Following more than 40 years of service to the international culinary arts scene, Chef Uwe Micheel has been awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the BNC Leaders in Hospitality Awards 2018.
As President of The Emirates Culinary Guild, Chef Uwe Micheel is best known for his role spearheading Salon Culinaire, the world’s largest single entry chefs’ competition hosted annually at Gulfood. Beating off stiff competition, Micheel’s longstanding contribution to the industry and successful role as Director of Kitchens at Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek finally sealed his victory on Sunday 29 April 2018, when he swooped the iconic Lifetime Achievement accolade during a glittering ceremony at the St. Regis Hotel in Dubai. Here we take the opportunity to dig a little deeper into what drives and inspires the devoted Chef.
Q: Growing up in Germany, do you recall an early preference for international flavours?
A: As a farmer’s boy I grew up in a small village where we had no access to International flavours. Whatever was produced in the farm was what we had on the table. Just simple, great food. I am still in love with good quality German sausage. But my first experience with international flavours was in a Chinese Restaurant. I just loved the taste of Sweet and Sour.
Q: You speak about having cooked with your Mother growing up and you continue to seek out the traditional methods of home cooks as a way to create authentic restaurant cuisine. How has this impacted your culinary style?
A: I believe it is important not to lose the authentic dishes that are the culture of every country. It’s important to protect that. If I call a restaurant Japanese, it has to be authentic. But the market trends of the moment include a lot of fusion food which can sometimes be a confusion.
Q: What has been the number one defining moment in your career so far?
A: The most important for me was the launching of the Young Chef Scholarship Program at ICCA.
The Young Chefs Scholarship Program is a one million dirham apprenticeship scheme for young UAE industry chefs. The initiative trains and supports scores of talented & deserving, but financially underprivileged young chefs through its Annual Continuing Education Award.