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29 April 2013

International Cooking Competition Hosted at Bethlehem University

Cooking competitionOn Friday, 26 April 2013, Bethlehem University hosted its first international cooking competition "So You Want to be a Chef?", welcoming celebrity chef Mr. Art Smith and U.S. Consul General Mr. Michael Ratney as guest judges for the event. Mr. Smith is known by many as a former Chef to Oprah Winfrey, the successful owner of several restaurants in the U.S., and guest judge on the popular U.S. cooking reality show “Top Chef.” Organized by the Cultural Affairs office of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, the competition was hosted in the Bethlehem University Institute of Hotel Management and included three competitors: Mr. Ahmad Dissi from Bethlehem University, Mr. Joeyi Canawati from Dar Al-Kalima Academy, and Mr. Ra'fat Eid from Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center.

Immediately before the competition began last Friday evening, Mr. Smith made the surprise announcement that the winner of the cooking competition would receive a paid trip to the U.S. to attend and join him at various restaurants throughout the country, providing the winner the opportunity to witness and learn from some of the best chefs in the world. 

Cooking competitionThe judges were treated to a three-course meal by each contestant, from a starter plate, to the main course and finally a delicious dessert. A "secret box" was announced by Mr. Smith, which included spices and herbs brought by the Chef that any of the three students could use for their dishes. In addition to Mr. Smith and Consul General Ratney, the judging panel included Mr. Nabil Al-Mufdi, Director of the Insitute of Hotel Management at Bethlehem University, and Mr. Johnny Goric, Executive Chef at Cardu Restaurent in Jerusalem.

Cheering on the competitors were staff from the U.S. Consulate office, and Professors, Deans, and students from Bethlehem University, who watched the event on a screen in the dining area of the Hotel Management restaurant at Bethlehem University, broadcast with a live feed from Ma’an News Agency, which was filming in the kitchen and connected viewers outside Bethlehem University to the event.

Consul General Ratney thanked all three student competitors and applauded the love that each exhibited for his work and the unique touch that each brought to his own dish. He then had the privilege to announce the winner of the event, Ra'fat Eid from Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. As the event came to a closure, Mr. Nabil Al-Mufdi thanked those who attended, while Dr. Michael Sansur, Executive Vice President of Bethlehem University, added his own thanks and appreciation for the great work being done.

Exclusive Video from Maan News Agency (Below)




Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine