YANTAI, CHINA, MAY 31, 2017
Veteran German Chef Uwe Micheel’s latest book ‘Flavours of Dubai’ was awarded 2nd place in the ‘Best Chef Author’ category at the 22nd Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2017. The book published by Smartcast Group edged out other nominated books from Denmark, France, Poland, Singapore and Sweden to win the award. The cookbook brings together traditional Emirati recipes, modern recipes using locally sourced ingredients, and a historical insight into Dubai’s culinary metamorphosis.
The star-studded culinary awards ceremony was held on May 27-28 in Yangtai, China and was the culmination of a year-long quest to find the best among thousands of new cookbooks from 211 countries across 88 categories. 400 authors, publishers, and distributers from around the world flew in for the awards ceremony. The first prize in the ‘Best Chef Author’ category went to the Scottish book ‘Perceptions’ by Chef Mark Greenaway and the third prize to the Polish book by Chef Suwala, Chef Baron and Others. The top three winners also received the right to use the Gourmand ‘Best in the World’ insignia on their books.
‘Flavours of Dubai’ winning chef author Uwe Micheel has lived in the Dubai for nearly a quarter of a century and is the Director of Kitchens at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, the President of the Emirates Culinary Guild, and Assistant Vice President of the World Association of Chefs Societies. As an author, Chef Uwe is no stranger to awards. His previous book ‘Chef at Home’ had won a 2nd place Gourmand award in the ‘best cookbook by a first-time author’ category alongside two other awards.
Commenting on the honour of being recognised at the world’s biggest cookbook awards, Chef Uwe Micheel said, “Winning the award for second-best chef author in the world for ‘Flavours of Dubai’ is quite humbling given the size and quality of the competition. I would like to thank the organisers of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for recognising the best in culinary writing from around the world. During the holy month of Ramadan, this book will make for a great resource in the households of both UAE nationals and expatriates looking for a taste of local history and culture.”
He adds, “‘Flavours of Dubai’ is my tribute to the city I have called home for 25 years. This book has been 20 years in the making. The traditional recipes have been meticulously collected by me over the years from local Emirati grandmothers. The modern dishes use ingredients such as camel meat which are locally sourced. I have also advised my readers to avoid ingredients that are no longer sustainable such as hammour and king fish. This is a perfect book for those who want to cook dishes that are local, modern, sustainable and full of flavour.”
Aquin George, Managing Editor and Publisher, at Smartcast Group, said, “After turning ‘Gulf Gourmet’ from a loss-making product into one of the world’s most widely-read magazines for professional chefs, ‘Flavours of Dubai’ is our first venture into consumer book publishing. Chef Uwe’s knowledge and influence in the culinary industry and his faith in us is what helped us produce this award-winning cookbook.
Aquin adds, “Dubai is on the world culinary map and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has clearly laid out his desire to see Emirati cuisine become more mainstream. ‘Flavours of Dubai’ by Chef Uwe Micheel is a qualitative step in that direction. Winning a global accolade for this book has taken us by surprise. However, what is even more surprising is that most copies of the first edition are sold out and this cookbook is profitable at a time when the print industry is perishing.”
‘Flavours of Dubai’ by Chef Uwe Micheel is available for purchase on Souq.com, premium bookstores across the UAE, and Aseelah Restaurant at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chef Uwe’s popularity, especially among chefs, is not just limited to Dubai but goes beyond the GCC due to his relentless efforts aimed at training and improving the standards of the chef community in the UAE for over two decades. His recent success in enabling the Million Dirham Scholarship for underprivileged chefs is just one of many feathers in his cap.
Born in Celle in Germany, Chef Uwe began learning his craft at the age of 12, when he hung around with his mother in the kitchen to help with chores. There were few cooking courses for boys at the time. But consumed with passion, a young Chef Uwe attended classes designed mainly for girls. He began in the professional kitchen with a two-and-a-half-year apprenticeship as a restaurant chef at the Celler Hof boutique hotel in Celle city near Hanover. In 1978, he worked at the Schwarzer Bock hotel, a quaint hotel founded in 1486 now managed by Radisson Blu.
After doing two years of army service as a chef, Chef Uwe joined the InterContinental Hotels Group in 1981 in Berlin. A year later, he moved to the United Kingdom as chef de partie saucier in the Michelin-star Le Souffle restaurant at Hyde Park in London. In three years, he moved to Bahrain and went on to open the InterContinental Seoul, South Korea and the Yokohama Grand InterContinental, Japan.
For two decades, Chef Uwe has called Dubai his home. As the president of the Emirates Culinary Guild for 17 years, he has worked relentlessly for the cause of chefs here, bringing the UAE culinary industry to international standards. Even after cooking for 40 long years, Chef Uwe is yet to select his favourite dish.
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Smartcast Group is a leading publisher of culinary books and magazines for consumer and B2B audience. Based in Dubai Media City, its flagship title is ‘Gulf Gourmet’, the authoritative publication for professional chefs in the GCC. ‘Flavours of Dubai’ is its first foray into book publishing for consumer markets. It has won 2nd place at the 22nd World Gourmand Cookbook Awards in the ‘Best Chef Author’ category.
ABOUT GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARDS
The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. Every year, they honour the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food television. Books from 211 countries participate in these prestigious awards, the only international competition of the sector, and open to all languages.
Every year, Gourmand gives the awards in a very special location for gastronomy. The Ceremony is always an opportunity to meet every important person in the world of food and books: hundreds of publishers, authors, chefs and journalists take part in these events. The Gourmand Awards have been compared to the “Oscars” for culinary publishing and are inspired by the Olympic Games and their spirit.
With the huge network created around the Gourmand Awards, Edouard Cointreau decided to launch the Paris Cookbook Fair in 2010. After three years at Le Centquatre, the fair moved to the Carrousel du Louvre in 2013, and Beijing in 2014. Since then, the World Cookbook Fair takes place at the Frankfurt Book Fair.