Hello Dino Ferrari!

I was invited by AFC to the unveiling of their new Celebrity Chef at St Mary's Residences showroom yesterday. Yes! I was one of the few lucky peeps who were invited to catch the final episode before the rest of the world. E&O Search for AFC’s Next Celebrity Chef is one of the few programmes that I diligently followed and am obviously super thrilled to be able to meet the winner (cutie pie) Dino Ferrari in person.
It was a rather tough fight between spunky Diane Montecillo who is a culinary teacher and Dino Ferrari who's a chef. And interestingly in a male dominated scene, Diane did put up a good show and fight. But if you caught last night's finale, I reckon Dino's experience of working in a kitchen paid off real well. He maintained his coolness despite the last minute "ridiculous challenge" of having to cook for a banquet of 300 distinguished guests. 

Having to judge 2 awesome talented chefs isn't a cup of tea but obviously there was to be one winner . Dino Ferrari emerged the champion. I was able to catch up with the celebrity judges Chef Bruce Lim and Chef Emmanuel Stroobant. It was a tough decision but very obviously charming and talented Dino had the whole package of a celebrity chef. His reward:
• an exclusive one-year contract, with a year-long employment contract with the E&O Group, taking on the mantle of Creative Chef, E&O Hospitality and Lifestyle Divison. 
• AFC Celebrity Chef.

Winning isn't everything. Dino made his promise to E&O and also AFC to do his best during teh tenure of his contract. His earnest face shows it all...
A promise to E&O 
And a promise to AFC too.
I chatted Dino after the event. Till now he is still in shock that he actually won and is really glad that AFC and E&O have given him the once in a lifetime opportunity. He had always known that he loved to cook and worked his way to what he has achieved thus far. 
And I also had the opportunity to chat up bubbly Chef Bruce Lim. This plate throwing chef is a very grounded down to earth chef. And if you have watched the finale, it was amazing how his pep talk with Diane made an amazing change to her attitude during the final task. No plates were thrown:P having seen pics of his kitchen from his BB, I am so looking forward to visiting his restaurant next year:D
Having heard so much of Chef in Black Chef Emmanuel Stroobant, meeting him in person was also a great experience. A rather soft spoken person, he shared a little on the fun he had during the shoot of the series. that I have met him eye ball to eye ball, my 2012 resolution will include dining at Chef Emmanuel's restaurant.
Celebrity chef Anis Nabilah was also present. She wore a pair of most amazing red killer heels and joked she she needed to do so during the filming. Otherwise she would have been the skybridge like that of our KLCC Twin Towers when she is with the other judges. Oh! Look out for her web tv series coming out next year where she will share on her own recipes that one can easily follow at home.
This has been one of the best realty shows for 2011. And if you missed it, catch the reruns and do check out AFC's microsite dedicated to the production of the series

AFC broadcasts on:
• Astro Channel 703 (Malaysia and Brunei)
• StarHub Channel 435 (Singapore)
• First Media Digital 1 Channel 76 (Jakarta, Indonesia)
• Telkom Vision Channel 33 (Jakarta, Indonesia)
• Prime Indovision Channel 22 (Jakarta, Indonesia)
• Aora TV Channel 318 (Jakarta, Indonesia)
• now TV Channel 527 (Hong Kong)
• LIVE TV Channel 6 (Thailand) 
• Skycable Channel 22 (Philippines)
Please visit for more information.

Congras Dino!