Top local chefs and culinary professionals were honoured at the inaugural Chef Awards ceremony held on Saturday (19 November).
The Chefs Guild of Maldives (CGM) announced the awards in September to commemorate the golden jubilee of tourism, an industry that elevated the culinary sector and provided local chefs a platform to showcase their skills.
Some 36 chefs were awarded in eight categories: Executive Chef, Sous Chef, Competition Chef (recipients of medals and awards at local and international level), Education Chef (those who are instrumental in developing and fostering talent), Pastry and Bakery Chef, Young Chef, Chef of the Year and Long Service Special Awards.
Chef Ahmed Maazim was named ‘Chef of the Year’ in recognition of his achievements at the FHAM (Food & Hospitality Asia Maldives) and the Hotel Asia International Culinary Challenge.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed along with Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom and Mariyam Noordeen, the President of the Chefs Guild of Maldives, presented the awards to the recipients.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Solih encouraged more youth to join the culinary industry and suggested that there were “vital roles chefs and other culinary artists could play by utilising their innovative skills and ideas to promote local flavours.”
The Chefs Guild of Maldives was registered in 2014 as the first non-profit association for chefs working in the Maldives. Endorsed by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), CGM CGM actively engages schools and local communities to promote the art of cooking and encourages the use of local ingredients with a focus on retaining the customs, traditions and dishes that are in danger of disappearing.
Its goal is to develop a National Culinary Team to represent the Maldives in international competitions and forums, building on the achievements of those who have already represented their country at the international stage.
The CGM aims to use the Chef Awards as a platform to promote the culinary profession and to encourage, inspire and cultivate aspiring chefs and professionals dedicated to advancing culinary arts within the Maldives.