AFC unveils the 1st Winner of E&O Search for AFC's Next Celebrity Chef

Asian Food Channel (AFC) is not foreign to most households in Malaysia. AFC broadcasted a two-hour grand finale for the AFC Original Production, E&O Search For AFC's Next Celebrity Chef on Astro, Channel 703. It was shown across eight territories to a total of 45 million viewers throughout Asia, foodies and fans alike finally have the answer to their long asked question, who is AFC's Next Celebrity Chef?

I am extremely grateful to have been invited for the premier of the two-hour grand finale and to have the opportunity to meet AFC's Next Celebrity Chef, Dino Ferrari himself! What a great honour!
After 6 weeks of grueling challenges and battles, the original group of 35 contestants has been whittled down, and only 4 remained. The finale was filed at the luxurious Eastern & Oriental Hotel and Lone Pine Hotel, both E&O Group properties, Dino, Diane, Stanley and Shinith were put to the test with a challenge that far surpasses the scope of a chef, making the dreams come true for a group of young aspiring foodies.
The two finalists were Diane Montecillo and Dino Ferrari. Here's a little snippet of their life story:
Diane Montecillo
Diane learnt her cooking skills in a male dominated kitchen environment, which explains her “spunky girl with an attitude” persona. However, when it comes to her family and daughter, she is just as soft spoken as the girl-next-door! Her dad and siblings are the main reasons why she started cooking, and have been her pillar of support ever since. Diane has a strong passion for Mediterranean and European cuisine which stems from her mother and grandmother’s influence, all of them loved prepare Mediterranean cuisines at home.
Dino Ferrari
Believe it or not, Dino initially studied business in school, until he broke the news to his parents that he wanted to try his hand at cooking. When he was 22 years old, Dino finally had his first cooking experience in a kitchen in France, where he apprenticed for eight months. Since then, his parents have supported him in every way possible, allowing him to cultivate and grow his craft. Dino’s all time favourite cooking hero is Michael Chiarello, who doesn’t just cook, but is also capable of great showmanship.

Chef Bruce Lim

Chef Emmanuel Stroobant
Whilst both contestants gave it their all to prove that they can be AFC's Next Celebrity Chef, clearly only one of them could be AFC's Next Celebrity Chef. Both contestants were judged by celebrity judges, Chef Bruce Lim, Chef Emmanuel Stroobant and Mr. Michael Saxon. Chef Bruce Lim graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, a top-notch culinary school in London and has worked his way into some of the best French kitchens in the world and even studied under the tutelage of world-renowned chef, Gordon Ramsay. Chef Emmanuel Stroobant is no less impressive. He started his career at 16 as a dish cleaner in one of Belgium's best restaurants. He enrolled in a hospitality institute at 18 where he gained invaluable exeprience while training at several Michelin-starred restaurants. He opened his first restaurant, Le Bal at the age of 23. In 1999, he won the Best Expatriate Chef 1999 by the World Asia Media whilst working in Malaysia. Michael Saxon was trained in the UK and draws on more than 30 years' experience working in the top hotels around the world in both operational and managerial positions. He was the GM of the luxury heritage Eastern & Oriental Hotel in George Town Penang, prior to taking on the position of CEO, The Delicious Group and Director, Group Hospitality & Lifestyle, Eastern & Oriental Berhand in January 2011. Prior to this, he worked at The Four Seasons Yorkville Hotel (Toronto), the Regal Riverside Hotel (Shatin, Hong Kong), Taipei Hilton Hotel (Taiwan), just to name a few.

Dino Ferarri
After much deliberation by the 3 celebrity judges, Dino Ferarri emerged the winner of the competition. When asked about his victory, Dino enthusiastically replied, “I am still in shock that I won! AFC and E&O have given me a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can’t express my gratitude. There were moments during the competition where I thought I couldn’t make it any further, but I persevered. I would like to thank AFC, E&O and all of the judges from the programme, they have all given me worlds of experience and helped me grow as a chef and as a person. I also want to thank everyone who supported and believed in me. I look forward to seeing what is in store for me in the future, but I’m sure this won’t be the last time you see me!”
For all you food lovers and fans who have been following this programme, I am sure you caught the two-hour grand finale. Do enjoy the pictures below! 
St. Mary's Residences Showroom
Jalan Tengah, Off Jalan Sultan Ismail,
Kuala Lumpur
Jointly developed by E&O Development, Lion Group and St Mary Church (landlowner), this 1.2 acres development offers a total of 3 blocks of Residential apartments. Located merely minutes away from the Petronas Twin Towers and also the new Pavilion Mall this development is very accessible. Similar to the much-sought-after Dua Residency, St Mary Residences also provide a Retail Annexe of 2 storey (approximately 34,000s q ft) to cater for the needs of the residents. St. Mary Church (landowner) will withhold 169 units and only 488 units are available for sale.
Chef preparing for Lunch....

Maria Brown (AFC Co-founder and MD, Producer and Script writer)

Chef Bruce Lim

Chef Emmanuel Stroobant

St. Mary's Residences Showroom
Jalan Tengah, Off Jalan Sultan Ismail,
Kuala Lumpur

Shot with Nikon D7000
I am Angeline (Yoga teacher, photographer and blogger). Thank you for reading my posts. My media coverage touches mostly on lifestyle events and focuses on happening scenes in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. I also write food reviews, travel and hotel reviews, KL clubbing reviews and product launches. My other interests include the movies, technology and photography. Subscribe to my facebook page. Contact me via my email at: [email protected]


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