Saudi Arabia’s top hotel chefs are to go head-to-head in a new cooking competition supported by WORLDCHEFS, launched as a way of celebrating the Kingdom’s exceptional culinary talent.

Endorsed by WORLDCHEFS through the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association and the Saudi Arabian Chefs Table Circle, the inaugural ‘Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition – Mystery Box Challenge’ will take place during the 5th edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2017 in Jeddah this 04th to 06th April.

Leading hotel chains from across Saudi Arabia are being invited to enter their most outstanding in-house culinary professionals for what leading kitchen voices have hailed as a “unique” new venture for the KSA market.

Using the ‘mystery box’ concept made famous by popular international cooking competitions, each team will be provided with the same ‘secret’ ingredients only revealed to them on the day. They will then be challenged to use those items to prepare the most interesting and delicious dish possible.

“This will be the first time we are doing a team challenge out of a mystery box with service involved,” said Thomas A. Gugler, President at WORLDCHEFS, the industry’s leading association of chef’s societies. “This type of challenge explores the real calibre of the chef whilst allowing the audience to witness the hotel team’s passion, experience, interactivity and ability to work under pressure.”

He continued: “The trade of a chef has become more attractive to Saudi Arabia’s younger population, due in part to cooking shows and TV broadcasting globally. With more recognition than ever, it is a very respected field. There are good opportunities for young chefs – if the basics are well trained – to become notable players in the global cooking scene. There is good talent in KSA, and I am happy for us to further advance and highlight cooking talent through competitions like this.”

Discussing the position of chef within Saudi Arabia specifically, Gugler added: “Entire F&B sections in hotels are driven in the most part by expatriates from all around the globe and it is a challenge to combine multiple cultures and ideas towards a complex homogeneous work environment. We would like to motivate all the hotels to invest in proper trained staff and good philosophy in regards to work environment and modernity.”

The competition will get underway during the first day of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2017. Showcasing everything needed to build, develop and maintain a hotel or restaurant in the Kingdom, the event is now entering its 5th edition at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events.

John Suzara, Event Manager of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, commented: “As modern travelers, particularly the millennial generation, become more adventurous with food – hotels in Saudi Arabia and further afield are becoming more so with their F&B offerings. Hotels have more F&B options than ever before, covering a wide range of cuisines and concepts. We hope to recognise and celebrate the progressive culinary talent in the Kingdom through this venture.”

Mr Gugler echoed that view, adding: “I wish all of the contestants the very best of luck. This is a great opportunity to showcase cooking styles, abilities and innovations.”

To find out more about taking part in the competition, or to register to attend the event for free, access: