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Chefs David Higgs, Joe Barza and Uwe Micheel have been named as the Middle East and Africa’s jury members for the local selection of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 - the global talent search to find the world’s best young chef.
They will select one finalist from their region to join nineteen other regional finalists for the grand final in Milan in June 2015.
David Higgs has also been named as the mentor for the Middle East and Africa’s regional finalist, drawing on years of experience and expertise to advise on the talented young chef’s final dish.
Higgs, of Five Hundred at The Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, has had a long and distinguished career spanning almost a quarter of a century. 2013 Eat Out S.Pellegrino Chef of the Year, he has set up numerous award winning restaurants in South Africa, as well as his own cookery school - The Higgs School of Good Cooking. He counts cooking for the late Nelson Mandela as one of his proudest career highlights.
He is joined by Joe Barza, one of Lebanon’s most colourful and best-loved chefs and culinary consultant. Barza is well known to Middle Eastern TV audiences, having co-hosted the popular Top Chef show. He is also the executive chef behind a host of restaurants in the Middle East, as well as Boiland, a store selling organic ingredients in Lebanon. A member of the organising committee for the Dubai World Hospitality Championship, he is currently rolling out the Beb Idris restaurant across London and the Middle East.
Last, but by no means least, Uwe Micheel completes the Middle East jury. Few chefs command as much respect as Micheel in the UAE restaurant scene. Originally from the town of Celle in northern Germany, Micheel moved to Dubai in 1993, and became director of kitchens at the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek. He has won numerous awards - including the Time Out Outstanding Contribution award - and has held the position of president of the Emirates Culinary Guild since 1999.