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Kitchen design

A panel Debates The trends, challenges and opportunities


Circle cafĂŠ co-founders consolidate portfolio with new projects

TODD ENGLISH The american celebrity chef speaks to Catering News

Connecting F&B professionals with industry knowledge


W hat's cooking?

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

10 What's Cooking?


February 2017 // Issue #025


18 30 New places

Roundtable 10 //

WHAT’S COOKING? Gary Rhodes to open cinema projects in Doha and Egypt; Jones the Grocer concludes legal action with previous shareholders; SugarMoo signs JV with Al Hokair Group to enter Saudi Arabia

18 //

NEW PLACES The latest restaurant openings in the Middle East

30 //

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF KITCHEN DESIGN Kitchen design consultants and F&B professionals debate the trends, opportunities and challenges impacting commercial kitchen design in the Middle East

36 //

COVER STORY: GOING OFF-PISTE From Bistro Des Arts founders, Jonathan Vercoutere and Julien Pilard, comes Publique, Dubai’s first après-ski hangout

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


February 2017 // Issue #025

Contents 42 //

THE BUSINESS Coming full circle: Mira Lozi Al Naimi and Rama Dabbous Mamlouk, cofounders and creative directors of Circle Café consolidate their portfolio with a back-of house platform, a central kitchen and a new F&B concept Tools of the trade centre: Dubai World Trade Centre executive chef Raimund Hämmerle explains how a AED8 million kitchen upgrade has allowed the team to increase volume, variety and efficiency

52 //

CHEF FOCUS Alfredo Russo: The Michelin-starred chef and Lavazza ambassador reveals exciting new projects Todd English: The American celebrity chef says the UAE is coming into focus on the global F&B scene

Managing Director Walid Zok Director Rabih Najm CEO Wissam Younane Group Publishing Director Diarmuid O'Malley Senior Sales Manager Nick Clowes

58 //

FOOD TRENDS Meal delivery plans are becoming more sophisticated as companies offer everything from set packages catered to specific needs to bespoke programmes designed by nutritionists

Editor Crystal Chesters Contributor

Marouane Al Mandri

62 //

LA PATISSERIE: A SWEET INFLUENCE Chefs and experts discuss how French patisserie has influenced the Middle East’s dessert trends, ingredients and culture

70 //

GULFOOD PREVIEW An overview of the companies and brands being showcased at the 22nd edition of Gulfood, taking place from 26 February – 2 March at Dubai World Trade Centre

106 //

MARKETPLACE Catering News lifts the lid on the latest chocolate brands and trends in the Middle East


Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon Photographer

Hayder Al-Zuhairi

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52 The Business

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Chef focus

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Catering NEWS ME February 2017

E ditor's L etter

A new era for Gulfood This month marks the 22nd edition of Gulfood, and to celebrate the occasion, Catering News has published a 30-page special preview featuring some of the top exhibitors that will highlight their best-sellers and new launches at the show (see p70). This year, Gulfood has undergone its most radical overhaul since its inception back in 1987, with the show now split into eight segments: Beverages; Dairy; Fats and Oils; Health, Wellness and Free-From; Pulses, Grains and Cereals; Meat and Poultry; Power Brands and World Food. Meanwhile, food service and catering equipment profiles will no longer feature. The change comes in the wake of an announcement last year that Gulfood and The Hotel Show will align to form the Middle East and Africa's largest hospitality and food event, Dubai International Hospitality Week, set to launch in September 2017. Many of the equipment manufacturers and suppliers will now showcase their products at the new event in September, however some are concerned about no longer having the opportunity to feature

Crystal Chesters Editor

at Gulfood, which has earned a strong reputation as the region's key event for the food and beverage industry. And while Gulfood has, of course, in recent years been tricky for visitors to navigate – due to its sheer size – some of those companies exhibiting this year are worried the new segmented layout could be detrimental to their brands, since they will be showcased right next door to direct competitors. On a more positive note, many exhibitors are looking forward to their products being grouped under specific segments. With 1,000 new-to-show F&B producers at this year’s event, and 5,000 local, regional and international companies from 120 countries displaying hundreds of thousands of finished food and beverage products, it is hoped the new format will increase visibility and business opportunities. All will be revealed this month at Gulfood, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 26 February – 2 March. Kind regards, Crystal

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P11: Jones The Grocer completes legal action //P13: Abu Dhabi to host food production conference // P14: UAE bartenders competition//

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Gary Rhodes to open cinema projects in Doha and Egypt in partnership with Vox cinemas


ritish celebrity chef, Gary Rhodes OBE, will open two more projects in the Middle East & Africa region, in partnership with Vox Cinemas. Theatre by Rhodes in Doha Festival City and a Gold cinema project in Mall of Egypt, Cairo, are scheduled to open on 2 March. Commenting on the new ventures, Gary Rhodes told Catering News: “I'm very proud to be working with Vox as a company. Both parties hold the same dedication to presenting our guests with a culinary treat while they enjoy movies in a luxurious setting. This is a new concept for cinemas and I feel Vox, like me, wants to introduce this across UAE, with Doha the first to follow Dubai and Abu Dhabi.” In Doha, Theatre by Rhodes will have four screens, each offering 23 seats. The menu will feature similar items to Theatre by Rhodes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in addition to some new flavours. Rhodes commented: “In Qatar, the lounge is to hold a new personality and an almost trendier feel, with a new range of crockery and glassware to match. Longterm this new style will apply


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

to all Theatre operations.” The Egypt venture will be located in the new Vox Cinemas Cineplex in Mall of Egypt on 6th October Street, Cairo and is a Gold operation rather than a Theatre by Rhodes. Gold cinemas do not carry the Gary Rhodes brand name, however

the Rhodes team is responsible for the menu concept and training of the kitchen staff. Commenting on the Egypt opening, Rhodes said: “The Egyptian market is crying out for new trends to help boost the economy. We hope to be the innovators within this in-

dustry, the trendsetters when it comes to premium cinemas and food within that country.” Each of the four Gold cinemas will hold 36 seats. Local flavours and produce have been incorporated into the menu in addition to the brand’s original menu items. Rhodes explained: “The main difference between our Mall of the Emirates concept and Egyptian venue, lies with the difference between Theatre and Gold. The Gold concept offers a more relaxed and generally affordable price to suit the style of food.” Currently Theatre by Rhodes operates in Vox Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, and Nation Towers and Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi. Priced at AED295, the experience includes one Theatre by Rhodes ticket for any movie, a starter, main and dessert, a mocktail or beverage, and a choice of tea or coffee. The cinemas feature reclining seats with adjustable foot rests, blankets and pillows, and an in-cinema waiter service with call buttons on seats. Entry is restricted to guests over 18 years of age. Guests from five – 18 years can enter if accompanied by a guardian.

Wh at' s c ook i n g? expansion

Jones the Grocer concludes legal action with previous shareholders and L Capital asia

Jones the Grocer has concluded legal action involving the previous shareholders of the company and L Capital Asia, with terms of the settlement undisclosed. The company is now poised to move forward with a new strategic expansion globally, including “imminent opening plans” in the UAE. It will also expand through franchise partners in Singapore, Cambodia, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Myanmar. JTG Holdings & Jones the Grocer’s CEO Yunib Siddiqui said: “We are happy to see the continuous growth of the company and appreciate the support of our customers over the years.

“We are committed to working with our partners globally - our franchisees and employees are our true assets and the most important elements of our offering. “We will continue to bring value to all our stakeholders in the business and take the Jones the Grocer brand globally.”

Jones the Grocer’s Middle East master franchisee, JTG Holdings, acquired global brand rights and L Capital Asia assumed a significant minority stake in the brand’s Middle East holding company in May 2016. The company will capitalise on the partnership for development of the Jones the Grocer brand internationally while remaining true to its Australian roots. L Capital Asia’s chairman and managing partner, Ravi Thakran stated: “We are pleased to resolve this matter and look forward to bringing Jones the Grocer into the next growth chapter.

“We have strong faith in our partnership and the management team of Jones the Grocer. We are very excited to see business is taking off and we are expanding the brand into new markets, especially North Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East.” Jones the Grocer is an Australian origin food emporium. Each store features a contemporary café, offering modern Australian cuisine with an international influence. Established in 1996 with the launch of the flagship Australian store in Woollahra, Sydney, Jones the Grocer today has stores across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.

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W hat's cooking?

In a nutshell: Zpizza

Harsh Pancholia, managing director of Arabian International Food and franchisee of Californian pizza brand, Zpizza, explains how growing up in a family business helped propel his entrepreneurial vision into motion

How has being part of a family business shaped your career path? Growing up in a family with a strong business background (Arabian Trading Agency) I was instilled with solid entrepreneurial values from a young age. Since the 1900s, my family members have expanded and supported their business by venturing into new fields, which has only helped to strengthen my ambition to continue this tradition. And so, I opened Arabian International Food. Why did you decide to take on the Zpizza brand? After proudly watching my relatives branch out under the family business, I had a strong desire to open a separate food and beverage division. Not only did Zpizza provide me with a great opportunity to open

a franchise, but it also allowed me to represent a brand with the strong beliefs that I stand for – high quality artisan pizzas prepared using fresh, premium ingredients to satisfy our customers’ cravings. In addition, I felt confident we could do a great launch, and I have continuous operational support from the franchisor. Please explain the concept: Zpizza is a California-based brand that offers a naturally better, Californian-style pizza. It’s perfect for the health-conscious consumer who also refuses to compromise on taste. The healthier alternative to the crowded pizza segment, Zpizza’s quality is evident through the organic ingredients, fresh produce, part-skim mozzarella, 100% all-natural, non-GMO flour and gluten-free plus vegan options.

Is this the first F&B concept for Arabian International Food? Yes, it is the first of many great concepts to come. Opening a franchise has allowed me to utilise the knowledge and skill-set gained from my strong business family background to ensure the brand’s success. What are your future plans for Arabian International Food? In the future, I plan to strengthen the brand presence of Zpizza in the UAE by opening new branches. Following on from this, I would like to work towards diversifying Arabian International Food’s portfolio, by adding a mix of additional brands to our name. Any great brand needs a strong team supporting it and I am always on the lookout to add to Zpizza’s workforce.


Taste of Dubai Celebrates 10th Edition in march 2017 Taste of Dubai Festival will take place in Dubai Media City Amphitheatre for its 10th edition from Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 March 2017. The festival will feature 24 Dubai restaurants along with international and local celebrity chefs including Michel Roux Jr, Gary Rhodes, Aldo Zilli, Eric Lanlard, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Mohammad Orfali, Tarek Ibrahim, Tim Anderson, Atul Kochhar, and Paolo Pettenuzzo. Turret Media’s managing director Chris Fountain said: “We are delighted to be part of the Dubai Food Festival again this year and once again Taste plays a pinnacle role in being the closing event, and this year will be extra special as we celebrate Taste of Dubai’s 10-year milestone. 12

Catering NEWS ME February 2017

“With invaluable support from sponsors such as Electrolux and Etihad Airways, this event has grown in size and popularity to become the city’s favourite food, drink and music festival.” Visitors can taste food from each of the 24 restaurants available for AED15 per plate. The festival is being sponsored by leading companies, which include Electrolux, Etihad, BBC Good Food, Acqua Panna and San Pelligrino , deVere Acuma, MMi, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Choithrams, Careem, ICCA, OSN. Pyrex, Virgin mobile and Dubai 92. The event will be introducing a new programme called ‘Make life delicious’ which will give visitors the opportunity to

learn, share and be inspired to try new ways of bringing food to life. The singer Billy Ocean will be performing all his top hits on the opening night of the festival.

Tickets are on sale via www.tasteofdubaifestival. com or Standard tickets start from AED49.50, VIP tickets start from AED199.50 and kids under 12 can enter for free.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

Flavors festival to promote Emirati F&B brands


Abu Dhabi to host food production conference

Abu Dhabi Flavors Festival, a 10-day food event will take place in Umm al Emarat Park from 30 March to 8 April. The festival will feature over 150 food tents and street food trucks displaying local food by Emirati F&B brands and food businesses. Organiser of Abu Dhabi Flavors Festival Majid El Hamamy, commented: “Through this initiative, we aim to bring much needed exposure to the UAE’s independent, locally-based homegrown F&B scene, help sustain the culture of entrepreneurship and contribute towards successful establishment of unique food concepts in the UAE. “There are some fast-rising brands and some hidden away under all that sheen, so the festival is a good chance for the public to get to know what local brands are out there. It also provides an opportunity to families and children to engage with the wider community and enjoy their spring break through truly delightful food experiences.” Local brands participating in the festival include Motorburger, Raclette DXB, Shawarma Code, Spheerz, Rock & rolls, Al Derwaza, Crepes & Poffs, Barbocoa, Extreme Burger, Churros Café, Monkey Cookies, Shish Shawerma, KeKe Sweets, Booth café, Rezz be Halib, Parata Guys, A’abali burger, Saj2Go and more.

MENA Food Production 2030 will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 20-21 March 2017 as part of the annual Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA). The objective of the conference is to drive a dialogue between government, food producers, scientists and investors to establish secure, sustainable and profitable food production systems.

During the conference, speakers will tackle five key challenges: climate-resilient crops; growing the aquaculture industry; future-proofing animal health; smallholder farmer development; and sustainable animal production. Held in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), GFIA will feature an exhibition hosting 300 companies.

SugarMoo signs JV with Al Hokair Group to enter Saudi Arabia

Dubai-based online dessert bakery, SugarMoo Desserts, has announced a joint venture partnership with entertainment and hospitality company Al Hokair Group to enter the Saudi Arabia Market. First launched in Dubai in 2014, SugarMoo Desserts today has four ‘Dessert Labs’ throughout the emirate and caters to more than 100 F&B outlets. Raki Phillips, co-founder of SugarMoo Desserts said: “We believe KSA is a key market to develop the brand into being a regional operator, as it has the largest population in the GCC and biggest opportunity to grow and scale in the region. “Making dessert options more accessible to consumers is a huge global opportunity and we are well positioned to be leaders in this space. We are very much looking forward to the start of this new chapter.” Sami Al Hokair, CEO of Al Hokair Group commented: “We are excited to be bringing the first and unique e-bakery concept to the KSA market. We are confident that our partnership will lead to fruitful results.” The bakery will launch in the KSA market in 2017 with a full dual-language website, central kitchen and app. February 2017 Catering NEWS ME

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W hat's cooking?

Eat the World DXB returns in February

Etisalat presents Eat the World DXB, the UAE’s international street food and food truck event will return to Burj Park in Downtown Dubai from 23-25 February, 2017. After the inaugural Eat the World DXB’s ‘Best of British’ food trader and food truck concept attracted a crowd of 20,000plus foodies and their families last year, the 2017 event will focus on the Americas. Food Market Events Middle East FZ LLC director, Philip Lowery said: “The response to our first Eat the World DXB was fantastic; the public praised the food, the affordability and the originality of the concept. “Dubai is not a place to stand still so we’re mixing the format up by bringing in the Americans for year two. Eat the World DXB 2017 will see the birthplace of the street food movement versus the movement’s current superpower – and that means more food and more choice for our guests.” Ten US-based food traders will join ranks to face-off against 10 UK-based traders, most of whom will operate out of their food 14

Catering NEWS ME February 2017

truck vehicles throughout the three-day event. A contemporary street food, music and entertainment event, Eat the World DXB 2017 will include several UAE food trucks selected on their originality and the diversity of their culinary concepts. This is an addition to a celebrity chef theatre, an artisanal food market and an array of food-themed experiences including an outdoor cinema featuring a programme of food-themed films served with a menu catered to each movie. Held in association with Dubai Food Festival 2017 and with Emaar Properties as venue sponsor, the event will also feature free activities for famililes. These include cookery demonstrations, a tea and cake feature, children’s activities and entertainment zone, an extended programme of live music and a traditional Bedouin tent with falconry and Arabic coffee. A full line-up of food trucks and traders from the USA and UK will be announced in the coming weeks.


Bartenders unite in UAE competition More than 250 industry professionals turned up to catch the cream of the UAE's bartenders take each other on at the World Class UAE 2017 Bartender Competition, which took place in Zengo at Le Royal Meridien, Dubai in January. "It was an amazing day to see so many talented and creative bartenders in action displaying their love for the industry along with so many spectators in support of the competition," said Jason Clarke, Path trainer, luxury brand marketing, African and Eastern. "World Class UAE is dedicated to educating bartenders across the region to help create a passionate community to provide the finest beverage experiences to those that dine, drink and socialise in Dubai."

There was standing room only as the venue was split into two separate arenas for the entrants to do battle with each other. Inside, there were 14 bartenders competing in the coffee cocktail round, which saw guests sampling the beverages before leaving tokens in boxes to vote for the People's Choice Award. Meanwhile, outside 12 bartenders battled in the Simplicity vs Eccentricity challenge. Each contestant had minutes to present two cocktails that showcased their talents in front of the panel of judges. It proved to be a clean sweep for Grosvenor House with the winners being Francesco Galdi, bar manager, Buddha Bar, and Ruslan Svezhenko, bar manager, Bar 44.

Chile plays a key role in the global food industry. A reliable supplier of safe, healthy food that meets the highest standards demanded by international consumers. Food products from Chile are leaders in their markets. And with the exceptional conditions Chile provides, they are set to continue increasing their value. Chile is the world´s biggest exporter of agroindustry products such as prunes, dehydrated apples, frozen salmon fillets, and it will be at Gulfood 2017 with a delegation of 17 companies, suppliers of walnuts, raisins, prunes, fruit and tomato pulp, lupine and for the first time, honey. 90% of Chilean honey, produces mainly from native forest areas, is set aside for export, principally to the European Union. Chilean producers comply with strict quality standards, using programs to determine the honey's traceability, food safety and quality and meet the

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W hat's cooking?

Insinkerator opens Middle East & Africa training centre

Waste disposal systems specialist, Insinkerator, has opened its first dedicated training centre for the Middle East and Africa region. The training centre is located at the Emerson headquarters in Jebel Ali Free Zone South, Dubai, UAE. Aimed at highlighting the need for food wastage solutions for residential and commercial projects, the centre will host regular training sessions with

Insinkerator’s partners. These will cover regional food wastage insights, hands-on product demonstrations and regular updates on research and product development. The launch of the training centre is aimed at offering an aligned perspective to partners and employees with regards to sustainable food waste disposal, and how the Insinkerator range caters to that growing need.

Four F&B outlets to open at Dubai’s new Trump golf club Four new restaurants and bars will feature at Trump International Golf Club, an 18-hole golf course and 30,000ft2 clubhouse, which forms part of the Akoya by Damac development expected to launch in February. Overseen by executive chef Fernando Galbiati, the restaurants comprise Trump International’s Fifth Avenue, with upscale 1920s Manhattan-inspired interiors and

Italian cuisine; and The Terrace Trump International, a familyfriendly restaurant serving classic American dishes from morning to night. Meanwhile, The Ninth Sports Café offers a casual atmosphere for sports fans to watch golfers tee-off from the terrace, while Assana, the top-floor shisha lounge features views over the golf course and light Arabic sharing dishes.

Barilla expands to Saudi Arabia Italian food company Barilla, has expanded to Saudi Arabia through a partnership with distributor, Mayar Foods. Fifty-five thousand tons of pasta are consumed in Saudi Arabia with around 2kg per capita each year. Barilla managing director Loay Elkhouly, commented: “Our expansion into Saudi Arabia marks a major milestone for Barilla as we continue to experience increased demand from the 16

Catering NEWS ME February 2017

region for Barilla’s Italian pasta products. Since opening our Dubai MEA head office we have also expanded in North Africa and continue to focus on the company’s Italian rooted culture of providing delicious and nutritious food that is healthy, convenient and good for the planet.” Barilla is currently working with more than 2,000 retail stores, 5,000 restaurants and five airlines across the GCC.


Host Milan reveals programme details for 2017 exhibition The 40th edition of Host Milan is set to provide a full programme of events, product showcases and competitions to help and encourage hospitality businesses to innovate their offers. Taking place from 20 – 24 October 2017 at Fieramilano, Italy, the exhibition will showcase the latest trends in food, hospitality and retail. Materials and solutions for differentiating hotel interiors will be showcased in the exhibition area, with a focus on recent innovations in tableware, furnishings and uniforms. Tableware on display will range from eco-friendly disposables to classic, sophisticated solutions for mise en place. Confirmed tableware suppliers set to exhibit at the show include Abert, Aficom, Dag Style, Giblor’s, LSA, MASA, Parotex, Richard Ginori, Rivolta Carmignani, Sambonet, Schoenhuber Franchi, Schoenwalt, Siggi, Tognana and Vista Alegre. Meanwhile, furnishing companies exhibiting are to include Baero, Calligaris, Elbi, Gaber, Indel B, Infiniti, ISM, Scab Design and Vitrifrigo. The foodservice equipment and coffee

areas will include everything from kitchen equipment to solutions for bars, coffee and technology for hotels. The show pavilions will feature various events set to address the future of hospitality innovation. Environmental sustainability will be covered during the Futurbar Green event, conceived by Simone Micheli for Comufficio. It will feature case studies of design and requalification projects, design and technology solutions and legislative changes. The ‘Non Solo Prima Colazione’ (‘Not Just Breakfast’) event by Massimo Mussapi, is a space aimed at reinventing the breakfast area of the hotel, making it a useful and profitable operation 24/7. Being hosted in collaboration between, a consortium at Milan’s Polytechnic University, and Host, the international HOSThinking design award will celebrate future design. The competition will return in a new format with the title ‘10 Designers for 100 Products’. Designers will develop futuristic hospitality innovations live at the show.

New places

Folly by Nick & Scott Restaurateurs Nick Alvis, Scott Price and Viktorija Paplauskiene, in partnership with Gates Hospitality, this month open the doors of Folly by Nick & Scott at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah Please describe the concept of the venue in your words?

Comprised of an indoor dining area and open, interactive kitchen, as well as stunning outdoor bars and terraces, Folly by Nick & Scott offers an informal take on modern fine dining, in a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere.

What are the signature items on the menu?

The contemporary menu is executed with technical skill and finesse, driven by quality produce and ingredients, and presented at a range of price points. Dishes such as smoked paprika monkfish cheeks and Omani shrimp, marjoram and lime gremolata sit alongside lamb saddle, whipped pine nuts and salsa, allowing guests the opportunity to create their own tasting menus.

(L-R) Nick Alvis, Viktorija Paplauskiene and Scott Price

What is interesting about the beverage offer?

Viktorija’s carefully curated wine list places lesser-known biodynamic wines next to an array of more classic choices, with the option to match drinks to in-

dividual dishes. The eclectic and inventive cocktail menu is inspired by natural elements – cane, agave, juniper, grain and malt – and retro-style punch bowls served in sharing barrels provide a fun, social alternative, ensuring that Folly by




Italian restaurant, Marco’s takes inspiration from the traditional tastes of the small towns of Italy to create “simple, good food”. At the helm of the kitchen is chef Marco Ghezzi, who has created a menu with fresh tastes, authentic flavours and earthy notes using hand-picked ingredients. Signatures and specials include artisan breads, fresh pastas, a mozzarella bar and dry-aged beef, live preparations of pizzas and homemade ice-cream.

Big Fernand, a French gourmet fast food burger concept has arrived in Dubai. The venue serves seven signature French hamburgers, homemade French fries and special drinks and desserts. It features wooden décor, a cheese display, freshly baked bread and 80s music. The Le Big Fernand burger contains beef, tomme de savoie cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and home-made cocktail sauce. Big Fernand was first established in Paris in 2012 and there are now 25 outlets globally.

Gourmet date and confectionary brand, Bateel International, has made its debut in Qatar, with six boutiques and cafés to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2017. The first venues opened in December in Mall of Qatar and Doha Tower (Burj Doha). The other Qatar openings confirmed for 2017 are a café and boutique in Doha Festival City and a dual-purpose location in the Lagoona Mall with a café and boutique in one space.

LOCATION: Pyramids@Wafi, Dubai OPENING DATE: 17 January

LOCATION: Dubai Outlet Village OPENING DATE: 15 December, 2016

LOCATION: Mall of Qatar and Doha Tower OPENING DATE: December 2016


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

N ew places

The facts Venue: Folly by Nick & Scott Opening date: February Menu and concept development: Nick Alvis and Scott Price Operations manager: Viktorija Paplauskiene Fun Fact: Nick and Scott met while working for Gordon Ramsay

Nick & Scott will become a go-to place for drinks as well as food.

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

Lamb saddle, whipped pine nuts and salsa

Nick and Scott worked closely with their design team to create the desired look and feel. The restaurant consists of many different areas, with stunning outdoor bars and terraces a major part of the venue. For example, on the Folly Rooftop, the view is the focal point, so it has been maximised with the use of elevated seating so guests can take in the stunning skyline. In terms

of materials, wood, brick and the existing, traditional architecture have been utilised to create a welcoming atmosphere reflective of the food and ethos of the restaurant.

How will the venue compete on the Dubai marketplace?

Folly by Nick & Scott is a homegrown concept and therefore will act as something of a pioneer in the market. We believe it will fill a niche in the fast-growing hospitality landscape. The restaurant offers an alternative to classic fine dining. It takes a very modern approach, with a unique, unpretentious feel.

800 DEGREES NEOPOLITAN PIZZERIA Tawasy Restaurant and Grill


800 Degrees Neopolitan Pizzeria, an Italian concept originating from Los Angeles, has opened its sixth outlet at Riverland Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts’ dining destination. Launched through a franchise agreement with Eaters LLC, the new branch has indoor and outdoor seating. 800 Degrees offers customisable and 95% gluten-free pizzas, pastas, salads, sides, gelato, Italian desserts, coffee and Italian drinks. LOCATION: Riverland Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts OPENING DATE: December 2016

Grand Hyatt Dubai has re-launched Italian restaurant, Andiamo, following a refurbishment. The restaurant has a red Vespa at the entrance, wine bottle chandeliers and an open kitchen with a pizza oven. A new terrace overlooks Grand Hyatt Dubai’s 37-acre landscaped gardens. The menu has been overhauled and features chef Alberto Burgio’s ‘Sicilia in Bocca’ signature pasta with mezze rigatoni in Sicilian pesto, and his signature pizza with pistachio pesto, cherry tomatoes, stracciatella cheese and beef bresaola. LOCATION: Grand Hyatt Dubai OPENING DATE: 15 January

UAE-based dining, catering and restaurant management firm Tawasy Group has opened its first restaurant, Tawasy Restaurant and Grill, in Dubai Festival City. The restaurant will serve Arabic and Mediterranean cuisine.The company plans to open 10 more restaurants in the UAE in the next four years and will expand across the GCC through franchising programmes. The company is behind Arabic grill delivery and takeaway concepts, Mashawi2Go and Manqeesh2Go. LOCATION: Dubai Festival City OPENING DATE: 15 January

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


New places

THE ATLANTIC Solutions Leisure Group, in association with Atlantic Group has opened The Atlantic Dubai in Souk Al Bahar in the space previously occupied by Mango Tree. With views over The Dubai Fountains and Burj Khalifa, the outlet is a franchise of the Australian seafood restaurant of the same name. Yorkshire-born celebrity chef Donovan Cooke (pictured) is at the helm of the Melbourne kitchen and has created the menu for the Dubai venue. He told Catering News Middle East: “The Atlantic has the philosophy of ‘ocean to plate’, which means we get the freshest seafood around and we serve it in a very real way. I use classic techniques of cooking and the emphasis is on the freshness of the ingredients.” Menu items include langoustines, fish & chips, and a selection of oysters from the brand’s signature Oyster Bar & Grill. Designed by Amsterdam-based Eleven, the upscale venue has 200 seats inside and on the outdoor terrace.

Already The Atlantic has launched its ladies’ night, ‘Ladies of the Atlantic’ every Tuesday, which includes a three-course menu featuring the restaurant’s signature dishes for AED199 per person including three complimentary beverages from 6pm – 11pm. The ‘Ocean To Plate Brunch’ takes place from 1pm-4pm every Friday. LOCATION: Souk Al Bahar, Dubai OPENING DATE: December 2016




Californian burger brand, The Habit Burger Grill, has opened its first international venues in the UAE, with outlets in Dubai and Sharjah. Owned and operated by franchise partner Food Quest Restaurants Management LLC, the restaurants offer burgers, salads, grilled sandwiches, French fries, tempura green beans, and signature dish, the Charburger (pictured). The two restaurants are the first in a planned rollout of 50 locations in the GCC. LOCATION: Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai; Matajer Al Juraina, Sharjah OPENING DATE: December 2016

The founder of Indie DIFC, Addmind, has launched Italian restaurant, Matto, at The Oberoi Dubai. Matto is a homegrown brand based on classic Italian food with an unconventional twist. It features industrial interiors, an open kitchen and a mural by artist Chafa Ghaddar. Menu highlights include stinco di agnello (lamb shank), astice e ceci (lobster and chickpeas) and stracciatella e tartufo (stracciatella and truffle). The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. LOCATION: The Oberoi Dubai OPENING DATE: 23 January

Culinary incubator, Kitchen Nation, has opened its doors in the UAE with the objective of encouraging food-focused entrepreneurs to bring unique F&B concepts to market. Providing a platform for individuals to nurture their talent through joined services and a support system, Kitchen Nation is an initiative from founder and CEO Rami Salous. With culinary incubators popular in New York and London, Salous hopes to develop Kitchen Nation into a world-renowned brand. LOCATION: Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai. OPENING DATE: 17 January


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

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Changing perceptions

Chef Ajay Negi, chef de cuisine at Bombay Brasserie, Taj Dubai is working hard to dispel the myths surrounding Indian food

Work Experience

May 2015 - present: Chef de cuisine, Taj Dubai October 2013 - April 2015: Head chef, Patiala restaurant, Souq Al Bahar, Dubai January 2010 - September 2013: Chef de partie, Armani Hotel, Dubai

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

I started my career in 2001 as a commis 3 in the kitchen of the Radisson hotel in Jalandhar, Punjab. I was very intrigued by spice mixes, marinades and the baking of fresh breads in the tandoor, an Indian clay oven. I strengthened my foundations under the watchful guidance chef Gurubaksh, who had a keen eye for detail and groomed me to become a perfectionist.

Who has inspired you most in your career?

Our executive chef Jitin Joshi – I have been working with him for four years now. His guidance in terms of flavour pairings, respect for ingredients, menu planning and his non-biased approach have inspired me immensely. He brings his experience from some great restaurants such as Benares and At.mosphere and has worked with worldrenowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Atul Kochhar. He is a true mentor and role model in every sense.

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

I feel Dubai’s dining scene is extremely dynamic and one the fastest growing in the world, with a host of celebrity chefs. Almost any cuisine is easily available here and homegrown brands have been raising the bar and seeing success and popularity. It’s a beautiful melting point of cultures and cuisines. There is so much to learn in this fast-paced industry and that keeps us constantly growing as individuals and professionals.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

Indian food is perceived as hot, oily and 22

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spicy, but it needn’t be. Indian food can also be light, healthy and flavourful and doesn’t need to be overly spicy. Hopefully with our carefully curated menu at Bombay Brasserie, we have been able to change these perceptions.

What is the best aspect of your role?

The best part of my day is when I see a smile on a diner’s face, and there’s nothing more rewarding than a genuine thank you. This means we have touched the guest’s heart through the palate. I also enjoy creating bespoke experiences and memories for our diners – be it their birthday, anniver-

sary or even a casual family dinner. It’s the little things that go a long way.

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

Gaggan, a restaurant run by chef Gaggan Anand in Bangkok. I like his modern take on traditional Indian cuisine.

What tip would offer those starting out in the F&B industry in the region?

Work hard, strengthen the basics and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Always taste your food and season it well!


New executive chef for Vida Downtown Dubai

James Knight-Pacheco has taken on the role of executive chef at Vida Downtown Dubai. He is tasked with management and operations of the property’s dining venues including 3in1, a Mediterranean-inspired outlet, Vida Food Truck, and Stage2, the property’s international lobby-level lounge. Knight-Pacheco first joined Emaar Hospitality Group in August 2015 as executive head chef of Dubai Marina Yacht Club, having previously held executive chef roles in Oman and London.

Cedric Darthial to oversee Atlantis F&B Outlets Atlantis, The Palm has appointed executive chef Cedric Darthial to oversee a team of 480 staff and the resort’s 23 food and beverage outlets, including celebrity chef eateries, Nobu, Ronda Locatelli and Bread Street Kitchen & Bar by Gordon Ramsay. Prior to joining the team at Atlantis, The Palm, Darthial was executive chef – Western at City of Dreams, Manilla where he managed a team of 400 and oversaw Nobu and The Tasting Room among other restaurants.

Chef Rosalind Parsk joins Marriott International

Rosalind Parsk is the new executive chef at Courtyard by Marriott Dubai Green Community. Having trained under Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Gary Rhodes, she joined Jumeirah Group in 2012 and worked as head chef of Pierchic then The Ivy at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. In her new role, Parsk will head up the operations of Cucina, serving traditional trattoria style cuisine; Sobo, a poolside outlet serving signature beverages and Arabic food; and Neighbourhood, a social house and eatery offering British pub favourites.

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME



Taking The Road to Health and Wellness Ghida Sarieddine, director of special projects, Royal Catering explains how the WEQAYA nutritional programme helps consumers make healthy choices


ith one of the world’s highest prevalences of diabetes, UAE health authorities recognised several years ago that something had to be done to combat the region’s greatest health challenge. It was then that the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD) developed a nutrition campaign specifically designed to reduce the occurrence of chronic diseases within the UAE’s population. Known as WEQAYA, this programme aims to increase public awareness of the connection between health and food. HAAD encourages food producers to prepare and sell nutritious meals, and to use the WEQAYA logo on their products as an indicator of healthy food items. In order for a food item to be WEQAYA-compliant, it must adhere to strict nutritional value contents, including amounts of fats, sugars and salt in each meal. Chefs and qualified nutritionists work together with HAAD to create food items that are WEQAYA-compliant, with choices that are both filling and flavourful – offering customers a combination of delicious and healthy food. For private enterprises, this initiative offers an opportunity to partner with the government to pave the way for improved health and wellness. In fact, Royal Catering’s 82L8 brand was among the first food retailers in the UAE to implement the WEQAYA programme, with Pamela Gereige, Royal Catering’s dietician and hygeine quality assistant 24

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Royal Catering's 82L8 Roll

About the author Ghida Sarieddine is director of special projects for Abu Dhabi-based homegrown company, Royal Catering, which is currently introducing its new 82L8 grab-and-go food and beverage concept, offering healthy options for busy lifestyles.

manager, initiating the programme with HAAD in mid-2015. And HAAD continues to encourage and support companies such as hotels, restaurants, food manufacturers, producers, supermarkets and food outlets to prepare and sell nutritious meals. Due to the collaborative efforts of authorities and the business sector, including doctors, nutritionists, dieticians and chefs, now, more than ever, people are aware of the concept of healthy eating, and are more educated about making good choices when it comes to food. People have increasingly busy lifestyles, so being able to get healthy, nutritious meals on the go has been a welcome addition to the UAE’s food scene. WEQAYA takes this one step further and itemises nutritional values so that every food choice is an informed one.

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Stuart Gillies

Ahead of his appearance at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum in Dubai in April, the CEO of Gordon Ramsay Group discusses the company’s plans for the future


Kitchen over the next few years. However, we are also looking at all areas of the US, Asia and Europe.

hef and restaurateur Stuart Gillies was promoted to chief executive officer of Gordon Ramsay Group in March 2016, following more than a decade working with the company, one of the world’s most famous restaurant businesses. Gillies is a driving force in the company’s international growth and responsible for strategic development as the group continues to mature. Here, Gillies speaks exclusively to Catering News Middle East ahead of his upcoming visit to Dubai in April. Gillies will be headlining the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF), being held from April 10-12 at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, with a one-to-one interview entitled ‘Growing Global: Getting it Right’. Here’s a snippet of what to expect.

What would be your advice to new restaurant concepts? Stay in your own lane, do what you do well, then build on that. Also, focus on your team as they are your most valuable assets. How have consumer preferences changed over the last five years? We are very blessed to be living in an era where the whole world loves food and hospitality, which is very different to when we started 30 years ago. People eat socially far more regularly than before, so have more diverse needs and expectations, which is great in our opinion.

What is your role within the Gordon Ramsay Group? My overall role is brand protection of all the individual brands we have within the collection as well as strategic growth globally. How has the business managed return to a status of profitability? Hard work, clear focus and positivity were some of the key elements which achieved this. The business focused on what it did best whilst adapting to the ever-changing demands of the public by diversifying. Additionally, we invested in our teams and brought in a number of specialists who added value to the quality and talent within. What were the biggest challenges faced by the business during this time? There were many, many challenges. Culture, funding and resources were probably the biggest for a long period of time. Modernisation and rebuilding was an enormous task. 26

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What is your strategic outlook over the next five years? The foundations that we have built are very strong so we are now back in regrowth and looking to grow certain concepts from the portfolio globally. Bread Street Kitchen is already proving an amazing success in a number of locations both in the UK and internationally so we are currently focusing on that expansion plan. Which new locations are being considered for Gordon Ramsay restaurants? Our core estate is the UK where we are looking at a number of locations for Bread Street

How has technology played a part in the growth of Gordon Ramsay Group? Well, that’s a good question as we love technology, but only to enhance the overall experience. We have invested heavily in new technologies in all areas of our business which give our team amazing access to data and reporting without interfering with their day job of looking after our guests. 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 and

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E vent rev iew

Massimo Aleardi, sector president, Marmon Restaurant and Catering Technologies addresses the audience

An evening with Angelo Po Senior F&B professionals and hoteliers gathered on the grounds of Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai to celebrate Angelo Po’s entry into Marmon Group


ore than 100 senior hoteliers, F&B operators and commercial kitchen designers attended a networking event to mark the teaming up of professional cooking systems firm, Angelo Po with Marmon Group. The event, hosted by Catering News Middle East in collaboration with Angelo Po and Marmon Group, took place at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai, on 16 January. Guests were treated to an array of food cooked up on Angelo Po's Icon 9000, which 28

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was demonstrated live on stage. Giorgio and Carlo Pignataro who manage Angelo Po in the Middle East commented: "We are very happy with the event and how it turned out. "We had over 100 highly qualified guests, including dealers, executive chefs, consultants and F&B managers, all industry leaders. Our top management delivered a powerful message of growth and commitment that was very well received by the audience. BNC Publishing did an excellent job

of ensuring the smooth flow of the event. Overall it was a beautiful night and we hope our guests will keep fond memories of it and that it will soon become a tradition." A roundtable discussion on the fundamentals of kitchen design featuring some of the biggest names in the industry, including Gary Rhodes, took place before the networking event. Participants discussed and debated the trends, opportunities and challenges impacting commercial kitchen design in 2017.

Giorgio Pignataro and Carlo Pignataro from the Dubai office of Angelo Po Group


Nutmeg Cream

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME



The Fundamentals of Kitchen Design

Catering News Middle East gathered a select group of kitchen design consultants and F&B professionals to discuss and debate the trends, opportunities and challenges impacting commercial kitchen design in 2017 and beyond Nick Alvis, chef patron – partner, Folly by Nick & Scott

Wayne Tapsfield, executive head chef/ business partner at Rhodes Restaurants and Vox Cinemas Rhodes Restaurants

Gary Rhodes OBE, chef-patron, Rhodes W1, Rhodes Twenty10 & Theatre by Rhodes

Andrea Karidis, culinary director, HCTS

Neel Kamal Chauhan, chief operating officer, HPG Consulting


Ryan Gazder, managing director, HCTS

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Viktor Stampfer, senior director of culinary and concept development Middle East & Africa, Marriott International

Edward Pentney, managing director, I 4 Consultancy & Training

Scott Price, chef patron - partner, Folly by Nick & Scott

Colin Clague, executive chef, Ruya Dubai

Edward Harvey, f&b strategy concept director, Tricon

Jarrett Beaulieu, director of food & beverage, developments and openings EMEA, Hilton Worldwide

What are the latest trends in kitchen design? Scott Price: We’ve been here seven years so we’re quite in touch with Dubai trends and where it’s going. Folly has a lot of different sections and levels so we’ve tried to put in options. We’ve got an open kitchen with a kitchen bar so you can sit directly looking into the kitchen and the chef will serve you from the other side, partly because of getting tables into the restaurant, partly because nobody is really doing it in town. Our name is on the door and people expect to see us. Nick Alvis: We’re going back to using a wood burning barbeque to finish some of our food off and it will also give a nice smell in the restaurant as well, which people remember. The unit is the centerpiece of the kitchen and that should serve us for a minimum of 10 years. You can sit around the kitchen bar and see us cooking on it. Colin Clague: It would probably be unusual now not to have a focal point – people want to see what you do. Chefs have a reputation for not liking to be behind closed doors. Viktor Stampfer: I’m not sure if it’s a trend but I’m working on having the most authentic equipment to cook authentic, ethnic food, like using real Indian tandoors. You see the bread culture in the Middle East and how they bake bread in hot stoves. Edward Harvey: It’s going back to more authentic roots of cooking, so charcoal, wood, going back to basics from a mechanism of producing food, but also from a consumer point of view there’s a visual aspect. Colin: We have a central bread oven and it’s not just the theatre but the smell that’s great. The bread oven and kebabs are integral to the whole idea behind it. A quarter of the menu comes from that small area. What are the latest advancements in kitchen equipment? Edward H: There probably haven’t been significant advancements in terms of equipment since combi-steam ovens and inductions. Gary Rhodes: I agree; there’s not an awful lot that actually changes, but it’s a question of designing the kitchen that suits your style. You might find an updated model of something but is it really that different, and is different always the answer? I don’t think we should ever let go of classics, but

we might add another dimension to them. Edward Pentney: Induction technology came out about 25 – 30 years back, but I see the gap decreasing in terms of gas versus induction. The induction equipment is becoming a lot more efficient. Colin: I’ve got an induction and then I’ve got gas. I’m just sticking with gas, I’ve no time for induction. Edward P: If you’ve grown up with and perfected your skills using gas it’s not easy to change. Neel Kamal Chauhan: I think that’s the key. We try to specify induction because it’s almost 100% energy efficient and gives you better productivity compared to gas because that’s about 60% energy efficient,

but chefs generally want fire and flames. Wayne Tapsfield: That’s what the customers want too. Viktor: Take Chinese food: if you have a Chinese wok, you have flavour in your food but if you have an induction wok, you have no flavour. Neel: Yes, it should be a balance between the traditional approach and the modern approach with equipment. Science has evolved in kitchen equipment but you cannot lead a chef toward that. You can recognise the entire kitchen food production process but that personal touch is always required. Scott: We’ve been very lucky with the kitchen design; we’ve had a Charvet isFebruary 2017 Catering NEWS ME



land designed and for us. Having worked in London before, we know you don’t often get the chance to get a brand new one designed exactly how you want it, so for us it’s amazing. Wayne: The old-school chefs are spoiled. We remember what the old kit was like and we remember when it broke down and what it was like surviving that. There are brands you know and you put your faith in them. I think that’s what’s missing in a lot of places – they don’t realise what they’re working with. Edward H: I think having the right equipment is one thing but having a fabricator and a fitter who can be flexible in terms of the fit-out, that will ensure that their kitchen works properly. I can have all the best equipment but it’s not going to operate for the requirements of the chefs if it’s not properly fabricated and fitted. How important is energy efficiency in kitchen design? Jarrett Beaulieu: All of us have a responsibility to ensure that the kitchen is becoming greener, more efficient and on a corporate level that the carbon footprint is being reduced. For us as hotel operators, that operating expenses are minimised. Colin: I’ve never once thought about energy efficiency when designing a kitchen if I’m being brutally honest. It’s about ease of cooking and getting the food out as easily and quickly as possible. Edward H: Those of us that are consultants around the room have got to factor in ventilation. Neel: Energy efficiency is becoming a lot more important than other aspects because designers are given a benchmark for electrical consumption and of course if ventilation is too high or you don’t optimise it, that again results in excess consumption. Both parametres have to been considered when designing a kitchen and if the efficiency and flow is right, you will optimise the areas as well as the energy consumption. How do food hygiene requirements impact kitchen design? Viktor: For our organisation a big part of the kitchen design relates to food hygiene. As an international operator, it’s crucial to meet the international HACCP standards. 32

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Edward P: We’re very well legislated here anyway, particularly with Abu Dhabi. They’re very clear on expectations and we know that as designers. If you’ve got something in your design that doesn’t work in some way, you’ve got cross-flows etc., you’ve not been given the right design. Nick: Generally, we work with kitchen design teams but we design it ourselves. They basically bring the equipment and we tell them where we want it. We get our own approvals from the municipality. Edward H: It’s an exceptionally difficult matter getting designs through municipality. As a consultant, we would take a plan two or three times. By embracing the expertise of a consultant, you negate that risk of change in the first place. We’ll never get a stamp but you know the date and you make a note on record and that’s the way we avoid these situations.

Viktor: HACCP is a process that leads you into a design arrangement. I don’t think design is everything; efficiency leads to design. And I agree before we talked about bar counters and open kitchens, a designer designs something because he likes it but not because of functionality. My role is to ensure that functionality is secured. Edward P: One of my priorities as a consultant is to make sure I develop a kitchen in terms of design that makes that HACCP process easy. You shouldn’t have to compromise on your design but equally I’ve completed sites where chefs are preparing vegetables in a pot wash sink. Is that a training issue? It’s certainly not design. What are the key priorities for the chef when it comes to kitchen design? Gary: We make sure our base kitchen is much the same as days of old and then we

add extra things. As long as we’ve got our ‘ABC’, any additions can always be introduced. There are pieces of equipment you can more or less plug in and you can add that to your base. When we had Rhodes Mezzanine and changed it to Rhodes W1 we had the kitchen pulled out. Is it massively different? No. The little extras that we’ve turned around have made it far more practical and easy to manage. Wayne: The first thing I look at is traffic of waiting staff, kitchen porters, chefs, how you get from A to B. Once that traffic flow sorts itself out, it prevents a lot of problems. Another thing you always notice is that there are no power points. I don’t care if it looks nice, I’ve got to work in there and need power points. Jarrett: The key is to find designers that understand the work flow. So if you’re considering a Josper, what equipment is

there that supports that oven and how is it going to be placed so that the chef isn’t taking an extra step each time or bending so low that his back is sore from doing it 45 times a day? Scott: The biggest thing we’ve learned is how to manage space – fitting things into a kitchen without expanding it into the restaurant area. We’ve been learning a lot about kitchen design in terms of MEP, where the sockets go, because once those things are decided you can’t change them and you’re stuck with the problems. What are the key challenges kitchen designers face? Edward P: Sometimes the guys who briefed you and who you designed the kitchen for are no longer there once the plan becomes a reality. We might get a chef turn up on site four months before the hotel opens

asking why it’s been done this way. Well it’s because the chef before him gave us the design brief, the menu concept, and this is how it’s been designed. Edward H: Communication is the missing piece and probably would resolve everything else. It’s making sure the fit-out contractors drawings are delivered on site and don’t get interpreted wrongly. It’s important to have fabricators that are adjustable – not cookie cutter fabricators. It may sound obvious but we need a clear, detailed and concise brief for the restaurant. Regrettably we enter into projects often where there is no brief. Edward P: There’s sometimes no concept. Scott: It depends if you’re designing a specialist restaurant or an all-day dining. They are very different things but it’s really surprising that they develop it so far without getting the guy that’s going to run it to take responsibility for it. Viktor: This is the case where no operator is assigned. No owner or kitchen consultant I have worked with has worked without a brief. Neel: There is a brief but the product will be delivered four or five years down the line and they are reluctant to prepare a brief five years before they know what the market is going to be. There is a big hotel brand I know that’s reluctant to give briefs. Ryan Gazder: There are many times when a hotel doesn’t have an operator and sometimes the owner decides they’re going to operate it and they don’t have the know-how. Everything moves on quickly in this region so someone you knew that you worked with on developing a concept might not be there anymore two years later, so there are gaps in communication. Andrea Karidis: I think the best way for hotels to move forward is to have more independence and start with ABC like Gary said and then decide if it’s going to be Chinese or Italian and I think for the big hotel chains it will make you more money. What are the key challenges F&B operators face when designing kitchens? Viktor: We are all involved in the project from a very early stage from my side and after I sign off a kitchen drawing I get involved again maybe two or three years later. I attend design meetings but there’s a stage between me signing off a kitchen February 2017 Catering NEWS ME



plan and the hotel opening, and I have no more involvement because there’s nothing in the contract for them to oversee installation, so who controls that? It’s not me. I’ve opened hotels where whatever was signed off was not delivered for whatever reason. I’d like to be 18 months out and start working on it to compete with the standalone restaurant operators, but it’s usually more like three to four years. Edward P: With resort hotels, you can design your restaurants and it can be four or five years out. It’s not unusual for a concept that has been designed to not even open. They’ll change it a few weeks out and that happens a lot, but that can also be about the demographic. When you’re a 34

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consultant designing a resort, there might not be an Italian restaurant within two or three miles but by the time you’re opening there could be a few that have popped up nearby, so that necessity changes. Colin: Most kitchens are designed before the menu is even done so that in a way is wrong, because you’re then letting the kitchen consultants dictate what you can do on your menu. Gary: There are endless situations you find yourself in where the kitchen has been designed for the aesthetics rather than the practicalities and I think that’s why the chef always has to be involved in the complete design. So many times they’ll give us the initial designs and

we’ll absolutely rip it to pieces, and send it back. With all due respect, sometimes you do wonder ‘what have I paid for? I’ve just designed it myself!’ What challenges can value engineering cause? Edward H: The challenges we face as consultants are interpretation of design and value engineering without participation. The consequence of that is that you can start missing critical infrastructure so if someone value engineers something, it takes a different power loading, or you put a charcoal burner in instead of a gas one. Ryan: Value engineering throws off the whole design and then they look at us and

say ‘you designed it!’ and it starts this vicious circle at the end of the project. You have equipment of different sizes, different performance and the chef that comes in can’t use it. The regional director that signed it off doesn’t recognise it and then it falls on us. So that’s a situation we find ourselves with. The only key stakeholder who can have some sort of control and ownership over this, are the operators. They can push the owner and say, ‘no, this is what we want, this is what we asked for’. We’re caught in between. Viktor: I disagree. It depends on your contractual terms. For some of you guys, your job finishes when I sign off. You hand it over to the kitchen installer and you have

no influence. We as an operator are sometimes not even involved in value engineering and we don’t even know until I step in a year or eight months before opening and recruit my executive chef. Jarrett: We’re looking for something that’s not going to break the bank but it’s going to have a life expectancy of 15+ years. That’s what we’re looking for, something robust. How can chefs, designers, operators and other stakeholders work better to overcome these challenges? Jarrett: I think it’s critical to get the stakeholders together – the client, the designer and the operator – from kick-off

and each will have different views on how the kitchen should look and function. The owner is going to want full functionality and to stretch his dollar but key is that we get the audience with the owner. If you can convince him the equipment being specified is essential to the success of the concept, then I think you create value that way. Edward H: That kick-off meeting is critical; the first meeting where we’re all around the table and have a frank conversation about what is expected, with the technicians that are going to define the MEP limitations, physical limitations and the stakeholder financial limitations. Then you’ve got a board to start working from. February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


Cover Story

Going off-piste From Bistro Des Arts founders, Jonathan Vercoutere and Julien Pilard comes Publique, Dubai’s first après-ski gathering hub


onathan Vercoutere and Julien Pilard are opposites in every way, and not just in terms of appearance. While Jonathan comes from Lille on France’s border with Belgium, Julien is from Cannes, a resort town on the French Riviera. Jonathan admits to being a loud and strong character whereas Julien is the easy going, Mediterranean one. They both worked at Atlantis, The Palm as restaurant managers, but at opposite sides of the hotel – Julien in Nasimi Beach and Jonathan in Rostang the French Brasserie. What brought them together was a shared dream to open an authentic French bistro, something they believed was missing in Dubai. When they met Naim Maadad, CEO of Gates Hospitality – an investor who shared this vision – the dream soon became a reality. And just 15 months after the opening of Bistro Des Arts on Dubai Marina, the pair are now set to launch their second project


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with Gates Hospitality, and are honoured to have the opportunity. “We are very proud because it means Gates Hospitality trusts us. We visited this site back in February 2016 just five months after we opened Bistro. Naim came to us and said he had a second project for us – we gained his trust through opening and operating Bistro,” says Pilard. Publique is Dubai’s first ‘après-ski’ venue, and the partners insist it will “breathe new life” into Madinat Jumeirah, being an independent homegrown concept in a resort packed with leased, international brands. However, Vercoutere and Pilard have no pretensions about the originality of the idea from a global perspective. “We do understand that people in Dubai will say, ‘what do you mean by after-skiing?’. It is a bit unusual, but there are ‘après-ski’ concepts in London and they work perfectly so why not bring this to Dubai? We will show that if we believe in it, and if the marketing is done

C over story

properly, people will follow it,” says Pilard. The restaurant is located in the space previously occupied by British concept, Rivington Grill. While Publique is set in the downstairs section of the space, upstairs houses another new Gates Hospitality investment, Folly by Nick & Scott, operated by Gordon Ramsay-trained chefs and restaurateurs, Nick Alvis and Scott Price, best known for their success in transforming Table 9 at Hilton Dubai Creek into one of Dubai’s most sought-after eateries during their tenure there. Despite being colocated with Folly, Pilard and Vercoutere are confident there will be no competition between the two outlets, particularly given they are backed by the same investor. That said, they are happy to be in the downstairs section of the space, which they believe will offer a number of benefits. “When you enter, you see Publique first and feel the atmosphere,” says Pilard. “Even if you go to Folly for dinner, people would tend to come back down to Publique for another round of drinks. We intend to work together with Nick and Scott as we really complement each other and have totally different concepts. We met about a year ago and have a very good relationship with them.” Vercoutere and Pilard learned a lot from the opening of Bistro Des Arts, and were better equipped this time around to overcome the pre-opening challenges familiar to most restaurateurs who have launched a concept in Dubai. “We learned a lot,” comments Pilard. “We learned about the preopening process with Bistro Des Arts and how to run a business in Dubai, because I think doing business here is very different to Europe. Communicating the idea of an après-ski chalet to the designer and the contractors was of course the first priority. “We know the concept perfectly,” Pilard continues. “We lived in France as children but when we want to explain it to someone who hasn’t, it gets complicated. To make sure the designer and contractor have the same vision as us, this is where the challenge is.” Emirates Design Solutions was brought on board to design the kitchen and Pilard and Vercoutere consulted closely with chef Stephane Cedelle, Bistro Des Arts’ head 38

Catering NEWS ME February 2017

chef, who will also oversee the culinary operations of Publique. “Every time we start a new project, we look at the available drawings of the kitchens, we brainstorm with our chef on where we want everything, we give them the vision, and then they come up with the specific design. Then we go into the specifications of each item and branding,” comments Vercoutere. And while Publique will be unmistakably French, the concept is completely different to Bistro Des Arts, with the focus shifted to the

beverage offer and providing an alternative nightlife venue to bring Dubai expats back to Madinat Jumeirah. Vercoutere explains: “The only issue with going out in Dubai is you have to go to a nightclub, get a big table, spend a lot of money and you’re not able to communicate because the music is so loud. We want to allow people to gather in big groups on a night out. It’s a multi-experience concept where you don’t have any obligation to dress up or spend a lot, and you can come at any time of the day and appreciate the product.”

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While Vercoutere admits that the team wasn’t able to take the Publique concept as far as they would have liked to, given the location and the subsequent need to attract a broad spectrum of expats and tourists, they have gone to some lengths to create an authentic après-ski look and feel. The pair trawled eBay for decorative elements to create a 1970s ski resort feel, and have imported retro ski lifts and a gondola lift from Austria, which doubles as the DJ booth. The objective is to create an environment that will transport guests back to childhood skiing holidays – a common activity among European families. “The rustic and authentic is very important and that’s across design and food,” comments Pilard, adding that they had to be careful

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February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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“It is a bit unusual, but there are ‘après-ski’ concepts in London and they work perfectly so why not bring this to Dubai? We will show that if we believe in it, and if the marketing is done properly, people will follow it.” - Julien Pilard not to veer into parody. “We don’t want to be too much, it’s not a theme park so we didn’t want people to be shocked.” That said, they are looking forward to introducing a range of rambunctious theme nights with a music and movies element – perhaps screening French classics, such as ‘Les Bronzés Font Du Ski’ – and offering props at the door, with those donning hats, goggles or snowboards to get special treatment from the staff. “We want our guests to really enjoy the atmosphere – that’s what you’ll remember,” says Vercoutere. The menu is equally daring, with a focus on mountain dishes from the French Alps, including Raclette, Fondue Savoyarde and Fondue Bourguignonne. Of course, introducing such niche products means thorough staff training will be crucial. However, Pilard and Vercoutere have already gone through the same process at Bistro Des Arts, training a team of waiters – not one of whom is French – to understand the very French menu off-by-heart. “Two weeks ago, we put Mont d’Or cheese on the menu,” Pilard comments. “If you do that nobody will buy it other than French people from the Alps but we explained it to the staff and they were able to sell all of it. This is why the service philosophy is so important for us.” The outlet will be open for lunch and 40

Catering NEWS ME February 2017

A gondola imported from Austria is the DJ booth and retro ski lifts offer quirky seating

Publique also offers outdoor seating

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“The only issue with going out in Dubai is you have to go to a nightclub, get a big table, spend a lot of money and you’re not able to communicate because the music is so loud. We want to allow people to gather in big groups on a night out. It’s a multi-experience concept where you don’t have any obligation to dress up or spend a lot” - Jonathan Vercoutere dinner, with the menu – created by Vercoutere and Pilard – split into various sections. It includes “Frenchies”, terroir food, highlighting French delicacies specific to certain areas of France; Bistro Des Arts favourites brought in from the Dubai Marina restaurant; and casual burgers and pizzas, with a focus on high quality products. The dessert menu – “You shouldn’t but you will” – reflects the outlet’s fun element with decadent American-style treats.

Already partnering with some trusted French suppliers, Vercourtere and Pilard are confident they will be able to source the unusual ingredients they require for Publique, and have even had some of their partners make suggestions for items that might fit with the concept. “We have two or three suppliers managed by French people, so when we come to them with an explanation of our concept, we just need to say two words and they instantly understand us,” says Vercoutere. The beverage menu, also created by the

duo in consultation with the previous head bartender of Bistro Des Arts – who has just been promoted to assistant manager of Publique – is also split into sections: Artistic; Rustic; Authentic; Fanatic; and Classic. The venue will do cocktail and food pairings, with some of the beverages taking inspiration from savoury items. Vercoutere explains: “There are a lot of herbs; we developed a cocktail around the coriander which is really nice. Some of the others, we go with the fruity aspect, which includes cherry brandy or cherry flavour; that is the kind of thing we do. Most of our sweet beverages work very well with our desserts.” The team has also imported grape and liquors from the French alpine region of Savoy, adding another new offer to the market. And so, with a successful concept up and running for more than a year and a bold new venture opening its doors this month, Vercoutere and Pilard have their hands full and are understandably reticent about discussing their next move. Pilard hints: “The dream of everyone in this industry is to get a restaurant, to get a bar, then a beach club and a hotel. So that’s the dream and we will see what’s going to happen.” However, with the Expo 2020 Dubai fast approaching, the pair are keen to have their business well-positioned in order to take full advantage of the influx of tourists and expats expected, and hope to have a third venue opened ahead of this milestone. “I think we need to be focused on 2020 because all of the marketing of Dubai has been done in line with the Expo,” Pilard says. “I think that will have a strong impact so we hope we can get a third restaurant by 2020 as there will be so many places opening close to that time. We still don’t know exactly what we are going to do, but we may take the risk.” For the moment, however, the focus is firmly on introducing the Dubai market to the fun of après-ski’ and continuing to build their names in the business. “In 12 months’ time, we’d like to be recognised as people who are offering an alternative in the market,” comments Vercoutere. “It’s not about doing the same things as the others. Julien and I have the same vision – sometimes we’ll try a week of discussions and not come up with anything and then one day, everything comes together. “We just want to be open and to be packed.” February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


l u l f g c



T he bus iness

Mira Lozi Al Naimi and Rama Dabbous Mamlouk, co-founders and creative directors of Circle Café and Sushi Counter tell Crystal Chesters why they are taking their franchised concepts back and consolidating a growing portfolio with a strong back-of-house platform and central kitchen


ira Lozi Al Naimi and Rama Dabbous Mamlouk, from Lebanon, met through family friends. Their children were the same age, they got married at the same age, they were – in Al Naimi’s words – “soul sisters”. Sharing a passion for food and entertaining, the pair came up with two business ideas; one was a walk-in blow-dry bar, which at the time, in the early 2000s was an innovative concept the world-over. The other was a café combining Dabbous Mamlouk’s love of bagels and big portions, picked up during a stint living in the US, and Al Naimi’s knowledge of European café culture, which she became immersed in during time spent living in London.


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“Over here they had five-star hotels, they had Fuddruckers but there was nothing of this sort,” comments Al Naimi, speaking to Catering News during an interview at the duo’s original Circle Café outlet, in Dubai Media City. “At that time we had just 11 staff!” adds Dabbous Mamlouk. “It used to be Mira and I here; I would be in the kitchen and she would deal with the customers. Now there are 389 staff across Sushi Counter and Circle Café, not including the franchises. This was our first Circle Café, our baby, and everything that opened around us has since closed – we still have clients coming here since the first day we opened.” Currently the businesswomen are busy

consolidating their projects and sharpening their expansion strategy, which includes bringing all franchised concepts back in-house. “We have stopped franchising our outlets, except the one in Business Bay,” comments Dabbous Mamlouk. “We want to take back control, leave our personal touch and be consistent with the quality and service.” Another aspect of this “consolidation” is building a strong back-of-house operation to ensure efficient synergies across the 15 Circle Café outlets. To this end, a new central kitchen opened its doors in Dubai’s Silicon Oasis in the second half of last year, with a Circle Café outlet operating below it. “It’s a very exciting project, because now

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we’re feeling the difference in the consistency of our food in all the outlets because we’re preparing everything in the central kitchen,” says Dabbous Mamlouk. In addition to acting as a prep room for all Circle Café outlets – which will continue to have in-house kitchens and chefs – the 250m2 central kitchen will be a staff training centre, a facility for menu development and a base for catering services, which is one aspect of the business the partners would like to expand on. “We started catering about seven years ago, I think,” comments Al Naimi. “But now we want to really focus on it because we have the platform, we have a central kitchen, we have the equipment,

“We started catering about seven years ago, but now we want to really focus on it because we have the platform, we have a central kitchen, we have the equipment, the catering license and the vehicles. So we’re prepared” - Mira Al Naimi

the catering license and the vehicles. So we’re prepared.” This year, Al Naimi and Dabbous Mamlouk are focusing on hosting events for up to 150 people, with the hope of increasing that number to 500 over the coming months. “We do corporate catering, kids birthdays – we do everything,” adds Al Naimi. And while the pair have catered for boutique weddings, it’s Dabbous Mamlouk’s “dream” to move into the larger weddings market. “It’s a totally different ball game,” she admits. “Now everything is at a minimum but of course we’d get the trucks, the staff, everything.” The central kitchen also has an allocated space for the team’s second concept, February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T he bus iness

CIRCLE CAFÉ LOCATIONS • Dubai Studio City • Dubai Healthcare City • Dubai Media City • Dubai World Trade Center • The Dubai Mall • Business Bay, Dubai • Silicon Oasis Dubai • Shorooq Mirdif, Dubai • Al Ain Mall, Al Ain • Al Raha Gardens, Abu Dhabi • Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi • First Gulf Bank HQ, Abu Dhabi • Mangrove Village, Abu Dhabi • The Boulevard, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia • Fouad Center, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia Sushi Counter, which was first conceived as a high-quality yet fast-food sushi concept when it was launched in 2010. Today the portfolio includes nine outlets, however the team admits the business model for the brand is very simple compared to that of Circle Café. “You don’t have to have a kitchen, it’s not that expensive to set up. All we needed was a counter, we don’t have any exhaust or anything, there are no waiters, so that’s 44

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why it’s been doing well and is easy to open everywhere,” says Dabbous Mamlouk, explaining that there is just one franchise in Dubai Mall and the brand will make its debut in Saudi Arabia in March 2017, with an outlet offering additional cooked items. Saudi Arabia has so far been a successful market for the partners, with their first Circle Café outlet in Al Khobar hailed by Dabbous Mamlouk as “La Petite Maison of Al Khobar”. “The numbers are still very

good there; they love it and appreciate it. The Saudis are very switched on to social media so they really appreciate Western concepts,” she says. A second Circle Café opened in January in Riyadh and there are plans for further Saudi expansion – potentially in Riyadh and Jeddah – if this goes well. “The market in Saudi Arabia is really promising although we need to get Riyadh on its feet and stabilise it before we move on,” says Al Naimi.

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Sushi Counter is an attractive catering offer

The biggest hospitality show in the world

Other partnership requests have come in from Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, and according to Dabbous Mamlouk, “Kuwait are begging us”. However, the women are being careful with their next move. “We’re getting approached by people from all over the GCC, but we want to take it slowly and make sure we’re doing it the right way. The partners have to understand the culture and feel of Circle Café,” she continues. And when choosing locations, they think it’s important not to move in anywhere that’s already overcrowded, which explains why they go for what Dabbous Mamlouk calls, “underdog markets” such as Silicon Oasis and Mirdif, the latest Circle Café opening in Dubai. “We just want to get out to locations where there’s a demand. We don’t like it to be congested or in places where there are so many other things around you like in DIFC. We like to run away from it and go and have a nice, casual lunch,” says Al Naimi. And not content with having two successful brands that have stood the test of time and continue to grow, Al Naimi and Dabbous Mamlouk reveal they are about to launch ‘Little Circle’, a February 2017 Catering NEWS ME

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19/01/17 15:15

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grab-and-go concept to be located in hospitals, banks and universities. “Little Circle is a derivative of Circle Café. It is targeted mostly at clients with a busy lifestyle, with all the food prepacked and ready to be grabbed on the go,” explains Al Naimi. “It will be an array of food items ranging from scrumptious salads, to hot meals on the go, gourmet sandwiches, gluten-free items and homemade desserts in portions,” she continues, explaining there will be nutritious options for health-conscious customers and wholesome menu items for those seeking “deliciousness, freshness and comfort”. With the first Little Circle to open in Dubai Science Park this month, the team expects to roll out another five – 10 Little Circles in 46

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“We’re getting approached by people all over the GCC but we want to take it slowly and make sure we’re doing it the right way. The partners have to understand the culture and feel of Circle Café” - Rama Dabbous Mamlouk 2017 in the UAE, before expanding the brand overseas. Otherwise, Al Naimi and Dabbous Mamlouk are looking to concentrate on what they

have, while focusing on building up their back-of-house platform with solid marketing and catering departments, and consolidating a consistent, high quality offer across all of their outlets, having now moved away from the franchising business model. While this means they are busier, they are also happier being involved in every aspect of the business. Dabbous Mamlouk comments: “We are much busier but much more comfortable. I feel happy knowing that everything is in the right hands, I know what’s happening—” “We’ve been here so long we have a good base of established customers,” Al Naimi chimes in. “I won’t say ‘institution’ but we’re the old kids in town, everyone knows us. Everyone is talking about homegrown now, but we were homegrown back then – it’s come full circle!”



Sagi, since 1980, leader in professional refrigeration equipment MADE



T he Business

Tools of the Trade Centre

Dubai World Trade Centre executive chef Raimund Hämmerle explains how a AED8 million kitchen upgrade has allowed the team to increase volume, variety and efficiency

Dubai World Trade Centre executive chef Raimund Hämmerle


he hospitality division of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is one of the UAE’s most established caterers, with a portfolio of worldclass exhibitions under its in-house remit, including this month’s Gulfood. Last year, an additional 15,000m2 of floor space came online across three new halls, while an upgraded in-venue retail offering and growth of the business’ offsite catering operations, including Dubai Airshow, Formula 1 Eithad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, royal weddings and state functions, paved the way for 48

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a AED8 million upgrade to the venue’s 3,650m2 kitchen facility. Ensuring DWTC can continue to produce consistent, high-quality food and beverage quickly and efficiently as business continues to ramp up in the run up to 2020, the investment was focused on installing state-of-the-art equipment across the catering operation, while keeping the space the same size. This included smart technologies to integrate and automate processes, helping increase capacity output to 20,000 daily covers – up from 15,000. The new equipment includes deck and

rotation ovens, flexi chef pans, and flexi/ combi ovens which allow for recipes to be pre-programmed into the machines, cutting cooking time down by more than half the average expected time. While much of the equipment utilised by the pastry team comes from Bongard from France, the equipment in the main kitchen is from German manufacturer, MKN. “We have a close relationship with the supplier,” Raimund Hämmerle, executive chef, Dubai World Trade Centre tells Catering News during a tour of the new facility. “Compared to 10 years ago,

The Bus i ness

The DWTC team caters for weddings on a daily basis and royal weddings form a significant part of the group’s portfolio

ovens are a completely new world; there is so much high-tech involved, pre-programmed recipes, etcetera. The supplier does staff training, he comes on-site and monitors how we implement the equipment, and helps us to get used to it, including maintenance and cleaning. “What would have taken three to four hours, now takes 45 minutes,” Hämmerle continues. “The productivity and the output have been increased because with the same number of staff you can now do more. The quality has increased; the taste and texture is better.”

The automated systems also allow chefs to devote more time to preparation, with cooking now done closer to the time of the event, ensuring fresher and higher quality food. “Before we only had a certain number of units available but now it has been increased, we can do a bigger variety of dishes with more main courses and the food is fresher,” adds Hämmerle. The new equipment has also led to a 30% like-for-like reduction in energy usage, which Hämmerle explains “makes the return on investment after a couple of years worthwhile”. On the equip-

ment’s touch-screen panels, chefs can see after each process how much electricity and water has been used. Enhanced hygiene and safety standards are another benefit of the new equipment and facilities, which are both HACCP compliant and ISO22000K certified. Hämmerle comments: “The hygiene officer can use a USB to extract all of the processes for the entire day – this is monitored in each unit. Before we got this new technology, every process had to be manually documented, but this can now be done digitally.” February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

THE STATS Total facility size

3,650m2 Automated smart technologies increase capacity to

20,000 daily covers

There has been a


increase in daily covers Energy efficiency up by


Cooking time cut by 50% USB-enabled smart technologies Manual and automatic modes

However, for Hämmerle, the key benefit of the upgraded equipment is consistency, which is crucial when catering to large volumes, he explains. “I think the biggest thing is having standardised recipes so you have a consistent taste and quality. The technology helps it to stay consistent and you have the same baking process, the moisture control, the temperature control, so with the end product there are fewer variations,” he says, adding that the new technology also reduces shrinkage. The refurbishment has also been key to the enhancement of DWTC’s offsite event portfolio as the facility looks to meet anticipated demand over the coming years. The introduction of mobile units means more produce can be cooked 50

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State-of-the-art automated equipment was installed to drive DWTC's on-site and off-site business expansion

fresh on-site. “The mobile units can just be dropped off – all you need is a water connection,” says Hämmerle. “We did it at Meydan and we do it for events in other emirates. You can’t cook everything here and then take it there as it won’t be fresh, so this is why we set up mobile kitchens to continue cooking onsite. The main focus was on increasing quality and freshness, which is why we changed the logistics.” And while having mobile kitchens means that some produce can be delivered directly to the event site, in many cases the team prefers to prepare everything in advance to maintain control over quality and consistency. “We sometimes deliver on site – or things like fresh juice can be delivered

directly – but for example with events such as Formula 1 we wouldn’t do this as we want to have control. There are a lot of companies on the market that could take up some of the prep work through partnerships, but we believe that we need more control – we don’t take any risks. With 148 chefs from 19 countries and more than 300 full-time service staff, Hospitality by Dubai World Trade Centre continues to secure big ticket catering contracts across the UAE, however it is also now looking to build on its retail business. Last year it launched Seven Sands, a contemporary Emirati fusion restaurant located on JBR – The Beach in Dubai and in September 2016, the team introduced Trader’s House, a new high-quality grab and go concept. Previously Loop operated in the res-

The Bus i ness

The catering team at Dubai World Trade Centre




Chickpeas boiled for hummus

4 hours

1.5 hours

Moroccan lamb tagine

2+ hours

25-30 minutes

Chicken biryani

30 minutes

10 minutes

Steamed rice

30-40 minutes

15-20 minutes

Capacity to make croissants



taurant space in DWTC’s Concourse 2, but Hämmerle admits there was no clear concept and the product was of a lower quality. “Before we just had a standard sandwich while for example now we’re using Irish sourdough bread and we’re not making any compromises on quality. The pricing has of course been adjusted to reflect this but people are willing to spend money for quality,” he comments, adding Trader’s House is “totally different” in terms of look and feel. In addition to the restaurant, there are two event-based concepts in Zabeel halls four and six. Hämmerle reveals the team is looking to expand it further, with a dedicated team of around 10 staff looking after and growing the concept. “Now we have three in operation, and another

“The productivity and the output have been increased because with the same number of staff you can now to do more. The quality has increased; the taste and texture is better” Raimund Hämmerle four in-hall versions will open in DWTC. We’ll see if we’re going to expand it outside; that could be a plan.” As more and more hotels move into the catering sector in order to diversify business, Hämmerle is aware that competition is ramping up and staying ahead of the curve will be vital. Part of this will involve

enhanced training to keep human resources as well-oiled as the kitchen equipment. “Sometimes it’s going back to the basics – staff training is very important on a junior level,” says Hämmerle. “Training is now conducted with the service team and kitchen team together with all the food products. We have so many initiatives to make sure the staff understand the dishes on the menu before going out. “It is like the day-to-day business of a five-star hotel; you have to focus on quality and innovation. The market continues to get tighter so you always have to put in that extra effort to win business. It’s not about dropping prices, but raising the quality to compete. This was a good, substantial refurbishment which gave us a few years' head start.” February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


W hat's cooking?

Alfredo Russo

Michelin-starred chef and Lavazza ambassador Alfredo Russo explains his partnership with the coffee brand and reveals exciting new projects

How did your career as a chef begin? I started my culinary career when I was 13 years old in a small restaurant in Italy. Back then my family members found it strange that I was entering this field, since I was the first in my family to take that leap. In an attempt to change my mind, they sent me off to work in a small restaurant. To their surprise, I was quickly immersed in the field, and soon after fell in love with the kitchen. I attended a culinary school in Turin in northern Italy, which excels in the culinary field. At 52

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the start of my career, I experimented with different cuisines, starting with French. I bought various cook books and attempted to learn from other people’s experiences. Trying out recipes from legendary chefs enabled me to grow to the next level in my career. What’s your signature dish? I have several signature dishes that I love to prepare. In my restaurant in Turin, I don’t mix up the menu often as some dishes are the es-

C hef F ocus

“I enjoy experimenting with Lavazza coffee in my creations. It has now become common to find coffee in various dishes, but my preference would always be to use it in desserts.” sence behind the restaurant’s success. I change the daily dishes on a seasonal basis, but the à la carte options are available all year round. Pasta is one of my favorite things to cook because people of all ages like it. I like to prepare things that make people happy but I also enjoy experimenting with new flavours and techniques. Most recently I developed a gastronomic dish made with different textures and at different temperatures. Please explain your partnership with Lavazza? Lavazza coffee originates from my home town, Turin, which makes it the ideal coffee brand for me to work with. Working with Lavazza has opened my eyes to new methods of cooking as I’ve got to experiment with food in a unique way. The brand has grown a lot over the past 20 years, and the team is constantly working to provide customers with the best coffee. I’m excited to see where Lavazza is headed in the coming years. What are your favourite coffee-based dishes? I enjoy experimenting with Lavazza coffee in my creations. It has now become common to find coffee in various dishes, but my preference would always be to use it in desserts because of its taste and texture. My all-time favourite has to be the classic tiramisu dessert. How do you cater to Middle Eastern tastes? The Middle East region, and the UAE in particular, is a hotspot of various nationalities, backgrounds, and of course, taste buds. I respect different preferences so I try to tailor my recipes to the various styles without letting go of my identity as a chef. For example, Italians like to eat pasta al dente, while other nationalities may not. We need to have an open mind when cooking for different people and be ready to make minor changes to satisfy everyone. What do you like to eat at home? When I go home I like to eat simple meals such as vegetarian dishes – mainly salads and pasta. What do you love to do apart from cooking? Travelling. I love to visit new countries and learn new techniques and recipes. I like to travel with my wife and daughter and spend quality time with them. What’s next? I’m currently working on different projects in Slovenia and Istanbul, and an exciting fast food concept in Trattoria, Italy. Where do you enjoy visiting in Dubai? Dubai is a beautiful place. This is the third time I’ve visited the emirate and every time I come there’s something new. Next time I would like to spend several days with my family and discover the city even more and I would love to visit the other emirates as well, especially Abu Dhabi. February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C hef F ocus

Todd English

As he prepares to open new restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, American celebrity chef Todd English explains why the UAE is becoming more relevant on the global F&B scene. Crystal Chesters reports American celebrity chef Todd English has won a string of awards, authored several cookbooks, and has hosted and produced a number of television programmes, however, he claims his biggest achievement to date has been the creation of Olives, a brand first launched in Charlestown Massachusetts in 1989, which garnered positive reviews and media attention for its ‘interpretive Mediterranean cuisine’. He went on to open additional Olives locations in the W Hotel Union Square, New York and The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas before exporting Olives overseas with an opening at Abu Dhabi’s Venetian Village in June 2015. “Olives was inspired by my travels and my family who always had stories about the olive orchards they owned in Italy, so that was my inspiration – there’s a touch of the Mediterranean but also Californian,” English tells Catering News during a visit to the UAE. “Now that Olives is open we’re really focused on promoting that restaurant and Venetian Village,” says English. “It’s been open for over a year now and every month it gets better and better. It’s a beautiful restaurant with a classic, Gatsby-era feel. There are different rooms which is really interesting, and each has a different vibe. We’ve got a bar, a cocktail lounge and the outdoor area, with 90 seats inside and 110 outside. “We’ll be talking about some new things, we want to promote different nights and see what’s working and trying to grow those things that have been work-


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You’re only as good as your last dish. You have to always update your offer and the UAE has a big presence in the world and people look to it and wonder what’s going on here, so you have to take it very seriously” - Todd English ing and maybe introduce some new things like an outdoor barbeque. The brunches have been really big so we’re going to expand on that and then there’s a ‘Lipstick’ ladies’ night we’re introducing and we’re excited about that.” In addition to Olives, English has two franchises of his second brand, Figs, operating in Kuwait. The more casual concept serves traditional and eclectic pizzas, flatbreads and pastas. He is also preparing to open two new UAE restaurants this year, including his first ever Dubai venture. To be located in The Dubai Mall extension, it will be a food hall, similar to the chef’s New York venue, The Todd English Food Hall, a European-inspired specialty outlet offering fresh, prepared, and gourmet foods. Covering 12,000ft2, the food hall will feature a large terrace and is expected to open at the end of 2017 in line with the launch of The Dubai Mall exten-

sion. English comments: “We have a lot of selections covering an international spectrum of food. Everything is made in-house, so it feels very much like a market. The new Abu Dhabi outlet will be located in the AED 10.8 billion Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport and is a pub concept modelled on Todd English P.U.B. in Las Vegas, but with a market element. “We have signed a deal to do a market and pub in the new Abu Dhabi airport terminal. It’s a pub and market; we’re hoping that it will open when the airport opens, which would be late 2017,” says English. “The food hall is more of an international, European-inspired food market, whereas the pub is more an American take on traditional pub fare and international cuisine. Also, being at the airport, it will serve a different purpose. You’ll have the ability to grab and go and take it on the plane, whereas with Dubai Mall it will be more of a sitdown experience,” English explains. In addition to these openings, English hints that he would like to open “something more fast-casual”. “We have a bunch of fast-casual brands we’re working on now in the States and maybe one of those would pop and we could bring it here,” he reveals. Explaining why, after operating two Figs franchises in Kuwait for five years, he has developed a renewed focus on the Middle East region, with a string of openings in the UAE, English says: “You’re only as good as your last dish. You have to always update your offer and the UAE has a big

C hef F ocus

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C hef F ocus

presence in the world and people look to it and wonder what’s going on here, so you have to take it very seriously. “With globalisation a lot of people come to the Middle East and I think these markets – Dubai and Abu Dhabi – have gained relevance globally.” Comparing New York to Dubai, English sees a lot of similarities between the two markets. “There’s enthusiasm for new brands, and a lot of new ideas come out of New York but you can see that here in the UAE too. I think once you start creating an extremely competitive environment, you can’t just rest on your laurels.” And this is one thing English knows well. Having enjoyed plenty of success and media attention as a young chef, he believes it is important to stay relevant and continue to stand for the same causes he has always believed in, such as the farmto-table movement he was part of in the 1980s, and which has grown from strength to strength in the US and abroad. “I see the future as food and health,” he comments. “When I first got out of cooking school in the 80s it was hard in the States to get fresh tomatoes and herbs. We saw this whole shift and as chefs we were very involved in supporting our local farmers. “You can’t really do a restaurant now without the buzzwords. You don’t want to be preached to while you eat but the millennials want to know – they are a huge consumer group in the States who spend $100 billion going out. They want to know that what they’re eating is organic, fresh and harvested with no pesticides – they’re becoming more sophisticated.” To ensure he continues to stay on top of the latest developments, English travels often to the markets in which he operates, including the Middle East, the Philippines, and China and the Caribbean, where he is considering new projects. “I think one of my biggest fears is becoming a dinosaur,” he comments. “I travel a lot, I stay on top of what’s going on and use my imagination to see how I can keep going. “We’ve done a lot and sometimes I still pinch myself thinking about it – the things I’ve done and been able to do in my life just because one day I decided I wanted to be a cook. It’s really expanded from there.” 56

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Olives, Venetian Village, Abu Dhabi

Olives - Baked Ricotta Ravioli

Food trends

Meal Delivery Plans Meal delivery plans are becoming more sophisticated as companies offer everything from set packages catered to specific needs to bespoke programmes designed by nutritionists. Catering News investigates

The Right Bite offers a variety of programmes tailored to client requirements and lifestyles


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

F ood trends

Meal delivery plans have been growing in popularity in the Middle East region over the past few years, driven by an increased awareness of healthy eating, and demand for convenience, particularly among those with busy lifestyles. Companies such as Kcal, Under 500, Smith St. Paleo and The Right Bite are already on board with the trend, some offering bespoke packages, set meal plans, or both, in addition to flexible booking options. “People need convenience,” comments Holly Purdy, founder of Smith St. Paleo, which offers a range of lunch plans, paleo snacks, sweet treats and protein shakes. “Life is busy and people are generally timepoor. Look around at the things that are successful these days, and they are usually things that save people time. Meal delivery plans do this well and take out the headache and time associated with food prep.” Meal plans are not just for those looking to lose weight. Consumers are increasingly seeking out plans that have been specifically designed by a professional to meet their bespoke requirements, whether that be rebalancing post-exercise, mum-to-be plans or those aimed at building muscle. Lauren Jacobsen, nutrition director at Kcal Brands, explains: “We offer a wide variety of personalised meal plans focused on the individual’s goals. Our ‘Success’ plan is focused on weight-loss, while the ‘Wellness’ plan is for weight maintenance and the ‘Athlete’ plan targets muscle-building and performance.” In addition, Kcal customers have the option of visiting a nutritionist for a personalised consultation, which involves complete body composition analysis to help determine the best plan for them. Under 500 offers three meal delivery plans, each of which is scientifically balanced by qualified nutritionists to optimise results and goals. The available plans are: ‘Lean’ for fat loss; ‘Clean’ for a healthy, balanced lifestyle; and ‘Mean’ aimed at muscle gain. Meanwhile, The Right Bite offers among its packages, ‘Balanced Mom’, a programme to ensure proper nutrition for expectant mothers and babies and the ‘Selective Plus’ plan, recommended for picky eaters and people with food allergies. According to Nathalie Haddad, founder and managing director, The Right Bite,

meal delivery plans can go beyond offering a temporary fix, helping clients adopt a long-term healthy lifestyle by teaching them the benefits of healthy eating. “Right Bite meal plans are a great answer to educating the consumer on the correct portions based on their needs, and providing them with a variety of meal choices that are convenient and cost-effective,” she comments. Other key benefits cited by the experts are: optimising goals and results; being reassured you are making good choices; saving time on shopping and cooking, and having a wider variety of healthy options. “People want to eat healthily but are often caught short on options,” says Smith St. Paleo’s Purdy. “If they order from a service like ours then it takes away that risk of eating bad food. We also save them so much time on grocery shopping and cooking – the chances are they may not like or know how to cook.” However, sticking to any diet has its downsides, and when the added challenges of expense, long-term commitment and inflexible terms and conditions are considered, meal plans become less of a convenience. For Kcal, one of the major hurdles is educating consumers on why meal delivery plans can seem expensive. Jacobsen comments: “The one thing to remember is that the meal plan is a service and you are paying for the convenience of shopping, preparing, planning, cooking and delivering the food to your door. “Despite the additional cost, you would probably find that it’s still cheaper than the food you would get if you ordered a delivery or went out to eat, not to mention healthier and prepared to your specific calorie and macronutrient needs.” For Purdy of Smith St. Paleo, flexibility is the most important consideration for meal plan providers to have success in the competitive market. “If you are locked in with little choice for weeks at a time, then the chances of not feeling like eating the food or getting bored are higher. Food delivery companies that are flexible on menu options but maintain good, healthy meals, are what people need.” Some companies have looked at ways of creating more flexible options for clients. For example, Under 500 offers a clause

Holly Purdy founder, Smith St. Paleo

Lauren Jacobsen nutrition director, Kcal Brands

Nathalie Haddad founder and managing director, The Right Bite Nutrition and Catering Services LLC

(L-R) Mahmood Bartawi and Fadi Ghaly co-founders, Under 500 February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


Food trends

whereby clients can put a hold on their plan once a month, however Fadi Ghaly and Mahmood Bartawi, co-founders of the healthy eating brand warn that by doing so, clients risk missing out on the health benefits. “It’s possible to freeze a meal plan with 48 hours’ notice once per monthly plan for up to 40 days. However, the plan has to be followed daily to maximise results, and so random, sporadic nights out are off-limits,” they comment. To offer clients more leeway, The Right Bite has introduced Right Bite express service, which provides healthy meals on demand, which are delivered to your door 60

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within an hour, and looking to the future, Haddad says her strategy will be to continue increasing the flexibility of meal plans. “In 2017 we’ll be enhancing the channels by which consumers can eat healthily, whether it be with our personalised meal packages, our express on-demand service, our on-the-go corporate solutions or our catering division. Whatever may be your dietary lifestyle, Right Bite will provide an accessible solution to eating healthily.” As meal delivery plans grow in popularity in the region, providers are keen to stay ahead of new developments. Ghaly and Bartawi of Under 500 comment: “We will

move with the taste and trends, continuously developing exciting, ground-breaking recipes while researching the health and fitness market and listening to our members’ wants and needs.” For Jacobsen of Kcal, meal plans will become more customised and focused on consumer demand as the market continues to grow. “Consumers are more willing to spend a little more on healthy food that is fresh, natural and helps them achieve their goals. Plans that are focused on fresh foods, plenty of vegetables, fruit, and that are free of refined sugars and flours will continue to be dominant on the market,” she says.

F ood trends

Smith St. Paleo’s nutcrusted salmon with carrot puree and sautÊed spinach

Kcal customers can visit the nutritionist for a personalised consultation

From 20 to 2,000 meals a day.

Always the right solution. Find out more:

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


W hat's cooking? Frederic Robichon, executive chef, La Pâtisserie des Rêves

Honorine Reach, pastry chef and trainer, Richemont Masterbaker

Elizabeth Stevenson, chef director, Lady Battenberg

Samantha Wood, food writer and consultant

Antoine Chassonnery, executive pastry chef, Fauchon Middle East

Norihito Muranaka, pastry chef, La Pâtisserie des Rêves

Zeyneb Larabi, area manager IMEA, Valrhona

Ayat Abdulla, pastry chef and trainer

Nawal Al Nuaimi, chef and owner, Paper Fig

Nicolas Bacheyre, executive pastry chef, Un Dimanche à Paris

e i r e s s i t â P a L C

atering News and Sopexa hosted ‘La Pâtisserie: A Sweet Influence’ at Inked in Dubai’s Al Quoz on 12 January, an event organised for the French Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Valrhona to explore how French patisserie has influenced the Middle East’s dessert trends, ingredients and culture. A panel of French, Middle Eastern and expat chefs, brand representatives and experts discussed the influence of French Pastry, the role of ingredients in creating quality desserts, the impact of social media on patisserie developments, and the trends shaping the future of desserts in the Middle East and globally. Following the debate, the panelists sat down to a


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

A sweet influence

lunch prepared by Hadrien Villedieu, executive chef of Inked, with savoury dishes taking inspiration from French patisserie. Special guest, Nicolas Bacheyre, executive pastry chef, Un Dimanche à Paris – who flew to Dubai from France for the occasion – hosted a demonstration to showcase the creation of his dessert, “Just like a lime tart, refreshed with mint”, which also combines sweet and savoury aspects. ‘La Pâtisserie: A Sweet Influence’ formed part of a series of global events under the theme “The Intersection of Food Cultures”, which aims to encourage cooperation and the exchange of knowledge between France and culinary cultures around the world.

How do international chefs combine French know-how with their own innovations? Nicolas Bacheyre: I think there are a lot of foreign chefs that come to France to learn the classics. Some of them stay. In Paris we have chefs from Mexico, they’ve opened their own restaurants and pastry shops with a twist of where they’ve come from. Others go back to their countries, but the problem is pastry evolution is fast, it changes every six months so when you leave France, you lose something. Antoine Chassonnery: You see Japanese people going back to Japan and their skill level is higher than it was in France. Elizabeth Stevenson: French pastries are adapted in the Middle East. Everyone uses classic recipes here and then gives them their own twist. But I think that means it’s important to have a strong culture and identity to latch on to. I think the most important thing in this region is for Emiratis to learn the trade and just start to make things and remove the cultural barriers. That gives it more legitimacy. There’s so much going on in Paris it does influence people internationally, but a successful project or idea can take aspects of that and apply it to another culture. Ayat Abdulla: In Bahrain, we are a bit more open than the UAE. Recently a government fund was introduced for Bahraini chefs to go and choose whatever professional certificate they want and the government will pay for it in full. A lot of people are going to Le Cordon Bleu or the other famous schools, but when they come back, they may not find the audience locally, and they often change back to the old recipes – I feel sorry for that. Norihito Muranaka: Working in another country makes things easier. I was working in Tokyo and France before, so I know the working style of both countries. When I came here I was working with other nationalities like Indians, Filipinos, etc., but I had already worked in France, so I’d already experienced different cultures and influences. Nicolas: Wherever you’re from, you have that culture inside you. A few years ago, it was cool to do

things that looked Asian and Japanese but I think only Japanese chefs can make what they’re making. Otherwise it’s just a fake Japanese dish or a dessert that looks Japanese. Japanese chefs can use matcha and it’s normal; for us it’s like putting something Asian inside but not knowing how to use it. I think if you’ve not been trained by a French chef or a French school you can only do something that looks French. What role do ingredients play in creating quality desserts? Zeyneb Larabi: Ingredients play a key role in a chef’s inspiration. Culinary gastronomy became so sophisticated that we lost the ingredients. In the pastry and the cuisine in general, chefs are going back to the ingredients and how they can highlight and balance these rather than hiding them. Nicolas: I think it’s too easy to use things like lobster, caviar and things like that. For me, you’re really going to see the creation of the chefs that make a three-star Michelin plate with something as simple as carrots. Zeyneb: Yes of course, it’s a combi-

nation. A good chocolate can also be badly used and this is where the training comes in. For chocolate and cocoa in general, we need to have the best terroir and our mission is to go from the beginning and to have the entire value chain working together to provide the best ingredient. This is where the chef comes in with the final plate. Nicolas: Chocolate is something particular that we eat every day. People coming into the shop don’t taste different chocolate, they don’t compare it. Whenever you sell a chocolate cake in France you don’t say if it’s made with Valrhona. Samantha Wood: But here in the UAE some chefs do; I think that’s also a trend that’s changing. You’re actually seeing the ingredients, the suppliers being mentioned in menus, on social media as a proof of quality. Consumers are demanding it as well, they’ll ask where you’ve sourced the chocolate. Nawal Al Nuaimi: I like Valrhona and mentioning that in my menu and on social media. If my customers ask ‘what is so special about your dessert?’ I might say I’m using Valrhona chocolate and this

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


S pec ial rep ort

is a good selling point for me, and maybe it helps educate people about chocolate. Coming to education, do you feel that there is a need for more training in the region? Ayat: People that want to learn something just want to jump to the last step, they want to know how to do bonbons. They don’t find the basics interesting. Before having French pastry shops here, a lot of shops were doing things in the wrong way and just thought this was the product. When you give them the real one they will experience it and then know the difference. Nawal: This is what happened when I opened my shop. I hired people with experience who didn’t really know how to do things. In the Middle East it’s all about taking shortcuts and not doing things from scratch, but that's where education plays a major role. Taste and quality will then be different. Honorine Reach: I think we need to bring a lot of skills and techniques because many hotels and restaurants are looking for French pastry chefs because we have 64

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all these things we learned at school and knowledge of products that we can share with our teams so we can help develop other chefs in Dubai. We find people here want to do the latest trends but they don’t know how to cook sugar for macarons. Nicolas: It’s too focused on the visual aspect and not enough on taste. You buy based on what it looks like but you’ll come back if it tastes good. If customers don’t come back, you’ll have to shut down. Ayat: In the GCC people are crazy about social media, so they go to the restaurants where they can take photos that will amaze other people. Samantha: I think people order based on what will look better on social media. Zeyneb: Restaurant managers are saying that customers are not even looking at the menu. They are just showing the picture they saw on Instagram so they are really relying on the feedback they get from pictures. Samantha: I think we’ll see a move where social media will replace the menu in restaurants.

Nawal: It already has to an extent. Nicolas: Some owners ask us to do desserts but make them very visually appealing before thinking about the taste. It has to look nice on the pictures because we want people to come for the pictures. It’s the wrong way around. How has social media impacted pastry chefs and consumers? Samantha: I think that desserts get more likes and engagement than any other food. I see it when I post on Instagram – it doesn’t matter if it’s good or not it will get more likes. Anything that has over 500,000 hashtags is considered a trend and ‘pastry’ has 3.3 million posts while ‘savoury’ has 100,000 so that’s just evidence that pastry and desserts are more popular; they are more photogenic. Ayat: I recently went to do a menu for a pastry shop in UAE and the lady was just browsing Instagram accounts asking for things she was seeing. If you want to copy others, why am I here? Just go into the

shop, give the picture to your pastry chef and ask them to do it. Nicolas: In France people want to see everything that happens in the kitchen. When I post videos of something like piping the meringue on the lemon tart, it gets thousands of likes even though it’s just something very basic I do every day. Samantha: It’s because you’re showing something interactive on social media and that will get more engagement than if you had posted a photograph of the piping. The beauty is that you’re going back to basics, you’re educating people and 10 years ago you didn’t have social media to be able to do that so people would never know. Nicolas: These influencers just have to post one picture of your cakes and then you can be sure that within an hour your shop will be full. That’s crazy. Nawal: I hired someone to take it off my hands for a week and my audience noticed immediately and I got direct messages from them saying ‘who’s that?’ I’m

These influencers just have to post one picture of your cakes and then you can be sure that within an hour your shop will be full. That’s crazy. - Nicolas Bacheyre not going to lose it again. It’s a connection between me and them and that’s how I build my business. Samantha: I think it’s very obvious from an outsider’s perspective if it’s the person behind that brand that’s posting or if it’s a company or someone that works for them. Ayat: But people want to go inside your life. People complain to me, ‘why are you not taking photos of your real life?’ When I’m in the house I’m a mother, when I’m at work, I’m a chef. Samantha: But that’s where authenticity comes in.

What are the major trends in pastry in France and in the Middle East? Nicolas: We’re going back to the basics of pastry with pie bases, St. Honoré, eclairs, etc. I think there is a generation that forgot the basics and that wants to go for something really sophisticated. It’s about doing the products very simply but very well. Ayat: I think when we talk about trends in the GCC, we’ve got to talk about Kuwait because they are the masters of trends – they love food and travel a lot. A trend in Kuwait will last two to three months maximum but then it will be adopted by other GCC countries for one or two years. Elizabeth: It’s also possible to cook from home in Kuwait, so there’s a phenomenon of women that produce from home and they even do their own packaging. Ayat: A lot of products come from homes and they have the license to export it outside and often they have only one product. Now they have factories of this one product and they just export it to other GCC countries. February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


Nawal: I just came from Kuwait last week and it was just to try food there. I tried maybe 15 – 20 shops and it was about tasting not eating. Japanese cheesecake is the trend in Kuwait now. They call it cotton cheesecake – it’s very soft and fluffy. Ayat: But it’s also about going back to basics in Kuwait. It’s about the very traditional sweets their grandmothers were doing. Zeyneb: Coffee sweets are very specific to Kuwait. They are also quite open to mixing things so you can have zaatar chocolate for example. There were a lot of franchises before but now it’s the opposite in Kuwait – they are creating their own brands and opening them outside of the country. Nawal: I took all of the ingredients of the traditional Arabic kunafa – pistachio, kunafa dough, saffron, sugar syrup, rose syrup – and made a tart. It was about taking a classic Middle Eastern dish and 66

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turning it into something that nobody is doing or has tried before. Samantha: I think the healthy dessert, gluten-free, vegan is a trend. I’ve just come back from Australia and every dessert was gluten-free or vegan, and this was in top, fine-dining restaurants. Zeyneb: The healthy part is very important because it’s not going anywhere. Brands and chefs are consistently trying to remove sugar, to replace the gelatin with other ingredients and techniques. You see less buttercream in desserts and replaced with white chocolate or different techniques and even in the restaurants you see the ‘a la minute’ thing so we’ll do the choux in front of you, the millefeuille is the same. It’s how pastry chefs and professional chefs can elevate the culinary industry by proposing healthier things, less sweet, more technically ori-

ented to have a better taste and texture. Nicolas: I’m working as much as I can with gluten-free. If I can just replace the gluten flour with another one, I’ll do it, but if it has to change the recipe and the techniques and I have to train all my team I won’t do it. Ayat: In Bahrain people are crazy about gluten-free. Antoine: I don’t think in Dubai or Kuwait they are ready yet; maybe in a few years. I’ve tried to create items reducing the sugar or removing the gluten. Elizabeth: I think it’s a trend to replace wheat flour with gluten-free flour. In my opinion it’s never as good as the original but the approach shouldn’t be to replace the original but to change it. So keep pastries with flour as they are, but come up with something new that uses a different type of sweetener and don’t label it glutenfree, why does it have to be?

lunch was prepared by Hadrien Villedieu, executive chef of Inked, and comprised savoury dishes taking inspiration from French patisserie

Tuna mille-feuille, avocado coulis, crème de wasabi

Duck and potato entremets, notes of mustard

Ayat: For me I want to eat the original thing. Samantha: If you’re going to have dessert, go for it. If not, then have cheese. I think nowadays social media accounts for something becoming global because it can go viral in minutes whereas it took longer before. So a trend can stay a trend for more than a year if people are sharing it on social media, and sadly I think it doesn’t necessarily need to taste good. Zeyneb: Fast moving trends are also pushing brands to innovate a lot. We have a very strong research and development department and innovation is very important. We’re trying every six months to have something unique developed by our planters, our R&D specialists, so it’s key to provide that to the industry. Ayat: Yes, and our innovation as chefs depends on what the brands make available. February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


S pec ial rep ort

A lesson in La Pâtisserie Chef Nicolas Bacheyre, executive pastry chef, Un Dimanche à Paris demonstrated the creation of his sweet and savoury dessert, “Just like a lime tart, refreshed with mint”

Please explain the dessert you demonstrated? This dessert is my interpretation of the lemon tart, which is made of sweet dough, lemon cream and meringue. I wanted to keep all the bases of this and transform it. The sweet dough is made with almond crumble and a pinch of lime zest, while the lemon cream is made of lemon, a pinch of ginger and yuzu. It’s cooked like a pastry cream but at the end instead of butter, I used olive oil. Then there’s a meringue made with lemon juice and I bring in a touch of chef’s cooking with the pesto. Originally, it’s made of basil, olive oil and pine nuts so I changed everything. I took out the pine nuts and used mint instead of basil and then just a touch of olive oil and sugar. This is a real mix between savoury and sweet; it’s really fresh with an acid flavour. Do you often mix savoury and sweet? Yes, I like to play with savoury flavours like spices, herbs, vinegar, salt flour, pepper, tea, etc. I always tell my team not to stick to what they know but to walk into the kitchen, open the drawers and use what they find. Just try it! How has French know-how been spread into the international culinary world? There’s one sentence the first chef I worked for told me when I was an apprentice: gastronomy is worldwide but pastry is French. For me, everything new pops up first in Paris and then it spreads all over France, then Europe, then the world. What trends are you seeing in France? Young chefs are opening shops with a mixture of street food and luxury des68

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Chef Nicolas flew to Dubai from Paris for the event

serts, building them in front of you to offer fresher things. They are taking the essentials of the desserts and removing everything that’s not important. It’s having all the experience from hotels and fine dining restaurants and now just concentrating on a simple raspberry tart, but making it perfect. What are French consumers demanding in pastry? A lot of chefs are going back to the French classics. If you know how to make a pie base or a St. Honore perfectly, with good cream and good texture, then you can do whatever you want that’s more sophisticated. For me the shop of tomorrow in France,

will be something that provides what people want, like lemon tart, éclair, millefeuille, because they know those cakes and for sure they’re going to buy them. So how can chefs continue to be creative? You always want to prove you can do complicated things but most people don’t see it because they aren’t pastry chefs, they are customers. The hardest thing in pastry is to make something simple. If you know how to make something simple, then you understand everything. Creativity is about the cream I’ll use, maybe the shapes won’t be classic, but the texture is going to be perfect.

Recipe Lime and almond crumble • 250g Almond powder • 250g Butter • 300g Rice flour • 200g Sugar • 5g Lime zest Using a paddle, mix together in a bowl the softened butter with the sugar. Add the almond powder and mix again. Add the rice flour and mix until a solid dough is achieved. Finish by adding the lime zest. Spread the dough to 5mm and bake at 180°C for 15-18 minutes. Let it cool and keep it for plating. Lime and Mint Glaze • 450g Neutral glaze • 27g Fresh mint leaves • 15g Fresh lime zest Combine all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Put the mixture into a piping bag and keep it for plating. Hazelnut and mint Pesto • 80g Fresh mint leaves • 100g Roasted hazelnut • 140g Virgin olive oil • 12g Sugar Put the mint leaves, roasted hazelnuts and sugar in a blender and start to blend while adding the olive oil until the texture resembles pesto. Put the mixture in a piping bag and keep it for plating. Lime Meringue • 90g Lime juice • 7g Egg white powder • 80g Sugar • 80g Icing sugar

This plated dessert is created with lime and mint glaze, lime and almond crumble, yuzu and ginger cremeux, hazelnut and mint pesto, lime and cottage cheese sorbet and a lime meringue. It’s decorated with ice mint powder and lemon cress. Made with beef gelatin, it is 100% pork-free.

Briskly whisk the lime juice and egg white powder. Add the sugar slowly while continuing to whisk until a hard-peak meringue texture is achieved. Finish mixing by hand with the icing sugar. Spread the meringue with a spatula on a silpat to a 1 - 2 mm layer. Place the tray in the oven for minimum three hours at 80°C. Once the meringue is really dry, break parts off and keep it for plating. Yuzu and ginger cremeux • 200g Yuzu juice • 350g Lime juice • 8g Ginger powder • 14g Lime zest • 75g Sugar • 20g Elsay powder • 5g Citric acid powder • 45g Gelatin • 150g White chocolate • 260g Whole eggs • 32g Virgin olive oil In a pot, combine the yuzu, lime juice, ginger powder and lime zest and bring to the boil. In a side dish, mix the sugar, elsay powder, citric acid and whole eggs and blanch the mixture. Once the mixture has boiled, add the side dish and keep whisking and cooking it, like a pastry cream. Take the pot off the stove and add the gelatin. Pass the cream into a strainer on top of the white chocolate. Blend the mixture and slowly add the virgin olive oil. Place the cremeux in a different piping bag and keep it for plating in the fridge for at least four hours.

Lime and Cottage cheese sorbet • 230g Water • 230g Sugar • 2g Stabiliser • 70g Lime juice • 6g Lime zest • 500g Cottage cheese • 20g Mint leaves Place the water, sugar and stabiliser in a pot and bring to the boil. Take off the stove, add the lime juice, lime zest and fresh mint leaves and cover for 30 minutes with a plastic wrap. After 30 minutes, pour onto the cottage cheese and blend everything together until well mixed. Put the sorbet mix into a paco jet bowl and place in a freezer (-20°C) for minimum six hours and keep it for plating. Plating • Spread some lime and mint glaze on the side of the bowl • Place a spoonful of almond and lime crumble in the centre of the bowl • Pipe six balls of yuzu and ginger cremeux • Inside each ball, pipe some hazelnuts and mint pesto • Slice three lime supremes and place them on top of the cream in the middle • On top of the supremes, put a scoop of lime and cottage cheese sorbet • Break off four or five big pieces of lime meringue and cover the whole dessert • Add a pinch of ice mint powder, a fresh lime zested and four lemon cress leaves.

Gulfood preview

Gulfood 2017 Catering News offers a preview of the companies and brands being showcased at the 22nd edition of Gulfood, which will take place from 26 February – 2 March at Dubai World Trade Centre

In 2017, Dubai World Trade Centre's Gulfood, the region's largest food and hospitality show, will undergo its most significant evolution in layout, format and visitor experience since its 1987 inception as a biennial event. With the aim of increasing accessibility and trading potential, the 22nd edition of Gulfood will focus on finished food and beverages split into eight show components. Food service and catering equipment profiles will no longer feature. The eight components will highlight the largest commodity trading sectors with dedicated halls organised by: Beverages; Dairy; Fats and Oils; Health, Wellness and Free-From; Pulses, Grains and Cereals; Meat and Poultry; Power Brands and World Food. Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions and events management, DWTC, commented: “Gulfood’s new sec70

Catering NEWS ME February 2017

tored format will allow visitors to get straight to business by accessing the most relevant international and regional brands, companies and operators – the people they most want to meet from the sectors they primarily serve.” The realignment will allow global buyers to discover more than 1,000 new-to-show food and beverage producers. With space already completely sold out to exhibitors, February’s event will span more than one million square feet of indoor exhibition space and purpose-built temporary structures that welcome product innovations and services in line with consumer demand. The new show will feature 120 national pavilions – including first-time participants Malta, Finland and Slovakia – and is set to host 5,000 companies showcasing hundreds of thousands of finished food and beverage products. Hundreds of international heads of state,


26 February – 2 March, 2017 VENUE

Dubai World Trade Centre OPENING HOURS

11am-7pm (26 February – 1

March); 11am-5pm (2 March)

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The overhaul of the layout of Gulfood follows news of an alliance between Gulfood and The Hotel Show to create the Middle East and Africa's largest hospitality and food event, Dubai International Hospitality Week, set to launch in September 2017.

WORLD FOOD World Food, one of eight specialist sectors of the exhibition’s new format, will showcase country-specific products, services and business opportunities. World Food will highlight the importance of transparency and brand-trust, allowing exhibitors to offer greater insight into the origin and source of their produce.

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GULFOOD SEGMENTS • Beverages • Dairy • Fats and Oils • Health, Wellness and Free-From • Pulses, Grains and Cereals • Meat and Poultry • Power Brands • World Food

POWER BRANDS More than 140 international food and beverage producers will come together at the new Power Brands segment, which will connect regional buyers with international producers and distributors of F&B brands, represented by heavyweights including Unilever, Nestle, Del Monte and IFFCO. ministers, government officials and scores of national trade associations will attend with the objective of inking bi-lateral trade agreements among 95,000 anticipated visitors. Single-entry chef competition, Salon Culinaire will return to raise the profiles of more than 1,000 of the region’s top professional chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and bakers during a series of competitions evaluated by a panel of experts. Meanwhile, the eighth edition of the Gulfood Awards will recognise best-in-class excellence and innovation across the region’s food and drink industry. Divided into 20 categories, the event is judged by an international panel of independent industry experts, with winners to be announced during a gala ceremony hosted alongside the exhibition. Here we provide a preview of some of the companies and brands to be showcased at Gulfood 2017. 72

Catering NEWS ME February 2017

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Al Rawabi Dairy Company

Anchor Food Professionals

On show Al Rawabi is the biggest dairy company in the UAE. It has been exhibiting at Gulfood for six years in a row and is coming back this year to meet new suppliers and buyers and establish new business opportunities. Al Rawabi has launched Vitamin D milk, which is enriched with 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 in one cup of 250ml. Regarding its vision for 2017, Al Rawabi is planning to maintain its leading position in the dairy industry by investing more in its brand and by providing healthier products.

• Vitamin D Milk • Long life juices in several new flavours • Plain and flavoured milk • Cheeses such as halloumi, jar cheese, slices, mozzarella.

Gulfood Stand Number: F 1-6 T: +971 4 704 3000 E:; W:

American Kitchen USA American Kitchen USA is engaged in the export marketing of American food and non-food products. Its food products include condiments, spreads, pickles, beverages, canned food, frozen foods, and snacks, while its non-food products include aluminum foils, cling wraps, kitchen towels, food wraps, food storage bags, and food containers. American Kitchen USA is looking forward to showcasing its entire food range at Gulfood and in 2017 plans to launch a new phase of products, including fruit spreads, honey, canned beans, ketchup, hot sauces, and canned tomatoes. Its ultimate vision is to become one of the leading exporters of food and non-food products worldwide.

On show:

• Sauces, mayonnaise, salad dressings, syrups, vinegar, apple cider • Peanut butter, popcorn, gherkins, corn, jalapenos, breadcrumbs


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This year marks Anchor Food Professionals’ debut at Gulfood. The company is eager to introduce the brand, people, and products and solutions it is already delivering to customers in over 50 countries worldwide. The company’s team is continuously creating new fit-for-purpose dairy ingredients and service solutions that help meet the demands of its customers’ food businesses. One of its latest products launched is Anchor FP Lamination Butter Sheets. The butter sheets are made from New Zealand pasteurised cream that allows for easy rolling, fast tempering and improved workability to deliver crisp and flaky croissants. Moreover, the company also launched Anchor FP Cream Cheese, which is smooth, mild and creamy, and can blend with sweet or savoury flavours.

On Show

• Anchor FP Extra Stretch Shredded Mozzarella Cheese • Anchor FP Extra Yield Cooking Cream • Anchor FP Extra Whip Whipping Cream

T: +971 4 5586450

Gulfood Stand Number: Hall 1, Stand D1-2 T: +971 43 388 549 E: anchorfoodprofessionalsgcc@



Gulfood Stand Number: S2-332 E:




Sweet and tangy with a hint of acidity, Le Fruit de MONIN Pineapple perfectly captures this fruit’s tender flesh. Add a splash of sunshine and exoticism to a piña-colada or create refreshing smoothies and concoctions with this vibrant and versatile flavour. MONIN captures and enlivens the flavours to inspire every creative professional.

MONIN MIDDLE EAST DMCC - Office 907, Jumeirah Business Centre 1 - Cluster G, Jumeirah Lake Towers - Dubai, UAE - +971 4 452 0600

© MONIN - January 2016 - Serving suggestion

Z6 - C38

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Aphrodite Delights

Atrian Bakers

Gulfood Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall S1-D18 Cyprus Stand T: +35 726 967 967 E: W: Aphrodite Delights is a traditional Cypriot confectionery manufacturer, established in 1895. The company is well known for its Loukoumi Geroskipou in addition to authentic, traditional delights. Aphrodite Delights looks forward to entering the Gulf region, and is exhibiting at this year’s Gulfood to showcase its new Loukoumi Geroskipou (delight) with stevia, which is the only one in Europe of its kind to be

granted with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) by the EU, and is available in a variety of flavours. All ingredients are naturally produced in Cyprus including the gum that is used in the delights and which is derived from 100% natural gum from trees.

On Show

• Loukoumi Geroskipou (Delights) in a variety of flavours.

Asbah Asbah debuted at Gulfood in 2015 and was Gold Sponsor at Gulfood 2016 and will do the same again in 2017. The company launched in 2015 in India and is looking to expand further into the UAE market with its premium quality basmati rice, which is already available on supermarket shelves in the UAE. At the exhibition, it will be presenting its flagship product, Platinum Basmati Rice. Apart from Asbah’s commitment to providing premium quality products to the consumer, it is also well known in India for its social initiative – “Women Empowerment”. Asbah’s idea of business is unique as it contributes part of its profit to the empowerment of talented and underprivileged women. Its motto is “Great Food for a Great Cause”. The company’s plan is to expand its international footprint.

On Show

• Platinum basmati rice and entire product range


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

Atrian Bakers is a producer of frozen bread, pastries and cakes. The company prepares over 300 different products with the BRC seal of excellence and combines technological processes with a more natural home-made approach. It is eager to exhibit at Gulfood 2017 with the goal of finding new partners and clients in the region. At the exhibition, it will be showcasing all its new launches and best-sellers, including bread, pastries, and cakes. The company launches a new product every two months. Its latest launches are a mini palmier with seeds, a mini artisan croissant with cereals, and a mini ‘flautin’ with cereals. Its plan for 2017 is to keep launching innovative products and expand further in the Middle East.

On show

• All new launches and best-sellers of each category: bread, pastries, and cakes.

Gulfood Stand Number: Za’abeel Hall, Stand No. ZL-A40 T: +971 4 5521356 E: W:

Gulfood Stand Number: World Food Hall, Stand: S1-G30 T: +34 697 927 683 E: W:

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BC Blueberries

Founded in 1964, the familyowned company now produces more than 600 products designed for bread, rolls, cakes, and pastries. At Gulfood, Backaldrin will be introducing its new baking mix for American cookies. It is also going to be showcasing chia bread, pretzels and other small baked goods and snacks. Visitors to the stand can expect products with red velvet and macarons as well as some chocolate and blueberry cookies. Backaldrin looks forward to starting production in Russia this spring and will open a new customer information centre called the House of Bread, in Asten, Austria, towards the middle of the year.

The British Columbia Blueberries company will be exhibiting at Gulfood 2017 for the fourth year in a row, and considers the exhibition an excellent opportunity for meeting new buyers from the Gulf region and Asian and European markets. The company represents over 800 blueberry growers, packers and processors. Currently it has over 11,300 hectares (28,000 acres) of the richest fertile farmland nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains devoted to growing upwards of 77 million kilograms (170 million pounds) of blueberries, with production increasing steadily. Its blueberries are available fresh from June to September, and

On show

• Chia bread • Chocolate cookies and blueberry cookies • Baking mix for American cookies • Creations with red velvet and macarons

Gulfood Stand Number: Hall 8, Stand A8-44 T: Tel. +43 7224 8821 351 / +43 664 811 01 83 E: wolfgang.mayer@ W:

year-round as frozen, dried and dehydrated blueberries, as well as juice, concentrates, purees and powders.

On Show

• Fresh blueberries • Frozen, dried and dehydrated blueberries • Blueberry juice concentrates, purees and powders

Gulfood Stand Number: S2-E9 T: +1 604 864 2117 E: W:

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Bibita Beverages Company

Boncafe Middle East LLC

Gulfood Stand Number: Z6-D52 T: +971 4 282 8742 E: W: Boncafe is a manufacturer and supplier of fresh roast and ground gourmet coffee. At Gulfood, it will be showcasing its two coffee ranges, Boncafe and Segafredo Zanetti. Its latest launch includes three Boncafe blends from Vietnam: Boncafe Classic, Royale, and Gourmet. It is also launching the latest Mahlkonig K30 grinder, with the PuqPress (automatic coffee tamper) included at its base. Its vision for 2017 is to expand through the

Bibita Beverages Company has six product categories separated into 13 brands: Bibita, Sportball, Frutalis, Mo&Mo, Kids Vitamin Mix, Dum Dum, Energy Power, Energy King, Red Star, Boxer, Dum Dum Water, Solemio, and Xtreme. Its latest product launch is Dum Dum Collagen Water with bioactive peptides, which has been created to increase the skin’s moisture and slow the formation of wrinkles, and offers an alternative hydrating solution for workouts. Bibita Beverages Company’s plan for 2017 is to cover all GCC countries with its distributors.

On show

• Functional beverages • Isotonic drinks

Gulfood Stand Number: Hall 5, Z5-7 T: +38 139 441 333 E: W:


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MENA region in collaboration with partners, targeting both B2B and B2C channels.

On Show

• Three new Boncafe blends for the B2B market • Retail range from Boncafe and Segafredo Zanetti • Mahlkonig K30 grinder

Bridor de France Bridor de France produces a full range of bakery products embodying the French lifestyle of elegance and sharing. This year, it is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its partnership with Lenôtre and will be launching a Lenôtre recipe for a croissant with a lighter, milkier flavour with Echiré Butter. Following its success with the mini sweet mix, ‘Mix Gourmandises’, it will be showcasing a new assortment of ‘Mini Friandises’, which includes a mini chocolate twist, mini raspberry twist, mini praline finger pastry, and mini jesuite with Madagascar vanilla. The company will also be showcasing its new 90g filled croissants with apricot, raspberry, cocoa-hazelnut, and creamy confectioner's custard.

On show

• 90g filled croissants (apricot, raspberry, cocoa-hazelnut and confectioner's custard). • Mini friandises

T : +971 528522656 E: W:

NOW OPEN The Atlantic Dubai’s “Ocean to Plate” concept celebrates seafood in its purest form. Set along Souk Al Bahar’s waterfront promenade with a backdrop of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and the Dubai Fountain, The Atlantic Dubai is set to propel the iconic Melbourne restaurant into international waters. With the culinary direction of Donovan Cooke, of MasterChef Australia fame, guests can expect a menu of the highest quality, showcasing only the finest and freshest produce available from the land and sea.

The Atlantic Dubai | Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai | 04 442 5662 @TheAtlanticDubai

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Cantina Mexicana

Cantina Mexicana produces a wide range of Mexican food. Last year, it launched its latest sauces for chicken wings. The company is looking forward to exhibiting its products at Gulfood 2017 as it aims to expand its presence across the Gulf countries. Its vision for 2017 is to increase the number of importers as well as the number of products per each importing country.


On Show

• Sauces for chicken wings • A wide range of Mexican products

T: +31 681 955 877 W: E:

Cherry-Rocher produces, selects and transforms plants and fruit to make liqueurs, aperitifs, fruit in alcohol and syrups and to also make a wide array of natural extracts for the agri-food business. At Gulfood, Cherry-Rocher will be showcasing its new range of halal certified premium syrups for coffee shops, cocktail bars, and restaurants. This range offers modern shaped bottles and attractive labelling. The company’s plan for 2017 is to find distributors in the Gulf countries for its halal syrups range and challenge the well-established brands in this market segment with an attractive looking, high quality and competitive product range.

• Halal certified premium syrups for coffee shops, cocktail bars and restaurants 80

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On Show

• Key value brands such as Natco, Family, Mama’s Kitchen, Heartlight, and many more.

Gulfood Stand Number: A6-10, Hall 6 T: +971 4 347 9974 E: W: /


On Show

Gulfood is the ideal platform for Choithrams to showcase its strengths in retailing and brand distribution along with its expertise in both the domestic and global logistics and supply chain. With the UAE’s fast growth in trading, Choitrams has developed its horeca trade in hotels and food and beverage outlets. Choitrams is the exclusive distributor of international brands in the UAE, such as Ajinomoto, Weetabix, Rainbow, Kimball, Bachelors, Capilano, Quaker, Mother’s Recipe, and Taj Mahal Saffron. At Gulfood, it will be showcasing most of its product range, especially its key value brands such as Natco, Family, Mama’s Kitchen, and Heartlight. Its goal is to seek partners that would enable it to have its own private label in the future.

Gulf Stand Number: Z5 F18 T: +33 678 933 275 E: W:

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Dandy Chocolate

CocoMojo’s growing beverage portfolio consists of six natural coconut drinks that are free from refined sugar, dairy, and gluten while maintaining an original flavour. The flavours are now available in an array of packaging sizes and materials, including glass and PET bottles. CocoMojo’s latest product launch is a coconut milk with Arabica coffee, which was shortlisted for an innovation award at SIAL Abu Dhabi in 2016. Having had a successful launch in China back in 2016, CocoMojo plans to expand further during the course of this year by launching its products in Hong Kong and Australia. It also plans to launch several new products of coconut milk with protein.

Dandy Chocolate is a Lebanese company, which provides chocolate products where the Orient meets the Occident. It wants to showcase its new products at Gulfood to gain new customers from the Middle East region. Over the course of 2017, it will be launching more than 20 new products, including a collection of caramel Belgian chocolates filled with crunchy fruits alongside salty and crunchy caramel balls.

On show

• Coconut milk drinks with protein • Coconut flour • Coconut sugar

On Show Gulfood Stand Number: S-N17 T: +44 289 039 4192 E: W:

• Confectionery • Dragee products • Wide range of chocolates

Molino Dallagiovanna Molino Dallagiovanna is an Italian milling company which has been producing a range of flours since 1832 for pastry, pizza, pasta, and bread. The company is exhibiting this year at Gulfood with the goal of showcasing its new product launches and making connections with distributors and importers. Its latest product launch is a flour for Neapolitan Pizza, which is perfect for achieving a golden crust and enhancing the quality of the tomato and mozzarella toppings of a pizza.

On Show

• Flour for Neapolitan Pizza

Gulfood Stand Number: Zabeel Hall 2 – Stand Z2-B91 T: +39 052 378 7155 E: W:


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T: +961 5 810 662 E: W:

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Dr Honey Dr Honey is a Hungarian company that produces premium honey. The company considers the GCC to be an important region for its future expansion. When creating its products, Dr Honey focuses on a great taste and an appealing design. The company is eager to showcase its premium products at Gulfood with the goal of finding distributors both in retail and in horeca segments. During the exhibition, it will showcase the premium Monofloral Honey, which won a 2016 Great Taste Award in the United Kingdom. Dr Honey’s primary goal in 2017 is to share its premium products with consumers in the GCC countries and Japan.

On show

• Premium Monofloral Honey • A range of honey products

Gulfood Stand Number: S-K34 T: +36 20 463 2802 E: W:

Dr. Schier’s Dr. Schier's beehives are located on his own land, along the shores of Lake Lucerne, and at carefully chosen and remote natural sites in central Switzerland, far away from any cities, industrial facilities or traffic. The production process applies the absolute minimum in technology, preserves the traditional methods of harvesting honey and guarantees a sustainable and natural approach to beekeeping. The company is coming to Gulfood to showcase its latest product, Glacier Honey, which was collected on alpine meadows and has ripened within high-altitude glaciers. It is characterised by an extraordinarily rich taste and an extremely soft texture. The company’s vision for 2017 is to enter the gift shop and duty-free markets.

On Show

• 100% pure Swiss premium honey for hampers, hotels and the luxury gift shops segment

Gulfood Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Halls. Stand S2-E14 T: +41 79 918 4048 E: W:

Come and meet us at Gulfood in Sheikh Saeed Hall 1 - Stand S1-191 ! w

Contact :

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME

Bridor Catering news February 2017.indd 1


16/01/2017 14:43:16

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Emperor Akbar

Emperor Akbar is exhibiting at Gulfood 2017 with the goal of building a stronger network and exploring possibilities for its cardamom products. It will be showcasing Emperor Akbar Cardamoms Aroma Lock Packs in the latest packaging, which retains the royal flavour, aroma and freshness of the cardamoms. Its new products are going to be in small consumer packs of 100g and 250g to provide fresh, aromatic cardamoms on the go. The company’s plan for 2017 is to focus on constant innovation and development to enhance the product experience for its consumers.

On Show

• Emperor Akbar Cardamoms

Gulfood Stand Number: SB-33 T: +912 225 211 125 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017


Expoaid EE has been participating at Gulfood for 10 years. At this year’s exhibition, the company will showcase its latest product launches, which include balsamic vinegar, balsamic creams, mustards, Greek olives, and olive pomace oil. It will also be presenting a wide range of antipasti products and new recipes for marinated olives for retail and horeca. In 2016, Expoaid EE was able to introduce its balsamic products to the main retailers in UAE and Oman and its plan for

Gulfood Stand Number: Hall Trade Arena, Stands S1-G29 and S1-G31 T: +30 6973 495 052 E: W:

2017 is to expand its presence in the rest of the GCC countries and find new distributors for its olives, olive oil and antipasti products.

On show

• Balsamic vinegar, balsamic creams, mustards • Greek olives • Olive pomace oil • Wide range of antipasti products

Farm Food Farm Food returns to Gulfood for a second year and looks forward to showcasing its full line of quality frozen vegetables and fruits, including peas and carrots, spinach, molokhia, okra, green peas, colocassia, broad beans, pomegranates, and strawberries. The company prides itself in offering the full spectrum of produce Egypt is known for and in 2017, hopes to increase its exports by 30%. It also intends to engage with more food importers from the four corners of the world, thus increasing its distribution reach. Moreover, it plans to penetrate the European and North American markets and foresees steady growth throughout the year.

On Show

• Egyptian fruit and vegetables, including peas, carrots, spinach, molokhia, okra, green peas, colocassia, broad beans, pomegranates and strawberries

Gulf Stand Number: Sheikh Maktoum Hall (Concourse) CCM-3 T: +2 012 0000 4131 E: W:

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Gulfood Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall / Stand No: S1-F33 T: +30 2310 781044 / +30 2310 781 034 E: W:

Freshland has been selling its products in the Middle East market since 1980 and at Gulfood 2017, looks forward to meeting its clients face to face and building longterm relationships. The company also aims to raise awareness of its products, including its latest launch, sun-dried tomatoes. The company’s plan for 2017 is to expand its product range, while serving its customers with honesty, quality work, and quality products.

On Show

• Mixed pickles in brine • Green peppers in brine • Sun-dried tomatoes • Eggplant mash • Gherkins • Roasted red peppers.

Gulf Food Industries – California Garden In 1989, Gulf Food Industries – California Garden (GFICG) was established to revolutionise the front of canned foods in the Middle East. Today, the company is an industry leader and distributes its products globally. GFICG is eager to showcase its new range of products at Gulfood 2017 with the intention of meeting with potential new partners and distributors. It just launched three new packaging sizes for its tuna, mushroom, and corn products. Its vision for 2017 is to provide customers with very high quality products at fair prices.

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On show

• Fava beans, peeled fava beans, chickpeas and corn • Tuna (in water, olive oil, or sunflower oil) • Mushrooms (whole and sliced) • Olives (green, black, sliced, pitted, and stuffed)

Gulfood Stand Number: B5-19 Hall 5 T: +971 4 881 5633 E: W:

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Highland Spring Group Highland Spring Group has exhibited its natural mineral waters at Gulfood for seven years and enjoys the opportunity to launch new products, hold annual meetings with existing distributors, and meet with potential new customers and distributors. The company is looking forward to presenting its two major natural mineral water brands: Highland Spring and Speyside Glenlivet. It is also introducing a new one-litre PET sparkling x 6 bottle multi-pack product for retail. Highland Spring Group is investing heavily in new developments and new line installations as it plans innovative product launches during 2017.

On Show

• Highland Spring • Speyside Glenlivet

Gulfood Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall S-N33 / Truebell, Hall 5 A5-40 T: +44 1764 660600 E: W:

Korn Thai Korn Thai will be exhibiting at Gulfood 2017 and is eager to showcase its non-dairy creamer ‘Co-Cof’ along with its honey powder and instant ‘three in one’ beverage. It will also be showcasing its new product launches, which include organic and non-organic coconut cream powder and its new ginger beverage with honey and peppermint. Korn Thai prides itself in handling each of its products with quality, consistency and reliability. The company’s vision for 2017 is to distribute more of its products in Middle Eastern and European markets, especially its organic coconut cream powder.

On show:

• Organic and non-organic coconut cream powder "Chao Thai" • Non-dairy creamer "Co-Cof" • Ginger beverage "Co-Gin" • Honey powder • Instant 3 in 1 beverage


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

La Marquise International La Marquise International has been attending Gulfood for the past 10 years because it values the quality of visitors the platform delivers. This year, La Marquise aims to acquire new customers from the GCC, Middle East, Africa and South Asia. It is also looking forward to meeting and engaging with its existing clientele. The company will resume its tradition of having an interactive stand at Gulfood. Visitors will feel they are not at the exhibition, but in a bar with 1883 Maison Routin, or in a coffee shop with Pellini, or even a gourmet shop with Monbana. The company is proud to announce that Chocolatier Monbana – the French manufacturer of gourmet chocolate and frappe powders – will be exclusively distributed by La Marquise in the UAE and Oman and it believes Gulfood will play a major role in this partnership announcement. The company also plans to open its showroom in Oman during the first quarter of the year, and will set up an office in Qatar to provide more efficient services to its clients there.

On show

• The new Saffron Syrup • The whole range of products

Gulfood Stand Number: Thailand Pavilion, Booth No. R-298, Sheikh Rashid Hall T: +662 319 3455 ext. 711 E: W:

Gulfood Stand Number: Hall 8, B8-30 T: +971 4 3433478 E: W:

Gulfood preview

Lanjarón Arabia Distributors

Lanjarón Arabia Distributors returns to Gulfood with a long-term vision of becoming the top selling European natural mineral water in the Middle East. This year, it will be showcasing the entire range of its trade and consumer bottles, including several sizes of glass and PET. It will also prove its commitment to sustainability by displaying its 20% plant based and 100% recyclable PET bottles. The company provides 100% natural mineral water from the highest mountains in Andalucia, Spain. It is excited to be launching its new labels early this year, which will incorporate the latest design and high-end PET. Its plans for 2017 involve gaining the trust of its trade clients and consumers as a reliable supplier of a historically famous water, the oldest bottled water in Spain.

On show

• 20% plant based and 100% recyclable PET bottles • Glass and PET bottles in a range of sizes

Gulfood Stand Number: Hall Beverages – Za’abeel New Halls - Z6-D15 (Spain Section) E: T: +971 50 444 4450 W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017


Lestello produces and sells groats, beans, flakes and rice on the Polish market. At Gulfood, it will be showcasing its latest products, which include gluten-free buckwheat cakes, dark chocolate rice cakes, and organic flakes, including instant millet flakes and buckwheat flakes. The company offers quality products and considers health and safety its highest priority. Lestello plans to add many new products with modern, attractive packaging to its organic and gluten-free lines.

On Show

• Gluten-free buckwheat cakes • Dark chocolate rice cakes • Instant millet flakes, buckwheat flakes

Gulfood Stand number: Hall Sheikh Saeed 1, stand S1-J42 T: +48 794 415 500 E: W:

MEC3 MEC3 is an Italian company which supplies ingredients for artisanal gelato and pastry in more than 130 countries around the world. This year, it will be exhibiting at Gulfood with the goal of meeting new suppliers and buyers and spreading its passion for the art of Italian artisanal gelato. At the exhibition, the company will be showcasing all its new products, which include Beso Doble, Extra Blond, Quella family, Cookies Spicy, and GranFrutta. The company’s latest product launch is ‘Beso Doble’ which is between intense gianduia and plain dark chocolate. In 2017, MEC3 intends to spread the culture of handmade gelato by means of its branches overseas.

On Show

• Beso Doble • Extra Blond • Quella family • Cookies Spicy • GranFrutta.

Gulfood Stand Number: Hall 1 Stand B1-42 T: +39 0541 859411 E: W:

26 Feb - 2 Mar 2017

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With 100 years of experience, Monin has over 140 flavours available in 140 countries. The company is currently aiming to expand in the Middle Eastern market. It considers Gulfood a highly important exhibition for showcasing its latest products and developments, and strengthening its relationships with existing and future customers. At Gulfood, the company will be launching its latest products, including: Le Fruit de Monin Pineapple and Cherry, Monin Cheesecake syrup, Monin Cloudy Lemonade, and Monin Toffee Coffee Frappe.

On Show

• Le Fruit de Monin Pineapple and Cherry • Monin Cheesecake Syrup • Monin Cloudy Lemonade • Monin Toffee Coffee Frappe.

Gulfood Stand Number: Z6-C38 T: +971 44520600 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

Morlife Morlife is an Australian company that manufactures food with a higher level and a wider range of nutrients. Its ultimate goal is to improve nutritional intake through natural and functional foods to allow customers to ‘get more out of life’, hence its name, “Morlife”. The company sees an opportunity to deliver more of its potent, functional food solutions to consumers throughout the Middle East without skipping taste and quality. At Gulfood, it will be showcasing its Chia Pudding, which contains chia seeds as a base ingredient along with other healthy, gluten-free, and vegetarian ingredients. This product comes in five flavours: coconut cacao, coconut mango, salted caramel fig, spiced apple, and upbeet berry. The company will also be showcasing its Quinoa Risottos, which offer a good of source of fibre and protein. Other products to be showcased include Morlife’s Alkalising Greens and Dark Chocolate Superberry. The company is eager to penetrate the US market and further expand in China, the Middle East, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.

Morlife’s Gluten Free Quinoa Risotto Range, featuring a cultural range of flavours!

Beloved drinks made functional, Morlife’s Cacao Bliss Chocolate Drinking Powder, Spiced Vanilla Turmeric Latte and Instant ChaI’Q Latte are unlike any others on the market.

On Show

• Chia Pudding • Quinoa Risottos • Alkalising Greens • Dark Chocolate Superberry

Gulfood Stand Number: S-F42 T: +61 423 81 5555 E: W:

Morning Star Packing Company Morning Star Packing Company is returning to Gulfood for a second year, with the goal of gaining visibility within the Middle East food manufacturing market. Its three tomato processing facilities located in California’s central valley provide it with the capacity and ability to meet the exacting performance standards of customers looking for paste, diced, purees, ketchup, and crushed tomato products all over the world. At this year’s exhibition, it will be showcasing tomato paste and diced tomatoes, both conventional and organic, that are packed in industrial-sized 300 gallon bins and 50 gallon drums. The company also offers multiple other tomato ingredient products, which it will be showcasing at the exhibition.

On Show

• 300 gallon bins and 50 gallon drums of diced tomatoes and tomato paste • Full line of bulk tomato ingredients

Gulfood Stand Number: USA Pavilion SC-348 T: +1 209 826 7100 E: W:

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Mozarella PDO

Pan Euro Foods Pan Euro Foods has exhibited on the Ireland pavilion at Gulfood for the last five years, as exporters and brand builders of premium Irish food. This year, the company’s stand will feature 12 of its brands, including Golden Irish Eggs’ corn fed and organic options. Pan Euro Foods will showcase Nobó’s dairy-free ice cream, Glenisk’s organic yogurts, and Flahavan’s porridge oats. This quarter, it will be launching two new brands in the GCC market, namely Couverture handmade desserts and Juice Press quality fruit juices and smoothies from Mulrines. Each dessert from Couverture is handmade and finished by a production team of pâtissières. In 2017, the company intends to grow its business by forming strategic distribution agreements with companies in the GCC to ensure that its products are readily available in the market.

On Show

• Golden Irish Eggs • Couverture’s handmade desserts • Nobó’s dairy free ice cream • Glenisk organic yogurts • Flahavan’s porridge oats

Mozarella PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) will be exhibiting at Gulfood to promote its Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. The Consorzio – the organisation appointed by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture to protect and promote PDO cheese – will be showcasing different varieties of Italian cheeses, including Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Toscano, and Casciotta di Urbino. At Gulfood, the stand will be equipped for cooking demonstrations and tastings of the PDO Italian cheeses. The Consorzio’s plan is to teach people and stakeholders how to recognise and taste the original and traditional Italian PDO cheese, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana.

Gulfood Stand Number: Hall 2 – Stand B2-34 T: +39 0823 150 0563 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

Gulfood Stand Number: Ireland Pavillion S2 – D34 Hall Sheikh Saeed 2 S2 – D34 T: +971 55 177 2830 E: fergus.murphy@ W: mena/

ProChile The Chile stand at Gulfood will showcase 17 companies exporting shelled and unshelled walnuts, dried fruits such as raisins, prunes, peaches and apricots, concentrated juices, fruit and tomato pulp, chestnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, lupini beans and, for the first time, honey, a principle livestock export. Chilean shipments grew 4% between January and November 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. This year, Chile will continue to diversify its range in the market, while maintaining traditional sectors such as salmon and trout. It also wants to boost products with added value, like concentrated fruit and vegetable juices and mineral water, which grew 405% and 56% respectively between January and November 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

On Show

• Chilean honey • Shelled and unshelled walnuts • Raisins, prunes, peaches and apricots • Concentrated juices, fruit and tomato pulp • Chestnuts, almonds, hazelnuts • Lupini beans

Gulfood Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Halls Stand S-J15 (Arena) T: +971 4 321 0700 E: W:


Dubai World Trade Centre 18 - 20 September 2017

Gulfood preview

Roger and Roger

Saudi Ice Cream Factory Company

Roger and Roger is a family business, which has been producing crisps since 1999 and distributes its products to over 65 countries. The company manages the entire process of production, from harvesting raw materials to packaging and distribution. Its products are available under private label or under one of its own brands: Croky, Crackito, Roger’s, and Crokido’s. The company’s home market is Western Europe, however, it is looking to expand to various Middle Eastern and African countries. At Gulfood, it will be showcasing potato chips, potato sticks and tortilla chips. In 2017, Roger and Roger plans to continue growing its customer base and the number of export countries that it serves.

The Saudi Ice Cream Factory Company was established in 1980 with a head office in Jeddah. It has grown to be one of the leading ice cream producers in the country, with 19 branches spread out all over Saudi Arabia. Dedicated to providing high quality ice cream products in conformity with the global standardisation, Saudi Ice Cream Factory Company will showcase its range of ice creams and butters at Gulfood in 2017. This year, the company is looking to expand to other countries in the MENA region.

On Show

On Show

• Potato chips • Potato sticks • Tortilla chips

• Ice creams • Butter

Gulfood Stand Number: 275 T: +966 569 948 383 E: W:

Scelta Mushroom

Gulfood Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall S2-B30 T: +32 56 84 00 30 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

Scelta Mushroom is exhibiting this year at Gulfood with the goal of meeting up with industry professionals and introducing its latest innovations to the Middle Eastern market. For this edition, it will be showcasing its new ‘Ecopouch’ mushrooms and vegetable appetiser range. The company has developed a procedure whereby mushrooms, after being packed, are boiled in their own juice to preserve their shelf life. No chemical additives are used in the process. The company’s latest product launch is ‘Snex’, a range of appetisers made of vegetables with no added artificial colourings or flavourings. These include breaded and battered onion rings, mushrooms and vegetables. Snex is available in five varieties: mushroom, mushroom-broccoli, mushroom-spinach, sauerkraut, and ratatouille.

On Show

• Mushrooms in Ecopouch • Vegetable appetiser range

Gulfood Stand Number: S2-A46 T: +31 77 324 1020 E: W:

FROM WHITECAPS TO WHITE CLOTHS Quintessence is an exceptional seafood import and distribution company based in Dubai, UAE. As curators of a three-generation aquaculture heritage from Brittany, France, we pride ourselves on being the quintessential purveyor of premium quality products from the sea and the one-stop shop for inspired chefs, passionate for quality products, respectful of terroir and seasonality. The best produce Brittany has to offer has now landed on the shores of the UAE. Contact us at for a taste of the finer things.

Gulfood preview

Senso Foods


Senso Foods is an Indian manufacturer of tea and coffee vending machines. The company has recently launched Lemon Tea Premix in a 1kg pack, which it will be showcasing at the exhibition. By the end of 2017, Senso Foods hopes to be distributing its products in most countries of the MENA region, and believes participation in Gulfood will help achieve this aim.

Stree F&B has teamed up with international gourmet F&B brands to offer food products for the catering industry. At Gulfood, it will be showcasing its roasted coffee products from Caffé Vergnano, the oldest family-owned coffee roaster in Italy. Its product line includes blends of whole coffee beans; compostable coffee capsules and capsule machines; ground coffee and hot chocolate. Stree will also be showcasing beverage products, which include Sweetbird syrups and smoothies along with frappes, sauces, frappe powders and chai powders from zuma. The company’s latest product launch is its compostable coffee capsules from Caffé Vergnano. Its goal for 2017 is to increase the presence of its brands within the horeca sector.

On Show

• Lemon Tea Premix in 1kg pack

Gulfood Stand Number: Z6-B13 T: +917 203 040 102 E: W:

Sinhua Hock Kee Trading Sinhua Hock Kee Trading is exhibiting at Gulfood with the goal of securing new distributors in the Middle East market, mainly in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, and Jordan. At the exhibition, the company will be showcasing its best-seller ‘Oat Choco’ which has been popular with a lot of consumers since it was launched in 2016. It will also be displaying other products such as jellies, rice crackers and pop ice tube drinks. The company has recently launched new flavours for its already existing products, such as Dark Choco. In 2017 Sinhua Hock Kee Trading plans to expand its distribution in the Middle East market through leads from Gulfood.

On show

• Oat choco • Jellies • Rice crackers • Pop ice tube drinks

On Show:

• Roasted coffee products • Sweetbird syrups and smoothies • Frappes, sauces, frappe powders and chai powders from Zuma

Gulfood Stand Number: R-P 48 (Singapore Pavilion) T: +65 655 266 68 E: W:

Gulfood Stand Number: Z6-F38 Zaabeel New Halls T: +971 04 265 0044 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

Gulfood preview


The Nile Egyptian Co.

T&G offers over 500 products within its portfolio in a variety of materials including FSC certified beech, hevea, acacia, rustic acacia, oak, ceramic, marble, FSC certified cork, textiles and CrushGrind salt and pepper mills. Established in 1975, T&G has been designing and manufacturing its products for over 41 years. At Gulfood it will highlight its new launches to the Middle Eastern audience, including the ‘Opera’ range of CrushGrind mills available in antique beech and ash wood.

The Nile Egyptian Co. is looking forward to attending Gulfood, with the goal of meeting new distributors in the Middle East region. At the exhibition, it will be showcasing its fresh frozen vegetables and fruits. The company wants to open in new markets in the Middle East and Africa and believes the exhibition will help achieve this.

On Show:

• ‘Opera’ range of CrushGrind mills

On Show

• Fresh frozen vegetables and fruits

T: +44 (0) 1275 841841 E: W:

Tegel Foods

Tegel Foods Ltd, a New Zealand-based poultry producer was established in 1961 and has been offering its premium New Zealand chicken and ready-to-serve meal solutions to the UAE retail and foodservice market since 2014. At Gulfood, Tegel will present the texture and flavour of its premium New Zealand chicken. The company offers a solution for every meal occasion and menu style, from fresh and frozen whole birds and portions to convenient, portion-controlled fully cooked ready-to-serve products. Tegel’s chickens are raised cage-free in a clean environment and temperate climate, which produces naturally healthy chicken, with no added hormones, no injections and with the highest standard of animal welfare.

On Show

• Whole chickens, fresh and frozen • Cooked and ready-to-serve products

Gulfood Stand Number: Stand D3-18, Hall 3, Dubai World Trade Centre T: +971 435 7442 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

Gulfood Stand Number: Za’abeel Hall 1, Z1-C9 T: +20 1223624660 E: W:


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Gulfood preview

Trans Group

Tunis Trade Office

Trans Group is a basmati rice supplier, exporter and miller from Pakistan. With 55 years of experience, Trans Group specialises in 1,121 extra-long grain basmati rice, perfectly aged super kernel basmati rice, super basmati rice, and short grain rice along with several other varieties of rice and food stuff. The company is attending Gulfood with the objective of attracting importers, indenters and retailers around the globe. At the exhibition it will showcase its rice and sugar of all origins, juices from Pakistan and UAE, wheat flour, and maize. The company’s latest products include Clock Tower and Rhino. In 2017, Trans Group is looking to expand its production units and branches to satisfy the needs of international clients.

Tunisia first exhibited at Gulfood in 2007 and returns this year with the Tunisian Export Promotion Center (CEPEX). The country has a rich culinary history flavoured with Arab, Greek, French, Turkish and Spanish influences. At Gulfood 2017, more than 50 Tunisian companies will present a wide range of products including olive oil, pasta, dates, biscuits, confections, spicy harissa, candies, jam, tuna and organic products in a special pavilion with 450m2 of exhibition space. There will be chef demonstrations and tastings each day.

On Show

• Rice and sugar • Juices from Pakistan and UAE • Wheat flour, maize

Gulfood Stand Number: Tunisian Pavilion / Sheikh Rashid Hall (World Food) – Zaabeel Plaza (Fats & Oils) T: +971 50 44 33 635 E: W:

Unilever Unilever is participating at Gulfood for the fourth year in a row. It will be showcasing its entire food and beverage portfolio, which cuts across dressings, savoury and desserts. To address local cuisine needs, it recently launched the Knorr Chicken Shawarma Marinade, which contains a balanced mix of Baharat, thus enabling shawarma chefs to add their own signature touch to the taste profile. For international cuisine, it launched the Knorr Jus Base, which enables chefs to make a jus base with an intense, meaty flavour and a velvety shine in just 10 minutes (a process that normally takes 12 hours of simmering). Unilever’s mission is to provide more than just professional food and beverage products, but also food service solutions that help customers work smarter.

Gulfood Stand Number: Z1 B38 E: T: +92 345 825 008 / +971 56 204 6013 W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

On Show

• Knorr Chicken Shawarma Marinade • Knorr Jus Base • Dressings • Desserts

Gulfood Stand Number: B540 T: +971 50 776 0161 E: W:


10-12 April 2017 Fairmont, The Palm, Dubai, ORGANISED BY


FACILITATING INVESTMENT DECISION-MAKING WITHIN THE RESTAURANT SPACE The Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) facilitates investment decision-making within the restaurant space. The forum showcases the hottest restaurant concepts from around the globe and gives attendees a place of focus to connect with investors, owners, franchisors and senior hospitality professionals, assess the state of the hospitality industry and secure deals for the coming year. GRIF is proud to once again be powered by Michelin in 2017, enriching the event with its extensive network and world class chefs.

GRIF 2017 will again host a celebration of the brightest and best of the industry at the 2017 Global Restaurant Awards through partnership with The Caterer. The Global Restaurant Awards are an opportunity for the industry leaders to get together and celebrate those organisations that have shown innovation, vision and leadership in their businesses and concepts. Recognising the brands that have really engaged with their consumers through social media, technology, design or sustainability. GLOBAL RESTAURANT AWARDS IN ASSOCIATION WITH


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Gulfood preview


Vintage Teas

Since 1922, Valrhona has been using its expertise in selecting and processing cocoa to provide gastronomy professionals with a wide, aromatic range of couverture chocolates. By working alongside professionals, it has developed an in-depth awareness of their needs, practices and limitations. The company has recently launched its ‘Inspiration’ range, which combines cocoa butter with the intense flavour and colour of fruit. This new range of products has been developed using the Valrhona Research & Development team’s expertise. At Gulfood, Valrhona will be showcasing its new products from the Inspiration range along with a wide variety of chocolate desserts and spices.

Vintage Teas is exhibiting at the 2017 edition of Gulfood to meet its existing clients and display its current best-sellers and new products. At the exhibition, the company will be showcasing its entire range of products, which includes black teas, green teas, fruit teas, spices, herbs and infusions. It has recently added a variety of spices it will be showcasing at Gulfood. Vintage Teas’ vision for 2017 is to enter new markets and gain market share, while increasing its product portfolio.

On Show

• Black teas, green teas, fruit teas, spices, herbs and infusions.

On Show

• Inspiration range • Chocolate desserts

Gulfood Stand Number: Za’abeel new halls – Sri Lanka Tea Board pavilion – booth Z4 – C7 T: +947 7778 1633 E: W:

Zandbergen Zandbergen is a producer of high quality meat products. At Gulfood, it will showcase its new brand, Frozen Butcher, which contains premium meat products, such as burgers, steaks and carpaccio, with a hard claim on origin and breed. Frozen Butcher strives to use only the best meat from all over the world and make it available for everyone. Its products are quickly frozen in special freezers immediately after production, negating the need for artificial preservatives, colouring agents or other additives. The company also guarantees that in the customer’s freezer, the meat keeps its true butcher’s taste and quality until it is prepared. Zandbergen’s latest product launch is the Frozen Butcher Gulfood Stand Number: Hall 3, chicken burger. In 2017, the company stand C28 wants to increase its sales of Frozen T: +31 715 815 000 Butcher in the Middle East.

On Show: W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

• Frozen Butcher meat products, including chicken burgers

E: W: / www.



Boxing up the latest disposable tableware items on the market


Duni supplies table top concepts, creative packaging and take-away solutions to both professionals and consumers. Its latest product launch is ‘Evolin’, which it claims combines the beauty of linen with the convenience of a single-use product. This new product, which represents the evolution of linen, also features enhanced water-repellency. The company believes that many restaurateurs, hoteliers and caterers will be switching from linen to Evolin because of its design flexibility, colour range and to control costs. The company plans to continue strengthening its position as a partner with the horeca industry, with the objective of helping clients create an atmosphere that attracts guests from the outside and makes them want to come back. T: +971 55 892 7548 E: W:


Panache International

T: +971 54 438 6112 E: W:

T: +971 4 454 2093 E: W:

Restaurantware is a manufacturer of wholesale tableware. Its latest product launch is ‘Taipei containers’ which offer a stylish way to serve on-the-go meals. These containers are made of organic poplar wood so they are both durable and eco-friendly. The company sells lids separately so the customer can choose to use them with or without a cover. Restaurantware believes that F&B businesses would want to purchase this product, since it is not only eco-friendly but it also has a beautiful design and is cost effective. For 2017, the company plans to expand its collection so it can carry every tableware and tool that its customers may need.


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

Panache International has been an integrated manufacturer and distributor of a disposable range of plastic, paper, aluminum and bamboo packaging products in the UAE since 2005. The company recently introduced new baking accessories such as parchment papers, cake cups, and cake molds in different sizes and shapes. Its baking products are made of grease-resistant paper and have vibrant colours along with different patterns and shapes that make them attractive to consumers. The company already offers 24/7 customer service but aims to offer more convenience to its end customers by allowing them to purchase its products online and delivering them directly.

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M arketplace

Sweet like chocolate

Catering news lifts the lid on the latest chocolate brands and trends in the Middle East

Al Nassma Chocolate LLC Patrick Dorais, director of sales, presents camel milk chocolate brand, Nassma Chocolate What is your best-selling chocolate product? At Nassma Chocolate, we have two best-selling products: our ninepiece assorted praline gift box and our 70g whole milk bar, which also tops the charts. What is unique about your products? Our chocolates are made from beginning to end in our state-ofthe-art factory located in Dubai Silicon Oasis. We only use camel milk which is widely appreciated for its unique health benefits. Our products are also exported to Indonesia, the USA, Europe and UK, amongst many others. What are the latest trends in chocolate? Dark chocolate continues to trend. We have recently launched our popular macadamia with nuts and orange, along with Arabia and dates bars in a 70% dark cocoa shell. T: +971 4 333 8183 E: W:

La Marquise Olga Cassidy, marketing manager La Marquise, introduces the company’s best-selling chocolate brand, Reno by IRCA

What is your best-selling chocolate product? Our best-selling chocolate product is Reno by IRCA.

Reno by IRCA

What is unique about it? Cocoas of different origins are used in the manufacturing process to give each blend its own unique and exclusive characteristics. For dark chocolate, IRCA prefers mixtures from the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ecuador, and Nigeria as they pass on the full flavour contained in the cocoa bean. The Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Java cocoas have been selected to produce varieties of milk chocolate as they give a delicate round flavour together with a soft balance and strong caramel taste. The quality of white chocolate is refined and produced from Ecuadorian cocoa butter, which gives it a spicy taste and an exotic aroma. What are the latest trends in chocolate? One of the trends is premium chocolate, and single origin chocolates fall under this category. With the advent of single origin chocolate, comes the idea of chocolate blends that promote the best features of chocolate. In our chocolate range by IRCA, we are also introducing three new single origin chocolates from Peru, Madagascar, and Ecuador. Each one of them will offer an intense sensory experience. T: +971 4 343 3478 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017

M arketplace


Assem Hamzeh, founder and managing director of Choco’a says the Caramel Collection’s exclusive pieces are popular in the Middle East What is your best-selling chocolate product? Our best-selling chocolate products have always been the exclusive pieces from our Caramel Collection. They include caramel with rose water, caramel with almond florentine, chewy caramel, classic vanilla caramel, and dark chocolate caramel with roasted walnuts. What is unique about it? Each chocolate piece in this collection has a unique flavour and has been hand crafted by our expert chefs using the finest imported ingredients with no artificial flavours or ready mixes. The flavours are very well blended and are suitable for every occasion and mood. What are the latest trends in chocolate? We are seeing more demand from small and medium enterprises for customised chocolate products. Hotels are competing now, not only for using good quality chocolate suppliers, but also for elegant and creative packaging and designs. Choco’a fits both profiles, quality and creativity; we have the flexibility to please all tastes and budgets. T: +971 4 340 9013 E: W:


Valrhona pastry chef trainer Middle East & Africa, Guillaume Roesz showcases Guanaja 70% chocolate What is your best-selling chocolate product? Valrhona’s best-seller is Guanaja 70%, which surprises the palate with a powerful punch of flavour and bitterness. Guanaja has a low sugar content and the flavour is simultaneously rounded and light in acidity, and underpinned by notes of dried fruits and roasted coffee. What is unique about it? The first 70% cocoa blend, Guanaja is created from a selection of cacao trees of various origins, each featuring well-defined notes. The beans, from Latin America, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Africa, work in unison to form a range of harmonies. Its blend is a concentration of Valrhona's expertise and high standards: from fermentation to conching, each step of this long process is an exercise in precision.

What are the latest trends in chocolate? Chefs are combining chocolate with oriental, exotic spices and flavours for their desserts, such as timut pepper, cardamom, saffron, rose and jasmine. For example, timut pepper grows in the Nepal mountains and offers a cold spiciness of Sichuan with remarkable hints of grapefruit, offering a delicate fragrance for savoury and sweet dishes and drinks. The freshness of the timut pepper combined with the fruitiness of Itakuja chocolate creates a very interesting citrus aroma. W:

February 2017 Catering NEWS ME


M arketplace

BATEEL Tina Memic, general manager, Bateel explains why the brand’s Origin Wrapped Chocolates range is so popular What is your best-selling chocolate product? Bateel’s Origin Wrapped Chocolates range, having launched just a few months ago, is already experiencing great success. Our customers love the flavours – the ‘Raguza’ – a creamy hazelnut praline with a whole roasted hazelnut encased in the finest, single origin dark or milk chocolate and our salted caramel encased in rich dark chocolate are our current best-sellers. What is unique about it? Bateel sources only the finest ingredients for its products and our chocolates are no exception. The range includes only the finest Fairtrade certified origin chocolate. Bateel’s 62% dark chocolate is made with cocoa beans from Madagascar and Brazil and the milk chocolate is from the Dominican Republic – the single origin cocoa is a real point of difference for us in the market and has helped us become the largest producer of fine chocolates in the Middle East. We use pure cocoa butter and our range is free from artificial flavours and additives. What are the latest trends in chocolate? At Bateel, we pride ourselves on not following trends, but leading them. Our Fairtrade certified origin chocolates keep us ahead of the pack. An example of our innovation is the creation of modern flavours, such as our green tea chocolate filled with pure Sencha green tea ganache, our cheesecake praline topped with fresh raspberries and our exotic lychee caramel. Contact details: T: + 971 4 885 8737 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME February 2017


Monin’s dark chocolate sauce is the company’s top-selling chocolate product according to Pierre Fraboulet, Monin MEIA trade marketing manager What is your best-selling chocolate product? Our best-selling chocolate product is the Monin dark chocolate sauce with an intense cocoa nose and an authentic, bold chocolate flavour. What is unique about it? Due to its smooth texture, Monin dark chocolate sauce allows you to create unique hot and cold applications such as mocha, indulgent hot chocolate, and milkshakes etc. It can also be used for glass drizzling or indulgent toppings. What are the latest trends in chocolate? Consumers are becoming more educated about chocolate and are looking for more information on the origin of cocoa along with the percentage of cocoa within each chocolate product. On the other hand, we are seeing a huge trend toward indulgence, either with hot chocolate or with a chocolate freak-shake. Contact details: T: +971 44 520 600 E: W:

26 Feb - 2 Mar 2017

Dubai World Trade Centre

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S pill the beans

Bice Ristorante & Terrace Catching up with Catering News during a visit to Dubai, Raffaele Ruggeri CEO of Bice Group spills the beans on the refurbishment of Bice Ristorante & Terrace at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach

Why is Bice being revamped after 16 years of operations in Dubai? With the restaurant remaining successful for over 16 years in Dubai, we wanted to ensure we were thinking ahead. There was an opportunity to refresh Bice in terms of the interiors, terrace and offerings. Dubai is rapidly evolving, so there is a need to adjust the restaurant to fit with what people want, while remaining true to Bice’s heritage. The new restaurant embraces the new and old throughout. Please describe the new look? The new look is bright, fresh and contemporary yet elegant, with several nods to Italian culture, including lemon tree 110

Catering NEWS ME February 2017

installations. We also have a terrace lounge guests can enjoy with magnificent views across the Hilton gardens to the beach and Arabian Gulf. The new look offers a latenight feel, and we hope to expand on this to attract not only diners, but also those who want to enjoy a lounge setting. How has the menu been updated? The menu has changed due to the lounge component and the F&B trends taking place in Dubai and across the world. We are offering more sharing and relaxed dishes but also keeping the classic dishes Bice has been serving for a long time to ensure guest favourites are still available. You can now come to Bice and have a

traditional meal or a sharing experience with very high quality food. Will other Bice venues around the world also be refurbished? Bice Dubai sets the standard of decor that is seen throughout the GCC area, but not all cities are like Dubai. We have to be aware of this and make regular trips to our restaurants across the globe to ensure we are up-to-date with each market’s wants and needs, absorbing the vast differences in countries and cultures. Throughout our outlets, we want to ensure the experience is not only about the look, but more importantly the feel. The Bice feeling is what ties all of our outlets together.

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Catering News ME - February 2017  
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