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Etihad Airways, the global airline partner of 12 Taste Festivals worldwide, brought renowned international chefs to Abu Dhabi to compete in the final of the ‘Taste the World’ competition. 

On the last day of the festival, Linda Celestino, Vice President Guest Experience and Delivery, awarded Chef Kotaro Noda of Bistrot64 with the ‘Taste the World’ trophy: “I am truly honoured to present this prestigious award to Kotaro. This is no doubt a tough competition and he is truly a master of the art. We are so pleased to have him here in our home city of Abu Dhabi.”

Kotaro Noda also received Etihad Airways Business Class tickets to a destination of his choice on the airline’s global network. Kotoro will also be featured in Etihad Airways’ Inflight magazine Atlas and will have the opportunity to host a cooking demonstration at his next local Taste Festival. All 12 finalists were presented with a specially engraved Dallah (traditional Arabic coffee pot).

Kotaro Noda, a Michelin star chef, is the Head Chef at Bistro64, Rome. His winning dish (potato spaghetti with butter and anchovies) took the judges to a world of gastronomy, innovation and culinary expertise. On receiving the award, Kotaro said: “The past couple of days have been an incredible experience here in Abu Dhabi and at Taste of Abu Dhabi. To win such an incredible competition is truly an achievement and I am honoured to have received it today. It was amazing to be in Abu Dhabi, representing Bistro64 and I can’t wait to return home with the prize.”

Twelve chefs took part in the event by competing over three days in cook-offs and cooking demonstrations to reveal who among them best characterises Etihad Airways’ food philosophy, which aims to provide the highest culinary experiences throughout the entire guest journey – on the ground and in the air – using innovative cooking techniques and the creative use of ingredients.

Finalists were selected at local Taste Festivals held during 2017. They were: Eric Raty (Café Grey Deluxe, Hong Kong); Dean Parker (The Manor, London); Gregory Marchand (Frenchie, Paris); Nathan Sasi (Mercado, Sydney); Michiel Deenik (The Roast Room, Amsterdam); Stanislav Pesotskiy (Bjorn, Moscow); Scott Pickett (Estelle Bistro, Melbourne); Matt Ravenscroft, (The Drake, Toronto); Darren Hall (Cook Hall, Dubai); Kotaro Noda (Bistrot64, Rome); and Lorenzo Barbieri (Trussardi alla Scala, Milan).

The partnership between Etihad Airways and Taste Festivals is a core element of the airline’s sponsorship strategy as it establishes itself as an aspirational lifestyle brand. The airline’s association with Taste Festivals began in March 2016 with events in a number of cities including Dubai, Sydney, London, and Hong Kong, culminating with Taste of Abu Dhabi.

As part of its commitment to provide a unique onboard service, Etihad Airways has 192 Inflight Chefs and 495 Food and Beverage Managers who work in the premium cabins of its wide body aircraft. Guests are able to experience the same levels of quality and service as they would expect on the ground, through a personalised dining experience at 35,000 feet.

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