Source: Gault & Millau UAE
Gault & Millau UAE Awards 2023 Head Chef of the Year shortlist is revealed on Gault & Millau UAE’s official Instagram account. This year, 5 successful chefs are on the list. Here are the 5 chefs who is in the running for the trophy:
1. Andrea Migliaccio
Andrea Migliaccio is at the helm of L’Olivo, the gourmet restaurant inside the Capri Palace Hotel since 2011. Here he earned two Michelin stars confirming the award the restaurant conquered with German Oliver Glowig (now in Rome), of whom Migliaccio was the sous chef for a long time. Born in 1980, his parents being from Ischia, Migliaccio also guided Riccio right from its opening (in 2009), a beautiful establishment under the same ownership, a few steps from the very popular Grotta Azzurra, creating the foundations for his first Michelin star in 2013.
Since 2011 he is the executive chef at restaurant Capri in Zermatt, Switzerland, another Michelin star. And in 2001 he also took the helm of Larte in Milan, a restaurant intertwining food and art, great wines and design, culture and fashion. Following the internationalisation project of the Il Riccio brand, Migliaccio supervises the kitchen of two homonymous establishments in Turkish seaside destinations: Marmaris and Bodrum.
All these assignments come from afar because before collecting all these directing jobs, Migliaccio learnt the ropes with important colleagues: Xavier Pellicer in Spain, at Plaza Athénée with Alain Ducasse in Paris, at Ritz’s Espadon with Michel Roth, beside Antonio Guida at Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole, at Eden in Rome and in Sankt Moritz in Switzerland, at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel.
His philosophy in the kitchen is based on simple and linear principles: past and future, the valorisation of local classics, respecting seasonality and an extreme attention in the selection of the best products from the Mediterranean area, the cradle of the flavours and inspirations where Andrea grew up. There’s lots of attention in the aesthetics of the dishes, never self-referential.*
2. Grégoire Berger
Native of Versailles, Paris, Chef Grégoire Berger was raised in the Morbihan region of Brittany in France, where he graduated from the CFA, the prestigious culinary institute in Vannes. In Brittany, where the land meets the sea, he quickly became accustomed to good food and cooking whilst spending time with his mother and grandmother in the kitchen.
His culinary career began when he was 16 at La Closerie De Kerdrain (Auray, France), and soon after he moved to the famous Le Pressoir (Antony, France), where he spent two years before following Chef Patrice Caillaut to Le Domaine de Rochevilaine. Grégoire opened his first fine dining restaurant in Casablanca. After the restaurant was established, he decided to head back to France to join Frederic Robert’s brigade at the world-renowned La Grande Cascade in Paris as first sous-chef.
His international experience proved valuable, as he quickly became the right hand of the chef aged only 24. Since 2014, he has been the head chef of the iconic underwater restaurant, Ossiano at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. His eye for detail and innovative and beautifully crafted dishes keep the restaurant on the culinary forefront, with Ossiano being considered one of the most premium fine-dining venues in Dubai, and one of the fastest growing gastronomic destinations anywhere on the planet.*
3. Himanshu Saini
A young Delhi boy, Chef Himanshu learnt the nuances of cooking at a very young age from his mother, post which he joined Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology to hone his culinary skills. With the aim to make his mark with constant innovation and to change the perception of Indian cuisine, Chef Himanshu embarked on a journey to create innovative dishes, thereby elevating how we experience Indian food today.
Having started his culinary journey under the guidance & mentorship of Chef Manish Mehrotra at Indian Accent, Chef Himanshu set out to create a unique mélange of global ingredients and cooking styles with traditional Indian dishes. His aim has been to surprise the guests with modernist cooking techniques, incorporating influences from cuisines from around the world to add an element of surprise into the fray and elevate the overall culinary experience. With his expertise in, and passion for, traditional Indian food and cooking styles, Chef Himanshu has brought to Trésind, Carnival by Trésind and Trèsind Studio his unique understanding of the robustness cuisine from India offers.
There is a sense of nostalgia in each of his recipes, taking you back to your childhood memories. Although still evolving, Chef Himanshu’s cooking style and philosophy create global acceptance and are considered path-breaking with roots purely submerged in Indian culture.
Considered one of the youngest tastemakers in Indian cuisine, Chef Himanshu has to his credit numerous awards including PRO Chef ME for two consecutive years, 2016 & 2017 as well as the Vermillion CookOff, India in 2013, Chef of the year award by Whats ON! 2021. The restaurants have received a lot of love from the patrons and some of the most prominent critics and awards in the region. Trèsind, Carnival and Trèsind Studio has received the Best Indian restaurant by the TIme Out, BBC Good Food, Fact Magazine, Leaders in F&B Awards, Hotel & Catering Awards & Masala! Awards.
4. Jonatan Motos Ferran
18 years experience as a chef, he started his career in Spain, He has worked in Michelin starred restaurants, luxury hotels, culinary school and royal household. He has worked along with Michelin starred chefs where he built up his strong foundation in Mediterranean cuisine.
In addition, He has worked in Asia, Latin America, Europe and Middle East where he was exposed to a wide variety of cuisine and cooking skills. In terms of management, having worked with people from different cultures and backgrounds enables him to execute quality with consistency.
5. Saverio Sbaragli
At the helm of fine-dining restaurant, Al Muntaha, is acclaimed Chef Saverio Sbaragli. Born and raised in Tuscany, Saverio cultivated a deep understanding and appreciation for Italian cuisine. To develop his culinary skills, Saverio moved to France where he trained under Michelin starred chefs, Alain Ducasse and Alain Passard, which helped him enhance his skills and knowledge in French cooking. In 2012, he moved to Switzerland and worked at Il Lago, Four Seasons de Bergues Geneva, where he was awarded his first Michelin star. In 2018, he took up the role as Head Chef at Tosca, located in the heart of Geneva, and received his second Michelin star.
Saverio showcases his expertise in every single dish, adding authenticity and his own recipe, making each dish on the menu truly unique. As Head Chef at Al Muntaha, where Chef Saverio showcases French fine-dining cuisine with Italian influences; is located on the 27th floor of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, award-winning Al Muntaha, meaning ‘the ultimate’ in Arabic, instantly matches expectations with its location. Al Muntaha offers an unrivaled panorama of the Jumeirah coastline and the finest French and Italian cuisine in a sophisticated setting.