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Flavours of Peru

Chefs from the region’s best Peruvian restaurants reveal the latest trends, recipes and ingredients featuring on their menus

Connecting F&B professionals with industry knowledge

Catering News pays a visit to Dubai's newly opened Richemont Masterbaker Centre for Excellence in Baking and Pastry

APRIL 2017

Raising the Game

On the web Keep up to date with all the latest news, features and much more on our website.

10 What's Cooking?

April 2017 // Issue #027


16 30 New places

The Business

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WHAT’S COOKING? Global Restaurant Investment Forum to highlight trends impacting F&B business; UAE chapter of International Cheese Guild established; Eight restaurants to open at Sharjah’s Al Majaz Waterfront

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NEW PLACES Catering company Chez Charles launches its first restaurant in Dubai Design District

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COVER STORY Jason Atherton on achieving Michelin stardom while avoiding the pitfalls of fame

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THE BUSINESS Kitchens by Design Melissa Yarman, regional manager at CKP Hospitality Consultants on the latest trends, challenges and opportunities in kitchen design

April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


April 2017 // Issue #027

Contents 30 //

The Business Raising the Game Richemont Masterbaker Centre for Excellence in Baking and Pastry has opened in Dubai with the objective of elevating the skill level of pastry and bakery professionals in the Middle East

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CHEF FOCUS Plain sailing While overseeing 23 F&B outlets, 12,000 covers and 480 staff would leave some chefs in choppy waters, Atlantis The Palm’s new executive chef Cedric Darthial looks forward to the challenge Keeping it Indie Mostafa Chhoury, head chef of Indie DIFC reveals his plans for evolving the venue’s menu in the coming months

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OUT OF THIS WORLD Chefs from the region’s best Peruvian restaurants reveal the latest trends, recipes and ingredients featuring on their menus

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EVENT REVIEW The highlights from the 22nd edition of Gulfood, the world's largest annual food and hospitality event

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MARKETPLACE Catering News goes in search of the latest outdoor furniture products on the Middle East market

Managing Director Walid Zok Director Rabih Najm CEO Wissam Younane Group Publishing Director Diarmuid O'Malley Group Commercial Director Fred Dubery Editor Crystal Chesters Contributor

Marouane Al Mandri Art Director Aaron Sutton Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon Photographer

Hayder Al-Zuhairi

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38 Out of this world

58 Marketplace

All rights reserved © 2014. Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors. Catering News ME and all subsidiary publications in the MENA region are officially licensed exclusively to BNC Publishing in the MENA region by Catering News ME. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Printed by Raidy Emirates Printing Group LLC


Catering NEWS ME April 2017

SHIELD your kitchen

kitchen hygiene bundle

E ditor's L etter

Stars in their eyes Crystal Chesters Editor

The discussion around whether Dubai will get a Michelin Guide – and whether it is ready for one – has been bubbling in the background for the past few years, and came into focus last year during the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) in Dubai when Michael Ellis, international director of Michelin Guides announced on stage, that it was only a matter of time before a Michelin Guide is introduced in the emirate. It is impossible not to mention the topic of Michelin when you have Jason Atherton on the cover of the magazine, a chef who has garnered three Michelin stars in his lifetime at his restaurants in London, and who would love to see his Dubai restaurant, Marina Social gain a star, if and when the guide is launched in this part of the world. While critics have argued that Dubai is not ready for Michelin, given that there is probably no restaurant that merits three stars – the ultimate benchmark of quality – Atherton highlights the example of Brazil, which has a Michelin Guide, but no three-star restaurant. It’s heartening to hear Atherton’s thoughts on the Dubai restaurant scene, given that he was here back in 2000 working for Gordon Ramsay’s Verre, the first restaurant opened in the emirate by a Michelin-starred chef. Atherton is one of the few chefs who has been able to watch the restaurant scene in

Dubai evolve over the past 17 years, and points out that today, every big-name chef in the world has, or wants, a restaurant in Dubai. And when it comes to quality, he thinks there are plenty of one-star restaurants here, and perhaps even some two-stars. Whether you think Dubai is ready for Michelin or not, Atherton makes an important point. He says that the introduction of the guide would create a culture of real food quality, rather than restaurant investment – and ratings – being driven purely by business and trends. And while Dubai’s culinary prowess is still relatively hidden to outsiders, perhaps the introduction of the Michelin Guide could help to develop it into a global culinary destination, which is a topic that will be addressed by Gwendal Poullennec, director of international development for Guide Michelin, at this year’s GRIF, taking place from 10 – 12 April at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai. I look forward to hearing from Poullennec one year on from Ellis’ remarks regarding the imminent introduction of a Michelin Guide to Dubai, and I hope that he can shed some light on how the conversation has evolved since then. Enjoy the issue. Kind regards, Crystal

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W hat's cooking?

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P12: Sharjah's Al Majaz Waterfront // P13: Peter Skudutis from Zero Gravity // P14: Jones the Grocer adds three UAE locations //

What's cooking?

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Global Restaurant Investment Forum to analyse the trends impacting the business of F&B Creating a ‘Food Culture’, ‘Redefining F&B’, and the emerging ‘Food Revolution’ are set to be among the hot topics at this year’s Global Restaurant Investment Forum 2017 (GRIF). The annual networking and intelligence event for the international restaurant and hospitality community, powered by Michelin, is set to take place from 10-12 April 2017 at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai. Expected to attract more than 300 industry professionals, the event will assess the global landscape for growth, analyse consumer behaviour and review the investment and behavioural trends impacting the business of F&B. Jennifer Pettinger-Haines, managing director, Middle East, Bench Events, organiser of GRIF, said: “Our roster of expert speakers is set to deep dive into the issues at the heart of the international restaurant industry, debating current trends with a view to forecasting the future potential of this exciting, evolving sector.” Ahead of the event, Laurent Plantier, founder, FrenchFood Capital, who is speaking at GRIF on the session ‘Adding Value as an Investor’, asserted: 10

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

Laurent Plantier, founder, FrenchFood Capital

“Today, we don’t eat the same way we used to do and tomorrow we won’t eat the same way we do today. It’s why it can be said that we are facing a ‘Food Revolution’”. Martin Sherwood, partner, Enterprise Investment Partners LLP, who will address the topic of ‘The Financiers: Evaluating an Investment’, added: “Other changes include the relentless demand for novelty and new ideas; the focus on specialist cuisine; the huge growth in dietary restrictions, i.e. glutenfree and the ever-increasing awareness of the individual ingredients of a given dish”. As well as the macro perspective, GRIF provides a platform to discuss F&B investment op-

portunities in diverse markets across the world, with Iran, Africa, China and Middle East all under the spotlight at this year’s forum. Emilia Shi, partner at Dentons Shanghai Office, will provide an update on recent transactions in the F&B sector in China in her session ‘Spotlight on China’ and advise on the region’s market dynamics and perceived barriers of entry. “It is important to note that China has a huge market potential, but at the same time, this emerging economy does not understand that its unique business environment can also be prohibitive to business, and I will provide solutions to this,” commented Shi.

In another session, Soumobroto Ganguly, deputy managing director, Genesis Group Nigeria will review ‘Investment Trends in Africa’. “Urban Africa is ripe for active investments in the food and beverage sector; and especially in the restaurants / food service business,” observed Ganguly. GRIF 2017 will feature a conference programme that will debate these trends and markets in depth, as well as offering interactive culinary tours, networking receptions, and a franchise masterclass. Dedicated to sharing best practice and insights, the lineup of speakers for the 2017 edition of GRIF includes Amir Nahai, CEO global food & beverage, AccorHotels; Gwendal Poullennec, director international development, Guide Michelin; Stuart Gillies, chief executive officer, Gordon Ramsay Group; Nick Schapira, international strategy & development director, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group and Martin Morales, founder, Ceviche and Andina in London. To view the programme in full, visit

Wh at' s c ook i n g?


UAE chapter of International Cheese Guild established

The UAE chapter of the International Cheese Guild (Guilde Internationale des Fromages) was formally established on 28 February, 2017 at the Conrad Hotel Dubai. Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading LLC general manager Daniel Chidiac is founding president and Sharjah executive council member Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi has been named as protector of the guild. Chef Uwe Micheel, director of kitchens at Radisson Blu Hotel DDC and president of the Emirates Culinary Guild was honoured “Est Promu < Compagnon D’ Honneur”. In his opening speech, Chidiac commented: “The Guild's mission is to support and encourage the cheese interrelated communities. “We will do this through development of a collective voice, to promote cheese and cheese makers, educate professionals and consumers, to coordinate resources and share cheese to all from various origins.” Sheikh Al Qasimi welcomed the title of protector of the guild conveyed on him by Chi-

diac. He commented: "We are on the edge of gastronomy here in the United Arab Emirates. Things like this, the Guild, is very important for the future of this country in making its mark on the world of gastronomy. “It is an absolute honour to become the protector of the guild and I promise to uphold my duty to the very best of my ability." The UAE Cheese Guild's inauguration ceremony marks the 47th international outpost of the Guild. The UAE members inducted include a diverse cheese-loving group comprised of cheese makers, executive chefs, cheese distributors, importers and suppliers. The ceremony was attended by renowned French cheese expert and International Cheese Guild council president provost, Roland Barthelemy. The International Cheese Guild is a non-profit organisation open to professional cheese makers with 6,700 members across the world. The Guild was founded in 1969 by Pierre Androuet.

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April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


W hat's cooking?

New openings

Eight restaurants to open at Sharjah's Al Majaz Waterfront

Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah will open eight new restaurants and cafés later this year in conjunction with the completion of the extension’s second phase. Sharjah Investment and Development Authority COO, Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer said: “Al Majaz Waterfront has become one of the leading tourist and leisure attractions in Sharjah, differentiating itself by providing premium and luxury services and facilities, particularly hospitality. “The selection of regional and international restaurants and cafés perfectly aligns with our strategy of increasing the number of visitors to Al Majaz Waterfront through increasing the number of options. “People of all nationalities visit the attraction, and this development caters to different tastes and preferences while achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction.” The new restaurants include Emirati brand, Al Fanar Restaurant & Café; Lebanese concept, Levantine; Ushna, an Indian eatery, and Iranian restaurant, Anar. The new cafés include the Italian coffee bar Illy Caffè; 12

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

Amorino Gelato, an ice-cream and coffee shop; Al Rawi library café; and a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise. Al Majaz Waterfront manager, Mohammed Fadhil Al Mazroui said: “We have carefully selected these leading brands to enhance the diversification and present a more international theme with global cuisine. “By choosing this approach, the catering works on two levels; firstly, it provides the opportunity for local visitors to try new foods and for visitors from abroad, it may bring them high quality dishes that are based on traditional flavours from their home countries. As with all of Al Majaz Waterfront’s qualities, every service is geared to ensuring our customers enjoy the best possible experience.” The AED35 million new extension of Al Majaz Waterfront increases the attraction’s total area to 53,000m2 and the length of its jogging track to 825m. The extension will also increase the size of Sharjah Fountain, adding 165 parking spaces to accommodate the needs of a growing number of visitors.


Emirates Academy hosts first Food Festival The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, part of Jumeirah Group, hosted its first ever food festival to enhance its students’ learning experiences and increase engagement with the community. The event took place from 9 -11 March alongside Dubai Food Festival at Emirates Academy campus opposite Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. It included live cooking demonstrations and competitions, quizzes, themed stalls, raffles and children’s activities. There were food products, mocktails, flare workshops and fitness classes from Talise trainers on offer. Free to attend and open to the public, the festival was organised by the academy’s students under the supervision of their food and beverage lecturers. Michael Kitts, director of

culinary arts at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, said: “It’s a really exciting time for The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management with its first street food festival, entirely managed by our students. “The build-up was fantastic with a real sense of community and anticipation. I’m sure this will become a regular feature in both the EAHM’s calendar and Dubai Food Festival.” The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) specialises in offering business management degrees at undergraduate and post-graduate level, with a focus on hospitality. The academy’s food and beverage division provides students with first-hand knowledge of the industry standards in service, hygiene and food preparation.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

In a nutshell: Zero Gravity Peter Skudutis, manager at Zero Gravity How has Zero Gravity evolved since it opened? Zero Gravity opened its doors in 2013 as a great spot to have a casual lunch by the sea, and it had just 12 food items on the menu. Over the past four years, Zero Gravity has expanded its food and beverage offerings, as well as its events and facilities more than threefold. It has also launched several successful sub-brands including: Lost Angels ladies night and DXBeach Beach Festival, which attracts upwards of 6,500 guests. Zero Gravity has been responsible for bringing over 150 international artists to Dubai, including the likes of Tiesto and Mark Ronson. Last year also saw us open a 2000m2 glass-fronted infinity pool. Please explain the F&B offer at Zero Gravity? At Zero Gravity, our internal values include healthy outdoor living, sustainability, gen-

erosity and creativity, so you will see this reflected through our food and beverage menus. We offer a wide range of food and beverage, reflective of our diverse team. Our popular all-inclusive offers include our three weekend brunches and our beachside Killa Grilla BBQ. You recently launched three new brunches, please explain what they offer? Our three brunches offer totally different experiences. The Thursday night Social Club brunch is focused on fun, games and interaction between guests. There are lots of arcade games, such as air hockey and basketball and a wide range of food, including live cooking stations and a huge dessert bar. Beach huts in the Zero Gravity garden offer different beverage options. On Fridays, we have a great value alfresco brunch. Situated in the garden and over-

looking the beach, our Friday Brunch offers guests a beautiful setting with a huge range of quality food and drinks. Fridays also have some of the biggest DJ parties. Supernatural Saturday now sees over 1,200 attendees making the most of the incredible brunch party offer. An all-inclusive day to night experience, this brunch provides access to the beach and the pool and free flowing food and beverage from mid-day through to 5pm.

W hat's cooking?

Bord Bia promotes Irish produce on UAE trade mission

Jones the Grocer adds three new locations in Dubai and Sharjah

The Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, hosted a trade mission to the UAE during Gulfood 2017, promoting Irish produce in the region. The agency hosted two events with Michael Creed, Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and Tara McCarty, CEO of Bord Bia, in attendance. The first event took place on 1 March at the H Hotel Dubai at The Experience by Reif Othman, with chef Reif demon-

Jones the Grocer will open three new locations in the UAE, bringing the total number of branches in the country to 13. The new locations are Dubai International Airport (DXB) Terminal 3, Mirdif 35 in Dubai and Flag Island in Sharjah. Jones the Grocer CEO Yunib Siddiqui commented: “The interest in our brand from both partners and consumers has remained strong and these three openings are a great start to a busy year ahead.” The most recent opening – and the brand’s first airport location – is in Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, concourse B. The store is specifically designed as a ‘Jones Express’ subbrand of Jones the Grocer for high traffic transit hubs, and it showcases several new design elements and visual graphics. It offers a dedicated express menu, which provides a range of portable items like single origin coffees, croissants, muffins, sandwiches, salads, soups and

strating John Stone Irish beef. A gala dinner took place at RitzCarlton Dubai on 2 March at 7pm, welcoming food industry professionals, VIPs and government officials. Sponsored by Emirates, Dubai Duty Free, The Ritz-Carlton, John Stone Beef, Pan Euro Food, Butlers and Diageo, the dinner highlighted Irish produce and was aimed at building stronger relationships with UAE stakeholders.

UAE French cream imports to increase by 10% in 2017 French cream imports to the UAE are expected to increase by 10% this year, according to the latest research by the French Dairy Board. The UAE is a key developing market for the industry and imported 2,000 tonnes of French cream in 2016, while Saudi Arabia imports 5,000 tonnes annually. Centre National Interprofessionel de l’Economie

Laitière communication director, Laurent Damiens said: “It’s a huge market in the UAE, not only in business to business, which takes up 75% of imports, but retail currently accounts for 25% and this is growing more and more as people are increasingly using cream in their recipes – not just for pastries, but in their general cooking.”

Tenth anniversary Taste of Dubai attracts 25,000

Over 25,000 people celebrated Taste of Dubai’s 10-year anniversary event, which took place from 9-11 March in Dubai Media City. Celebrity chefs including Michel Roux Jr, Gary Rhodes Aldo Zilli and Eric Lanlard among others, attended the event and during the opening night Motown singer Billy Ocean performed. Twenty-three of Dubai’s restaurants exhibited, 14

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

including Ramusake, Weslodge, Burger and Lobster and Catch. Chris Fountain, managing director of event organisers Turret Media, said: “We are thrilled to have hosted more than 25,000 people at the 10-year anniversary event, showing the continuous appetite for Dubai’s delicious menu of restaurants and world-class entertainment offering.”

mains, with everything made fresh daily and packaged ready for take away. Mirdif 35 is an LEED goldcertified development and showcases the new design direction for the brand, with a broader use of natural materials like marble, wood and metal. Other features include indoor and outdoor seating, a trademark open kitchen, floor-toceiling charcuterie wall, glass cheese room, a dedicated coffee brewing corner and gourmet retail selection. Located in the 1971 Design Space building on Sharjah’s Flag Island, this is the largest Jones store in the world at 603m2 plus a 199m2 al fresco dining area. It also has a children’s play space and views over the bay of Sharjah. The bread and pastry is made fresh on-site, and the venue features a cheese room, a charcuterie counter and a speciality coffee brewing station. It is also the first Jones the Grocer to offer handmade pizza as a part of its every day menu.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

Food safety on the agenda ahead of Oman conference Food safety experts discussed Oman food safety practices and food safety culture in an advisory board meeting ahead of the Food Safety Oman Conference, to be held later this year. The meeting was organised by Omanexpo at the National Institute in Wadi Kabir, and highlighted the importance of food safety for the protection of public health and economic development in Oman. The advisory committee comprises senior food safety experts from: Muscat Municipality, Ministry of Regional Municipalities & Water Resources, Khimji Ramdas, NSF International, Exova, Bureau Veritas, City Seasons Hotel Muscat, Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Al Jarwani Hospitality, Renaissance Services SAOG and GWR Food Safety. Robert McLean, principal, National Hospitality Institute, commented: “The advisory committee is dedicated to improving the food safety environment in the country.” Organised by Omanexpo, the second edition of Food Safety Oman Conference will take place on 16 – 18 October at the new Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat. The annual food safety platform provides an avenue for the exchange of ideas and strat-

The biggest hospitality show in the world

egies among policy makers and various stakeholders in the Sultanate on issues relating to food policy and regulations. Food Safety Oman Conference is expected to attract food and beverage manufacturers, processors, producers, retailers, catering and restaurant services, testing laboratories, importing/exporting, packaging and processing technology providers, vendors and government representatives. The latest policies, regulations, innovative approaches and technological advancements for assurance of food safety and quality in the Sultanate will be topics up for discussion at the event. It will also provide a platform for learning, networking and sharing knowledge. Ammar Ahmad, exhibition director, said: “Food safety doesn't just affect customers; it affects your company and bottom line. The conference is set to provide an avenue for likeminded professionals to build strong collaborations with industry experts and food solution providers.” Food Safety Conference is organised by Omanexpo and supported by the National Hospitality Institute. For more details, visit www. April 2017 Catering NEWS ME

ADV_HOST_CateringNewsMiddleEast_90x242mm_Gennaio2017.indd 1


19/01/17 15:15

The facts

New places

Chez Charles Restaurant

Venue: Building 11, Ground Floor, Dubai Design District (d3) Date opened: March 7, 2017 Head chef: Jeremy Degras Restaurant manager: Julien Chambon Fun fact about venue: The venue boasts a beautiful private outdoor dining terrace which seats up to 30 people

Charles Boghos, owner and founder of Chez Charles Restaurant and the Chez Charles Group introduces the company’s first restaurant in Dubai Design District Please describe the concept of the venue in your words?

Giving Dubai a unique taste of contemporary French cuisine, Chez Charles Restaurant is set to take its guests on a fun and flavourful culinary journey, using only the finest seasonal ingredients. The dynamic team at Chez Charles Restaurant has been hand-selected to guarantee impeccable service, a plethora of culinary knowledge and to ensure the highest quality at the convivial brasserie. The restaurant’s vibrant ambience combines Parisian brasserie influences with subtle Provence touches, creating a contemporary eatery, perfect for the cosmopolitan crowd of Dubai.

What are the signature items on the menu?

The menu is full of contemporary French cui-


El Chiringuito

Demoiselle by Galvin

The Mahal

Ibiza-founded concept, El Chiringuito, has opened its doors at Rixos The Palm, Dubai. The menu features modern, Mediterranean dishes with French touches from executive chef, Jerome Palayer. Highlights include homemade beechwood smoked salmon, sea bass roasted in a sea salt crust, calamari Andaluz and the Chiringuito beefburger. The venue hosts the ‘La Familia Brunch’ every Saturday and has a ‘Little Chiringuitos’ kids club, open every day until 5.30pm offering arts and crafts and a playground.

Galvin Restaurants launched Demoiselle by Galvin on Dubai’s City Walk on 12 March, marking the UK group’s first international venture. The 210-seat continental style allday café offers artisanal options for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Galvin Restaurants co-founder, Jeff Galvin, commented: “We have been exploring our expansion to the UAE for more than seven years and all of the elements are in place – location, team, partner, menu, and interiors – to create a timeless experience in a very modern city.”

Turkish restaurant Mahal, which is already present in Turkey and the USA, has opened in Dubai, marking a new chapter for its owner, Bora Meral. The menu includes kofta with cheese, meatballs with a core of melting cheddar; Iskender Doner, one of the famous meat dishes of north western Turkey, and an array of lamb dishes. Meral said: “The concept of Mahal brings a vibrant and contemporary restaurant with traditional Turkish roots to the Dubai dining scene”.

LOCATION: Rixos The Palm, Dubai OPENING DATE: 5 March

LOCATION: City Walk, Dubai OPENING DATE: 12 March

LOCATION: Dragon Mart 2, Dubai OPENING DATE: 12 March

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

New places

Who designed the interiors and how do they reflect the concept?

Designed by AAC Interiors, the chic brasserie takes on a stylish life of its own with its delicate neutral palette. The simplicity of the white clothed tables is beautifully coupled with olive green and greige velvet chairs with a custom-made chandelier captivatingly suspended over the main dining area. From the bronze flecked antique mirrors to the gunmetal verrière that lines the restaurant, each element has been elegantly combined to create a contemporary brasserie feel. The outdoor terraces are tastefully lined with bright green plants, recreating the feeling of a winter garden in Paris. sine that is both gourmet and creative, and above all, uses the finest ingredients sourced from all over the globe. Some of our standout signature items are the braised lamb shank, flashed Scottish salmon, and our delicious Burgundy snails provençale.

How will the venue compete on the Dubai market?

The lounge has been designed to create a

different experience to the restaurant with a DJ and an extensive list of cocktails. Set aside from the dining area, it includes a beautiful molded zinc bar, high-table seating and its own terrace. Meanwhile, the grape cellar features a carefully selected collection of some of the world’s finest bottles from regions like Tuscany, Bordeaux and Napa Valley, to curate the perfect food pairing experience.

Jekyll & Hyde Public House


Asia de Cuba

British gastropub, Jekyll & Hyde Public House, has opened its doors. The homegrown concept is from 4-front, the management company behind The Scene restaurant by Simon Rimmer and La Cala beach bar. It will offer beverages, home cooked British dishes, widescreen TVs showing live sports, a pool table and a dart board. A number of weekly deals will be available, including a bottomless ladies’ night, a rolling roast for AED99 on weekends, and a British brunch priced at AED350.

Jumeirah Restaurant Group (JRG) has launched Flow, a healthy eating and creative hub located in Jumeirah Emirates Towers. JRG has overseen all aspects of the outlet’s conceptual, design and project management phases to create an original concept. The menu will offer small dishes designed for sharing, along with healthy snacks, salads and daily grab-and-go bites. The hub’s offerings include a mix of vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleofriendly options.

China Grill Management has opened Asia de Cuba in Bahrain. At the helm of the kitchen is the North American brand’s Cuban-born executive chef, Luis Pous, who fuses Asian techniques and ingredients with traditional Cuban food and culture. The venue features signature Chino-Latino dishes such as chicken chicharrones served either traditional or with honey soy glaze, and tuna with seared foie gras, orange, Asian pear and malanga chips.

LOCATION: Al Fattan Currency House, Dubai OPENING DATE: 16 March

LOCATION: Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai OPENING DATE: 19 March

LOCATION: Gallery 21, Bahrain OPENING DATE: 5 March

What is interesting about the beverage offer?

We have worked hard to make the Chez Charles brand stand out as a culinary force since its inception, and our guests understand that we always deliver quality across the board – from our impeccable service to the rich, delicious flavours in our dishes and of course the strong French influence in our food.

April 2017 Catering NEWS ME




After being told to change careers as an apprentice chef, Fernando Galbiati, executive chef, Trump International Golf Club explains how with persistence, hard work and passion he went on to achieve success

Work Experience 2015-2016: Sous chef, Social by Heinz Beck, Waldorf Astoria, Dubai 2013-2015: Head chef, Bice Restaurant at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah 2012-2013: Sous chef, Cavalli Club, Restaurant and Lounge, Dubai

Describe your first ever role in the F&B industry?

Having grown up in the small town of Seregno near Lake Como, my roots were planted from a young age for a future career as a chef. Homegrown, seasonal produce and farm-to-table living were part of the culture and daily life and I grew up watching and helping my mother as she prepared every dish from scratch. My first role was in Portofino, Italy, when I was 18 and later I attended private chef school at Collegio Ballerini and I undertook five years of technical training in Atlanta, US, and Madonna di Campiglio and Lake Garda, both in Italy.

Who has inspired you most in your career?

Food was my biggest inspiration; it takes great persistence, hard work and passion to keep going. When I was learning, I faced all sorts of daily challenges and it often wasn't easy, however, it was my love for cooking that kept me going. When I first started out, I worked all summer with a highly talented chef, who at the end of my apprenticeship told me that because I couldn’t chop parsley correctly, I might as well change careers! This really dampened my spirits, but it didn't stop me – my love of food reigned on and thankfully, inspired me enough to get me to where I am today!

What’s your signature dish?

Parsley was not the only herb to offer a defining moment in my career! On my very first day in the kitchen, I was tasked with cleaning out boxes of basil to prepare pesto, which sparked a long-lasting love of the fragrant herb and inspired me to create my signature dish, paccheri pasta with fresh tomato sauce, made 18

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

challenge. It has always been easier for me to communicate through a dish or recipe!

What is the best aspect of your role? with three different varieties: ricotta cheese, deep fried violet eggplant and basil leaves.

How do you view the F&B scene in the region?

Over the past five years I’ve been here, the ingredients used and the recipes created have evolved. Consumer tastes have also changed, with people searching for more authentic, homemade and organic dishes, and many looking for gluten- and dairy-free options. That said, people are now more open and eager to try all sorts of new foods and different cuisines, which is great for chefs like me who love to experiment in the kitchen. The introduction of food festivals and food trucks has also brought great culinary experience to the UAE and a variety of new dishes to the region, introducing a whole new meaning to F&B concepts.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

The language barrier is probably my biggest

I love the fact that we offer food for every tastebud. Whether it is fine Italian cuisine at Fifth Avenue, classic American dishes at The Terrace, light Arabic tapas at Assana or feel-good favourites at The Ninth Sports Café, guests can look forward to white glove service, meticulous attention to detail and dazzling interiors.

If you could work in any restaurant in the world, which would it be?

This is a hard one! I believe that I would be happy working in any restaurant in the world, as long as I was working with an enthusiastic and passionate team, who allowed me to create unique and imaginative dishes.

What tip would you share with new staff starting out in the F&B industry in the region?

If someone ever tells you that you can’t chop parsley, don't listen to them. Always remember that you create your own destiny in life.

Tale n t

New operations manager for Ginza Restaurants

Daniel Ayres has been appointed operations manager for Ginza Restaurants, which has in its portfolio, Serafina, Mayta, Simply Italian, Abyat and Real Madrid Café. Ayres previously worked as assistant restaurant manager at the 101 and Stay by Yannic Alleno at One & Only Resorts; La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie; and Jean-Georges Dubai as assistant general manager, and later GM. He took on his new role in March 2017 and will oversee the opening of new international brands for the group, set to open in the region shortly.

Italian chef takes helm of Dubai’s Pierchic Paolo Bellamio, previous head chef of Trattoria has taken on the role of executive chef at Pierchic. Both restaurants are located in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Bellamio, from Italy, moved to Dubai in 2010 and has worked at Café Florian; on board the Costa Crociere cruise liner, where he catered for 2,700 passengers; and at Rosso at Amwaj Rotana Jumeirah Beach Residence. His cooking style is to keep things simple and use the freshest, highest quality produce available.

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar welcomes new chef

The recently-opened Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Oman has appointed Gaspare Greco as executive chef. Greco worked previously as executive chef of Anantara Kihavah Resort and Villas in the Maldives, where he oversaw the operations of five dining outlets and two bars. He also oversaw the preopening of Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, where he created the F&B concepts and designed the menus. He received the Minor 2014 award for excellence for best culinary, beating competition from 135 properties in the Minor Hotels & Resorts portfolio.



Sagi, since 1980, leader in professional refrigeration equipment




April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


Grif Special


Gwendal Poullennec

The director of international development for Guide Michelin shares his insights exclusively with Catering News ahead of his appearance at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF), being held from April 10-12 at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai Gwendal Poullennec, director of international development for Guide Michelin, has worked for the world-famous restaurant guide since 2003. Poullennec is currently in charge of operations and business development for the Michelin Guide, most recently expanding the brand to Asia with its launch in Hong Kong, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo and Singapore. As such, Poullennec is respected industry-wide as an expert on creating a food culture and developing culinary destinations.

edition of the Michelin Guide to Singapore, two modest food stalls in Singapore made the headlines by becoming the first street vendors to be rewarded by the Guide. In recent years, new Nordic cuisine has set a benchmark with its innovative approach to traditional foods combined with a strong focus on health and ethical production. Today, Scandinavian-style restaurants are blossoming all over the place with very interesting food techniques.

How can a food culture create business and contribute to local tourism?

Food is now regarded as one of the leading attractions in travel and tourism. Today’s tourist is searching for new experiences and is willing to discover the local culinary culture when he or she goes on holiday. An exciting food culture is a key asset for the promotion of a destination, increasing tourism revenue and developing destination loyalty. Studies clearly show that memorable dining experiences have a decisive impact, turning a visitor into a promoter of the destination.

If a city or country doesn’t have a long history of food, how should owners, operators and tourism boards come together to help build a food culture?

The last 20 years have seen a continuous increase in the quality of the culinary offerings in most of the world’s tourism destinations. In some cases, (Nordic countries are a good example) the tourism authorities have played a crucial role in promoting and sometimes even encouraging the local food culture. Successful policies involve in-depth work on improving the quality of local products, the consistency 20

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of sourcing and the training of chefs. It is also important to communicate with the local population regarding evolutions in the local dining scene.

Can you give any good examples of such places that have achieved success in building a food destination?

There are many examples of countries successfully promoting their culinary culture abroad, to name just a few: Singapore, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Denmark, Italy, France. The Michelin Guide has played an important part in all these regions by shining an international spotlight on local cuisine.

Which new regions are standing out in the restaurant scene?

Singapore has successfully promoted its street food scene and Denmark has established its reputation for creative gastronomy. The case of Singapore is particularly interesting because of the street food culture known as hawker centres. Last July, with the release of the first

The UAE’s restaurant industry is developing at a rapid pace – what most interests you about the food culture in UAE?

The UAE’s growing restaurant industry also provides an interesting case to watch carefully. The UAE food culture is very exciting because we are witnessing its birth. Many different types of cuisine, whether Middle Eastern, Asian, European, or South American, are vying to make a name for themselves and be recognised as serious additions to the UAE’s culinary landscape. Its geographical situation in the Middle East means the UAE is home to a melting pot of different influences, from which something new might emerge. Now in its fourth year, GRIF is an annual networking and intelligence event for the international restaurant and hospitality community, powered by Michelin and based in Dubai. GRIF 2017 will provide a macroeconomic overview of the F&B industry and tackle issues such as concept development, finance and lending, investment feasibility, scaling up for sustainable growth, creating a food culture and catering to the digitally-focused customer. For more information, visit


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Too often I hear people say they want to be chefs to have their own TV shows. Why? Be an actor instead! Being a chef is a freaking nightmare. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be in a hot and sweaty kitchen your whole life unless you love it


Catering NEWS ME April 2017

C over Story

Jason Atherton The renowned British chef on achieving Michelin stardom while avoiding the pitfalls of fame. Crystal Chesters reports ason Atherton’s daily routine resembles that of a celebrity, with interviews, photoshoots, meetings and personal training sessions taking up much of his time. However, he is adamant that he is not, and never will be, a celebrity chef. “We happen to have Michelinstarred restaurants in London but I don’t have my own TV show, I don’t open shops in malls – it’s just not what I do,” he tells Catering News during an interview at his restaurant, Marina Social in Dubai. For Atherton, 45, food and family take precedence over fame. In addition to the glamorous activities, his routine involves the morning school run – “I don’t miss it for anything” – followed by cooking in the kitchen at Pollen Street Social between 11.30am and 3pm and then cooking again, every evening at Pollen Street Social, City Social or Berners Tavern until midnight. “I’m trying to be a good father, to inspire the next generation of chefs, to keep my integrity to myself and remain a chef – because so many people get pulled in different directions, like TV. They can pull you away from what you were originally good at.” Atherton, who was trained under Marco

Pierre White, Ferran Adrià and Gordon Ramsay, is best known as one of the pioneers of deformalised fine dining, and specialises in modern European cuisine with British ingredients. “I was the first British chef to have a Michelin-quality restaurant where you can just go to have a beer; it had never been done before. You can book a table, have a starter, a drink and then leave. Whereas in the past, you had to have four courses minimum. That’s why I believe that even during the recession, Pollen Street Social was packed, and is every day, even today.” Atherton has opened 21 restaurants in the UK, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore and Australia in just seven years (three of which were sold to his partner), but he explains this as “a 30-year overnight success story”, given that he spent much of his tenure with Gordon Ramsay opening restaurants across the globe. “For 11 years of my life with Gordon I was doing this; I was flying to Australia to design his restaurant, flying to Cape Town to do the opening there for the One & Only. I was sent to Prague, New York, Macao, so I was doing meetings, business plans and deApril 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C ov er Story

I think the Michelin guide [in Dubai] would create that spirit of pure food quality. Michelin is not influenced by the best DJs or the best cocktail list. You might only have two people in the restaurant but if they think it’s a two-star restaurant, they will give it two stars and that really sets the benchmark for food quality signs. It was normal for me to continue doing what I did for Gordon, but for myself.” Having first come to Dubai in 2000 to work for Ramsay’s Verre at Hilton Dubai Creek, Atherton – admitting he had no idea where Dubai was back then – has watched the emirate evolve into one of the most sought-after destinations for big-name chefs to open restaurants. “It’s changed massively. Gordon was the first named chef in the Middle East and pretty much now, every chef in the world has a restaurant here.” And while he is impressed by the growth of the restaurant scene in Dubai, Atherton, who has three Michelin stars under his belt, believes the emirate could really benefit from the introduction of the Michelin Guide, which is tipped for some time in the near future. He thinks it would help to set a benchmark for food quality rather than restaurant investment – and ratings – being driven by fashion and trends. “At the moment, people open restaurants to be almost ‘Dubai-afied’. So you say everyone likes loud music, let’s put in a DJ booth – that would never happen in London. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but here most restaurants open for business purposes, whereas in London they are opened by young chefs who are passionate, and the last thing they think about is making money. “I think the Michelin Guide [in Dubai] would create that spirit of pure food qual24

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ity. Michelin is not influenced by the best DJs or the best cocktail list. You might only have two people in the restaurant but if they think it’s a two-star restaurant, they will give it two stars and that really sets the benchmark for food quality.” Although critics have argued that Dubai is not ready for the Michelin Guide because there are not enough restaurants that would be eligible for a star – and certainly none that would qualify for three stars – Atherton disputes this. “It launched in Brazil where there is no threestar restaurant; the highest rated is a two-

star. There are two-star restaurants in Dubai and plenty of one-star restaurants.” One of Atherton’s main ambitions for the future is achieving two stars at Pollen Street Social – the most highly rated restaurant in his portfolio – and he would also like to see his Dubai restaurant, Marina Social, gain a star if and when the Michelin Guide is introduced in the emirate. “I would really like Pollen Street Social to get two-star status. That’s important to me because I would like to think I cooked at that level. I would be slightly disappointed if Marina Social didn’t get a star, but you don’t know.”

C over Story

Risotto of cèpes, confit eryngii mushrooms, gremolata, mascarpone

Chargrilled tiger prawns, garlic butter, pak choi, chilli crab dressing

For Atherton, Marina Social is a successful outlet, but he believes there is still room for improvement. “Am I happy with the food? Yes. Can we improve it? Yes, of course we can; every year we are trying to improve the food. What’s important to me is that in five years’ time, it is still one of the top restaurants in Dubai.” One of the dishes Atherton is most proud of at Marina Social is the Italian beef tomato with burrata and 25 years-aged balsamic and tomato salt, which was created by the restaurant’s chef patron, Tristin Farmer. “It’s so simple, but what I love about it is that you

Marina Social, Dubai

can be in New York and see that dish and recognise it’s from Dubai. That’s really cool.” Atherton gives his chefs around the world the freedom to be creative, claiming they would get bored after six months if he didn’t. That said, he doesn’t let them change the menus right away. “When I put a new chef in, I don’t allow him to touch anything; once he gets settled in, I will come up with a new menu, cook it for him, we’ll eat it together. Once he starts to get to grips with it, we allow him to start being creative.” In Shanghai, Atherton has a chef whose dishes he doesn’t touch because that chef has “nailed” his own style, however there have been occasions when he has had his fingers burned with chefs straying too far from the original concept. “I put a chef into our restaurant in Hong Kong but I gave him the freedom to change the menu and because he was trying to impress people and impress me, the food just wasn’t right. All of a sudden, we went from having a really successful restaurant and two months later it was really struggling. “I flew there immediately, tried the food

and realised it was terrible. It was devastating but I didn’t tell him to walk away. I flew out a couple of guys from London and we stayed there all night to put the menu on and the guests started coming back. He thanks me every day because he has his own business now and he’s doing really well – it taught him about cooking for the customer, not yourself.” This experience also taught Atherton an important lesson about being honest, and he believes this is key to his success. “Your number one tool will always be your honesty. Chefs have this in-built thing where if someone criticises them, they get defensive. You as a chef know how good you are and when you’re cooking food that’s not good, you have to do something about it.” Atherton offers the example of Temple and Sons, one of his recently-opened restaurants in London, which he admits isn’t busy enough. “I was so proud of the food. The service could be better, but then it becomes difficult because you start asking yourself why it’s not busy. We’ve got to look at it in a totally different way and we are now examining it. “Maybe we got the décor a bit cold? Maybe April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C ov er Story

The team at Marina Social Dubai is headed up by Tristin Farmer

The terrace of Marina Social overlooks Dubai Marina the light is not quite right? All of these things could contribute to why it’s not busy. We’ve been working on it and slowly but surely, it’s starting to get busier. It’s important to be honest with yourself and deliver what you promised the customers you would deliver.” And even with the restaurants that are performing well, Atherton prefers not to rest on his laurels. At Marina Social, for example, he would like to make a few improvements to the bar area and terrace. “It’s about constantly improving things. We would like the bar to be more standalone, as currently people are just using it as a pre-drinks or post-drinks area. We might also build a little bar inside the restaurant and we’ll re-do the terrace when the restaurant is closed during the summer. I’d like it to have more of a Mediterranean feel.” And given the success of his Dubai res26

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Your number one tool will always be your honesty. Chefs have this in-built thing where if someone criticises them, they get defensive. You as a chef know how good you are and when you’re cooking food that’s not good, you have to do something about it taurant so far, would Atherton open a second venue in the Middle East? “I don’t think so; I don’t have time. I want to have focus and if the Michelin Guide comes here, I want this to be one-star and that takes work and effort. It’s not about opening more res-

taurants, it’s about working harder.” For Atherton, passing his strong work ethic on to the next generation of chefs is another important part of his role, particularly as more and more young chefs get carried away with ambitions of achieving celebrity status. “There’s no way around it,” he says. “In any industry, you cannot be successful by working a four-hour day. It just doesn’t work that way. The most successful people work like animals and you have to be slightly obsessed with something to be great at it. “Too often I hear people say they want to be chefs to have their own TV shows. Why? Be an actor instead! Being a chef is a freaking nightmare! You can’t be in a hot and sweaty kitchen your whole life unless you love it. “If you want to do it, you’ve got to do it for the right reason – because you love food. I am obsessed with food.”


Dubai World Trade Centre 18 - 20 September 2017

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Kitchens by design

Catering News grills Melissa Yarman, regional manager at CKP Hospitality Consultants on the latest trends, opportunities and challenges in kitchen design

What are the latest trends in kitchen design?

We believe that every square metre of real estate counts, therefore we are advocates of compact designs and giving back when necessary. Having said that, designing a kitchen is not just designing a kitchen anymore – it is designing a space that could potentially be used as a revenue generating area with some good old fashioned TLC, and clever and creative designs. In terms of back-of-house, the trends are flexible designs, bringing the BOH to FOH, for example with designs that allow every space to be revenue generating. This could mean creating a chef’s table or tasting room in the BOH main production kitchen or an employee cafeteria for menu sampling. In the front of house, one trend is micro-con28

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cepts, which enable the operator the flexibility to handle service during peak and off-peak seasons.

What do you need to know before planning a kitchen?

Well that depends on the project. For instance, for a renovation or retrofit project, we would typically begin with understanding the existing operational structure, understanding new operational expectations, and review of existing architectural, structural and engineering constraints. For a new-build, I believe it is a bit more straightforward. It would include understanding operational requirements, number and type of F&B outlets, deducing meal counts, establishing kitchen area requirements, operational connectivity and so on.

Which stakeholders do you consult with before planning a kitchen?

We consult with the operator, the arch consultant, MEP, the structural consultant, the logistics/ VT consultant, the interior consultant and the lighting consultant.

What are the most important aspects of good kitchen design?

It’s important to specify well-represented products, which offer great after-sales support. You also must work together with the operator to come up with design strategies and a concept intent that suits the expectations, so it’s important not to work in isolation. You also must understand the total meal counts and kitchen square metre availability, as this impacts kitchen equipment selection. Un-

The Busi n ess

derstanding the budget allocated by the client is also key for the kitchen equipment supply and installation, and you must have adequate coordination of the kitchen equipment installation requirements during the design phase with other trades of design, such as arch, structures and MEP.

and once appointed, the design process is given extremely short timelines. Another challenge is that clients believe that it is simpler to place the kitchen equipment supply and install contract under the main contractorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s package. Appointing the main contract as a lump sum results in a disconnect between the kitchen consultant from the KEC. This reduces interaction and control and eliminates leveraging between the contractors. The KEC will be at the mercy of the main con and therefore, incapable of ensuring quality of execution.

What is your main priority when sourcing kitchen equipment?

The priorities are: health and safety features and compliance to international standards or local codes; after-sales support; and energy efficiency.

How has commercial kitchen equipment evolved over the past 10 years?

Equipment is now much more intelligent with increased precision because of improved controls and technological advancements, such as improved PCB controls.

What is the most important piece of kitchen equipment? Combi steamers!

Melissa Yarman

What challenges do you often face when it comes to building and installation?

Owners not seeing the advantages of giving priority or time for the kitchen design phases. In most cases, interior design and architecture is given priority and attention, until they hit the kitchen spaces. Also, the appointment of the kitchen design contract is in most cases too late in the design

To what extent can using the right equipment overcome these challenges?

I believe selecting the right equipment benefits the installation and operations phase more than anything. I categorise the equipment selection into two criteria: the warranty it provides and the people and company that represent it. Selecting the right equipment ensures a certain level of technical design as well as after-sales support, which attracts the right type of companies for representation.


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Raising the game Richemont Masterbaker Centre for Excellence in Baking and Pastry opened its doors in Dubai in March with the objective of elevating the skill level of chefs specialising in pastry, bakery and chocolate in the Middle East. Catering News paid a visit to the venue in Jumeirah Lakes Towers to find out more The chef trainers (L-R): Honorine Reach, assistant chef instructor of the pastry & chocolate programme; Christiane Trilck, academic head of pastry and chocolate; Bhupendra Singh, assistant to chef instructor of the pastry & chocolate programme

While Masterbaker Marketing was established in the UAE in 1992 primarily to supply bakery and pastry ingredients to the foodservice industry in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and the Maldives, the company has always been involved in educating chefs on pastry and bakery. Last year, Masterbaker took this a step further by teaming up with Richemont Centre of Excellence in Switzerland to develop a pastry and bakery school in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers, where professional chefs can hone their skills and learn more about European methods. Ronnie Khajotia, director, Richemont Masterbaker Centre for Excellence in Baking and Pastry tells Catering News: “In many parts of the world, you get good bakery and pastry education, but it’s not as evolved as in the West. It’s about 30

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bringing the level of chefs in this region to that of the Europeans.” Previously, Masterbaker would send some 700 – 800 chefs to Europe to its partners’ schools in Germany, France, Switzerland and Holland to study but the courses were too product-focused, according to Khajotia, who was keen to establish an independent institution focused primarily on the technical aspects of bakery and pastry. However, identifying a professional educational institution in Europe that would be willing to give its name to a school in Dubai – and not as a franchise agreement – wasn’t easy. It took Khajotia a year of negotiations to convince the institution to go ahead with the project – its first outside of Switzerland. “Just giving a stamp doesn’t mean much.

After speaking to some institutes, we were introduced through our Swiss chocolate manufacturer, Felchlin, to Richemont Centre of Excellence. When we started talking to them, they soon realised we weren’t just talking about using their name, but providing a proper education.” Raising awareness of the school and recruiting the right tutors was handled by Masterbaker Marketing, which has 25 sales staff, and owns the school 100%. However, Khajotia is keen to highlight that the institute is an independent entity. “It will stand on its own feet in terms of profitability and it will work with anyone, not just with the ingredients from Masterbaker,” says Khajotia. “It’s a proper educational centre, not just a centre to teach Masterbaker products.

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In addition to the challenges with bringing the right institution on board, Masterbaker Marketing had to get a license from Dubai Multi Commodities Center Authority (DMCC) – the only Free Zone authority outside of Tecom that can provide licenses to educational institutions in Dubai. In addition, it had to secure certification from Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) for its courses. “KHDA have never authorised such a thing in Dubai,” says Khajotia. “They have authorised a cooking school, but never something so specifically focused on baking and pastry and with such short courses. They wanted to ensure it’s worth certifying, but that’s good for us. They won’t do it unless they’re convinced of the educational quality.”

At Richemont Masterbaker Centre for Excellence in Baking and Pastry, courses are split into bakery, and chocolate and pastry, with entry-level, intermediate and advanced modules available. Each course is five days long, but this may be altered over time in line with students’ requirements. In addition, from September 2017 the institute is looking to offer weekend and evening courses to the public and will bring in celebrity chefs to offer special courses. “We realised a working chef doesn’t have time to spend six weeks on a course, so we had to design the courses according to the conditions in the Gulf. I think five days off they can get, and I’m requesting hotels to donate those five days rather than cutting them from their leave because that person wants to learn and better himself or herself.

“It would be good to see if we could run longer courses for people coming out of hospitality schools – we’d really like to collaborate in some manner. The school in Switzerland does longer courses, but we’ve got to start somewhere.” Each five-day course is priced at AED 5,500, however for chefs paying for themselves, there is an introductory offer of AED 4,500 and in certain cases the payment can be collected over three months. The courses are very intense and hands-on but with guidance from a textbook, which explains each module in depth, says Khajotia. “With everything they do they can refer to a page number and take that away so they have a permanent source of information and knowledge. Even masters see it and think ‘there’s a lot I don’t know’. It’s April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Ronnie Khajotia, director, Richemont Masterbaker Centre for Excellence in Baking and Pastry

very intense, very detailed,” he comments. Recruiting the right people and designing the institution in line with the original building in Switzerland were also key considerations for Masterbaker Marketing. With around 700 customers in the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, the company relied on word-of-mouth to attract CVs from pastry trainers. “Being a good baker is one thing, but being able to transfer that knowledge as a teacher, while working with your hands is a different skill,” says Khajotia, adding that all the tutors were sent to the school in Switzerland for training. Each course will have a maximum of 16 students in a class with three staff to 16 students. The most senior chef instructor appointment is chef Christiane Trilck, the academic head of pastry and chocolate. Trilck, who trained in Culinary at the RBZ University in Germany for three years as a Masterchef was previously a key pastry trainer for Hilton Hotels, Waldorf and Conrad Hotels across the Arabian Peninsula. Other staff members on board are Uwe Maienschein, assistant chef instructor of the bread & baking programme, who worked as a bakery chef in Germany for 27 years; Bhupendra Singh, assistant to chef instructor of the pastry & chocolate programme – he spent seven years in pastry operations in fivestar hotels, including Palazzo Versace, 32

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Dubai; and Honorine Reach, assistant chef instructor of the pastry, & chocolate programme, who has 10 years of pastry experience in Michelin-starred restaurants in France and five-star hotels. To ensure the design of the premises reflected that of the original school in Switzerland, architecture company Dimx was brought on board to create the layout as per Richemont’s standards, and to carry out the engineering work. “The layout was according to Richemont’s requirements – the number of ovens and mixers, where to put what. The design was according to Richemont, so they have been involved very intensely. The designers have been to the facilities in Switzerland and have spoken to their architects,” Khajotia explains. Equipment was brought in from a range of suppliers, with Miwe ovens, croissant machines from Rondo, knives from Vic-

torinox, tables from Ginox Swiss Kitchen, Coldline fridges and cold stores from TSSC. “They’ve all given us school pricing,” explains Khajotia. “Pricing to schools is different because it gets a lot of eyeballs directly from professionals and it’s their way of helping out because it’s all very expensive.” Richemont Masterbaker Centre for Excellence in Baking and Pastry opened its doors last month and held its first class on 26 March. Currently Khajotia and the team are working on raising awareness of the facility and developing a wider range of courses. “We’re just getting started and seeing how the response is and what we can do next,” says Khajotia. “I think it’s good for the skill level in the industry to go up. It’s good for everyone; certainly, it’s good for Masterbaker. All of the senior chefs are very happy that something like this is happening here; we’re putting big money into it!”

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Chef Christiane Trilck, academic head, pastry and chocolate explains more about the specifics of the courses being offered at Richemont Masterbaker Centre for Excellence in Baking and Pastry in Dubai How did you become a pastry trainer? I developed a passion for training. At Hilton I did one-week courses and it gives you so much back to see how people are growing. I went on to open Palazzo Versace in Dubai but once I met with Ronnie and found out he wanted to open a school, I thought ‘that’s it’. I’ve been working on the project for over a year now. I want to explain to the students that if you have someone that gives you the skills and the passion, you have endless opportunities. When I was a commis and worked with Hyatt I never thought I’d end up in Dubai as a teacher but I was fortunate enough to get so much knowledge from the people I’ve worked with along the way, and now I’m able to give it back.

What are the barriers to learning for pastry chefs in the Middle East? I think the challenge in the day-to-day running of a hotel is that you’re very under pressure as a pastry chef. The manning is always just the minimum amount, so people don’t really have time to say, ‘ok let’s stop for an hour and I’ll explain to you why you do certain things’. They learn how to make a pastry cream but nobody explains why you’re doing it and people don’t ask.

Which ingredients do you use for the courses? I try to use the best on the market. Dubai has a huge variety – you have many suppliers and I’m not just here to use Masterbaker ingredients, I can choose ingredients from wherever I want. Through my experience over the past 22 years, I know the ingredients I prefer to work with and this is what I’m doing in the school. There will be a lot of ingredients from Europe as well – German flour, cream and butter from France, etc.

I think in the UAE we have a lot of talent, but unfortunately, we don't have enough management willing to spend time and money on their development. Not enough is done for the staff Chef Christiane Trilck

How will the courses evolve? We’re starting with these courses but we’re also in the process of developing more. Over the next couple of months, we will develop courses where we only focus on chocolate or gluten-free desserts or whatever the market requires. We also have the possibility that if you come with a certain amount of people we’ll just develop something for you, so we’re very flexible in terms of teaching. My team and I have been in the region a

while now so we sit and brainstorm about our experiences and what we feel we need to develop, where we’ve struggled when we’ve worked in hotels, where there was a lack of knowledge. We are also looking at developing a bigger variety of courses – not just five days but maybe two days on a specific theme. I also see it as a supporting tool. Our previous students can come here and ask questions about suppliers, ingredients and techniques.

What is unique about the training offered at Richemont Masterbaker? We give them the tools and the skills so they understand the ingredients, recipes and create their own and become independent. You can come up with your own ideas and become very creative and I think this is something you don’t get from a normal course or a book. You learn all the technical things and the basic pastry things and on top of that we give you a skill – becoming independent – and I think this is the main thing you take out of this course that will help you in your future career. Is there a lack of pastry chef talent in the Middle East? You can’t blame the people for a lack of talent. I’ve worked with people from Nepal who had never worked in a kitchen before and had no clue about pastry, but they were open-minded and keen to learn and this is key. These people were able to develop while working with me because they had the talent and the interest. They can take your comments on board and develop their skills to become brilliant. I think in the UAE we have a lot of talent, but unfortunately, we don’t have enough management willing to spend time and money on their development. Not enough is done for the staff.

April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C hef F ocus

Plain Sailing While overseeing 23 F&B outlets, 12,000 covers and 480 staff would leave some chefs in choppy waters, Atlantis The Palm’s new executive chef Cedric Darthial looks forward to the challenge Cedric Darthial has returned to Dubai after nine years in Asia to join Atlantis, The Palm as senior executive chef, where he oversees the 1,500-key resort’s 480 F&B staff, 12,000 covers and 23 fine dining and casual outlets, including celebrity chef eateries, Nobu, Ronda Locatelli and Bread Street Kitchen & Bar by Gordon Ramsay. However, overseeing a mammoth operation like Atlantis is something Darthial is no stranger to, having come from City of Dreams in Manila where, as executive chef, he managed over 400 staff, and an average of 14,000 covers per day. Some of the 14 restaurants he oversaw included Nobu – which he is managing again at Atlantis, The Palm – and the Tasting Room. Commenting on what attracts him to operations of this scale, Darthial says: “It is an exciting thing; instead of working in a small hotel with three F&B outlets, I think this gives us a lot of opportunity to be creative. “I think it is more exciting for a chef to be managing everything from a casual outlet to a fine dining outlet. This gives you the right opportunity to be creative; even though my background is in fine dining, I do get creative in casual outlets in terms of the concept.” And while the size of the operations under his management in Manila and Dubai are similar, Darthial admits consumer behaviour is different, with restaurants in the UAE having to work a bit harder for their piece of the pie. 34

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“I think Dubai is a good platform in terms of F&B trends and people like to try new things, while in Asia, people like to stay with what they feel comfortable,” he says. “The power of spending is much higher here than in the Philippines.” He observes that compared to his last stint in the emirate, inbound markets have changed. “Nine years ago, the market was mainly UK and Russian, but now you can see a lot of the Asian market so

I do believe that the demographics have changed a lot. “Chinese people like to travel and like to spend money so I think it is good to have a Chinese market. [At Atlantis] we also work a lot with tour operators due to the language barriers.” While Darthial is not heavily involved in menu creation at Atlantis – with each outlet’s chef de cuisine overseeing this – he is focused on enhancing the overall experience and is working on a number of refurbishments for the year ahead. “The concepts are working; they have been established for many years,” says Darthial. “People don’t come only for the food but for the experience. We are going to refurbish a lot of concepts; we are doing Kaleidoscope, Levantine’s terrace and we will launch a new brunch in Ayamna. The good thing about Atlantis is that we keep on evolving and changing things. “At Kaleidoscope, the concept will remain the same, it is still an international buffet, but we will refurbish the whole design, the whole interior will be redone. In terms of culinary, we are going to do some enhancements but again it is a buffet so there is limited space to do all of that. We’re not changing the concepts, we’re just innovating.” And while Saffron’s brunch is doing well, Darthial still intends to optimise it further by increasing the range of beverage offerings. “The clientele who come

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Bread Street Kitchen

to Saffron are not looking for food as a priority; I must say the beverage is the priority,” he says. Implementing changes can get a bit more challenging when it comes to celebrity chef restaurants as all decisions must be discussed with the corporate team before implementation, says Darthial. “If there are any changes in terms of the menu, then we go back to the corporate team and sit down with them,” he comments, offering the example of Nobu.

“Nobu is a very corporate and standard place, I mean they do a brunch here and we used to do a brunch [in Manila]. It is still a great place to eat but again they are very systematic in terms of offers.” While the diversity of the market is something Darthial admires in Dubai, he knows this translates to more competition. “The market is very difficult, with 9,000 restaurants in the city; I think we need to maintain the business level that we have, be creative, have a good quality


of product, and satisfy the customer. We need to be affordable and have the best quality we can get.” Darthial doesn’t see himself moving from Dubai any time soon now that he has a young family – “for the family it’s a great place to be” – and he looks forward to continuing his career in hotel F&B for the foreseeable future. “I have an ambition of becoming a VP of F&B but again I still have time ahead of me, so let’s see what happens.” April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Keeping it Indie

Mostafa Chhoury, head chef of Indie DIFC reveals his plans for evolving the Dubai venueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s menu in the coming months


Catering NEWS ME April 2017

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What is your hero dish/ signature item on the menu? It is really our hero dish rather than signature dish because people love it and almost all of our guests order it on their return visits. It’s a recreation of the famous rossino, called ‘Rossini Junior’: cubes of prime beef topped with seared foie gras, black truffle flakes, salt and balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze. Our awesome lobster rolls are also a top choice for nonmeat eaters. What advice would you give chefs starting out in this region? Most of us chefs come with our own idea of doing things the way we always did. It’s a great thing but I believe in adapting and striving to cater for the local community and all the expats of Dubai. You can never stand still; you must always innovate, tweak, design new dishes, experiment and learn. What major challenges did you face when launching Indie? Finding the best and freshest produce was one of the biggest challenges we faced during the pre-opening process as our menu items are simple and the sourcing of good products is paramount to the success of each of our creations. Our innovative menu has been very well received and appreciated by the Dubai crowd, who have voted with their feet and keep coming back for more. Tell me about the concept of Indie? The concept of Indie is sophisticated, trendy and fun, while at the same time maintaining the very highest culinary standards. We have worked on a menu that is easy to understand and that caters to all types of diners. Please explain Indie’s menu? There is a wide selection of starters, both hot and cold, with influences from global cuisines and easy-to-eat food. This is followed by an array of refreshing salads and finally our selection of mains, again with an international flavour, served individually, but which can be shared. We also have mixed platters that combine different items in one plate

to share with your guests and our selection of very light sweets includes vegan and dairy-free items. Our menu must complement the overall tone of Indie; chic, effortlessly stylish, always innovative and up-to-the-minute. What influences and experiences do you draw on for your menu creation? I look for international cuisines and love to combine cooking techniques from the east with well-loved favourites from western cuisine. I love Asian food and I’m also a big fan of French gastronomy and I dig into this regularly to discover more. I use cookbooks from renowned chefs for inspiration and put my own take on some of their recipes.

What suppliers do you work with and what items are most difficult to source? We work with Fresh Express, Classic Fine Foods and Chef Middle East. Good meat can be hard to find as the quality varies a lot and nothing but the very best will do for Indie and its customers. Thanks to all the professional suppliers in the UAE and Dubai we have been able to source what we need and maintain the highest quality of food we insist upon. How do you see the menu evolving going forward? There are more items to come, perhaps with some more Asian influence and why not some live cooking stations for our guests in the venue? April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


Out of this world

Out of this world

PERUVIAN Over the past few years, the Middle East has seen a boom in the popularity and prevalence of Peruvian cuisine. Here, the chefs from the region’s best Peruvian restaurants reveal all about the latest trends, recipes and ingredients featuring on their menus How popular is Peruvian cuisine in Dubai and The Middle East? Zuzumo (Erick Oshiro): For many years, French cuisine was considered the greatest on the planet, closely followed by Italian. But two decades ago, these cuisines stopped being innovative and that gave space for food from other nations to come into the spotlight. All of a sudden, all eyes were on Latin American cuisine, which was something no-one else had experienced. Peruvian dishes began gaining popularity fast in Dubai, and the Middle East as a whole. People today are looking for authentic, natural, healthy food to tempt their palates. With a combination of diverse, delicious flavours and luxurious ingredients, Peruvian cuisine is now offering people a refreshing change, which is making it incredibly popular. Benjamin Wan: Peruvian cuisine right now is at its peak; there are eight or nine top Peruvian restaurants in Dubai and we are very fortunate to be placed among them. Since we launched two years ago, six new Peruvian restaurants have opened, and now Virgilio Martinez has opened Lima, which just shows how popular Peruvian cuisine has become. As for the Middle East, we hope to be at the forefront with our new opening in Abu Dhabi. Diego Fernando Sanchez Vargas: Peruvian cuisine has become very popular in the region, with an influx of concepts over the past two years. Part of our philosophy at


Catering NEWS ME April 2017

Lima Dubai is to educate our guests on the unique diversity of Peru’s offering, which I believe will continue to increase in popularity as guests become more aware of the range of dishes, flavours and textures that make up Peruvian cuisine. Edgar Hurtado: Peruvian cuisine is gaining popularity in the Middle East and actually has a strong culinary connection to the region. When the Spanish conquered the Incas, they brought with them their Arabic heritage and a rich range of Arabic spices. If you add in other influences such as Chinese, Japanese, Italian, African, Creole and Amazonian flavours, you get some uniquely tasty food. At the same time, many of these ingredients grow only in Peru, like aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow pepper), which is present in most dishes and gives it a distinctive character and flavour. It’s really the mixture of great ingredients with a variety of influences that makes Peruvian food so popular, and especially in the multicultural city of Dubai where that variety is appreciated. Angel Solis: In the late 90s, what we know as the “Peruvian gastronomic revolution” took place. This was the result of changes in Peru’s society and politics and marked the beginning of the Peruvian cuisine boom on a global scale, which happened mainly in the western world. However, in the Middle East, Latin cuisine began to flourish in the 2000’s. In Dubai, the first Latin American restaurant opened five years ago

Out of this world

Chef Zuzumo (Erick Oshiro), Head chef, Aji, Palm Jumeirah

Garden, JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai

The Chefs

Aji, Palm Jumeirah

Benjamin Wan, Executive chef, Coya Middle East

Coya, Dubai

and now there are around eight Peruvian restaurants including Totora DIFC, which opened last year. It’s not a large number when you consider there are over 500 Italian restaurants here, particularly given that Peru is one of the world’s most biologically diverse countries and has over 5,000 years of culture and heritage. Have you adapted Peruvian cuisine to suit local tastes? Zuzumo: We serve authentic Nikkei cuisine at Aji. One of the most popular

tastes of 21st century gastronomy, Nikkei transforms Peruvian dishes using Japanese flavours and techniques, resulting in its very own personality and identity. We launched late last year with the intention of introducing authentic Nikkei cuisine to the UAE palate. However, we do look forward to introducing local flavours to Aji’s dishes, especially during Ramadan, where we intend to tweak the menu to suit local sensibilities. Benjamin: Very slightly, mainly the level of spice and acidity has been toned down

Diego Vargas, Head chef, Lima Dubai

Edgar Hurtado, Chef de cuisine, Garden, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Angel Solis, Sous chef, Totora, Dubai

April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


Out of this world

What is your hero dish?

Zuzumo: The most popular dish would definitely be the Gyoza. We’ve made over 6,000 pieces since we opened in November. Our beef gyozas are pan-fried, steamed dumplings filled with lomo saltado, caramelised onions and tomatoes on a bed of aji amarillo sauce. Benjamin: The tuna tiradito: seared yellowfin tuna with tiger’s milk made from maracuya, orange juice, dates and aji limo. The Peruvian element we bring is the maracuya and aji limo, for the sweetness we use dates as we are in the Middle East. It is garnished with pickled daikon, caramelised hazelnuts, apple, burnt orange and coriander cress. Diego: ‘Catch of the day Ceviche’, one the most authentic Peruvian dishes, so versatile and best made with the freshest ingredients, combined with citrus to marinate. We have the finest fish arriving to the restaurant daily and we hold firm to the Peruvian traditions and techniques, combining the catch of the day with finely chopped red onion, crispy cancah corn and our own tiger’s milk, a citrus based marinade that cures the fish, creating

a light and zingy dish packed with flavour and personality. Edgar: Ceviche is the best known Peruvian dish and originated in Lima. It is raw fish marinated in citrus juice and spices; the acid from the juice cures the fish. The flesh becomes opaque, the texture firmer and dryer, yet the flavours remain perfectly fresh. I was born in Lima near the ports of Peru and grew up eating ceviche every day and it’s a staple food I always crave. It’s something that defines my childhood and is the reason I always try to come up with new ceviche creations – to honour the place where I grew up. Angel: At Totora DIFC, our hero dish is arroz con mariscos (rice with seafood), which has grilled scallops, calamari, octopus, lobster and rice with Peruvian spices and white wine. Seafood is very important in Peruvian cuisine as Peru’s Pacific fisheries are the most prolific in the world. For vegetarians our hero dish is quinotto, a white quinoa risotto with portobello mushrooms, aji amarillo, asparagus, white wine, parmesan cheese and black truffle oil.

to make the dishes more accessible. The ceviche we leave alone, there’s nothing to change there. With other dishes and new dishes, we concentrate on intense flavours while keeping the heat from the various Peruvian chillies under control. Diego: Local tastes are something we have strongly considered. This is why the menu at Lima Dubai is unique to this market and not just a replica of Lima London. Some of the ingredients we use are native to Peru and have very special and unique flavours people have never tasted before. We have made an effort to balance these with ingredients the local market will be more familiar with. Education and talking with our guests is very important and it is not unusual to see the chefs on the restaurant floor engaging with guests and discussing dishes, while gaining vital feedback. Edgar: I try to keep it traditional but with a modern twist, showing our cuisine as it is prepared in the Peruvian home. I achieve this by using fresh ingredients and cooking

with love and passion as if it was cooked by my mother. Having influences from different cultures also allows me to think outside the box. Angel: We mainly adapt the spice levels and cooking methods – for example, increasing the use of lamb and other local favourites. However, we are also bringing new flavours with ceviche, a very surprising dish for the locals as they are not used to eating cured or raw fish. We also adapt to global trends; for example with our quinoa salad. We Peruvians usually eat quinoa only for breakfast and in beverage form as a power drink in the morning.


Catering NEWS ME April 2017

What are the key trends emerging in Peruvian cuisine globally and in the Middle East? Zuzumo: Peruvian cuisine and Nikkei food has become more experimental. Many chefs are trying to adapt the cuisine to fit the palates of their guests. Japanese children born in Peru grew up with this food

Tuna tiradito, Coya Dubai

and the flavours remain the same, but now we are happy to share it with the world, and it makes us very proud that people are embracing it. Benjamin: I think more bold and intense flavours will continue. The fact that Peruvian cuisine has so many influences from around the word, it’s so multicultural that with these new flavours everyone can find some comfort in the food. Diego: Globally, Peruvian cuisine is expanding into all markets around the world. What we have noticed is a trend moving towards using traditional ingredients from Peru as suppliers increase their holding capacity based on demand. Peruvian chefs are now using these ingredients with their own modern twists and creating more of a sharing experience around each dish. Edgar: Peruvian cuisine has been trending globally for many years now and seafood ceviches, purple potatoes, and ají peppers have been making regular appearances on trendsetting menus. In my

Out of this world

Aji's Gyoza

Catch-of-the-day, Ceviche, Lima Dubai

Tuna Ceviche, Garden

home country, we have more than 3,000 varieties of potatoes and over 40 varieties of corn, so there’s huge diversity in the produce available. Quinoa, Inca corn and lucuma (golden fruit) are all emerging as popular health foods. Angel: Authentic Peruvian and Peruvian fusion cuisine, fine dining and innovative experiences are trends we are seeing in addition to the use of exotic ingredients and new flavours and ingredients produced by nature that have never before been seen in Europe or the Middle East. Where do you source produce for your menus? Zuzumo: We source products from all over the world, but most are imported from Peru and Japan. Benjamin: A lot comes from Peru; we have fantastic suppliers who are doing a great job in sourcing what we want directly from Peru and Latin American countries. Diego: Most of my ingredients are sourced

Quinotto, Totora

directly from Peru. Our local suppliers have been integral in achieving this. Edgar: I work with amazing suppliers; they import the products directly from Peru like our chillis, quinoa and purple corn. I also meet with other chefs from Peru and we discuss how we can bring more of our Peruvian produce to Dubai to make our traditional dishes. Angel: I get my ingredients from Peru. What products do you find challenging to source? Zuzumo: Some items are very niche to our cuisine so suppliers don’t have them available in large quantities. At the moment, we are struggling with the purple corn we use for our popular dish, ‘Ebi Tempura’. Benjamin: The most challenging items are fresh fruits from South America – the soft flesh fruit which is amazing over there. By the time it reaches here by ship or even plane, the quality is just not the same. Diego: Peruvian Potatoes are a key ingre-

dient in truly authentic dishes. Peru has around 3,500 different varieties of potato, of which currently I can source only about eight, which is a real challenge. However I am working closely with our suppliers and hope to be including more varieties on the menu soon. Edgar: Currently we are using Brazilian limes and we are doing well, but they don’t compare with our fresh Peruvian limes from the Piura region of Peru. We are working on getting some very soon. Angel: Mainly Peruvian peppers to prepare the ‘aji’ sauces and the variety of roots. Peru grows thousands of varieties of potato in more colours than you can count. How do you see your menu evolving over the next 12 months? Zuzumo: We are always thinking of new dishes; we’re always innovating and coming up with tweaks and changes to our existing dishes as well. Also, there are a lot of Peruvians in our kitchen and we alApril 2017 Catering NEWS ME


Out of this world

ways talk about dishes we miss from back home, and just like that we want to bring it to the Aji kitchen. Benjamin: More local produce will be used over the coming months – we have new suppliers offering great produce from the region and this, paired with ingredients from Peru, will see our menu evolve. Also, I think we will introduce new cooking techniques, which are not familiar to Peruvian cuisine. We need to find different ways to work quicker, smarter, and more efficiently while maintaining the quality. This can be very difficult with the big covers we do. Diego: Virgilio Martinez, Lima’s executive chef and owner, creates new ideas every day, sometimes every hour, and is constantly working to evolve our offering. In London and Dubai people are always looking for something different, something new and on-trend and we work alongside Virgilio to get ahead of trends and produce something unique. This starts with further exploring the vast range of Peruvian ingredients, some of which will not have been seen or tasted outside of Peru before. Edgar: I want to import more Peruvian ingredients to Dubai and feature them on my menu. I recently modified the menu in Garden using inspiration from the Peruvian coast, mountains and jungle to make guests feel as if they had been transported to Peru. The new menu features Andean bread, a trio of ceviche and a memorable ‘picarones’ dessert. Angel: At Totora DIFC we will keep the traditional, authentic dishes, while evolving the menu according the local market and Peruvian and global trends. What is the future for Peruvian cuisine in the region? Zuzumo: The cuisine keeps captivating the palate of people around the world; I think we will continue to see it grow around the region. Benjamin: The future is bright! There are some great Peruvian restaurants in Dubai and hopefully they, like us, will take the leap and expand across the Middle East. Competition is great, it keeps us on our toes and pushes us to new levels. Diego: Peruvian food has many facets and fusions, and it is very important for a chef in Dubai using these techniques to consider the local market by transforming the fu42

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

Lima Dubai

Totora DIFC, Dubai

sions into modern creations, while always being true to the cuisine. I believe the interest in Peruvian food will only increase as we are able to share our passion for the dishes and educate our guests on the true diversity of the cuisine. Edgar: I see Peruvian cuisine as the future of gastronomy around the world. Peruvian chefs are ambassadors of the country and culture and our mission is to bring this rich cuisine to the public, with a respect for our history and a passion for innovation. We feel like we have an opportunity to share with the world our lovely food, which we've been hiding for a long time. ‘Que rico!’ is an expression I often heard in Peru as a child, and it’s when someone ex-

claims ‘so tasty!’ as a reaction to Peruvian food. Little did I know then that Peruvian food would emerge as a world titan in the culinary scene. Angel: The next step for us, as ambassadors of Peruvian cuisine, is to teach others about Peru’s gastronomic prowess, which is attributed to a blend of unique ingredients and influences from indigenous Andean, Amazonian and South American coastal cultures, to the Spanish conquerors and African slave history as well as French, Italian, Chinese and Japanese immigrants. We love Peruvian food. Once you have experienced the best of Peruvian food, you will understand why we feel so passionately about it.

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Meiko Global Congress China 2017 Meiko invited a group of its key business partners from Asia-Pacific and the Middle East to the Meiko Global Congress, celebrating 20 years of operating in China. Catering News reports

About Meiko Meiko was established in 1927 in a garage in the Black Forest, Germany, and was rebuilt after being completely destroyed during World War II. After the owners died in 1979, Meiko was brought under a foundation, and today is co-owned by the foundation and a number of holding companies. What makes Meiko unique, is that all the money earned is reinvested back into the business and the company itself can’t be acquired by any of the industry giants, so the quality of Meiko’s products and services continues to improve year after year. Today, Meiko operates all around the globe, with factories in Germany, China and the USA.


Catering NEWS ME April 2017


eiko invited a group of its business partners to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its China operations. On Tuesday 21 February, the company, which specialises in professional warewashing, cleaning and disinfection technology, opened the doors of its factory in Zhongshan, near Hong Kong to offer its clients the opportunity to experience the production facility first-hand. Speaking to Catering News Middle East on the sidelines of the factory tour, Meiko CEO Dr. -Ing. Stefan Scheringer said: “We wanted to give the consultants and partners an insight into our potential. We’re not just a small company in Offenburg, Germany. We’re a worldwide operating company with worldwide and world-class production facilities, and some people don’t quite believe that – seeing means believing!” The Meiko factory in Zhongshan is one of three in the world,


Meiko Middle East

Tim Walsh, managing director, Meiko Middle East explains why the China Global Congress was an important event for highlighting the quality of Meiko products to the company’s partners in the Middle East

What was the objective of the Meiko Global Congress? We wanted to showcase the Meiko factory after 20 years in China and demonstrate that Meiko quality is the same wherever you buy it. Who did you invite from the Middle East? We invited the partners we interact with on the most regular basis, such as kitchen fit-out contractors, kitchen design consultants, kitchen equipment suppliers and hoteliers. When was the Meiko Middle East office established? Our office was established eight years ago, and since then we have added a technical training office. We will be moving to a bigger office shortly. How many people are employed in the Middle East region? We have nine people employed at present and are currently in the process of hiring another three. What products and services do you offer? We offer a full range of dishwashers plus the handling systems for hotels, restaurants and airline catering. We have a stock of spare parts and products, and we have a technical training academy for technicians as well. What are your best-sellers in this region? It’s hard to say as we sell all of our dishwasher products. However, the Mi-Q range sets us apart from the competitors. The Mi-Q comes either in as either a rack or flight type dishwashing machine, with money saving features unrivalled by any other dishwasher – it’s on its own at the moment in the world of large dishwashers.

with the others located in Europe (Germany) and the USA (Nashville). Europe is Meiko’s key market – being a European company – however Scheringer explains that it is also seeing strong growth in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. “Last year we saw growth in Australia, Kuala Lumper, China and Dubai and we have excellently managed companies in those areas. Asia has high potential for us; we’re investing a lot. I really believe Asia is the next economic world centre.” Today, Meiko holds stakes in 10 companies in Germany, seven in the rest of Europe and seven overseas, most of which are in Asia. However, as the company grows in Asia, it is key that quality is maintained, says Dr. Scheringer. “Made by Meiko is not only a matter of the production,” he comments. “Made by Meiko is a philosophy, which shows the lifetime responsibility of Meiko for our products and our efforts to have satisfied customers.” Explaining how quality is ensured, Scheringer says that the spec-

What differentiates Meiko Middle East from its competitors in the region? We have good competitors for sure, but we offer all-round support, and I think we do it slightly better than our competitors. Plus, we are developing a new product every year, which is almost unheard of in our industry. How important is the Middle East to Meiko’s global objectives? The Middle East has just started developing recently, albeit at an incredible pace, so it is not as big as other regions like Europe and America plus the sheer number of people in Asia makes that market larger. However, Middle East teaches you to be faster, more efficient and flexible than any other market in the world, so it’s an important lesson to any company wanting to survive here – perform here and you can perform anywhere. What are Meiko Middle East’s plans for 2017? We will continue to stay humble and support our valued customers as best we can.

April 2017 Catering NEWS ME





1,160 STAFF IN Germany


Last year we saw growth in Australia, South East Asia, China and Middle East & Africa and we have excellently managed companies in those areas. Asia has high potential for us; we’re investing a lot. I really believe Asia is the next economic world centre Meiko CEO Dr. -Ing. Stefan Scheringer


€301mn TURNOVER (MEIKO Group) All figures from 2015

ifications are all strictly “born” in Germany and regular training from the German team is provided in China. Staff are exchanged frequently between the two facilities. “We have an exchange of people on a regular basis and several times a year, our experts from Offenburg are here in China and the team from Zhongshan go to Offenburg for 46

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

training. Over the last 20 years we have built a high level of knowledge and experience in China. I personally can’t tell the difference between a German or China produced machine, without having to look deeply inside the machine.” Meiko China has a lot of staff members who are already working there for

years. This shows once more the spirit within the Meiko Group. “A longterm employment allows our people to learn over decades how to create and produce dishwashers on a high level”, says Dr. Scheringer. The China factory has started producing the Upster line, Meiko’s midmarket dishwasher range. With growth strong in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, Meiko is set to continue its current strategy of tapping into emerging markets, and to set up, besides its production network, a worldwide service network to serve the customers in the best possible way. Dr. Scheringer comments: “We’re open to investing anywhere in the world, if necessary.”


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GULFOOD 2017 Catering News presents the highlights from the 22nd edition of Gulfood 2017, which took place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 26 February – 2 March


he 22nd edition of Gulfood took place from 26 February – 2 March at Dubai World Trade Centre and welcomed 90,000 food professionals from 150 countries over five days. Unveiling its most significant evolution in layout, format and visitor experience since the exhibition’s inception in 1987 as a biennial event, this year’s Gulfood

focused on finished food and beverages split into eight show components: Beverages; Dairy; Fats and Oils; Health, Wellness and FreeFrom; Pulses, Grains and Cereals; Meat and Poultry; Power Brands and World Food. In these pages, Catering News presents some of the key highlights from Gulfood 2017 and interviews with a selection of exhibitors.

TSSC showcases F&B division at Gulfood 2017

At this year’s Gulfood, inst ead of displaying its kitchen equipment, TSSC focused on its food and beverage division . TSSC business development manager , Rashid Bahar commented: “We are highlighting J&J Snack Foods, which is suitable for amu sement parks and hotels. We have things like pretzels, stuff ed pretzels, milk chocolate coo kies, and double chocolate coo kies . Everything comes frozen so you can either bake it or fry it; it is very easy and very quick. In addition to that, we have new ice lollies, with sugar-free varietie s which are good for schools. ”


Catering NEWS ME April 2017

Anchor Food Professionals showcases brand relaunch

Fonterra general manager, Alastair Bruce, spoke about the relaunch of the Anchor Food Professionals brand at its first ever Gulfood. Bruce commented: “We have been here in the Middle East as Anchor but in terms of our specific focus on food service, this is an opportunity for us to talk about what we really stand for.” In terms of its products, Anchor Food Professionals showcased its products for ‘Western bakery’, ‘Italian kitchen’ and for quick service restaurants. “We have a number of products here fit for purpose for those channels,” said

Bruce, highlighting whipping cream, mozzarella and cooking cream products, which offer more yield. “So you buy a litre of that cream, whereas with other creams you buy a litre and about 20% gets reduced away,” he said. Commenting on why Anchor Food Professionals came to Gulfood for the first time in 2017, he added: “Gulfood gets bigger and bigger, which is a statement of growth in the foodservice channel, so we see that the channels that we focus on are growing, and we've got room to grow ourselves.”


Gulfood Innovation Awards

Gulfood 2017 crowned its Innovation Awards winners at a ceremony on 26 February at Conrad Hotel Dubai. The Innovation Awards, sponsored by Al Dahra, recognise and honour new and improved innovations and technologies being adopted by Gulfood exhibitors. UAE-based Global Food Industries LLC (AL Batha Group) took home the accolades for Best Fruit and Vegetable Innovation and Best Meat and Poultry Innovation. Meanwhile, Green Isle Foods from Ireland was crowned Best Halal Food Company for Goodfellas halal frozen pizza, and Greenyards Frozen, from Belgium, picked up the award for Best Frozen or Chilled Food. Other winners included New Zealand dairy co-operative Fonterra, which won 'Best Trade Stand between 40 -90 square metres'. The stand is shared by Fonterra's business-to-business brands, NZMP and Anchor Food Professionals. For a full list of winners, go to:

Nothern Ireland gains strength in Middle East market

Northern Ireland had seven companies exhibiting on its stand at Gulfood 2017: dairy companies, Lakeland Pritchitts, Greenfields and Lackpatrick; Kestrel Foods, with healthy dried fruit and nuts; health drink firm CocoMojo; Glens of Antrim crisps; and Just Live A Little, healthy granola manufacturer. Commenting on the growth of the Middle East as an export market for the country, Invest

Northern Ireland head of business development - Middle East, food division, Karl Devlin said: “The Middle East has always been very strong in dairy. Northern Ireland as part of the UK counts for around 14% of production of dairy products; we’re very strong in cheese, milk powders – full fat and skimmed – and UHT milks and creams. “We are also seeing it as a gateway for new companies coming into the market through Dubai, finding distributors here, and becoming interested in the rest of the region. It’s a strong market and very competitive. We’ve also got an office in Dubai so we have a small team here that can help our companies to establish a base here if they want to.”

French F&B exports to UAE more than double in six years

At Gulfood 2017, France – which has been exhibiting at the show since 1997 – was showcasing products from 70 companies across different segments of the show, including Dairy, Beverages, and Meat and Poultry. It highlighted products such as desserts, yoghurts, milk, biscuits, jam, honey, syrups, juices, waters, and canned, fresh and frozen meat and poultry products. Commenting on the importance of the Middle East as an

export market for France, Miryem Oukas Messidi, head of communications at Business France UAE said: “French exports have grown in the UAE and Middle East and have more than doubled in six years with a 207% increase. KSA is still the largest market for French F&B companies, with a $1bn dollar market in 2015. Of the $8 billion French dairy exports internationally, $400 million is sold to the Middle East, which is 5%.

April 2017 Catering NEWS ME



and vegan products Fabbri Gelato introduces halal and pastry arm Fabbri Gelato, the 112-year-old Italian gelato cts at Gulfood of Fabbri 1905, exhibited halal and vegan produ ients are ingred our All “ said: , 2017. Fabbri CEO, Nicola Fabbri are good they but good taste only not they modern and natural, leader the as that think We life. of way your and for your body profes the and ers of the market our task is to give our custom long make can they which with sionals in this business elements in their gelato.” lasting and natural ingredients in their cakes or

Dawn Foods cleans up at Gulfood Richard Schrama,

director of Africa & Middle East at Dawn Foods tells Cate ring News about the company’s new, clea ner labels, which were bein g showcased at Gulfood. He commented: “Dawn Foo ds is an American company and has some authentic bak ery products highlighting the modern taste of America. We continue to use authentic recipes, but with modern ingr edients and cleaner labels. Highlighting Dawn Foods’ plans for the region, he add ed: “In the Middle East we’re starting to build the bran d further – the brand identity is really big here. Everyone knows it and it’s very fam ous so we need to capitlise on that.”

Japanese Wagyu exports to UAE increased 70% in 2016

The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) exhibited at Gulfood 2017 for the fourth time, with the objective of increasing awareness of Japanese products, in particular Japanese Wagyu beef. Exports of Japanese Wagyu beef to the UAE increased by 70% in 2016 compared to the previous year, and this is primarily due to demand from restaurants and hotels, according to Junji Nakao, director JETRO. This year, Gulfood 50

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

featured a separate pavilion for Wagyu beef for concentrated promotional and educational efforts. Out of 44 companies participating from Japan this year at Gulfood, 10 were Japanese Wagyu suppliers, with Japan aiming to double the current export of Japanese Wagyu to the Middle East region by 2019. Japan’s exports to the UAE in 2016 totalled US $51 million, which represents 0.7% of its total exports.

Chile celebrates 10 years at Gulfood

ies the 10th year, with 17 compan Chile appeared at Gulfood for nes pru and ranging from nuts, raisins showcasing their products, mis com e trad , juices. Sharif Chacoff to mineral water, honey and E UA that , ago s year 10 “We realised sioner of Chile commented: t years, East and Asia. Over the nex dle Mid the to way gate is the r. to diversify our offe we are going to keep pushing water was 56%; our juices eral min in th “Last year our grow to to bring more companies here was 400%. We’re planning es mak t wha ing lain Exp us. for er make this market even bigg way a in added: “Chile is an island Chilean produce unique, he in side, we have the mountains, one On . iers – it has natural barr the e hav we th sou the in the world, the north the driest desert in ducts we have the ocean, so our pro side er oth the to and icebergs er.” are very safe for the consum


Food trade from Peru to Middle East increases exponentially

The Dubai World Trade Centre winners


During The Emirates Salon Culinaire (ESC), which took place alongside Gulfood, a total of 86 gold medals, 161 silver medals and 280 bronze medals were awarded. President of the Guild, Chef Uwe Micheel, director of kitchens at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, said: “We are proud to be able to put on such a great competition that really shows the talents of our chefs here in the UAE and gives a great opportunity for international competitors to come and compete alongside our UAE chefs.” Organised by The Emirates Culinary Guild, Salon Culinaire saw more than 1,250 competitors from the UAE, Maldives, Russia, South Korea, and Bahrain compete in 29 classes across all disciplines of the culinary arts. This included ice carving, practical cookery, static displays, Emirati cuisine, cake decorating and showpiece categories. Winners • Best Effort by an Individual Establishment – Dubai World Trade Centre • Best Effort by a Corporation - Jumeirah Group • Best Arabian Cuisinier - Rabeh Adel Amer, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek • Best Pastry Chef - Dodampage Achira Danushka Kularatne, Dubai International Hotel • Best Kitchen Artist - Rohita Kumara Leelewansa Kasthuriarachchni, Jumeirah Burj Al Arab • Best Cuisiner - R. Prasanna Kumar, Dubai International Hotel • Middle East Young Chef of the Year - Dashrath Pakhrin, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek

Wales sets sights on Middle East as Brexit looms Wales showcased 25 companies at Gulfood as part of its objective to increase the food and drink sector in the country by 30% by 2020. This year, Wales highlighted its premium lamb, in addition to cheese, yoghurt, butter and honey. The Welsh government’s Cabinet Secre-

tary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM commented: “I think our increase of exports to the Middle East is now 26% since 2013, so it’s already a very important area but after Brexit we need to look for new markets so that’s another reason to be here.”

Trade from Peru to the Middle East has increased radically from seven million dollars to US$436 million within five years. Speaking to Catering News Middle East on the sidelines of Gulfood 2017, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru director, Alvaro Silva-Santisteban said: “The growth in terms of exports has not just been sustainable, but exponential. The trade is still growing year on year and this is just a starting point for us.” Today, Peru is the world’s top producer of fish oil, asparagus,

quinoa and paprika, and the world’s second largest producer of avocados, artichokes, organic bananas and organic cacao. Alvaro added: “Last year, Peruvian businesses closed deals worth US$15 million as a result of their participation in Gulfood. We are optimistic that our status as the best leading culinary destination for five consecutive years, coupled with growing awareness of Peru as the world’s super pantry, will ensure even more transactions at Gulfood this year.”

Coffee Planet set to expand globally UAE homegrown brand, Coffee Planet, which was established in the UAE in 2005, is looking to further expand at a global level. Last year, the brand was redesigned from top to bottom and a new franchise design was launched and Gulfood 2017 was the first opportunity for Coffee Planet to showcase its new concept to a wide audience. Coffee Planet managing director, Robert Jones said: “We have a franchise partner in Pakistan, we have a franchise partner in Oman and also in Malaysia, and then we have distribution partners in several other countries around the MENA region.” Advanced discussions are taking

place with regards to the expansion of the brand to both the Bahraini and the Saudi Arabian markets. Jones added: “I think we developed a model that does have global appeal.” April 2017 Catering NEWS ME



A new era of growth for Chef Middle East

To introduce its brand new state-of-the-art headquarters in Dubai Investment Park, Chef Middle East hosted a cooking demonstration with Chef Paul Gayler MBE in front of an audience of chefs from around Dubai. Catering News spoke to Chef Middle East CEO, Steve Pyle on how the company’s new and extended facilities are providing a platform for future growth


ince it was first established in 1995, the backbone of Chef Middle East’s business has been supplying premium ingredients to the region’s top hotels. However, over the years, the company’s customer base has expanded to include everyone from executive chefs looking after multiple F&B outlets within large, five-star hotel operations, to independent chefs at the helm of small, casual dining outlets. Speaking to Catering News Middle East, Chef Middle East CEO, Steve Pyle, commented: “Our commitment to the market is to reach into kitchens and build relationships with those people; understand what people need and meet those requirements, and that’s been the DNA of the business for as long as we’ve existed.” Since the company’s acquisition three years ago by Gulf Capital, Chef Middle East has focused on investing in its team and facilities to strengthen its customercentric approach, while increasing its reach throughout the region. Investment in staffing has been a key element of growth and today Chef Middle East employs 28 sales people and four category specialists looking after each of seafood, proteins, dairy, and pastry and bakery. Explaining the role of the category specialists, Pyle said: “These are the people who are immersed in their product specialism and whose role is to act as educators for the sales force and to have a reach into kitchens and be able to solve technical questions about the products and engage those customers with a passion for 52

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

We’re trying more and more to get people to come out and look at the facility in Dubai Investment Park. I think for the region it’s best in class, it’s a real platform to enable us to grow and continue to support the customers we work with Steve Pyle, Chef Middle East CEO what we do in terms of products.” From a facilities perspective, Chef Middle East’s recent investments include an extension of its Oman facility, a new Doha office, and most significantly, a new 10,000m2 state-of-the-art headquarters in Dubai Investment Park (DIP), which opened earlier this year. “I think what we now have is an infrastructure to deliver

our promise in a more meaningful way,” said Pyle, commenting on the new and extended facilities. “We’re trying more and more to get people to come out and look at the facility in Dubai Investment Park. I think for the region it’s best in class, it’s a real platform to enable us to grow and continue to support the customers we work with.” To introduce its new DIP headquarters, Chef Middle East hosted a demonstration day in February with the renowned Chef Paul Gayler MBE and Georges Chihane, culinary development manager at Chef Middle East, showcasing Scottish produce to an audience of Chef Middle East customers and chefs. The demonstration day formed part of a series of events hosted by Chef Middle East in February to create a dialogue with its existing and prospective customers. The company's third Vendor Show, which took place the day after the demonstration offered live cooking demonstrations and tasting sessions giving F&B professionals the opportunity to network and find out more about Chef Middle East’s products and brands. Pyle commented: “We invited our own database of customers and from a supply partner perspective it gave them a chance to show what they can do in terms of product development and in the kitchen facility, where people can taste what we’re talking about. [The events] are a much more customer-centric, focused way of talking to our customers and prospects about what we do and about what our suppliers do.”


L-R: Paul Gayler MBE and Georges Chihane

Chef Middle East hosted a demonstration day with Paul Gayler MBE and Georges Chihane, culinary development manager, Chef Middle East, to showcase Scottish produce to an audience of guests and student chefs

April 2017 Catering NEWS ME




Chef Middle Eastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new DIP headquarters



of temperature-controlled storage rooms

8,295 9 4 41 195 Pallet positions

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Catering NEWS ME April 2017


Paul Gayler MBE conducted a cooking demonstration at Chef Middle East’s new headquarters in Dubai Investment Park in front of an audience of student chefs and guests. Catering News caught up with him on the sidelines of the event to find out more about how he works with Chef Middle East and what he thinks of the Middle East’s restaurant scene How did you first enter the hospitality industry?

My family opened a catering business and we would do weddings. I went into the kitchen aged 12 to earn some pocket money and realised I wanted to do it for a living. I went to college and then to France to work around. I put a lot of hours in, but you only get out of a job what you put in.

past 20 years; I did work with Tesco for the launch of their ‘Tesco’s Finest’ range with Rick Stein. I’ve done food for Concorde, British Airways, I’ve done a lot of development.

Do you offer consultancy services in the Middle East?

It’s like chalk and cheese. When I first started, you would work all day to impress the chef but now young chefs come in and tell you what they want. We’re struggling with people coming into the business – people are just doing it as a job and that can’t happen. We’re losing the basic passion and numbers are down in cheffing.

I want to do more here. It’s a vibrant scene but the chefs could do with more training. It’s great for people like me to come out for a week and train on French cuisine or hotel trends in London – our business moves all the time so I only see that growing. I think I could bring a bit of kudos to companies out here. I’m doing a lot of things, from training to product design in Scotland one minute, to working with Harrods and then Wembley Football Stadium the next.

What brings you to the Middle East?

What is your role with Braehead Foods?

How has the industry evolved in your 40+ years as a chef?

I first came out here with my wife many years ago and have been a judge for the Emirates Salon Culinaire six or seven times. I know a lot of chefs over here – I love this city and that’s where my involvement came from.

How did the demonstration go?

It went pretty well. It’s nice and flattering that you get some well-known chefs coming to see you. Hopefully everyone has had a good time.

Tell us about your consulting business?

I’ve been consulting on and off for the

I work with the development team. We’re doing a lot for big companies in the UK, providing them with a service because either they don’t have the skills or the staff, for example the big football stadiums like Wembley.

How does Braehead Foods/ Made in Scotland work with Chef Middle East?

We want to bring great artisan products in like we have in Scotland; it’s all hand-made, it’s not factory-made in bulk. I think there’s great scope for this kind of thing – the potential is there without a doubt.

About Paul Gayler MBE Paul Gayler MBE is a consultant chef at Braehead Foods, a fine food wholesaler in Scotland. Braehead Foods works with Chef Middle East through Made in Scotland, a government-supported initiative, which provides produce from a collective of 10 independent food and drink companies from Scotland. Gayler is best known as the previous chef de cuisine of London’s iconic Lanesborough hotel, where he worked for 22 years. He has a strong relationship with the Middle East, having previously been part of the international judging panel for the Emirates Salon Culinaire for several years in a row. During his 40-year career, Gayler has authored 22 cookery books and has won several awards. He was appointed MBE in 2012 for services to the hospitality industry.

I think I could bring a bit of kudos to companies out here. I’m doing a lot of things, from training to product design in Scotland one minute, to working with Harrods and then Wembley Football Stadium the next Paul Gayler MBE April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


W hat's cooking?

Cooking TV shows such as ‘Master Chef Arabia’ and ‘Top Chef’ encourage chefs of all ages not to fear the audience and to be themselves as well as develop their skills. This will also help them develop the necessary personality traits to become chefs of the future SYasser Jad – founder & president of the Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association and manager food & beverages at Saudi Airlines


Catering NEWS ME April 2017

Eve n t preview

The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia

The judges have been unveiled for Saudi Arabia’s first Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition – Mystery Box Challenge An expert line-up of internationally and locally respected chefs will make up the official judging panel for Saudi Arabia’s first ever Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition – Mystery Box Challenge, taking place in Jeddah from 4 April 2017. Yasser Jad – founder & president of the Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association and manager food & beverages at Saudi Airlines – will serve as head judge for the contest, which will pit kitchens from some of the kingdom’s most exclusive hotels against each other in a brand-new cooking competition. Jad will be joined by WACS certified executive chef, Hossam Eldin Mohamed Soliman, president of the Egyptian Chef Association and member and accredited judge of The World Association of Chef's Societies (A-class). The duo will decide which hotel team manages to keep their cool when the heat is well and truly on in a competition hailed as a “first” for Saudi Arabia. “What this challenge is bringing to the market here, which is new, is a team of professionals – two chefs, one dessert chef, one helper and one waiter – from different hotels from across the kingdom in the high-pressure environment of working from a Mystery Box,” said Jad. “The challenge is to use the materials revealed to them on the day to prepare the tastiest and most interesting dishes with the best presentation, in the shortest possible time. This will demonstrate the capabilities of the chefs in culinary art when they are under severe pressure and have

Riyadh at night

limited time to create a full course menu.” Endorsed by Worldchefs through the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association and the Saudi Arabian Chefs Table Circle, the culinary competition will run during the fifth edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2017. Chefs from the likes of the Radisson Blu, Crowne Plaza, Movenpick, and Dar Al-Ghufran hotels will be tasked with creating an extensive menu – four cold starters, four soups, four main dishes and four desserts – in just three hours. The judges will sample each, before crowning their winners. Speaking about the Mystery Box concept – made famous by various international food television programmes – Jad added: “Cooking TV shows such as ‘Mas-

ter Chef Arabia’ and ‘Top Chef’ – which I have personally participated in as jury judge – encourage chefs of all ages not to fear the audience and to be themselves as well as develop their skills. This will also help them develop the necessary personality traits to become chefs of the future.” The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia will take place at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events, 4-6 April 2017, co-located with Stone & Surface Saudi Arabia. The Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition – Mystery Box Challenge is sponsored by Chbib Kitchens Company Ltd., Rational, Alabna Est, and RAK Porcelain. To register and for further information on The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, visit: April 2017 Catering NEWS ME


M arketplace

The Great Outdoors

Catering News goes in search of the latest outdoor furniture products on the market

Desert River General Trading LLC

Nakkash Gallery Omar Nakkash, interior designer at Nakkash Gallery presents the Dala range from Dedon

Claudia van der Werf, director of Desert River introduces the best-selling Fermob range What is your best-selling outdoor furniture product? Our best-selling brand is the Fermob outdoor furniture range from France. What is unique about it? The Fermob range is either made of steel or aluminum and yet, it is lightweight, compact and easy to move because of the way it is designed. All the chairs and tables in this range are foldable or stackable and thus convenient for terraces where flexibility is required. What is the most important feature of the perfect piece of outdoor furniture? It must be easy to move, stackable or foldable for easy storage, and easy to maintain. Wood tends to react badly to the harsh climate of the Middle East therefore metal is a great alternative. All Fermob furniture is treated with a special coating to make it weather and rust resistant. T: +971 4 323 3636 E: W:

What is your best-selling outdoor furniture product? Our best-selling outdoor furniture product is Dala from Dedon. What is unique about it? Dala takes inspiration from the artisanship and improvised seating arrangements of the developing world. Surface and structure merge in this versatile collection by Stephen Burks. It is a very playful and colourful collection that will lighten up any outdoor space. What is the most important feature of the perfect piece of outdoor furniture? It’s important to choose a product that is weather resistant, especially with the weather conditions in the UAE. Nakkash Gallery offers easy-care outdoor furniture that requires zero maintenance and we provide our clients with weather-resistant covers. T: +971 4 5511714 E: W:

S’n’S Haute Couture

Roland Corko, sales director highlights the launch of the company’s new haute couture 2017 collection What is your best-selling outdoor furniture product? Recently we have launched our haute couture 2017 collection, which is a balanced mix of contemporary and traditional outdoor designs. What is unique about your offer? Our aim is to assist in creating never-seen58

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before designs with our high-end quality and unbeatable five-year guarantee policy.

T: +971 4885 7878 W:

What are the latest trends in outdoor furniture? Providing the comfort of indoor furniture in outdoor areas. Manufacturers and designers are using a lot of different materials like thick quick dry foam and the latest technology for artificial leather, which withstands the harshest weather conditions.

M arketplace


Antony Guss, vice president of international sales, says Casualife is the region’s leader when it comes to offering value-for-money on outdoor furniture products



What is your best-selling outdoor furniture product? Monte Carlo is a distinct collection manufactured from high-grade aluminium, welded using the latest technology. With an on-site powder coating line, our customers can select their exact choice of colour to produce a finish that will endure the extreme weather conditions in the region.

What is your best-selling outdoor furniture product? Casualife’s best-selling items for 2017 are both the new Gulf-specified umbrellas and the beach sun loungers. What is unique about these? The umbrellas have no maintenance requirements and have a flexible fibre reinforced frame –similar to a windsurf mast – to allow some flexibility in strong winds and prevent damage. Regarding the beach version of our sun loungers, we provide a molded replaceable 30mm thick foot to protect it from damage. What is the most important feature of the perfect piece of outdoor furniture? It should do the job you are expecting it to do! The quality is highly important and Casualife is the leader in the region when it comes to offering the best value-for-money furniture. T: +971 4 3928600 E: W:

Cathy Di Savino, marketing manager at Intermetal highlights Monte Carlo, an outdoor furniture collection manufactured from high-grade aluminium

Dougan Clarke, founder and chief design officer of Tuuci believes that outdoor furniture products must demonstrate good design, innovation and performance What is your best-selling outdoor furniture product? Tucci’s best-selling product is the Max Cantilever Parasol. This can be used for both private gardens and the contract market. What is unique about it? The Max Cantilever Parasol is available in versatile shapes, variants, and in different sizes. It is also available with a mast, which has a powder coated layer and allows each parasol to be customised. What is the most important feature of the perfect piece of outdoor furniture? Design, innovation and performance remain the driving considerations for any new product of Tuuci.

What is unique about it? The collection features a wide range of lounge seating and dining options so that customers can customise areas to exact venue and event requirements. What makes this collection distinct is that the table tops are provided with an artistic water jet-cut silhouette that produces beautifully crafted pieces of furniture that will define the atmosphere of your outdoor setting. What is the most important feature of the perfect piece of outdoor furniture? Monte Carlo is an eco-friendly range that not only looks great, but is virtually maintenance free as it can be easily cleaned without the use of harsh cleaning agents and chemicals to keep up its look. The aluminium is 100% recyclable. T: +971 4 8841650 E: W:

T: +31 (0)13 522 0471 E: W: April 2017 Catering NEWS ME



MAKING THE CUT Catering News highlights the latest knife products on the market

Laguiole en Aubrac Bahraja General Trading’s latest collection is a six-set of Laguiole en Aubrac knives in a magnetic block of oak wood. “All of Laguiole products are hand-made according to traditions and signed by the craftsman on completion,” says Paresh Shah, managing director, Bahraja General Trading. “The Laguiole knives are timeless; they have existed since 1829 and are now used in the most famous restaurants in the world. The quality of the stainless steel used for the blades and the choice of the best materials for the handles make each piece absolutely unique.” All Laguiole en Aubrac products have a lifetime guarantee. Contact: T: +9714 2672353 E:

Friedr. Dick Friedr. Dick, supplied in the region by A. Ronai LLC, has recently launched a collection of cheese knives with Kullenschliff, also known as hollow edge. The range of speciality knives are essential to every kitchen, achieving precise cutting and accurate guidance in the five-piece specific assortment. The cheese knives have a hollow edge on the blade, creating air cushions, so even soft cheeses don't stick to it. The downwardly structured offset blades cut cleanly and effortlessly. The knife sits comfortably and naturally in the hand and the surface construction of the handle is particularly slip-resistant. A. Ronai has an established presence in the market, offering fixed pricing together with a very high level of service, including stock holding and a strong sales force with extensive industry knowledge. In 2017, the company looks forward to launching new tabletop products, including new collections from crockery brand, Steelite. Contact: T: +971 4 3414409 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME April 2017

The Amarah collection

Giving colour to tableware

Lloyd Lamprecht, international key account manager, Villeroy & Boch unveils the tableware colour trends of this season The start of the year witnessed a lean towards brighter, more vivid colours in tableware than we have seen in recent seasons. People are being bolder with the styling in their homes, which is exciting. Pantone’s 2017 ‘Colour of the Year’, Greenery – a rich, lush, and natural shade of light green – offers a perfect in-road for those wishing to be more experimental with tableware, without being garish. We expect to see this rising popularity of brighter tableware spill over into the catering industry, with hoteliers and restaurateurs being braver with their choices – whether that be opting for brighter hues, or experimenting with more unusual shapes. To cater to this shifting landscape, Villeroy & Boch has added two new colourways to its Amarah range, making this much-loved collection even more attractive. Amarah Date Flower features sunny colours, while Amarah Reed uses strong yet calming green – the shade of the moment. With these exciting additions, Villeroy & Boch is offering even more appealing contrasts for modern restaurants. The four elements, earth, wind, water, and fire, provided inspiration for the Amarah collection, which was developed with an eye to the current food and style trends in sophisticated gastronomy. Collections such as this are expected to further rise in popularity this year, as they offer the catering industry a touch of colour, but thanks to their natural hues, ensure the dishes themselves remain the main event. Collections with understated décor in restrained colours, provide a perfect stage for culinary creations by complementing the dish, rather than distracting from it. This kind of décor is ideal for a wide range of presentation needs – acting as an eye-catcher for both casual and fine dining, and functioning well in lobbies or lounges.



An ISO 9001: 2008 & ISO 14001:2004 Certified Green Company




DIARMUID Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;MALLEY MOBILE: +971 50 559 7339 PHONE: +971 4 4200506 DOM@BNCPUBLISHING.NET








S pill the beans

The Right Bite

Nathalie Haddad, founder and managing director, The Right Bite Nutrition and Catering Services LLC offers an insight into her business What is your professional background? I’m a dietician by profession. I completed my undergraduate studies at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and then continued my training at McGill University in Canada, where I obtained a Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Prior to starting Right Bite, as a dietitian, I was doing oneon-one counselling sessions, conducting regular lectures at schools and companies, and conducting healthy cooking classes. Two years into this I started Right Bite. Why did you launch The Right Bite? It was a natural progression from my oneon-one counseling to provide clients with healthy meals based on the advice I was giving them. My clients would comment on how they didn’t have time to prepare healthy meals, they would tend to eat out more and found this more convenient than preparing their own meals due to the fastpaced lifestyles we are used to in Dubai so I saw the need for such a service. Describe the early days? It started in 2004. I would see clients in the day and was in the kitchen at night preparing meals to be dispatched the next morning. Right Bite was a pioneer in the market and there was steady growth, which eventually led to us having our own central kitchen and production unit. This allowed us to offer clients more variety and better control over everything we prepared and delivered to our clients. More than 10 years later we are here still helping people become healthier. Please explain the concept of The Right Bite? Right Bite is a specialised centre for expert nutritional consultation and bespoke gourmet healthy meal delivery service. We offer a variety of 62

Catering NEWS ME April 2017

individualised meal plan packages, tailored according to each person’s dietary needs or fitness goals, taste preferences and nutrition requirements. For this reason, we require an initial nutritional consultation with one of our dieticians prior to starting any of our programmes. Right Bite focuses on personalised care throughout; we conduct regular follow ups to ensure customers are satisfied with our food and services and that they are achieving their goals. Once they have achieved their goals, we help them maintain their new lifestyle either through advice and recommended meal plans or through further meal plans from Right Bite. What do you offer to complement your meal packages? We also provide our Right Bite express delivery, an on-demand service which allows you to order from a menu of right bite favourites prepared fresh and delivered within an hour. In addition, our on-the-go corporate solutions consist of pre-packed sandwiches, salads, hot meals and snacks served through a kiosk or trolley service in office buildings. These two business lines were launched to enable people that were

unable to commit to a personalised package, to eat healthy and enjoy our meals. What are the key operational challenges you face with Right Bite? Health and fitness are topics of growing interest to UAE consumers, however the biggest challenges to health and nutrition today remain the same as always – the sociable culture of eating out, food fads that play out in the media, the need to plan physical activity and cost. What makes The Right Bite stand out against its competitors? Right Bite has been committed to empowering its customers with nutritional knowledge and smart food choices. It stays true to its values of what constitutes a healthy diet and offers its clients different avenues by which they can eat healthy – through different programmes on the personalised meals, express delivery and on the go corporate solutions. What are your plans for the future? The future looks bright at Right Bite. Our aim is to keep continuously innovating our programmes and offering an excellent level of customer service, while responding to the market’s evolving needs.

Are you the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018? Be part of the most exciting talent search for chefs in the world


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