May 14, 2018

Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition in Saudi Arabia - Three Makkah Hotels Take Top Awards

7th May 2018, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Recognized worldwide as one of the Holy Cities of Islam, Makkah is also finding a name for itself in the culinary world as three of its leading hotels have been awarded as the best hotel kitchens in Saudi Arabia.

Chefs from Anjum Hotel Makkah, Swissôtel Al Maqam Makkah, and Le Méridien Towers Makkah were awarded bronze, silver and gold places respectively, at the Kingdom’s second annual ‘Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition – Mystery Box Challenge’.

The competition, which took place in Jeddah as part of the 2018 edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia last month, witnessed its most competitive line-up to date – with eleven kitchens from some of the Kingdom’s leading hotels cooking up a storm in a bid to be crowned champion.

Endorsed by WORLDCHEFS, the Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association and Culinary Partner, Unilever Food Solutions, it is the only event of its kind in the Kingdom celebrating the excellent standards of its hotel restaurants.

Each participating team was given three hours to whip-up four courses using ‘Mystery Box’ ingredients only revealed to them once they stepped inside the kitchen, the final dishes presented to a panel of judges from WORLDCHEFS (The World Association of Chefs’ Societies).

The winning menu for Le Méridien Towers Makkah included a ‘Mixed Bean Salad’ for the starter, ‘Traditional Sweet Corn Soup’ for the soup, ‘Stuffed Chicken Breast with Peaches’ as the main course and an ‘Orange Crème Brulee with Caramelized Pineapple, Banana and Crispy Puff’ for dessert.  

Upon winning the gold medal, Anas Mohammed Ayyub Ansari, Head Chef at Le Méridien Towers Makkah said: “This feeling is indescribable – all chefs dream to be crowned as Saudi Arabia’s top hotel kitchen and we are very proud to win the gold for our hotel, Le Méridien Towers Makkah.

“The judges commented that they appreciated how we kept our dishes modern in presentation, maintaining the authenticity of the dish yet the taste spoke volumes about how passionate we are about our food.”

Chef Yasser Jad, Founder & President of the Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association (SARCA) and Manager Food & Beverages at Saudi Airlines, chaired the jury, a line-up of expert local and international chefs.

Jad commented: “This year we raised the level of difficulty of the competition significantly by limiting the number of items in the ‘Mystery Box’, with chicken the only protein provided, for example.

“This ensured that teams had to be creative in order to give their own signature take on each dish. The winning team from Le Méridien Towers Makkah stood out with their chicken main stuffed with peaches, a unique, Mediterranean take on the dish. This team was very professional and managed to create flavorsome dishes with the limited ingredients available.

“Other chefs stuffed the chicken with dates which maintained an Arabic touch. All of the menus were very impressive and to a high standard. We look forward to returning to The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia next year with a more challenging competition format and new ingredients for the chefs to work with, in order to raise the bar even further.”

The Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition will return for its third edition at The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2019, taking place across three days – 21-23rd April 2019 – at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events.

Find out more at:


For more information and / or images, please contact: Heather Macpherson, Senior PR Manager, dmg events hospitality and design portfolio on or +971 56 545 1630


The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia is part of the dmg events hospitality portfolio which also includes: The Hotel Show Dubai, The Hotel Show Africa, Middle East Hospitality Awards and The Leisure Show Dubai. dmg events’ hospitality division is pioneering some of the world’s largest, most comprehensive and innovative events dedicated to hoteliers, restaurateurs and leisure professionals.

About dmg events
An international exhibition and publishing company, dmg events produces market-leading exhibitions and conferences for the global energy, construction, coatings, hospitality and interior design industries.

dmg events is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT) an international portfolio of information, media and events businesses listed on the London stock exchange.

dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa

Founded in 1989, dmg events has operated in the Middle East since 1995 and owns many leading brands including The Big 5 portfolio of construction events, INDEX – the Middle East’s largest event for the interior design industry and The Hotel Show, the longest running and most important event for the hospitality industry.

Headquartered in Dubai, UAE and with satellite offices in India, South Africa and the UK, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa organizes over 45 events across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. For more information visit

About DMGT

DMGT manages a diverse, multinational portfolio of companies, with total revenues of almost £2bn, that provide businesses and consumers with compelling information, analysis, insight, events, news and entertainment.  DMGT is also a founding investor and the largest shareholder of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC and ZPG Plc.

For more information visit:


Worldchefs is in mourning. President Su passed away
Worldchefs is happy to receive the AWARD PROJECT OF THE YEAR for Feed the Planet
Worldchefs is happy to showcase the 4th year of the competition of chefs and pastry chefs – Banska Bystrica CUP 2018

Premium Partners

Electrolux Professional
Nestle Professional
Dilmah Tea

Global Partners

AMT The World Best Pan
Dick Knives
Koppert Cress
Les vergers Boiron
Q Industries

Corporate Partners

Andy Mannhart


The Chefs World Summit
City & Guilds
Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
Zero Hunger
Chef's Roll
World Gastronomy Institute