As we all know, Dubai has a sweet craving for divine desserts and cakes. Not only do we demand great taste but the look and feel of the cakes are also getting increasingly important for all us “Dubaites”. Luckily this demand has open doors for enormous growth in the Baking sector, especially in Home Bakers, these passionate freelancers who are dedicated to creating the most delicious treats. With the high numbers of Bakers in one small city, the competition is tough and one of the best ways to stick out from the rest is by being creative – These creative Bakers are giving even the established Bakeries a run for their money.
At Art Nation we want to celebrate their passions and exhibit their Skills to the public by hosting the very first “Bake Off Challenge” where its all about the looks!
The live competition will be held on the 15th of May – the theme “Fashion” – from 6:30pm till 7:30pm at BURJUMAN.
For the competition to be fair and just, we have called upon industry professionals who are equally enthusiastic and passionate about food:-
There are 3 Judges who we are honored to have onboard this unique competition, Delna Prakashan, Ritu Chaturvedi & Group Executive Chef Glen from Arabian Courtyard & Spa –
Meet our Amazing Judges:-
Delna Prakashan – Judge
Ever since I can remember I have always been a food connoisseur. From a very young age I would read cookbooks like fiction and watch food shows as they were cartoons. I graduated in Hospitality Management from the famous Emirates Academy of the Jumeirah Group. In 2010, I began blogging under the name ‘Discover Spice!’ as I had a passion to share my own life’s lessons through food and travel. My mantra when it comes to cooking great food is keep it simple, bring in your best intention and keep your counter clean! My specific interest lies in patisserie and boulangerie because, for me that’s where taste, art and science intersect in perfect harmony. My dream one day is to enroll at the French Pastry School in Chicago and open up a patisserie as a community project in India.
Ritu Chaturvedi – Judge
I have a master degree in English Literature and a professional background in Art but no formal education on Food photography or Food Styling. My food blog is the result of my love for Food, and food styling. Everything I know on this from my own experience and experiments. Kitchen is my creative zone, every day I love to cook healthy and delicious food. For me presentation and styling of food is as important as the taste.
Empty plate is a blank canvas for me in which I present colorful food to create delicious delights. I believe in cooking organic and natural food. Food should be prepared with love and passion.
The colors of vegetables & fruits and the varieties of species are my inspirations. I develop recipes, take pictures of cooked food and post them on to a website. This task gave me complete satisfaction and I thoroughly enjoy the whole process of cooking and presenting. I believe in “Eat better & feel better” concept and completely obsessed with healthy & honest food. Last two & half year I am contributing my recipes in Kitchen Classic column of Weekend Magazine of Khaleej Times. My 250 recipes are on my blog: ’Ritu’s Fuss free Cooking’
Chef Glen – Judge
Group Executive Chef Glen from the Arabian Courtyard Hotel is our 3rd Judge Glen is a Sri Lankan born, and he has been very passionate to his dream of becoming a Chef; he has joined various internships and cookery classes in Ceylon. Like all other professionals as a start Glen has worked as a kitchen helper in Sri Lanka in 1977. Glen never stopped in pursuing his dream; he has been to a lot of places like Amsterdam, Thailand, Scandinavia, Saudi Arabia where he developed his knowledge in Arabic Cuisine, England, China, United States of America, Doha & France from which he develop his French & Italian Cuisine.
He has also given the privileged of preparing the food for Queen Elizabeth 11 on her flight back to England in 1984 and also to cook at the Great Hall of the People in China when the President of Sri Lanka visited China in the year 1985. Currently Glen is the Executive Chef of Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa a 4 Star Deluxe Hotel in Bur Dubai since June of 2007. “Choose a profession that you most love and you will not work a single day” -Chef Glen
Our line up of contestants is as impressive as our Judges, we received over 30 applicants and from those 4 of the best were chosen to compete at Art Nation’s first Bake Off Challenge!
Sahar Latheef – Baker
A passionate and creative Baker, has been baking for years and launched her home based Baking Business since 2009- She has custom designed over 1000 cakes in the past few years and her popularity as an Artisian is what makes her one of the Bakers at Art Nation 2014.
“Born and brought up in Dubai, and having a degree in fashion, it’s quite odd that I ended up as a cake decorator! Started caking as a hobby almost 4 years ago after constant prodding from my sister. With no training whatsoever in the field, having a new business was probably a bad idea! But having a keen interest in art like painting and sculpting helped me with cakes, which also helped me know colors and combinations better and worked to my advantage. I love to learn and watch videos and classes online to make sure I’m learning and doing a better job with my cakes.”
Here are some of Sahar’s Creations:-
Sahar’s Travelling Bag Cake
Sahar’s Breakfast Cake
Sahar’s customized Cake
Sahar’s Princess Cake
To see more of Sahar’s work visit her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Whenindoubteatacupcake
Shamim Ismael – Baker
Shamim Ismail, 35 years old, grew up in Zambia, Africa of British Nationality, free lance Events Manager, mother of 2 boys and known to be a chocoholic by friends and family. A bit of history where the passion of pastry came from, I grew up in a third world country, where getting a basic loaf of bread in the 1980s was difficult. Everything had to be either baked at home or imported from the neighbouring countries which were more developed. So, since I was 13 years old I started baking and the interest grew in baking and innovating different kinds of pastries and savoury foods. I have made cakes/bakes/childrens healthy treats for school/family/friends. I have been a secret baker. Suddenly, something happened early this January and I told myself I have to come out of my shell and be recognized for my work, as I am gifted with a talent that I can literally mold anything just by my imagination. So, I decided to take up a qualification in pastry and cake modelling which I successfully did. I am looking to specialize in chocolate as chocolate is my passion…. I promise all my fans I will not let you down and you will see more and more innovation in the future.
Some of Shamim’s Creations:-
Shamim’s Star Cake
Shamim’s Chocolate Chess Board
Shamim’s Chocolate Slipper Lollies
Shamim’s Customized Cake
To see more of Shamim’s work you can visit her FB page: Https://www.facebook.com/shamim.ismail.3
Arwa Federal – Baker
Mould, blend, create, whisk, expression, play, imagine, create the list can go on, watching Arwa Federal at work can add up to a lot of things but what she values most is satisfaction of knowing that each detail has been handled to perfection, juggling between baking and creating the perfect masterpiece, careful selection of the freshest ingredients to nailing the right expression she goes the whole nine yards.
Not one to rest on her laurels she’s constantly working on reinventing herself through a process of continuous learning from the best in the industry from both local and international celebrity cake artists, this contest being looked at as another milestone in her illustrious career. From baking for friends and family to Bollywood maestros and big wigs in the corporate world she’s now all set to challenge herself in front of a live audience, this is one contestant to watch out for!
Some of Arwa’s Creations:-
Arwa’s Customized Cake
Arwa’s Camera Cake
Arwa’s themed Birthday Cake
Arwa’s Handbag Cake
Arwa’s Cereal with Pouring Milk Cake
To see more Arwa’s work visit her FB page: www.facebook.com/cakesbyarwa
Samar Jalil – Baker
Is an incredibly talented Baker whose passionate about baking and decorating, giving her cakes a look and feel that are unique and very artistic. Hidden away in the cultural heart of UAE is Dolce Gateaux, a cake design studio that inspires from the nation’s diverse melting pot to create incredibly delicious works of art. It is a creative factory started because I have an incredibly huge sweet tooth, a passion for cakes, art, painting, sculpting and poetry. All this blessed with a marketable design sense perfected through the exposure to architecture studies and media planning. We create cakes that are cute, creative, fun and even flamboyant; with designs that range from classical and elegant to the fresh and contemporary. What makes it more interesting is that, we bake everything from scratch using the finest ingredients making it fun for us to try new flavor combinations that take you right back to a time when a bite of something sweet could make the world a little brighter.
Some of Samar’s Creations:-
Samar’s animation inspired Cake
Samar’s Starbucks Cakes & Cookies
Samar’s Customized Cake
Samar’s Floral Cake
To see more of Samar’s work add her on FB: www.facebook.com/dolcegateaux
All Bakers will be competing on Thursday the 15th of May at BURJUMAN – you can catch them in action from 6:30pm till 7:30pm – the Stage will be set up near Virgin Mega Store. Come support these incredibly talented Bakers!
Zoya Umran – Baker
I started off baking as a hobby, and over time, it turned into a great passion! Baking whilst being a university student taught me a lot of things! It’s definitely a challenge, but certainly turned out to be a great idea in the long run as it helps me achieve a healthy balance between my priorities. Its even more fulfilling as I have the opportunity of meeting such wonderful people through this career.
In my head, my cakes need to look as perfect as it can, to the tiniest details possible! Playing with the colors, painting, decorating, for me, is the best way to spend my spare time! Creating a cake that is not only appealing to the eye, but tastes as good as it looks is a great factor i keep in mind! I try to satisfy customer needs down to the most minuscule detail, because I love making people happy! And if I have the power of spreading joy, why not? Practice makes perfect- applied it, doing it, and its going great! Practicing and being enthusiastic about baking is THE thing that has gotten me where I am today!
Zoya’s Shisha Inspired Cake
Zoya’s Baby Shower Cake
Zoya’s I Phone inspired Cake
To see more of Zoya’s Creations FB: www.facebook.com/cakemonsterss
All the finished Cakes will be on Display at Art Nation from 15th till the 24th of May.
Art Nation: https://www.facebook.com/Artnation1