Judges

Jacques Rossel

Culinary Operation Manager
Royal Academy of Culinary Arts/Affiliate of Les Roches - Switzerland/Jordan
Jordan

Chef Jacques Rossel started his career as an apprentice in Switzerland in 1978. After working his way up the culinary ladder, gaining experience within the Swiss hospitality industry, he pursued his career internationally with the InterContinental Hotel Group, gaining extensive experience and leading large multi-national kitchen brigades within the Middle-East and Africa area. Chef Jacques

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Martin Kobald

Global Master Chef & Vice President
World Association of Chefs Society (WACS – WorldChefs)
South Africa

Martin Kobald, Austrian-born Chef extraordinaire began his culinary career in his home country, after completing his training with outstanding achievement. Kobald honed and developed his food and beverage skills as he worked his way up from Trainee Chef to Chef de Partie, Sous Chef, and finally, Head of Operations at various Austrian hotels and restaurants.

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Samaan Hilal

Head of Hospitality Salon Culinaire
Managing Partner Brainsteam
Kuwait

Samaan’s first and most distinct memories were formed in the flurry of smells, sights and flavours of his mother’s kitchen. The impact of these tangible memories launched Samaan’s lifetime affair with culinary arts and a successful career over the next 35 years. His journey began in his native Lebanon, where he studied and mastered the

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Thierry Bamas

Champion d’Europe de la pâtisserie, sucre d'art, desserts glacés et Meilleur Ouvrier de France Pâtissier

France

After a journey essentially in restoration I set up in 1998 in Basque country. I am today responsible of 3 companies in Biarritz, Anglet and Bayonne. I am passionate about the competitions of which I won several important titles, European pastry champion, European Sugar Champion, World Champion of Frozen Desserts and Meilleur Ouvrier de France

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Cynthia Bitar

Nazira Catering Executive Chef and Owner

With over 15 years of experience in Management and Culinary Arts and a member of the “Academie Nationale de Cuisine” Cynthia is a leading figure in the catering industry and Owner and Executive Chef of Nazira Catering, Lebanon and MENA region’s most renowned catering enterprise.   A former participant in “Festival des Etoiles de Mougins”,

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Eric Briffard

Meilleur Ouvrier de France 1994
Executive Chef and Director of the Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu Paris
France

Eric Briffard has been Executive Chef and Culinary Arts Director at Le Cordon Bleu Paris since January 2016. Assisting him are Chef Philippe Groult for cuisine and Chef Fabrice Danniel for pastry. Chef Briffard firmly believes that there is no greater satisfaction than giving ones very best. With more than 35 years experience in the

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Thomas A. Gugler

President
World Association of Chefs' Societies (WACS)
Saudi Arabia

At the Worldchefs Congress 2016 in Thessaloniki, Greece, Thomas A. Gugler, was elected as the President for Worldchefs for the coming 4 years. Previously Continental Director of Africa & Middle East), Gugler beat two other candidates to the Presidency seat. The dynamic German national has played an instrumental role in Worldchefs. In his 3 years

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Maroun Chedid

Managing Partner
Maroun Chedid sarl
Lebanon

Founder of Maroun Chedid SAL, Maroun’s cuisine celebrates the authenticity of Lebanese food and its traditions, with surprising combinations that appeal to a modern palate. His approach is about respecting the product, its texture and flavor. He is a firm believer that tradition can evolve, but that the fundamentals remain the same. The company offers

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Paul Hage

Group Culinary Director 
Al Habtoor Hospitality
UAE

Paul Hage was born on March 8, 1973 in Ain Aar Lebanon. A Lebanese Chef and Restaurateur with a family of chefs and food lovers, Paul developed a passion for cooking at an early age. Starting at the age of 16 as an apprentice chef and received a diploma of production at Technical School of St.

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Tarek Ibrahim

Certified Master Chef of
Meat and Livestock Australia Egypt/UAE
UAE

Award winning and internationally renowned chef Tarek Ibrahim developed his passion and respect for food from a young age.  Certified Executive Chef by the American Culinary Federation and Global Judge (WACS) and current star of Fatafeat TV shows ‘100 Macaroni’ and ‘Min Misr’ (From Egypt), Chef Tarek’s cooking is influenced and inspired by both eastern

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Soundararjan Palaniappan

Corporate Executive Chef Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd, India
Chairman Marketing committee, World Chefs -World Association of Chefs Societies Honorary Member World Association of Chefs Societies General Secretary Indian Federation of Culinary Associations, India
India

Certified in World Cuisine from Culinary Institute of America, Best Chef of India, National Awardee, Honorary doctorate for the contribution to the Hospitality Industry.

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Charles Azar

Master Consultant Chef
President of the delegation of L’Académie Nationale de Cuisine Middle East and the GCC
Lebanon

They say “The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star”. That’s what Chef Charles encountered during his 20 years of experience in the pastry world. Born in Beirut, where food is strongly associated with social and family gatherings, Chef Charles Azar discovered his passion for

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Meet the Stars