Budding pastry chef Sanad Jaber was crowned the winner of the recent Cream Spirit competition. The up-and-coming Jordanian outdid 10 other counterparts from countries including the UAE, Jordan, Morocco and India after being challenged to add her magical modern twist to the classic French cream pastry called Saint Honoré. Intissar El Soussi from Morocco, and Indian Sudhakshina Iyer were also frontrunners in the contest that recognised the next generation of superstar pastry chefs.
Sanad Jaber's winning dish
Organised by The French Dairy Board (CNIEL) and the European Union, Cream Spirit was held at the International Centre of Culinary Arts (ICCA) in Dubai. As well as world-renowned pastry maestro, Chef Claire Heitzler, Chef Mohamed Orfali, Founder of Orfali Bros, social media influencer and creator of Foodiva, Samantha Wood, and food influencer Homan Asayo all sat in the judge’s chairs. ICCA course director Shanaaz Rajaas and CNIEL Director Laurent Damiens also cast their votes.
Cream Spirit competition participants with Chef Claire
“Despite the difficulties of the past year, we are committed to providing young chefs and future professionals with the opportunity to challenge themselves and learn from some of the best in the business,” Damiens said.
"Every year, we are blown away by the talent from the region, and this year was no different. The creativity, taste and presentation of what we have seen has been extraordinary,” he added.
Cream Spirit competition participants with Chef Wassim
As part of the event that proved CNIEL’s ongoing commitment to train, educate and teach aspiring young and future pastry chefs in the GCC, the participants had the opportunity to learn from Chef Claire. The Alain Ducasse protégé treated the aspiring chefs to a demonstration that showcased her skills as she whipped up a Mont-Blanc, another classic French pastry. This was followed by a Q&A session where all competing chefs had the opportunity to learn more from Chef Claire and famous Dubai-based pastry experts and brothers, Chefs Wassim and Omar Orfali.
Cream Spirit competition participants
Concluding the day, a roundtable discussion was held to review the pastry industry, with topics like sustainability, zero-waste, origin and quality discussed during the session.