile, the Professional categories were won by two young chefs working in Deira. Kanishka Dilhan Kulasekara fom Radisson Blu Hotel DDC won the US Beef Recipe category, and Leon Robin Rozario from Jumeirah Creekside Hotel won the US Beef Video category.

The top 10 in each category were awarded with prizes, cash, trophies and cooking knives.

“I was impressed with many of the entries,” said Uwe Micheel, President of Emirates Culinary Guild. “Many used underutilised cuts and were very creative using them. I was also impressed with some competitors who used two or three different parts of beef in their dishes. Participants also showed skill in cooking techniques, and were adept at combining flavours. I look forward to when we can launch our live competitions again, but until then, these online versions help develop skills and keep chefs in the region busy,” Uwe added.

The Emirates Culinary Guild (ECG) is the association of professional chefs of the UAE. It is a non-profit-making organisation, run by volunteers dedicated solely to the advancement of culinary art in the UAE. For more information, visit