SHOPPERS have to the chance to win prizes by playing a fun interactive cooking challenge at City Centre Bahrain. I grabbed his chef’s hat and apron to put his culinary prowess to the test.
I MAY be better known for eating rather than cooking as a result of reviewing the incredible array of fine dining destinations in the kingdom for our popular Eating Out page in GulfWeekly over several years.
The tough task has provided me with an insatiable appetite for all things culinary and an insight into what goes on in the kitchen, thanks to the insightful YouTube interviews I’m able to conduct with many of the island’s top chefs, as well as a few visiting celebrity masters of the profession.
Without boasting, I can rumble up a fair spaghetti bolognaise too, although the good lady wife, Kathryn, doesn’t believe it counts because I overcook the pasta and just open a few jars for the sauce.
I personally think she being a bit unfair, as I once helped produce a magnificent festive dinner for the GulfWeekly team, guided and inspired by an executive chef of a five star property attached to City Centre Bahrain.
So impressed with my vegetable peeling prowess, he presented me with a chef’s hat and apron as a memento. It’s been kept in pride and place in a kitchen cupboard ever since, so when asked to enter the interactive game ‘The Cooking Daze Challenge’, I rushed home to grab the outfit so I would like the part back at the mall.
The attraction in the Central Galleria was manned by hosts Lisa Samuel, 26, and Sherif Ahmad, 24, and it was attracting a big crowd of shoppers.
City Centre Bahrain, which features more than 60 international family restaurants, cafés, fast food outlets and specialty food stores, has invited friends and families to get together at the mall for some quality time and delicious food, while taking the opportunity to win big.
Visitors who spend BD30 can enter a draw to win BD1,000 every week. They also have the chance of playing ‘The Cooking Daze Challenge’. The top five scorers will win a BD50 mall gift card, every day until Tuesday.
As I waited my turn, shopper Fawiza Jaffar, 36, a housewife, was picking up the prizes she had won with her husband, Jassim, 40, a security officer at Bahrain International Airport, after securing a top five finish 24-hours before. “It’s easy,” she said. “Just concentrate, move quickly and enjoy the game!”
I think the concentrating and moving quickly aspect of the challenge proved to be my downfall. The aim is to place the required food on the hot plate, press the button when the cooking is concluded, place it on the plate and add the toppings before serving.
Now I can appreciate why Gordon Ramsay is known for turning the air blue in the kitchen when the pressure is on, it’s like an editor being told a perfectly formed page has to be redesigned for a late advertisement.
I’d cooked the chicken to perfection and a puffy pizza dough too and added a good helping of tomato and mushroom to a penne pasta several times and thought I’d picked up an unbelievable number of points in a sweaty two minutes under the spotlight.
Unfortunately, my pathetic efforts didn’t even make it into the Top 10 on the leaderboard.
My miserly 1,308 score was way off the mighty Maryam, a shopper who earlier in the day had recorded at incredible 1,494. I’m going to mention her name to my friends Veneet Bhatia and Woofgang Puck next time they’re looking to recruit a kitchen wizard.
It looks like The Cooking Daze Challenge is going to be one of the most popular ever staged at the mall because it appears everyone wants to be a master chef. It’s also great fun for all ages.
It also made me feel very hungry.
I headed off towards one of my favourite dining destinations to treat myself to a delicious lunch with friends at City Centre Bahrain because I’d also been told it can easily get you free cinema tickets too!
The first 50 shoppers who redeem BD20 worth of F&B receipts at the mall instantly win complimentary VOX Cinemas couple tickets as part of ‘The Dine & Win’ promotion.
Visitors are spoiled for choice at the Majid Al Futtaim mall. The lifestyle destination features cuisines from all over the world, with many of its outlets not open anywhere else in the kingdom, such as Pastarito, Morelli’s Gelato Café, Asha’s, P.F. Chang’s, Raising Cane’s, The Butcher Shop & Grill, Shake Shack, Vapiano, Wafi Gourmet, Wagamama, and Furn Bistro & Bakery.
Stanley Louis Szecowka
Editor/Journalist & Blogger, Restaurant & Motors Reviewer, FinTech Writer, Manager, Trainer.
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