Gilles WINTENBERGERPastry Chef
The 38 year-old Gilles Wintenberger, who is a native of Alsace in Eastern France, has been the Executive pastry chef of the Chedi Muscat hotel in Oman since 2014. Gilles first apprenticed with the great pastry master, Frédéric Helmstetter, when he was preparing his MOF, with the help of Stéphane Klein and Gilbert Poney. Gilles, who is an avid competitor, came first in the apprenticeship program in his region, which enabled him to participate in the Best French Apprentice contest. Since then, he has competed in several professional events throughout the world.
In France, he worked at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris, the Auberge de l’Îl in Illhaursern (Alsace) and La Croix du Sud in Corsica. In Switzerland, he worked in several luxury hotels in Zermatt and Montreux, notably at the Fairmont Palace. Most recently, he was Head pastry chef at the Crowne Plaza Kuwait, representing Fauchon Paris, where he created several desserts for events organized by the royal family.
For the Chedi Muscat, Gilles creates specialties that incorporate Oriental tastes and aromas, such as roses and pomegranates, and the honey of the Jabal Akhdar, Oman’s world-renowned Green Mountain. Since the Sultanate is on the incense route, he also smokes chocolate with this centuries-old spice. He’s in charge of a team of eight pastry chefs and four bakers that serve Chedi Muscat’s five restaurants, including the Long Pool, which has the longest swimming pool in the Middle East, at 103 meters, where he serves up Japanesestyle tapas, including a crème brulée flambéed with yuzu and pralinéd gyozas with Granny Smith apples. For Le White, the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant, he concocts delicacies made with Oman’s famous dried lemons. Gilles also enjoys expressing his creativity in the hotel’s pastry shop window, where he displays macaroons and chocolates, all home made. When he’s not taking pastry to new heights, he enjoys paragliding.