17 January, 2012, THE PHILIPPINES - Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O) together with the Asian Food Channel (AFC) proudly announced the winner of their highly talked-about television show, E&O Search for AFC’s Next Celebrity Chef. On the 21st of December 2011, a two-hour finale special was aired on AFC announcing the winner.
AFC started looking for Asia's next celebrity chef in August 2011. Thousands lined up to audition in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Hong Kong and Jakarta. The series, which first aired on November 9, 2011, showed the contestants participating in grueling challenges week after week. After six elimination rounds, Diane Montecillo and Dino Ferrari remained to battle it out in the grand finale.
Diane is known as the "spunky girl with an attitude." She credits her love for cooking to her father and siblings, who remained her strongest supporters all throughout the show. She has a passion for European and Mediterranean food, which stems from her mother and grandmother's love for the cuisine.
Dino first took up Business in school, before discovering that cooking was his greatest passion. At 22, Dino was given the opportunity to apprentice in a French kitchen for 8 months, honing his culinary skills. His parents have supported him throughout his culinary endeavors and he credits Michael Chiarello as one of his greatest inspirations not just for his skills in the kitchen, but also for his sense of showmanship.
The panel of judges, including Chef Bruce Lim, Chef Emmanuel Stroobant and Mr. Michael Saxon, bestowed upon Dino the title of Asia's Next Celebrity Chef in front of 45 million viewers on AFC. The winner was given the illustrious title of Creative Chef, E&O Hospitality and Lifestyle Division, as well as an exclusive one-year contract with the E&O Group.
E&O Search for AFC’s Next Celebrity Chef was filmed on location at various hospitality and lifestyle properties in Malaysia such as the Martinique Seafront Villa and Straits Quay Retail Marina located at E&O’s master planned township of Seri Tanjung Pinang, the prestigious Eastern & Oriental Hotel and Lone Pine Hotel in Penang, the St. Mary Residences in Kuala Lumpur as well as at some of the popular Delicious restaurants in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Eric Chan, Deputy Managing Director of E&O Group, states: "E&O prides ourselves on providing luxury lifestyle experiences, and we are glad that we were able to bring this to life on AFC through this reality TV show series. The programme was perfectly complemented with AFC’s production expertise and E&O’s beautiful properties. We are very happy with the success of the series and look forward to further collaborations with AFC and working closely with Dino.”
The E&O Search for AFC’s Next Celebrity Chef series was complemented with online updates and information, as AFC launched a microsite dedicated to the production of the series. For more information, please visit www.asianfoodchannel.com/nextafcchef