Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award

About the Award

The United Arab Emirates Golden Chef Award culinary competition acts as a platform where young chefs can showcase and get recognition in the industry. The Golden Chef award gives young chefs the opportunity to network, connect, and share experiences with national professionals and industry leaders.

You will have a chance to showcase your culinary talent and get global recognition awards across entrée, main and desert course categories. The winners will get awarded a culinary trip of a lifetime to Singapore.

To be eligible for entry, you must be a UAE resident working in the culinary industry and aged between 18 and 30 years of age.

Need to know information:

  • Step One - Find a cooking partner and get your team together. You will both need to: Complete an entry form, tell us why you deserve to win the Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award.
  • Step Two – after the screening process and if selected, your team will compete in the cook-off. Then ten winning teams will go on to compete at the Final.
  • Step Three - At the Finals one winning team will win an international culinary experience in Food Asia 2019 in Singapore which will consist of the following package for each of the team members: A round trip ticket economy flights from UAE to the nearest city in Singapore; Access tickets to Food Asia 2019; Hotel Stay for 3 Nights; AED 4,000 spending money
Requirements to apply

Judge guidelines

It’s essential to use the same set of rules and guidelines along all the completion. The assessment of the Nestlé GOLDEN CHEF’S HAT AWARD is set by the Nestle professional & the Emirates Culinary Guild. The objectives of the guidelines is to determine a universal set of criteria that could be easily understood and practically implemented to achieve a global standard.

The total weight of the complete meal size should be around 500-600 grams. The composition must be well balanced in a correct proportion of fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and fiber.

Menu descriptions are to be supplied and all dishes must be of edible materials.

Competitors are required to bring the following:

  • Clean uniform and footwear
  • Note pad and pen
  • Toolkit
  • Basic small equipment that would normally fit in a toolbox such as dessert moulds, bar mix, piping bags, tongs, etc.
  • Competitors may bring in White China plates (standard plates will be provided at host venues but can vary in quality/style).
  • NO unauthorized untagged equipment will be allowed into the kitchen.
  • Teams will be given 2 hours to prepare, cook and present a 2-course meal (main course and dessert course) in all Cook-offs.
  • Teams will be given 4 hours to prepare, cook and present a 2-course meal in the Final Cook-off.

Mis en place

  10 points
Personal Presentation 3
Set up work station 4
Correct Mise en place level 3

Professional Preparation

  30 points
Hygiene Practices 5
Technical skills displayed 5
Correct methods of preparation 5
Wastage 5
Efficient utilisation of time/organisation skills 5
Service 5


  10 points
Suitable temperature 1
Originality/flair 2
Appropriate to class/true to menu description 2
Portion size 1
Clean arrangement & dish 2
Nutritional balance 2


  50 points
Does the main item taste good 6
Balance of textures 6
Does the sauce/garnish taste good 6
Balance of flavours 6
Do the vegetables taste good 6
Seasoning 8
Harmony of flavour combinations 6
Taste of food preserved 6
Requirements to apply

Allowed products

The following types of pre-preparation can be made for the cook off: (what foods are permitted to be brought into the kitchen)

  • Salads – cleaned, washed, not mixed of cut.
  • Vegetables – cleaned, peeled, washed, not cut, must be raw.
  • Fish may be scaled and filleted and the bones cut up.
  • Meat may be deboned and the bones cut up.
  • Stocks: basic stocks, not reduced, not seasoned, no additional items. Hot and cold samples should be available for judges.
  • Pastry sponge, biscuits, meringue, basic dough (can be brought in but not cut).
  • Basic pastries can be brought in weighted out but no further processing.
  • Fruit pulps – fruit purees may be brought in but not as a finished sauce.
  • Décor elements – 100% must be made in the kitchen.
  • No precooking poaching ect… is allowed.
  • No ready-made products are allowed.
  • No alcohol.
  • No pork.
  • Within 10 minutes after completion, competitors must have the kitchen thoroughly cleaned and ready for the next competitor to use.
  • Two copies of the recipes – typed up – are required.
  • Submit one copy of the recipe/s when registering.
  • Submit one recipe to duty marshal at the cooking station.
Requirements to apply

Terms & conditions

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