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Connecting F&B professionals with industry knowledge

February 2018




Cover Story


Goes from strength to strength in the region

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



What's Cooking?

in Focus

February 2018 // Issue #037

Contents 32 The Business

38 Talent

10 //


24 //


32 //


38 //


42 //


February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


January 2018 // Issue #036

Contents 58 //


78 //


Director Rabih Najm CEO Wissam Younane Editor Patrick Ryan Group Commercial Director

Samer Alloush

Sales Manager James Stead Contributor

Marouane Al Mandri Art Director Aaron Sutton


Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon Photographer

Hayder Al-Zuhairi


The business

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48 Event preview

Gulfood 2018 Preview

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


Catering NEWS ME February 2018

E ditor's L etter

patrick ryan Editor @ThatPaddyRyan

Trading Places

ou don’t need me to tell you just how vital Gulfood is to the catering industry, not only in the Middle East, but right across the world. In many ways, it is the flagship trade show for the industry in the region and that’s why we have a bumper preview of the show which runs from 18-22 February at Dubai World Trade Centre. It is easy to be defeatist about the difficult times that the wider economy has been experiencing in recent years but events like Gulfood are testatment to the strength in depth that the catering sector still has here in the Middle East. If you’re going to Gulfood, let’s be honest why wouldn’t you, then you are not going to want to miss our special preview which is very much at the heart of the magazine this month. Speaking of being at the heart of matters, our cover feature this month is on Greenhouse Foodstuff. There is a good reason why Daniel Chidiac, general manager Greenhouse, is our cover star this month. This is a company that has a reputation for excellence and is known the world over. When we sat down to chat with Daniel for the feature it was immediately apparent that he is a forward-thinking individual who is not prepared to just rest on his laurels. With companies like Greenhouse leading the way it is abundantly clear that the future is bright

for the food industry here in the Middle East. That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content for this month’s issue as we catch up with Shashwat Shivam, executive chef at Jodhpur Royal Dining who is making waves by giving Indian street food and home cooking the fine dining treatment. Smoking has been a contentious issue for as long as people have been smoking, really, so that’s why it was fascinating to catch up with Galway girl Marion Sheridan the manager of McGettigan’s JBR. Marion is overseeing a strict policy of nosmoking on the premises and, perhaps to the surprise of some, she was pleased to tell us the results have been positive to date. Last but not least, it is apt that we have some major news of our own to announce in this action-packed issue. A new editor has joined the team here at BNC Publishing and will be taking over the running of Catering News Middle East from February. You will get to meet the talented Mahak Mannan in our very next issue. On that note, I will let you enjoy the rest of the magazine and we look forward to seeing you at Dubai World Trade Centre later this month. Kind regards, Patrick Ryan

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Catering NEWS ME February 2018



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Get ready for Gulfood 2018 Gulfood 2018 is almost here and it’s fair to say that the catering industry in the Middle East is on red alert for one of the highlights of its year. You can read all about in this very issue – our special one-stop guide to everything you need to know about the event (Our coverage begins on page 58). DWTC officials revealed onsite sales generated by 95,000plus buyers and visitors at Gulfood 2018 – which runs from 18-22 February – will contribute heavily to a global food market expected to generate revenues of USD3.03 trillion by 2020, according to Research and Markets, a Dublin-based market research company. “In attracting the Middle East’s largest trade industry audience, generating huge transactional volumes every year on the show floor, and setting global foodstuff commodity prices, Gulfood is the region’s premier food and beverage industry platform – it underlines Dubai’s leading role in the global food sector,” said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC. “With regional investment in food production on the rise, international manufacturers see the Middle East as a lucrative market for their products. In this dynamic climate, Gulfood continues to empower the global 10

Catering NEWS ME February 2018

food and beverage community as an unmatched trading and knowledge platform that offers unrivalled market overviews and insights to industry professionals.” The forecast for Gulfood 2018 follows hundreds of major deals struck and initiatives launched at last year’s event, including US Beef regaining eligibility to ship beef products to Saudi Arabia, a USD31 million market. US exhibitors at the show reported on-site sales of $85.5 million with forecasts of a further $722 million in direct sales as a result of their participation, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). The FAS also recruited 47 potential food and beverage suppliers – with a network spanning Asia, Africa, South Asia and the Middle East – to service US exporters at Gulfood 2017.

New to the 2018 event is the Gulfood Discover Zone, where exhibitors will be able to apply for recently-launched products to be showcased in an exclusive and interactive lounge. The Gulfood Discover Zone will also feature a dedicated area for companies that have never conducted business in the MENA region before and are using Gulfood as a marketentry opportunity. Finalists for the Gulfood Innovation Awards, which also return in 2018, will also be showcased in the Gulfood Discover Zone. Another new feature is the Gulfood Start-up Competition, which is designed to foster further innovation in the food and beverage supply chain. Open to aspiring food industry professionals or students, the competition will reward sustainable development and

socially-impactful ideas that are either disrupting the old ways of doing business, or promoting healthier and environmentallycorrect practices. “Gulfood Start-up promises to be the region’s most influential innovation enabler for the next generation of food industry pioneers,” added LohMirmand. “The competition will connect impassioned food technology entrepreneurs from across the Middle East with the region’s largest food technology and product buyers.” With more than 5,000-plus exhibitors expected at the 23rd edition of the event, Gulfood 2018 will feature more than 120 national pavilions including firsttime participants from as far afield as Estonia, Serbia and Slovakia. The show will also see hundreds of international heads of state, ministers, government officials and scores of national trade associations eager to ink lucrative bi-lateral trade agreements among tens of thousands of anticipated visitors. Gulfood 2018 is a trade event open strictly to business and trade visitors. The show is open 11am-7pm from February 18 – 21 and 11am-5pm on February 22. Visitors can pre-register for AED250 (USD68) at to save AED150 (USD40) on the on-site entry fee of AED400 (USD108).

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

New opening

Lifelong friends to open gourmet Afghan restaurant in Dubai

Gourmet Afghan street and soul food restaurant Kishmish is set to open its doors to Dubai’s Dar Al Wasl Mall in February. The restaurant is the brainchild of family friends Fatima Rabbani, Iman Nazemi and Homaira Nasser Zia who aim for Kishmish to “be the first gourmet restaurant to bring authentic Afghan street and soul food to Dubai”. A spokesperson said: “Iman, Fatima and Homaira have been family friends for generations, whilst they grew up outside of their native land, each of them holds an

innate appreciation for their history, rich culture and, of course, their native tongues. “Having grown up learning of their culture over traditional Afghan meals, the trio find a unique bond between the cuisine and the celebration of their native cultures. Kishmish is the actualisation of their dream, to brings the sights, sound and flavours of the bustling Kabul streets to the world, an education through gastronomical experiences.” The spokesperson added that Iman, Fatima and Homaira sat one evening as they often did came to the conclu-

sion that there aren’t any Afghan restaurants in Dubai, at least not like the Afghan food they knew. There was nowhere they could take their friends to show off their cuisine and realised there was a niche in the market for a good trendy Afghan restaurant. “After weeks of discussing and talking about the concept, Kishmish was born. It was almost as if it was written for them to start their journey together as they had generations before and make one of their biggest dreams come to life,” said the spokesperson.

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February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


W hat's cooking?

New opening


21 Grams weighs into the AccorHotels appoints Dubai F&B scene new VP of food & beverage luxury brands

21 Grams is the latest addition to Dubai’s F&B scene, having opened on Jumeirah Beach Road. The urban Balkan bistro aims to evoke memories of favourite recipes, the warmth and comfort of a family home and the smell of freshly baked pastries. “Since I was seven-years-old, I’ve been drawn to the magic that food creation can bring,” said Stasha Toncev, chief soulkitchen officer of 21 Grams. “I have always loved hosting small gatherings for my friends to indulge in new dishes and recipes that I’ve created, which is what I’m looking forward to bringing to the UAE with 21 Grams.” The bistro space has floor to ceiling windows, according to a spokesperson, and offers a light and welcoming indoor dining area bathed in warm tones, with a pastry counter and seating for 30, as well as an intimate outdoor area, with stunning balcony views overlooking Umm Suqeim Park. “The extensive menu, carefully executed by a true Balkan Bedouin, Head Chef Uros, dishes up a fresh, authentic selection including a gypsy toast with kaymak and ajvar, with onions and red pepper, meat and cheese burek and traditional Balkan pies – as well as chocolate hazelnut baklava and other tempting sweets,” said the spokesperson. 12

Catering NEWS ME February 2018

Russell Scott has been appointed as the vice president of food and beverage for AccorHotels’ luxury brands in the Middle East. He brings more than three decades of hospitality experience spanning across Europe and the Middle East within leading global companies including Jumeirah Restaurant Group, Terra Firma, Scottish & Newcastle and M.H Alshaya Co. AccorHotels’ luxury & upper upscale portfolio includes the Raffles, Sofitel, Sofitel Legend, SO Sofitel, Fairmont, MGallery, Pullman, Swissôtel and Grand Mercure brands. In his role, Scott will focus on creating synergies across the Luxury Brands in order to capitalise and leverage marketing, communications, loyalty, design and technical services. A spokesperson for AccorHotels said: “Having most recently spearheaded, as managing director, a pioneering approach to take a large portfolio of restaurants out of the direct

hotel management to form an independent commercial restaurant company; Scott’s experience leaves him in an unrivalled position to navigate AccorHotels’ luxury portfolio of brands in their next food and beverage chapter. “With his vast proficiency in the GCC market, Scott will blend global brand knowledge with local market intricacies to ensure an integrated approach which remains true to each unique luxury brand.” Regionally, Scott’s ability to lead, mentor and build teams in order to drive performance is well known and something which he first recognised as a key skill early on in his career playing rugby at a competitive level in the United Kingdom. Subsequently, he has led teams over the years to win prestigious accolades across the globe including Restaurant of the Year, Best New Concept, Chef of the Year, Bar Team of the Year and Best Design.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?


Going to Gulfood? Then make the most of it… Anyone who is in anyone in the region’s catering industry is going to have a presence at Gulfood. With literally thousands of exhibitors in attendance it’s going to be more difficult than ever to stand out among the crowd. That’s where Catering News Middle East comes in – if you want to feature in our coverage of the event we would be delighted to hear from you. We’ll be at Gulfood to capture all the action live for our website and social media channels as well as the magazine. If you want to feature across all of our platforms all you have to do is email to make an appointment for video, online and print interviews during the event.

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February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


W hat's cooking?

New Opening

Eat Artisanal Bakery to open second location in Dubai

Eat Artisanal Bakery is opening a second location in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) – following the success of its first

branch in Bay Square. A spokesperson for Eat Artisanal Bakery described it as a “true member of the communi-

ties in which it is based”. “Eat Artisanal Bakery promotes a healthy, balanced diet and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday of the week,” said the spokesperson. “Nutritious, wholesome dishes made with fresh, natural ingredients will be served up, making it the perfect venue for all occasions, whether it is an office meeting or a catch up with friends.” The new venue is more than just a café, said the spokesperson,

with the home-style space in JLT offering a children’s play area. They added that pets will also be welcomed within the venue’s outdoor seating area. “Eat is more than just thoughtful, home-cooked food, it’s a home-away-from-home with an artisanal spin,” said the spokesperson. “Eat Artisanal Bakery was developed out of passion for food and to provide wholesome and delicious bites for the community of Dubai.”


Sheraton Dubai Creek appoints new chef de cuisine Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers has appointed Joseph Yohannan as chef de cuisine for its Indian restaurant, Ashiana. Yohannan has been with the property since 2014 and will now redirect his focus to rejuvenate the Ashiana brand. “Chef Joseph has been an integral part for our team for four years and perfectly understands the ethos and culture of

the brand. His experience and unmatched knowledge of Indian cuisine will add a delectable

touch to Ashiana’s flavours,” said Stephan Vanden Auweele, area general manager, Sheraton

Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers. Bringing years of diverse culinary know-how, Yohannon said he is excited to add his magic to the gastronomic offering at Ashiana. Within a short span, he has already successfully launched the Indo-Arab menu infused with traditional species from both the cultures, which due to great reviews has become a regular feature on the menu.

New Opening

Sharjah welcomes its first food truck Sharjah welcomed its first food truck when Buns of Steel (BOS) served food at the Al Majaz Amphitheatre in mid-January. A spokesperson said the retro-inspired food truck housed in a GMC school bus has cooked up its menu to offer signature dishes that will “satisfy the appetites of adventurous food explorers”. The menu includes doublesmoked beef sliders dressed with garlic jalapeno aioli sauce, 14

Catering NEWS ME February 2018

fried chicken sliders, butter chickpea masala bunny chow, crispy skinny fries alongside fizzy beverages for a complete “soul food” experience. “Our food truck offers a unique experience to foodies in the region because of the energetic and light-hearted personality that our staff bring to the table; it exuberates a spirit of adventure and liveliness, even welcoming you right into our dining area at the back of the bus,” said Abdulla Al-Ketbi,

owner of Buns of Steel. “This exciting ‘meals on wheels’ concept was sparked by my desire to create a soulful and adventurous street

food experience without compromising on fresh quality and the creative and cultural personality of Sharjah itself,” added Abdulla.

W hat's cooking?


Broccoli plans worldwide expansion

Broccoli Pizza and Pasta, the Italian restaurant headquartered in Dubai, has announced a worldwide expansion, with 79 restaurants under construction, in over 12 countries. Since commencing operations in 2011, Broccolli has proven a hit with franchise buyers across MENA, Asia and Europe. Richard Kay, global franchise sales manager, said: “Within six years of the launch, we are proud and excited about our reach, which is set to grow to 12 countries by 2018. We are grateful to our customers and stakeholders for making us a brand to reckon with. “We have put years into researching the markets around the world with the aid of PICO International, focusing on the busiest locations and offering exactly what we stand forquality and taste at all outlets to our loyal customers.” He added that when Broc18

Catering NEWS ME February 2018

coli first opened its doors, the “fresh and familiar aroma of Italian cooking’ welcomed thousands of customers to an experience where their food is made exactly how they like it. Within a few months, Broccoli was able to announce the opening of a second outlet and now has 95 restaurants in UAE, KSA, UK and India. “Nothing at Broccoli Pizza and Pasta is compromised upon, especially our strict quality standards, which we maintain at all times. The customers are our main focus, and we want to ensure positive experiences in all our restaurants worldwide. Broccoli is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world and we are committed to the future of our business. We thank all our strategic partners, who have successfully adopted our culture and became a part of a profitable system,” he added.

New opening

Luigia opens for business at Rixos Premium Dubai Luigia, the Italian restaurant and pizzeria, is the latest venue to open at Rixos Premium Dubai. This award-winning Italian restaurant, founded by Luigi Guarnaccia and Enrico Coppola, is aiming to ‘attract all those with a passion for quality and real Italian cooking’. As the first name of the founder’s grandmothers, Luigia draws its inspiration from the love given by Italian grandmothers to their families through the art of cooking. “We want our guests to feel like they are pushing the door open to Italy when they visit Luigia, sharing a friendly moment while enjoying the pleasure and flavour of Italian dolce vita all in one meal” said Antonio Gonzalez, CEO, Sunset Hospitality,

the hospitality group bringing the concept to the Emirate. Luigia prides itself on serving ‘The Best of Italy’, sourcing only the freshest and best quality ingredients and following only the most authentic ‘tried and tested’ recipes, handed down from generation to generation. A spokesperson added: “With four successful Luigia venues already dotted around Europe, the much-loved Italian restaurant places emphasis on authenticity, simplicity and quality. “Recognised by Gambero Rosso as one of the top 10 pizzerias in the world, this awardwinning Italian restaurant, founded by Luigi Guarnaccia and Enrico Coppola, is set to attract all those with a passion for quality and real Italian cooking.”

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W hat's cooking?


Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort names new exec chef

Peeush Chawla has been named as the new executive chef of Abu Dhabi’s Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort. The young Indian talent is known for his cooking styles as well as innovative and fine food concepts. He has experience from prestigious hospitality brands and restaurants including Taj and Oberoi in Mumbai, W Resorts and luxury brand Per Aquum Huvafenfushi 22

Catering NEWS ME February 2018

in Maldives, Sheraton Hotel Sharjah, KOI Japanese Restaurant by TDIC Abu Dhabi, and Saadiyat Beach Club. Kevin Lawless, general manager, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Chef Peeush Chawla to Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort Hotel. “We believe that his strong experience and passion for food will bring a great contribution not only in making the culinary experience enjoyable for our

guests and visitors but also his outstanding management skills will also be an advantage in maintaining the standard quality service we provide and even taking to a higher level.” On his appointment, Chef Chawla commented: “I am very excited to be directing the culinary team of Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort. I am keyed up on creating a whole new and diverse dining experience guests and visitors will

surely coming after for.” Chawla is recognised for his performance in rebranding and pre-opening of a number of five-star hotels. Focused with hands-on culinary practice and vast skills in kitchen operations and management training, he is looking forward in continuing to demonstrate his unique approach to achieve guests’ satisfaction at Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort.

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goes from strength to strength across the region Catering News Middle East speaks to Greenhouse Foodstuff general manager Daniel Chidiac about the continued success of the company and his plans for the future… f you’ve been doing something for 40 years, chances are you would probably be forgiven for standing still and repeating the same thing. That will never apply to Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading though. Catering News Middle East caught up with general manager Daniel Chidiac to find out the secret to its success. “It is one thing to import and distribute, it is another when you are 40 years in the market and you have strong assets which includes your people, your distribution, your fleet, your storage, your state-of-theart warehouse,” says Chidiac. The company underwent a major restructuring in 2014, which has seen it retain its position as market leader despite the fact that these are challenging times for the entire industry, across the region. “Greenhouse is today present in UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. We launched into the KSA market in 2017 – so the focus in 2018 will be how to build fast into the Saudi market,” he says.


Catering NEWS ME February 2018

“We focus on building brands rather than simply getting content in and out. This is why we see big brands coming to us, they want to build their brands here,” adds Chidiac. For Chidiac, and his team, there is no substitute for building a brand and working with clients who are drawn to its reputation and integrity. Being associated with the right brands is also vital when it comes to Chidiac’s plan for Greenhouse. “We have the premium brands that everyone knows about and wants to be associated with,” he says. “But what people might not realise is that we pay just as much attention to brand-building. We import up and coming brands that might not be so well-known. We can help them by promoting and launching their brands in the region, building their equity and assisting them to reach their full potential and become famous brands in their own right. “We have started in the food solution

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February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


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Greenhouse's new innovation centre is a state-of-the-art facility

business – we already have signed a deal with Five Guys in Oman to provide all their products from A-Z.” Another indication of Greenhouse’s commitment to the industry, across the region, is the fact that it sponsors associations in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well as the respective guilds in those countries. Greenhouse is a corporate member of the Emirates Culinary Guild in the UAE as well as the Qatar Culinary Professionals, National Hospitality Institute in Oman and the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association. That commitment to the industry doesn’t end there however. Greenhouse has just announced a new partnership with the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) school in Dubai. As a corporate sponsor of the ICCA, Greenhouse provides the school with access to their products to use to train the students. That’s why you’ll be seeing a lot more of Greenhouse on the ICCA’s website and at various events and promotions that the school runs throughout the course of the year. 26

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Greenhouse's warehouse facilities are second-to-none

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Greenhouse has worked hard to build a happy atmosphere among the team

Greenhouse is also the founder of the UAE Cheese Guild – an organisation in which Chidiac also serves as president. The Guild’s mission is to promote the nobility of cheeses as well as raising the profile of the professionals who serve in this sector. Another successful pillar of Greenhouse’s strategy is the focus on category management. A further example of Greenhouse’s standing in the region, not that one was needed, is the fact that the company works closely with Sysco USA – the world-renowned food distribution giant. Another key component of Chidiac’s leadership strategy is the focus on fostering loyalty among the staff. “We really work with our people and try to create an environment that encourages loyalty among the staff members,” he says. “I think we have succeeded in building an ethos of teamwork and loyalty among the staff, it’s important that people are not taken for granted. We have employees who have been with us for 15 years. We do a lot of outings as bonding is vital when it comes to morale.”

Chidiac adds: “All these pillars are what makes Greenhouse such a successful company and is always going in the same direction, we are not just looking at trends, we are setting trends. “So we are going to the next level in terms of technical know-how by bringing the latest trends from Europe to Dubai in terms of pastry, bakery, Italian cuisine and much more.” Greenhouse’s standing in the industry is so strong that other companies are eager to work alongside them – especially when it comes to availing of Greenhouse’s state-ofthe-art educational facilities. “We have two in-house chefs – they are a pastry chef and a baker,” he remarks. “Greenhouse chefs are on-hand to help clients engineer their menus by hosting demonstrations which illustrate the techniques behind each product.” This includes training being provided at the principal company’s factory, which can then in turn be passed on to local chefs to make sure that the best value is achieved with each product.

Another facet to Greenhouse’s impressive pedigree is its new state-of-the-art innovation centre dedicated to the chefs from around the UAE. “We will regularly be bringing a MOF (meaning Meilleur Ouvrier de France) to host demos and innovation sessions”. He said it’s always an event when a MOF comes and chefs are keen to liaise with them – I know how busy chefs are, especially in this region, so you have to provide something out of the ordinary to make it worth their while.” Chidiac says there will be a star-studded line-up at the innovation centre with events taking place two or three times a month. The innovation centre has the potential to be a game-changer for the industry in the region. “Whenever Greenhouse does an event, we have to ensure that nothing is left to chance. We have to ensure that it will be of benefit to the chefs in attendance and that they will be supplied with rich content,” he says. “It’s such a competitive industry that if something is going to be done, it has to be done right. We have to offer events February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


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Whenever Greenhouse does an event, we have to ensure that nothing is left to chance. We have to ensure that it will be of benefit to the chefs in attendance and that they will be supplied with rich content” that people will feel like they are missing out on if they aren’t able to attend. We are working with some of the best chefs in the world so we have to provide a service that matches that.” The company warehouse is another component when it comes to Greenhouse offering a service that is simply second to none. “Our new DIP premise here is a 7,000 sq m facility. We can store 6,500 pallets here including chilled and frozen. We have a warehouse management system (WMS) so the picking is done by HHTs – not manually picked,” he says. “This has been a big help and support to us because you can identify every condition for each product delivered to our clients, which will help in protecting the integrity of our products.” It is abundantly clear from speaking to Chidiac that he is a man who has a passion for excellence that is, very much, reflected in the way in which Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading goes about its business in the region. 28

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Greenhouse is the founder of the UAE Cheese Guild - on which Chidiac also serves as president

in F ocus

A f l avour of B razi l

Michael Harder is general manager with Enco Ventures, the group that has brought renowned Brazillian fine-dining restaurant Fogo de Chão to Saudi Arabia and now Dubai’s Financial Centre District (DIFC). Catering News Middle East caught up with him to find out more… Can you tell us about the reaction to Fogo de Chão so far in Dubai?

People in Dubai have shown a significant interest in the opening of Fogo de Chão. There’s such a cosmopolitan mix here that many have experienced Fogo de Chão’s unique churrasco concept in cities such as Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro in Brazil – where we began nearly 40 years ago – or in the US where Fogo has 38 locations in major cities such as LA, New York, Houston and Miami.

What were the challenges to getting to this point?

I wouldn’t necessarily say challenges. Opening a new restaurant of this calibre requires a lot of hard work from a lot of people - from finding the location, to thoughtful design and maybe most importantly, alignment from key stakeholders. We are appreciative of the support we have received from the Dubai Municipality and the DIFC. Additionally, Central Park Towers has been great to work with. They have shown a keen interest in Fogo and are excited to have us as part of their dynamic development.

How does the restaurant differ from others in an already packed market?

Fogo de Chão presents a unique, authentic Southern Brazilian dining experience with a menu anchored around the churrasco experience – the art of roasting meats over an open fire, and espeto corrido, or “continuous service.” Fogo started in Brazil in 1979; today there are 50 Fogo locations 30

Catering NEWS ME February 2018

in focus

in cities around the world including places such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Mexico City, and in the US global cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Houston, to name a few. Much of our staff are from Brazil and learned the art of churrasco from their parents and grandparents. Fogo de Chão offers great value with different pricing points for our guests to choose their experience; whether for the full churrasco experience with a variety of fire roasted meats like ribeye, filet and speciality Brazilian cuts, or a light vegetarian lunch from our seasonal market table. In Dubai, within the restaurant we will also have the Fogo Lounge and Bar that will feature a full menu and Brazilian inspired small plates, entrée meat boards, crafted cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. Our location faces the Burj Khalifa and

offers fantastic views from the restaurant as well as the lounge. From the moment you enter Fogo, you’ll experience the graceful, seemingly-choreographed dance of gaucho chefs delivering fire-roasted meats, and you see the kaleidoscopic colours of seasonal salads, fresh fruit and vegetables at the Market Table, but what really makes it special is our guests. As they take in all that is the Fogo experience, it strikes them that they’re not just observing but are participating in this unique, authentic and fun experience.

What are the main differences between opening a restaurant in Saudi Arabia and then Dubai?

Perhaps the biggest difference of Dubai versus Saudi Arabia is Dubai is a tourist destination for a worldwide audience. There are smaller differences that centre around

design requirements that exist, but much of that is true of many different municipalities. Similarities shared by both markets include guests looking for great value, great service and food, and an overall exceptional dining experience.

How would you describe the market at the moment in the Middle East?

There are some challenges; however we remain very optimistic for the short and long term.

Where do you see the brand in 18 months’ time?

As a nearly 40-year-old global brand this newest location in an iconic city like Dubai is very exciting. Our focus right now is around our upcoming opening and introducing locals and visitors alike to award-winning experience that Fogo de Chão provides.

French Pavilions

GULFOOD 18-22 february 2018 - Dubaï World Trade Centre

High turn-out for France at Gulfood World Food : Hall Sheikh Saeed Dairy : Hall 1

Meat & Poultry : Hall 3 Beverages : Hall New Za’abeel 6

Business France booth : S1 / L26

Come to taste French flavours during cooking show by Le Cordon Bleu !

@BF_MiddleEast @BF_Food

Encart 230x137.5_Gulfood_201801_V2.indd 1

Carolina DUBOIS

French Pavilions Manager


Head of Communications

Sophia SALMI

Regional Head of AgriFood

17/01/2018 16:53:19

February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

G iv i n g in to t h e c ravi ng

Intent on substance before style, executive chef Shashwat Shivam, is putting taste at the top of the menu at Jodhpur Royal Dining to keep guests coming back for more. Melanie Mingas hears how Indian street food and home cooking are getting the fine dining treatment. nterpretations of Indian food have expanded the cuisine in unimaginable ways. In Britain, recipe books dating back to the 1700s feature curries and pilau, tasted, remembered and muted, by those who had travelled to exotic places. In the 1800s, the country’s first Indian-owned restaurant opened, but while authenticity was on the menu, innovation played a huge part. Over the next 200 years, an entirely new cuisine, the British Indian, emerged, featuring tikka masala, butter chicken and Rogan Josh and today, these new dishes (and many more) are served across the UK’s 9,000 curry houses. Elsewhere, Indian food downsized as molecular cuisine swept the world. A trend so intense and widely interpreted that even pioneers such as Atul Kochhar eventually turned their backs on it. Then fusion arrived. Indo-Chinese, Indian-Italian, Indian-style international. To paint a picture of how far things have gone, today New York is home to an Indian-Mexican fusion called Taco Mahal. While this evolution has pushed the boundaries of flavour and texture combinations, for one chef, it is a double-edged sword. Through the menu at Jodhpur Royal Dining, Chef Shashwat Shivam is stepping back from the distractions of presentation, tacos and bite-sized portions served with fanfare, to focus on authentic flavours that will keep guests craving more. A nostalgic homage to bygone India, the menu at Jodhpur Royal Dining takes inspiration from across the country, with a focus on the “classics of bygone days”, home 32

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cooking and street food, and pairs these flavours with international dishes. In a nutshell, it’s “retro innovative”, and it’s already an award winning concept. Shivam explains: “The street food of India doesn’t rely on liquid nitrogen gimmicks and presentation. You can go to the same place every time for the same taste and I want my customers to return here time and time again for the taste, not the presentation. You should really crave food.” Based at the Roda Al Murooj Hotel, in Downtown Dubai, Jodhpur Royal Dining serves classics such as street-side snack kale patta chaat, infused to pack a punch, Tandoori Portobellos, Arab-inspired chicken kulcha water chestnut, and a highly acclaimed Lotus Treacle Tart, made with maple syrup, honey and butter and topped with

salted butterscotch ice cream. For diners who want to experience something unique, Shivam has created a boneless beef short-rib. Braised for six hours, covered in tempura batter and deep-fried, then tossed in mango sweet chilli. He says: “It isn’t only about textures. It combines sweet, sour, crunchy, crispy, the butter-like texture inside and the spiciness. All these things come into one dish. “My concept is to bring most of the street food and home cooked foods of India to fine dining. There are about 29 states in India and they all have their own culinary styles. What we want to implement is that home cooked feel to fine dining.” The idea even extends to Butter Lobster, garnished with crispy shrimp and served with Konkani gravy, as Shivam continues: “We take

‘Braised Lamb Chops’ Achari Glaze, Mooli Lachha

The Business

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T he Business

Prawn Kolivada, Wasabi Beetroot Dip

‘Bhel' Rice Krispies, Channa Jor Garam, Grapefruit inspiration from all over India, not only Jodhpur, with fusion concepts using modern technology or ingredients that we use. The concept for me is all about the taste the aroma.”

Flavour first

Shivam draws inspiration from his interest in international flavours and cultures, cultivated over a 15-year career in London, Paris, the US, India and Dubai. Although he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), he maintains that the real lessons are to be learned in the street-side cafes of his native India. He says: “Home style cooking, street food and exposure to different restaurants have all influenced my style, and this menu. Mostly I eat at small restaurants not large, high-end places, because that’s where the real inspiration comes when you cook for taste. For presentation, there is plenty of inspiration today.” There is also plenty of competition. Indian fine dining as a market segment received little attention until recently. In the last year, Dubai alone has welcomed multiple high-end Indian concepts, such as Khyber at Dukes Dubai and Masti at La Mer, headed by fellow CIA graduate Chef Hari Nayek. While local demand is strong, India is the UAE’s largest international source market for tourists, driving demand every night of the year. In Abu Dhabi, Indian arrivals increased 21.7% in the first half of 2017 and in Dubai, India remained the top source market throughout the year, secured by an increase of 17% on 2016 arrivals. To set Jodhpur Royal Dining apart Shivam has his work cut out, but he has a plan: always make your guests crave more. He says: “It is taste where the focus must be. If you enjoy the taste of a dish you will come again.” 34

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‘King Scallops’ Gobhi Cream, Tobiko In this Shivam has the potential to escape the pitfalls of Dubai’s fad-based food scene, bringing his own, timeless, touch to the trends of fusion and innovation. In part, his hand was forced. In the “four or five” years it took to perfect Jodhpur’s menu, Indian cuisine has seen so many new influences it’s impossible for one menu to honour every trend – especially when so many trends are off brand.

With his own predictions on where Indian food might go next, Shivam’s menu will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future, as he concentrates on bringing new flavours to old favourites. He explains: “The menu has been four or five years in the making and over that time Indian cuisine has seen a lot of changes, for example the introduction of molecular cui-

The Business

‘Chicken Tikka Quesadillas’ Paprika Raita

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T he Business

Kataifi Beef Kofta, Strawberry Chilly Chutney

sine. That is something, which for the full product, you have to create a gimmick for the experience – it isn’t about the taste. I think in a few years everything will come back to basics.”

Back to basics

When it comes to the wider culinary scene in his home emirate, Shivam believes restaurants are missing the opportunity to communicate directly with their guests, relying too much on third party websites to generate feedback. In a few short years an entire sector has emerged, with regional reach, facilitating people’s experiences of the UAE’s thousands of restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars and lounges, and all providing a platform for those people to share their thoughts. While Jodhpur Royal Dining scores perfect fives across all the major sites, Shivam encour36

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ages a more hands on approach. He explains: “That’s why the executive chef is here, that is why the manager is here and that is why our priority is customer satisfaction.” Having joined Jodhpur Royal Dining in 2015, Shivam is now ready to expand with new branches across Dubai, capitalising on the pace of development ahead of 2020 and helping to build momentum behind the name. For each new restaurant a whole new team will have to be created, with the same culture as the original team, trained by Shivam. He says: “Team building is the greatest challenge because without it we cannot do anything. It isn’t just about me cooking it’s about the team cooking. It’s about building the service staff, building the kitchen, building the whole scenario and with Jodhpur Royal Dining, it was about the concept and training – both how we teach and how they learn.”

As he sets out creating a series of dream teams, Shivam will no doubt come across many of the region’s young chefs. Reflecting on his own career, he advises them: “Be patient. Be self-motivated. I have been in the industry for 14 years and I don’t think I have achieved anything. The new generation want to turn into executive chefs overnight and it doesn’t happen like that. You have to have some patience and some practice, and you have to work at things and have discipline.” Whatever the road ahead brings, Jodhpur Royal Dining knows exactly what it is and exactly where it wants to go and, with Shivam’s philosophical approach to F&B that could lead anywhere, as he says: “In this industry you go through setbacks and they help you decide what you want to do. You have to lend your ears to destiny and then destiny gives it to you.”

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A b re at h o f

f r es h a i r The new manager of McGettigan’s in JBR, Marion Sheridan reveals her burning ambitions for the newly opened bar cGettigan’s is renowned throughout the UAE and the wider world for its distinctive Irish hospitality, sports, music, comedy, bacon and cabbage and the unmistakable beverages heralding from the Emerald Isle. But Marion Sheridan, the new manager of McGettigans’ latest branch in Dubai’s 38

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Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), is proud to bring to the emirate a more recent ruling in Irish history. On March 29, 2004, Ireland became the first country in the world to institute an outright ban on smoking in work places. Fast forward almost 14 years and Marion has overseen the launch of the first non-


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Marion has already proved a hit at the JBR location

smoking bar on JBR - and despite initial scepticism over sending smokers outside, she told Catering News Middle East, it’s been a huge success. She says: “In the beginning there was a lot of ‘it’ll never work’, but it’s actually proven to be fantastic. People are loving it, like a very Irish feel at home. This is an environment I work in , it’s not a smoky environment. So to bring that to Dubai is fantastic. “It’s been very positive, the feedback from smokers and non-smokers. We’ve had 40

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maybe a handful of incidents when people have lit up unknown and the minute you mention it to them they automatically go towards the door. I think people are used to it from traveling or where they come from. It’s more common to be in a non-smoking bar than a smoking bar worldwide. Even people getting to know each other, having a cigarette outside and getting to know each other has been positive. It’s been great.” It’s a unique feature that helps McGettigan’s stand out from the crowd in what is an increasingly crowded marketplace on

JBR. The newest addition to the McGettigan’s family in Dubai, which includes premises in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Souk Madinat, World Trade Centre and Dubai International Airport, opened its doors in October 2017. And Marion is confident the JBR bar, mixed with the Hilton brand and located on a prime area of beachfront, will prove as popular as the rest. “Even in the last six months here, JBR has exploded. There are a lot of new premises here and a lot of talk about places be-


ing revamped. The scene before I got here apparently was very family orientated and you can see that is kind of changing - it’s still family orientated but there’s a lot of young life coming in. Residents seem to be staying in JBR rather than hopping in a taxi and going to other destinations, which is brilliant,” she said. “When I was here in February, you could only go to either side of JBR; there wasn’t really a whole lot of options in the middle. Now you can go from one end of JBR to the other and it would take you nearly a week

to pop in and see every outlet. It’s great to see it grow,” she added. While she may be relatively new to the Dubai F&B scene, she is no stranger to the industry, having started at the age of 17 as a bar back in her native Ireland. Over a two-year period there, she progressed to bar tender and then on to a more supervisory role. From there she moved on to managing smaller bars, becoming involved in the food side of the business and gaining valuable experience in restaurants, general catering and functions. Marion even owned her own bar in Tuam, County Galway, which is where she was before making the move over to Dubai. “That was a fantastic experience, working for yourself. It was challenging and interesting to say the least,” she said. Marion speaks with great passion about her experiences and about her new role. However, she conceded that her desire and commitment to the cause can often have a detrimental effect on the rest of her life.

She explains: “The whole work-life balance is a challenge. I’m a bit of a workaholic, I really enjoy what I do and I find the challenge is to take a step back from that and get a work-life balance. I could turn up here on my day off just for an hour and I’d be here three hours later. I enjoy it, which is a great complaint to have. “I love being on the ground. I’m very hands on. I’m a people person, so being on the ground talking to my regulars, getting to know new people every night, that’s the most enjoyable aspect of it, definitely. People call them customers, but at this point now, I know them, I know their families, they’re more friends.” This is a mantra she hammers home to the staff at McGettigan's on a regular basis. She says: “I’ve a team here of 12/13 guys and from day one I’ve said to them that F&B is a challenging role, you have to really want to give a lot of time to it, but the rewards are unbelievable and they’ll carry you through an awful lot of situations for the rest of your life.” February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

B ack to Basics

While the world goes crazy for charcoal ice cream and plant-based “dairy”, FrieslandCampina Middle East is revolutionising a kitchen staple – cream. Stefan Hoonhoud, business development manager, Friesland Campina Middle East, speaks to Patrick Ryan about the regional launch of Debic and creating a fool-proof solution for chefs. Words by Melanie Mingas


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The Business


airy, in all its forms, features heavily in 2018’s major food trend predictions. From charcoal infusions to vegan turmeric ice cream and protein fortified desserts, the overriding theme is naughty and nice. However, while the world goes crazy for cream, one dairy manufacturer is going back to basics. In 2018, FrieslandCampina Middle East will bring three new dairy products to the regional foodservice market: Culinaire Original, Stand & Overrun and Whipped Cream with Sugar. Designed by chefs for chefs, the products reduce waste and free culinary teams to be creative in the most testing of environments. Whether for sweet, savoury, hot or cold, as a base ingredient or a garnish, each creams is designed to provide superior performance and taste. Stefan Hoonhoud, business development manager, FrieslandCampina Middle East, explains: “This market is dependent on an army of line chefs. If you can offer a product that is high quality and can be whipped or whisked into a sauce, without splitting when it meets acidity, the senior chefs are happy.” Despite the prominence and long history of fresh cream, innovation has not kept pace with chef creativity and each different use of cream comes with its own set of challenges. For example, there is not only the issue of availability of fresh cream in the UAE but skill requirements are also higher. Heat can very quickly ruin a dish by overboiling and curdling, while acidity and alcohol can split fresh cream. Alternative products, such as vegetable fat mixes or DCA cream, don’t offer the same taste profile as fresh or UHT cream and often lack flavour when used in sauces. With fresh whipping cream, spoilage and waste pose a risk as it is easy to overwhip. Further, fresh and UHT cream that has been whipped, can often be affected by the heat in the kitchen causing it to melt and collapse. Hoonhoud continues: “Dairy is a core kitchen staple for the majority of operators and chefs and there is complex range and choice within the category – fresh, February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

UHT, DCA, cooking cream, and so on. The category is highly price sensitive while at the same time quality of that supply is a concern for operators. “Working with chefs, we have created multi-purpose cooking creams that stay fresher for longer, with unique recipes that remove the risks of cooking and whipping to reduce spoilage and waste.”

From grass to plate

Friesland Campina will bring three products from the Debic range to the Middle East market in 2018. Debic Culinaire Original is a high quality cooking cream, regarded as one of the best on the market. With a rich and creamy taste, it contains 20% milk fat. Boasting unrivalled cooking functionalities, Culinaire Original does not curdle or separate, it thickens rapidly and is freeze-thaw resistant. It is suitable for warm and cold applications, in sauces, dressings and refinement of soups. Hoonhoud comments: “When you’re working in the kitchen and you add some cream to a dish, it shouldn’t coagulate or split… it should be fool-proof!” Debic Stand & Overrun, does exactly what it says on the bottle. A high quality cream specifically for baking and whipping, at 35% fat it blends high yields and excellent firmness, is freeze-thaw stable and offers an average overrun of 160%. Developed specifically for pastry applications and decoration, it is suitable for use in piping bags and whipping machines. Hoonhoud adds: “It’s all in the name – the perfect product with perfect structure.” The third product, Whipped Cream with Sugar, offers real cream in an easy to use can, designed for a high performance kitchen. All three products are created by chefs for chefs and are exclusively retailed for foodservice professionals. Hoonhoud explains: “At Debic we work closely with our member dairy farmers, development teams and culinary advisors to manage the whole process from grass to plate. Only by having full control of the supply chain do we have full control over what goes into our products and thus we can guarantee that they are of the highest quality.” 44

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The Business

The products Culinaire Original No curdling, no separation and fast thickening speed Contains 20% milk fat Suitable for warm and cold applications. Stand & Overrun 35% fat Long-lasting stand without risk of collapse or separation 160% average overrun Whipped Cream with Sugar High yields and excellent firmness Suitable for all cold and warm desserts, fruit salads, ice cream, coffee and hot chocolate Airtight can to guarantee high production quality every time

Full cream ahead

While current focus falls on penetrating the market and building critical mass, in future there is scope to bring FrieslandCampina’s range of desserts to the region, which includes crème brûlée and panna cotta. The range has enjoyed runaway success across Europe since its launch. Hoonhoud says: “Aside from the product innovations, we want to expand geographically. The UAE is a gateway to the Middle East and we consider it our home market in the region. We have our office here and we have been doing business with our other brands like Rainbow and Frico for a long time. Now, via our distributor MH Enterprise, we have started to sell our food service range directly to hotels, restaurants and catering companies. We are now in conversation with various other distributors in the region for foodservice and with good reach in the HORECA channel.” Debic is a market-leading brand in Europe, with its prominence in cooking schools helping its reputation among chefs. However, brand awareness in the expatriate cities of the Gulf provides its own set of challenges, as chefs rarely work in the same country as they were born and educated. In this region, the idea is to build “critical mass” with the new products to February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

allow for larger deliveries and, therefore, a more efficient import processes. The marketing plan includes working with new hotels and restaurants, as well as established properties. Hoonhoud elaborates: “We sell to 4-star and 5-star hotels and we aim for the upper segment of the market because they still see value in dairy products and don’t want alternatives.” He continues: “We have a high quality, premium product to offer but it also comes at a premium price and it can be a challenge to educate people on higher quality products, especially in the region at the moment – occupancy is slightly lower and procurement budgets are tighter. 46

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“At the same time, when you sell to the chef they can really appreciate the quality, whereas procurement managers look at the cost. You need to convince them.” As always, the launches are supported by a number of masterclasses, tastings and demonstrations – a crucial step in explaining the importance of quality over unit price. Hoonhoud comments: “Whenever people want to have a conversation about how they can use Debic, We have our own chefs and ambassadors who are ready to do that.” According to a study by IMARC, the global fresh cream market increased by a CAGR of 2.3% from 2009 to 2016, driven

by tandem growth in the food manufacturing sector. In the GCC, where cream features heavily in many recipes, Al Masah Capital calculates the foodservice sector is on track to witness values of $29.3 billion by 2020, driven in part, by the development of restaurants in new hotels and retail spaces. Under such conditions, the demand for quality, natural cream is likely to soar. Hoonhoud concludes: “The success of a professional product is underpinned by its ability to excel in a high pressure kitchen. This is driven by our core value of delivering better nutrition to the world and a good living for our farmers for now and generations to come.”


Talk i ng a b out the dis r u p t or s The Global Restaurant Investment Forum 2018 (GRIF), the annual meeting place for the international restaurant investment community organised by Bench Events and powered by Michelin, is set to discuss and dissect the modern-day disruptors impacting expansion and global growth for restaurant investors, operators and entrepreneurs.


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Focused Networking GRIF brings together key influencers in the restaurant market. • Speakers are carefully selected for their industry knowledge, experience and insight. • Attendees are senior figures and decision- makers; investors, hoteliers, owners, lenders, F&B brands, restaurant concepts, franchisors, franchisees, suppliers from all areas of the restaurant industry. • Sponsors are a combination of companies that interact and provide business solutions for the restaurant industry in matters of real estate, legal, design, technology and franchise, whilst also being a platform to showcase new restaurant concepts to potential investors. GRIF helps attendees to maximise the experience through its: • Online networking platform – initiate contact with attendees before the event • Networking round tables – Discuss the topical issues in an informal setting • Networking culinary receptions – the perfect opportunity to network and celebrate what is best about the industry • Sponsor exhibition – meet the key stakeholders in the market

Paul Hill, founder of Hill Capital Partners ver three days from 12-14 March 2018 at Palazzo Versace Dubai, GRIF will bring together more than 300 investors, owners, franchisors and senior hospitality professionals to facilitate investment decision-making within the international restaurant space. Jennifer Pettinger-Haines, managing director Middle East, Bench Events, said: “In collaboration with our GRIF Advisory Boards in London and Dubai, we’ve developed this year’s programme to tackle two critical challenges faced by the industry. Firstly, we are witnessing increasing levels of disruption, which we will see take

various forms at GRIF, from innovations in technology and big data to the transformation of the retail sector and growth of food delivery concepts. “Secondly, entrepreneurs and brands alike are having to find alternative ways to expand and internationalise, with landlords, rents and regulations posing stumbling blocks in markets across the globe – another major disruptor. Our expert speakers, who come from the world’s leading restaurant groups, will offer their insights on these topics and more at GRIF 2018.” The stellar line-up of speakers includes Nick McCabe, CEO, Hakkasan Group; Jon

Knight, managing director, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group; Robin Rowland, founder, YO! Sushi; Ken Kuguru, group CEO, Java House; and Didier Souillat, CEO, Time Out Market. Nick McCabe will join GRIF from Las Vegas for a one-on-one interview in which he will reveal how the Hakkasan Group is revolutionising the management model and expanding into international markets. “Establishing the core pillars of a brand is an essential process to go through before trying to expand any hospitality concept,” said McCabe. “That doesn’t mean that a concept has to February 2018 Catering NEWS ME



Ahmass L Fakahanny, CEO Atelier House

Jillian MacLean, founder and CEO, Drake Morgan be cookie cutter, but without a lens to look through in decision-making, those decisions become subjective and driven by luck rather than good judgement. When we took control of Hakkasan Group in 2013, the first action we took was to pause all expansion until the core tenets of the brand had been agreed upon and documented.” He added: “I think that our company is in a unique position at the intersection of dining and nightlife, and we’ve spent the last few years focusing on how to effectively marry those disciplines in a way that is accretive to both. Las Vegas may not be considered to be on the cutting edge of culinary development, however, it’s a market which has pioneered the blending of mul50

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Russell Danks, futurist with Future Factory London tiple hospitality sectors into one overall branded experience.” Also bringing experience from the US to GRIF, with a perspective on the New York F&B market, is Ahmass L. Fakahany, CEO and Owner, Atelier House Hospitality and Altamarea Group, who will reveal why he left his role as president of international investment bank Merill Lynch to build his own restaurant empire. On the subject of expansion, Fakahany said: “The most important factor, in my opinion, is for the brand to have a core that is transportable to different locations and cultures but also flexible to align with local palates and preferences.” Ashley Palmer-Watts, chef director, Din-

ner by Heston Blumenthal, will also be speaking on the topic of ‘turning a name into a global business’, offering a unique insight into the expansion of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, with two restaurants 10,000 miles apart. “When opening your restaurant in another location around the world, it is always important to protect the DNA of your concept but at the same time flexing it to take in the location, market and culture of the area into consideration to become one thing,” said Palmer-Watts. Well-known names driving the restaurant business in the Middle East will also take to the stage, including Walid Hajj, chief executive officer, Cravia; Naim Maadad, CEO,


Why GRIF? 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.

60 300 30 3 disruptive speakers

industry attendees from

Gates Hospitality; Ramzy Abdul-Majeed, founder & managing director, Whissle Hospitality Group; and Jimmy Lopez, executive assistant manager, Palazzo Versace Dubai. Another highlight will be the GRIF Finance Forum on March 14, which will feature The GRIF Deal Den, a showcase for new restaurant concepts seeking investment to internationalise, expand or launch their first venture. The GRIF Deal Den will enable entrepreneurs to pitch to a panel of investors including Paul Campbell, Founder at Hill Capital Partners LLP and an investor in renowned brands including Hawksmoor, Vinoteca and Gusto; Martin Sherwood, Partner, Enterprise Investment Partners and a serial investor with many years’ experience of small company fundraising, specialising in hospitality and leisure; and Sami Daud, managing director of the Oman-based Daud Group and the man behind Gourmet Gulf, which has franchise rights in a number of MENA markets for international brands including California Pizza Kitchen and Hummingbird Bakery.

Commenting on what the judges will seek in The Deal Den, Campbell said: “I love meeting supremely talented and ambitious people who are looking to bring a fresh and exciting twist to a traditional format.” He advised: “Be clear on what differentiates your brand and restaurant; provide real evidence of compelling trading performance or potential; set out your own track record, abilities and determination to succeed; provide clear financials and sensible valuations; and be concise”. GRIF will also feature workshops on Restaurant Marketing and Advanced Franchise Negotiation Skills and ‘how-to’ roundtables on the following topics: Raising Finance; Expansion; Talent Retention; Operational Costs; and Intellectual Property. The thought-provoking conference programme, designed to deliver inspiration, insight and opportunities to the global restaurant investment community, will culminate in a celebration of the Middle East’s leading F&B entrepreneurs and establishments at the 2018 Food and Travel Awards organised by Food and Travel Magazine.

countries in just

days unmatched networking "It was a "wow" experience! The conference provided a forum to bring some of the best operators, presenters, innovators and investors globally, to work together to grow the hospitality business and serve our consumers better. It is all about building connections, building relationships and building community." Ken Toong, Executive Director Auxiliary Enterprises, University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst

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Ses s ion s t o watch ou t fo r

GRIF features a multitude of top level speakers sharing their insight and knowledge of the industry and discussing the latest trends.

Here is our pick of just a few of the sessions to look out for each day during GRIF:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3


Advanced Franchise Negotiation Skills A special workshop hosted by Babette Marzheuser-Wood, a Partner at Dentons, and - profile-605-popup Mario C. Bauer, Entrepreneur and Advisor to Vapiano will, focusing on key negotiation points for a franchise agreement such as terms, termination, development schedule, fee structures, targets, Renewal rights, territory options and much more.

Overcoming Growing Pains

Culinary Tour Forging partnerships is the essence of GRIF. The first part of the GRIF agenda is the culinary tour, allowing attendees to experience 4-5 of the latest concepts in the region, providing exclusive insight to the journey of each concept and tasting the gastronomic offering to the industry. This half day tour allows for over 5 hours of dedicated networking with industry colleagues, the tour culminates with the opening networking reception.

President of Merrill Lynch, Ahmass

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Join Paul Campbell, founder, Hill

Capital Partners; Jillian MacLean, founder & CEO, Drake & Morgan;

Richard Morris, CEO, Tortilla; and

Simon Potts, MD, The Alchemist Bars and Restaurants as they talk about overcoming making the shift from small business to corporation. From Finance to Food

A one on one conversation with exFakahany now CEO and owner, Atelier House Hospitality and Altamarea

Group, on what motivated him to turn his business acumen to building a restaurant empire.

Outlook on the Future Russell Danks, futurist with Future Factory London, discusses adapting your business model to the future trends coming your way. How to identify future consumer changes and incorporate these into your long-term strategy; how can you diversify your income stream and innovate quickly enough to keep up with the trends. Doing the Deal In conversation with Kieran Mallon, general manager – F&B at Al Futtaim Retail, and David Singleton, vice president – Hospitality at Al Tayer Group, looking into what are investors looking for conceptually and returnswise from an investment or franchise, how would they go about negotiating a sale and, once the deal is done, how they add value to the investment.

View the complete programme at


Your gu i d e t o Gulfo o d 2 0 1 8

The 2018 edition of Gulfood is almost upon us and Catering News Middle East is on hand to provide the only guide you’ll need to the first global majorindustry event of the year which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from February 18-22‌ 54

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T h e best of the be st

The Gulfood Innovation Awards, which takes place during Gulfood 2018, celebrate and reward excellence across brands and products, with an industry-wide campaign

encouraging over 300 entries, a judging panel of prestigious industry leaders, and culminating at the glamorous awards gala dinner, held during the show. With intense

interest from the media and visitors alike, the event offers unprecedented opportunities for industry networking and brand profile-raising through PR and sponsorship.

2018 award Categories BEST SOFT BEVERAGE














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About the Judges Nikola Kosutic Head of research, Middle East, Euromonitor International Nikola Kosutic is a head of research for the Middle East with Euromonitor International, Dubai office. In his role, Nikola leads a team of senior analysts responsible for producing strategic research, creating datasets and authoring annual reports for Middle Eastern markets. Foods is the largest industry covered by Euromonitor International in the Middle East and, through strategic partnerships with key industry players, Nikola and his team supply global and regional Foods companies with strategic insights necessary to be successful in the region. He is a regular contributor to regional and global press on the F&B industry, health and wellness, ethical labels, nutrition, packaging as well as new product developments. Uwe Micheel President (ECG), and director of kitchens, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek President The Emirates Culinary Guild Chef Uwe's career was set when he was 12-years-old, he was always helping his mother in the kitchen and attending cooking classes. Micheel was born in Germany, where he spent most of his childhood and did his two and a half years’ apprenticeship as restaurant chef in Celler Hof boutique hotel in Celle city, near Hanover. After one year of working at the Hotel Schwarzer Bock in 1978 (founded in 1486), which is now managed by Radisson Blu, Micheel


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served two years in the army service as a chef in the officer restaurant. He joined the InterContinental Hotels Group in 1981 in Berlin, Germany, a year later he moved to the UK as the Chef de Partie Saucier in Hyde Park London, Michellin Star Restaurant Le Souffle and afterwards shifted to Bahrain for three years. He relocated to Korea as member of the opening team for the InterContinental Seoul, three years later he was appointed as executive sous chef for the opening of Yokohama Grand InterContinental. Since 1993, he has been working in Dubai, holding a post of director of kitchens at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek. Joining Emirates Culinary Guild in 1993, Chef Uwe soon became general secretary in 1994, ECG Chairman in 1996, before assuming presidency from 1999 – a position he retains. Ariana Bundy TV presenter and author Ariana Bundy is the ‘Nigella’ of Persian cuisine, and she's on a mission to demystify the sumptuous food of Iran, one of the hottest food trends of 2018. Best known for her popular and award-winning TV series Ariana's Persian Kitchen (NatGeo People), Ariana specialises in colourful, delicious and sophisticated food. Combining traditional and modern techniques, she creates beautiful recipes that are mouthwatering, nourishing, balanced and easy to follow. Ariana comes from a strong food lineage of farm-to-table. Her grandparents were merchants and landowners who grew prized grapes

and other produce on their land. And her restauranteur father owned the first fine dining French restaurant in Iran and later in Beverly Hills. Her work has featured in magazines such as BBC Good Food, Food & Travel UK, Conde Nast's House & Garden, Harper's Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, Food & Wine Magazine, House & Home UK, Financial Times and the Sunday Telegraph. Ariana has appeared on TV shows such as the BBC's Good Food Live, Sky's Taste, Euronews, FOX and Channel 4's Sunday Brunch. Sunjeh Raja ICCA, director & CEO Sunjeh Raja is the founder, Director & CEO of the ICCA Dubai. Since then he has been spearheading the rapid market penetration and engagement of the company’s Vocational Education Training programmes in the international arena. In this role, he takes a holistic approach to manage the centre with a clear and welldefined objective to establish ICCA Dubai as a centre of excellence, offering worldclass culinary education. He adopts a very rigorous yet practical and innovative approach with an eye for detail, for further developing this unique concept of industry focused training. Raja specialises in concept, product and business development with a strong foundation in the corporate and finance sectors, showing a flair for entrepreneurship since his early foray into the business world and has worked in a number of directorial positions across a range of sectors.


L o oking ahe ad to S a l on Cul inaire

The Emirates Culinary Guild International Salon Culinaire is the largest single-entry chefs’ competition in the world. Structured as a series of practical and display-based culinary challenges or classes, this globally renowned annual contest gauges the diversity of entrants cooking skills and pushes the boundaries of modern day food preparation and presentation. Evaluated by a panel of 30 international experts and mandated by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), the Salon Culinaire provides credible industry recognition to more than 1,000 master chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and

Chef Uwe Micheel

bakers. The salon serves to inspire and encourage young chefs to continue striving for ever upward improvement in their daily work practice. Gold, silver and bronze medals and certificates are awarded to those competitors whose exhibits, in the opinion of the judges, have reached the commensurate international standard. In addition to the medal awards, there are special trophies awarded to individuals who have attained excellence at the competition in their particular field: gastronomy; bakery/pastry; artistic - and a new award designed to encourage the development of Arabic cuisine.

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O p po rtunity knocks f or Sa udi m arket Gulfood exhibitors eye Saudi preferences for sector-specific global brands as Kingdom’s food retail demand mounts A major shift in the food buying preferences of Saudi consumers is unlocking huge twoway trade opportunities in the Kingdom, according to a recent survey by leading research provider, Nielsen. With Saudi’s domestic food producers receiving a confidence boost for their dairy, snacks, ice-cream, mineral water, tea and coffee production, a host of international suppliers are also reaping rewards from increasing demand for globally-branded baby food, energy drinks and canned foods in the Gulf’s largest market. As global brands maintain their traditional dominance in the preserved food categories, the survey highlights how Saudi consumers increasingly prefer locally produced dairy and fresh food products. The survey comes as Saudi and international food producers prepare for a major two--pronged trade push at Gulfood 2018, the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade event and the year’s first major international food industry trade show, which runs at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 18-22 February. Saudi Arabian producers, buoyed by proven success as the Kingdom’s favourite dairy and fresh food choices, are readying for a major export push at the show, while sector-specific international brands are looking to cement their segmented leadership among Saudi consumers. “Though Saudi producers have made considerable inroads locally and regionally - where they’ve invested in diversified products, quality and brand equity - the Kingdom remains the land of opportunity for suppliers across the entire food production eco-system,” said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice 58

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president, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC, which organises the mega show. “Local production is already on the rise and there’s been a significant uptick in demand for raw ingredients; the direction outlined in the National Transformation Programme 2020 will create expansion and partnership opportunities for overseas suppliers to further consolidate their positions in the most populous country in the region.” With Saudi’s population forecast to rise almost 2% to just under 35 million by 2020, according to the United Nations, the renewed focus on domestic production is designed to start off-setting the fact the Kingdom remains the GCC’s largest importer of food. Further demand is expected to emanate from the planned NEOM mega city, which has food as a key focus. The first phase of the project is due to be delivered in just seven years’ time. And yet, with the total number of food retail outlets in the country projected by Dublin’s Research and Markets to grow by 4.9% annually by the end of the decade, some 87 Saudi Arabian food producers representing diverse sectors, including Arrow Juice, Siafa Dates, Americana, Al Seedawi and Mahmood Saeed Beverage,will push their quality and competitiveness at Gulfood 2018 – a figure LohMirmand believes will continue to rise. “This year’s Saudi participation includes some of the biggest names in the Kingdom and the region including AlMarai, Al Rabie, Al-Watania and SunBulah, as well as many innovative new market entries. The evolving nature of the country’s food sector suggests this level of representation will continue to grow. Most of these brands are already familiar names on supermarket shelves through-

out the GCC and certain parts of the Middle East, through Gulfood, however, their geographic reach could expand much further.” Saudi producers are among more than 5,000 exhibitors from 97 countries signed up for Gulfood 2018, which will feature eight tailored product segments to aid accessibility and give buyers more time to transact business. The segments include Beverages; Dairy; Fats & Oils; Health, Wellness & Free-From; Pulses, Grains & Cereals; Meat & Poultry; Power Brands and World Food. The all-new Gulfood Discover Zone, where new-to-market products will be showcased in an exclusive and interactive lounge, also joins the 2018 fray. The Zone is aimed at companies making their MENA region debuts by leveraging Gulfood to deliver market-entry opportunities. Finalists for the annual Gulfood Innovation Awards will also be featured in the Zone. Gulfood 2018 will feature 120 national pavilions including new entrants Estonia, Nigeria, ProColumbia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Tajikistan. The show will also receive a host of powerful national delegations including heads of state, ministers, government officials and trade associations eager to ink lucrative bi-lateral trade agreements. Gulfood 2018 will also co-host Halal World Food, the world’s largest annual Halal food sourcing trade show; the annual Emirates Culinary Guild International Salon Culinaire; the world’s largest single-entry chef competition; the Speciality Coffee Association endorsed World Cevze/Ibrik Championships and the Gulfood Innovation Awards, which recognise best-in-class excellence and innovation across the region’s F&B industry.


R u nning the show

Mark Napier, Show Director, Gulfood talks to Catering News Middle East about what to expect from this year’s show… What are your expectations for this edition of Gulfood?

As the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade event and the first major international food industry trade show of the year, Gulfood 2018 will further strengthen the UAE’s lead role in setting the global food agenda. In attracting the Middle East’s largest trade industry audience, generating huge transactional volumes every year on the show floor, and setting global foodstuff commodity prices, Gulfood is the region’s premier food and beverage industry platform – it underlines Dubai’s leading role in the global food sector. For over three-and-a-half decades, Gulfood has been a key driver in fostering innovation across the local, regional and global food and beverage supply chain, and we expect the on-site sales generated by 95,000-plus buyers and visitors at Gulfood 2018 to contribute to the UAE food and beverage market reaching a valuation of AED82 Billion by 2020 (source: Euromonitor International). With regional investment in food production on the rise, international manufacturers see the Middle East as a lucrative market for their products. In this dynamic climate, Gulfood continues to empower the global food and beverage community as an unmatched trading and knowledge platform that offers unrivalled market overviews and insights to industry professionals.

What should manufacturers do to be successful in the current economic climate?

In a word, innovate. The global food and beverage industry is one of the most competitive sectors in the global economy, so staying still is the equivalent of going backwards. Whether you are a fledgling start-up in the Middle East, or a major international manufacturer in Europe or the

USA, companies looking to stay successful and ensure prolonged growth need to stay ahead of the curve by investing in automation, new channels to market, increasingly sophisticated ingredients and packaging solutions. The ultimate proof is in the eating or drinking, so end products must be attractive to consumers in everything from price and packaging, to taste and provenance.

What key trends do you expect to shape food & drinks innovation in 2018?

I’ve touched on a few above - taste, packaging, provenance. Today’s customers want to know where their products are made,

what ingredients have been used in the manufacturing process, and, vitally, are the ingredients used healthy and do they originate from sustainable sources. When the end customer has finished consuming the product, they want to know their environment impact is as low as possible - meaning sustainable, environmentally-friendly and biodegradable packaging will continue to be in vogue. The modern consumer is spoilt for choice, so only products that tick a diverse spread of demographic demand boxes in geographies where consumer preferences often vary from market to market will be able to compete in the increasingly competitive global food sector. February 2018 Catering NEWS ME



Sta nds to watch out fo r at gulfood 2018

Your A-Z guide of who to watch out for at this year's event

ANCHOR FOOD PROFESSIONALS Hall 1 (Dairy), Stand D1-2 Telephone: 056 9931625 Email: Website:

BOECKER Telephone: 04 44 97 730 Email: uae@boecker.som Website:

Spokesperson: Alastair Bruce, general manager Foodservice (GCC), Fonterra Brands (Middle East) Limited What is unique about your company and the products you provide? As part of the New Zealand based Fonterra Co-operative, Anchor Food Professionals is one of the world’s leading dairy foodservice brands. We drive performance and solve problems with dairy solutions for chefs and bakers from food and beverage establishments across the Middle East. We offer a wide range of fit-for-purpose products designed to meet our customers’ needs and add value to their business. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? • Soft Style Cream Cheese – soft, smooth, rich and creamy, blends beautifully with sweet or savoury flavours, performs in hot or cold bakery applications • Extra Stretch Mozzarella Cheese – 100% mozzarella, gives outstanding stretch, conveniently pre-grated to save valuable time and reduce wastage. Individually Quick Frozen to capture the fresh quality and authentic taste. • Culinary cream – comes already partially reduced to reduce cooking time, food cost and wastage, specially formulated to hold high temperatures. • Whipping cream – high-performing whipping cream for patisserie, dessert and beverage needs, won’t lose volume or split when whipped and products keep their shape. • Butter – made from New Zealand pasteurised cream, these butter sheets allow for easy rolling, fast tempering and excellent workability to deliver a crisp and flaky croissant every time.


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Spokesperson: Abdulhadi Chalak – country manager Boecker UAE What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Boecker has been serving the hospitality and F&B industries for over two decades, with support in pest management, food safety consultancy and trainings while maintaining public health standards of over 500 hotels and F&B establishments in the Middle East and GCC. The company provides Integrated Pest Management services that are all assured by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) – UK. The PestWest machines, for which we are the sole distributor in the Middle East and GCC region, are among the most advanced, innovative and reliable technology-driven fly killing machines in the market. Can you talk about what new products or services that Boecker has lined up for 2018? The company is set to introduce its newly designed certification programme named Occupational Health and Safety Lite (OHS Lite). The programme was tailor-made to service the F&B industry and address occupational health and safety concerns in the workplace. The Certification is assured by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) in the UK and approved by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Moreover, we are excited to introduce our own proprietary disinfectant: Microbecs that is a professional disinfectant with a new patented technology that works against all types of microorganisms including gram positive and gram negative bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. Several formulations will be available ranging from ready to use, all purpose and food grade to specialised industrial ranges.


Bord Bia


S2 – 43 Sheikh Saeed Hall & F1 – 34 In Hall 1 (Dairy)

Gulfood Stand: 651, Hall 6

Telephone: +971 4 376 0411 Email: or Website:

Spokesperson: Michael Hussey, regional director Middle East at Bord Bia What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Ireland is a clean, green, high quality and innovative producer of excellent food and drink products, a reputation which has been earned from many years of supplying international markets. The hugely valuable natural resources of Ireland have been harnessed to develop a world class agricultural industry. Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board) is unique in the extensive work that it carries out to make and maintain our world class food production standards through initiatives such as Origin Green, our sustainability initiative under which farmers and manufacturers commit to continually improving their production to deliver on sustainable targets. The Quality Assurance Scheme ensures that all steps in the food chain from production to the final packaging for sale to the end user are 100% Quality Assured and the food products are produced, in their entirety, in Ireland.

Telephone: +971 4 815 9888 Email: Website: Spokesperson: Steve Pyle, CEO at Chef Middle East What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Since 1995, Chef Middle East is a leading importer and distributor of the finest quality foods and beverages to the hotel, dining and catering industries in the Middle East. As a leading speciality broadliner, Chef Middle East offers its discerning clients an exceptional blend of premium quality and value ingredients through its state-of-the art logistics network making it the one-stop solution for all food and beverage requirements in the GCC region. Chef Middle East lists over 4,000 of the world’s leading food products from many European and Asian countries. Its 300-strong dedicated employees work closely with vendors, partners and customers to provide best-in-class import, warehousing and distribution solutions across the eight product categories. The company services more than 1,000 customers from its headquarters in the UAE and also provides the same exceptional quality of service and products to customers in locations such as the Indian Ocean, Africa, CIS Countries and the Sub Continent. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? On our stand this year, we will be showcasing some of our iconic and exclusive Pastry Brands, Valrhona, Valrhona Signature and Sosa. Valrhona will be presenting their latest Inspiration range, a new take on chocolate and fruit flavor combination, with innovative recipes including strawberry, almond and passion fruit. Valrhona Signature and Sosa will also be showcasing their latest creations.

Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? Bord Bia will be showcasing a wide range of products ranging from diary, Irish meats and confectionary. Please see a selection of these companies below. • Ashbourne Meats • Blenders • Butlers Chocolates • Dawn Farm Foods • Jelly Bean Factory • Glanbia • Green Isle Foods • Dairygold

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Gulfood stand: Z6 – C21

Gulfood Stand: Invest Northern Ireland, SAEED HALL S-L40

Telephone: +33 (0)4 74 93 38 10 Email: Website:

Telephone: +44 28 9039 4192 Email: Website: Spokesperson: Ronnie Hill, director

Spokesperson: Cyrille Guegaden, export manager What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Since 1705, the artisan beverage maker Cherry Rocher has dedicated itself to its passion for fruits and plants in the north of the Rhône valley, close to the French Alps.With a new range of high end syrups, the French artisan maker comes with a very attractive offer: elegant bottle shape and appealing label designs, high fruit juice concentrate contents (up to 35%) for a genuine and natural taste. Last but not least: The whole range is HALAL certified and guaranteed with no preservatives. Doubtlessly a real alternative for the most demanding professionals of the HORECA sector, 1705 Cherry Rocher syrups will also bring a point of differentiation with the key players on the market. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? We will display our different syrups ranges: • Coffee shop: Chocolate, Tiramisu, Caramel, Vanilla, Almond and Hazelnut. • Red fruits: Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Cherry, Grenadine, Strawberry, Cranberry, Raspberry. • Cocktails: Mojito flavor, Planteur flavor, Margarita flavor and Cane sugar. • Exotic fruits: Mango, Pineapple & lime and Kiwi. • Other flavors: Peach, Apple & caramel, Grapefruit & blood orange, Cactus lemon flavor, Lemon, Mint and Rose.


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What is unique about your company and the products you provide? CocoMojo creates a “better for you” range of coconut based food and drinks offering improved health and wellbeing. CocoMojo has also created a natural tasting blend of coconut water, coconut milk with protein and juice drinks using the most desirable flavours. Our range of coconut milk drinks offer plant based protein which means we are able to maintain a gluten and dairy free offering to our customers. These drinks are naturally sweet with coconut water and milk with only a touch of stevia to produce the perfect blend. Our focus is always on quality and taste, ensuring we maintain the highest standards of formulation at all times including Halal certification. All you have to do is choose your favourite and you can enjoy great taste and nutrition in a single serving. CocoMojo has won a series of awards over the past years in recognition for its innovation, quality and taste far in excess of any other coconut category product in the market including Best Beverage at the Gulfood Awards in 2017. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? We will be showcasing our latest range of gluten and dairy free coconut milk drinks with protein.


Coffee planet


Gulfood stand: Z6 G30

Gulfood stand: B2-33

Telephone: +971 4 312 8444 Email: Website:

Telephone: +971 4551800 Email: Website:

Spokesperson: Robert Jones, managing director What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Coffee Planet originated in Dubai and our goal is to help more people experience the finest specialty, global Arabica coffee. We have been supplying customers in foodservice, retail and business across the Middle East and beyond since 2005 and are now one of the largest specialty coffee vendors in the region. In line with our 360-degree approach to coffee solutions for the foodservice industry, Coffee Planet provides everything to create great coffee including market-leading coffee machines and equipment, all coffee-related consumables, training for staff plus machine maintenance. We look to provide innovative coffee solutions based on the appetite of the local market which means that we are constantly adapting based on requirements. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? We will be showcasing our entire array of coffee solutions at Gulfood 2018. The Coffee Planet Professional Series was developed specifically with foodservice clients in mind. This range features 100% speciality Arabica whole bean and ground coffee, available in a variety of different taste profiles. Coffee Planet’s foodservice portfolio also includes a line of Nespresso-compatible capsules and our relaunched Origin range. We will be launching our new cold brew and nitro coffees, made from a blend of our finest single origin beans, for foodservice clients later this year. These will be on display at our Gulfood stand for sampling and demonstration.

Spokesperson: Adil Ehsan, marketing manager What is unique about your company and the products you provide? We at FrieslandCampina Middle East are a company of Farmers as part of Europe’s largest Dairy cooperative. This enables us to create high quality dairy products as we work closely with our member dairy farmers, development teams and culinary advisors to manage the whole process of creating dairy products from the grass fed to the cows all the way to the cream in your plate. Only by having full control of the supply chain do we have full control over what goes into our products – and thus we can guarantee that they are of the highest quality. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? The Debic range has been developed for chefs, by chefs. Our products reduce waste and remove steps, freeing chefs to be creative in even the most testing of environments. At Gulf Food we will be showcasing our Cooking Creams – Culinaire Original for cooking and Stand & Overrun for baking and pastries.

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EXPO AID Gulfood Stand: C39, Hall Z3 Telephone: +30 210 6250365 / +30 210 6209906 Email: Website: Spokesperson: Dimitris Dousmanis, export director What is unique about your company and the products you provide? We are a dynamic company with 25 years’ experience in exports and international trade of food products to major international supermarket chains and carefully selected importers in 46 countries. We operate as the exclusive export department of factories. We take off the sales and profitability of our partners knowing how to introduce their products in new international markets as well as undertaking all the necessary stages from finding a new client until the delivery of the products to his warehouse


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We provide synergy in terms of sales, exposure, promotion and sourcing as well as unique product solutions under one roof. There are multiple benefits for our partners, producers, importers or retailers. We also have a global network of more than 12,000 major retailers and importers with continuous participation in major international exhibitions. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? • The Fos product family (available in retail and food service packages), which includes: • All varieties of Greek olives (organic and conventional)

• 100% Greek extra virgin olive oil (organic and conventional, PDO, infused) • A selection of Mediterranean Antipasti • Sea salt flakes and natural herbs The kalamata papadimitriou product family which includes: • An elaborate range of Balsamic dressings with 10 different flavours. • Mediterranean mustards • The Yes Garlic product family which includes: • Fresh garlic products (chopped & paste) • Black garlic


FARM FOOD FOR FOOD INDUSTRIES Gulfood stand: Maktoum Hall, Egyptian Pavilion, M-D14 Telephone: +202 33444478 Email: Website: Spokesperson: Sami Alshorafa, vice chairman What is unique about your company and the products you provide? We’re a private, medium-sized, family-owned business that places its customers’ satisfaction at the top of its priorities. While we do look for reasonable margins, we do not jeopardise our relationships with suppliers or customers around monetary figures. We value our dealings with all our stakeholders and always look for long-term relationships that ensure mutual benefits for all parties involved. We deal with qualified suppliers who provide us with fresh, pesticide-free harvest of Egypt’s signature fresh products. We carefully select our fruits and vegetables suppliers, which gives us the upper hand when it comes to quality and freshness. We have a state-of-the-art facility featuring a fully-fledged production line that includes washers, blanchers, blast freezing tunnels, belt conveyors, conveyors, and an IQF line. Our leadership is a family tree. Our founder envisioned a company that values kinship more than corporate moguls; a company that looks for passion as well as experience in its team. Our management brings a wealth of experience from both private and public sectors, as well as a friendly entrepreneurship spirit that is felt across all our transactions.

HORECA TRADE Gulfood Stand: S2-H3 Telephone: +971 56 412 7406 Email: Website: Spokesperson: Jad Asaad, marketing manager What is unique about your company and the products you provide? A company of Bidfood Group, HORECA Trade is a dedicated distribution company to the foodservice channel in the UAE. HORECA offers an extensive food and beverage portfolio across the main categories in the food service channel, boasting 22 plus iconic and internationally recognised brands. Chefmate is HORECA’S own private brand producing quality frying oil, mayonnaise, tomato paste and much more. Discover the wide variety of products from Chefmate and feel the taste of quality every time. The successful Chefmate food products won the prestigious MRM award. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? Vito, made in Germany, is the leader in oil filtration systems globally. It will save you up to 50% of your frying oil costs; reducing oil consumption and oil changing dramatically, it will allow you to serve optimal fried products with a better taste and allow you lower storage costs and cleaning efforts. With three different filter sizes, Vito has the perfect fit for you, visit our stand at Gulfood for a full demonstration. Alongside VITO, five other major partners of HORECA are exhibiting at Gulfood, namely, Bridor, Lamb Weston, CSM, Rosedale and Nestlé Waters.

Which products will you be showcasing at Gulf Food 2018? We’ll be showcasing our full range of products, including: • Strawberries • Pomegranate • Mixed vegetables • Cut green beans • Molokhia • Spinach • Okra

• Broad beans • Artichoke • Broccoli

• Cauliflower

• Green peas

• Peas and carrots

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Gulfood stand: R-N54

Gulfood Stand: 2019

Telephone: +662-319-3455 ext. 711 and +6686-964-6146 Email: Website:

Telephone: +971 50 444 4450 Email: Website: Spokesperson: Jason Moore, president What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Our restaurant and catering clients enjoy a special relationship with us because we stand strongly by our company values of honesty, positive attitude; respect for customers, colleagues and the environment as well as strong two-way communication, teamwork, patience, generosity and smiling. We place great importance on under-promising and over-delivering. From a product standpoint, we are unique because we hold an untouched natural mineral water, bottled in the highest mountains of mainland Spain. The town of Lanjarón boasts the longest life expectancy in Spain according to the World Health Association. And we guarantee shipping and storage in the perfect conditions, around 19 Celsius, so the customer can be assured the plastic bottles are never in the heat.

Spokesperson: Marjory Duke, export manager What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Korn Thai Co., Ltd was established in 1982 and presently one of the top three leading companies in manufacture food & beverage powder in Thailand. We specialiSe in producing Organic coconut cream powder, coffee creamer, nondairy creamer, milk replacer, foaming non-dairy creamer, ginger extract, honey powder, Chinese soy sauce powder, seasoning soy sauce powder, beverage mix such as coffee, cocoa, chocolate malt, ice tea and ginger. In 2017, our product; non-dairy creamer won the Prime minister’s export award for Best Halal product of Thailand. Our customers can be assured that all of our products are safe and hygienic, guaranteed by GMP, HACCP, FSSC 22000, ISO 22000, KOSHER and HALAL certifications. We have our own R&D team therefore we can develop the products that unique and suite customers’ need. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? • Organic coconut cream powder • Coconut water powder • Foaming non-dairy creamer • Non-dairy creamer • Matcha green tea latte powder • Thai Ice tea • Ginger beverage • Coffee 3 in 1 • Chocolate Malt beverage 3 in 1 • Cocoa beverage 3 in 1


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Which products will you be showcasing in 2018? 2018 will be a big year for Lanjarón Natural Mineral Water because not only will we be showing off our new labels, but we will introduce the new 20% plant based 6.25L Natural Mineral Water recyclable bottle adapted for the home/office water cooler. This is new, so 2018 will be a year for testing the market. We will also launch a very cool animal “Zoo” bottle to push young children to drink more natural mineral water instead of unhealthy alternatives.




Gulfood stand: S-E42

Gulfood Stand: S-J15, Trade Centre Arena, World Food

Telephone: +61 423 815 555 Email: Website:

Telephone: +971 4 321 0700 Email: Website: Spokesperson: Patricia Fuentes, deputy trade commissioner

Spokesperson: Cheryl Stewart, export manager What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Morlife is an Australian family owned multi award winning manufacturing company that commenced in 2002. We manufacture a wide range of functional foods that are formulated by our research team of 8 who are either Naturopaths, chemists and/or food nutritionists. They determine what nutrients are needed to improve our health and wellbeing in a significant way. We then combine these key ingredients to make an overall tasty superfood that is vastly different from everyday common foods that often lack the key nutrients that our bodies deserve and require. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? Our range includes Dark Chocolate coated super berries, fortified herbal teas, superfood powder blends, functional food bars and chia puddings and more. 300 + lines. All healthy superfood snack type lines that are sold in health food stores, selected pharmacies and IGA’s, Coles, Woolworths and Costsco as well as online. We have been affiliated with Anthony Robbins for the past five years promoting our Alkalising Greens nationally in Australia and the UK with him which is also our hero product and has won the Australian Business award two years in a row. Our company is currently exporting to Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong and Kong, New Zealand, China, Indonesia and USA.

What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Chile has unique geographical, climatic and human characteristics that create unrivalled conditions for producing quality food that is appreciated around the world. Chile’s food products come from a fertile and generous land and are unique because they are produced using timehonoured wisdom combined with the right processes and technology to preserve and enhance their purity, freshness, and healthiness. A long, thin strip of land in southwest South America, Chile is a country that attracts attention and its diverse geography never fails to delight. Chile has the most transparent skies and the most significant freshwater reserves in the world. It also has unique geographical and climatic conditions, together with strict standards, which transform it into a phytosanitary island. The Atacama Desert, the Andes mountain chain, the Pacific Ocean and the southern ice sheets are natural barriers that isolate Chile's food production from sanitary risks. The climatic conditions are also exceptional: from north to south, Chile has a wide range of climate, which has enabled Chile to become a major global food producer. Chile's food products play a leading role in international markets. Today we are the world’s biggest exporter of fresh grapes, blueberries, cherries, plums, dehydrated apples, mussels and frozen and fresh salmon fillets. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? This year Chile arrives at Gulfood 2018 with 20 exporting companies of nuts, dehydrated fruits, processed foods and oatmeal, belonging to the Chilean Agroindustry sector. These products are characterised by their high quality and their contribution to people’s health, since they have high levels of antioxidants, fibers and nutrients preferred by the most demanding consumers. The products are: nuts, prunes, raisins, almonds, juices, oats and tomato paste.

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Gulfood stand: Sheikh Saeed Hall S2-B28

Gulfood Stand: HALL 6, STAND 651

Telephone: +32 – Email: Website:

Telephone: +33 (0)4 75 07 90 90 Email: Website: Spokesperson: Zeyneb Larabi, business unit manager What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Valrhona supports the rigorous selection and the sustainable farming of rare types of cocoa while mastering the expertise in chocolate-making and passing it on to others. Through the Live Long programme, Valrhona asserts its drive to respect the environment, the human beings and the local terroirs. The company supports all those involved in Valrhona adventure thanks to a solid, responsible and transparent commitment. We strongly believe that only happy and responsible people can make excellent products.

Spokesperson: Peter Traas, export manager What is unique about your company and the products you provide? Our family business produces and distributes crisps to over 65 countries since 1999. We work with 250 enthusiastic, flexible and ambitious employees. We manage the entire production of our broad range, from harvesting raw materials to packaging and distribution. We work with various shapes of potato and tortilla chips. Our products are available under private label or one of our own brands. Western Europe is our home market; the number of exportmarkets is growing fast. We are looking for distributors for our Croky brand for various Middle Eastern and African countries. We are also looking for foodservice distributors who can work with our high quality fresh cooked corn tortilla chips. Unique about our company is the dedicated approach to build up our marketposition and off course our standard high product quality. We are attending Gulfood again to receive our partners and to look for new opportunities in foreign markets. Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? We will showcase our potato crisps, potato sticks and Fresh cooked corn Tortilla chips at Gulfood. In 2018 we want to continue to grow our customer base and the number of export countries that we serve. We are looking for new distributors for our Croky and Roger’s range.


Catering NEWS ME February 2018

Which products will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2018? During Gulfood 2018, Valrhona will showcase a revolutionary product which expertly blends cocoa butter, sugar and fruits. The recipe of these two new fruit couvertures – Strawberry and Passionfruit – is made up of processed top-quality fresh fruits; no coloring, artificial flavors or preservatives that may spoil the color or the natural taste of the fruit are added. A single bite of an Inspiration bean is all you need to experience a genuine sensory thrill. The fruit literally explodes on the palate, with a freshness, purity and intensity that reveals the product’s full gourmet splendour.


A taste of France

Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, will be running four French pavilions at Gulfood this year. This trade show devoted to new F&B products will feature around 70 French companies, all eager to present their latest offerings and know-how. France renews a strong participation at Gulfood this year, highlighting the latest French products on a surface area of 800 sq m across four halls: fine food in the world food section in Sheikh Saeed Hall ; dairy products in Hall 1; meat and poultry in Hall 3; drinks in Za’Abeel Hall. For the first time at Gulfood, visitors will be able to discover a live cooking show provided by Cordon Bleu, the world renowned French Culinary Arts and Hotel Management institute, it will be held the whole week in Sheikh Saeed Hall and undertaken by the select Chefs Nicolas Houchet and Emil Minev. The role of Le Cordon Bleu is to teach a whole range of technical and University training programmes for working in the restaurant, hotel and tourism industry since 1895. Le Cordon Bleu’s teaching method is based on practical learning with demonstrations and practical classes. The institute is developing its network year after year attracting 100 nationalities across the campuses. Le Cordon Bleu has a presence in the Middle East, with two institutes in Lebanon, awaiting other expansions in the region. France is a major player in numerous segments, including dairies, fruits, vegetables, meat, and products for bakery to name just a few, agri-food products combine quality and excellence to cater closely to the requirements of consumers in the region. Marc Cagnard, Business France director in the Middle East stated: “Agri-food is France’s largest industry sector in terms of both revenue and jobs. By 2040, the global population is likely to be approaching 9 billion and the French agri-food market is estimated to be growing by an average of 4% a year, with health food alone set to grow 2.5% a year over the next three years”. France is the sixth largest exporter

worldwide with $65 billion. The Middle East region boasts a market share of more than 3.4% for French food exports which represents a value of $2.2 billion. The two first partners in the area are Saudi Arabia and UAE. They are followed by Egypt and Lebanon. In 2016, the UAE imported $400 of food and beverage products from France, making the Emirates the 24th biggest export market for the French industry. French exports of F&B products to UAE have doubled since 2010. Saudi Arabia is the 20th biggest export market for France.

France is the 11th largest supplier to the UAE and the second from Europe. This year, the regional partner agencies DEV’UP Centre Val de Loire and Bretagne Commerce International will also be in attendance to support companies from their region during Gulfood. Other partners that will contribute to the show’s success include Evian, the number one mineral water in the world and in the Middle East, Badoit, sparkling mineral water talented for fine dining and endorsed by top Chefs worldwide, and Cafes Richard, a traditional “French-style” coffee roaster linked to the French gastronomy, Art de Vivre. February 2018 Catering NEWS ME



1 0 t h i n g s n ot t o mis s at G u l f o o d 2 0 1 8

Here’s 10 things to watch out for at this year’s event

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It’s all about discovery

The major highlight of this year’s show is the launch of the Gulfood Discover Zone – a dedicated area designed to optimize visitor experience and amplify business opportunities. Within the Discover Zone, exhibitors from six of the show’s sectors, plus confectionary and snacks, will be able to apply for recently-launched products to be showcased in an exclusive and interactive lounge to demonstrate their offerings. The lounge will have a blend of physical products and virtual displays and QR code scanning for products. Finalists as well as shortlisted products for the Gulfood Innovation Awards will also be showcased in the Gulfood Discover Zone in Zabeel Hall 4. Another feature of the show is the Newcomers Area located in Zabeel Plaza. The innovative new zone will feature a dedicated area for companies that have never conducted business in the MENA region before and are using Gulfood as a market-entry opportunity.

Awarding Innovation

Recognising creative industry leaders, the ever-popular and industrybenchmarking Gulfood Innovation Awards will honour new and improved innovations and technologies being adopted by the thousands of local, regional and international exhibitors participating at the exhibition in

Find your taste

Gulfood 2018 will highlight the five pillars of taste through feature demonstrations and sampling activations to help potential buyers and sellers experience the tastes they are looking for: from salt, bitter, sweet, sour and umami, the platform will satisfy every palate.

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An in-depth look at the global food industry

Gulfood 2018 will see the unveiling of the much anticipated and in-depth outlook report for the global F&B industry. The Gulfood Global Industry Outlook Report 2018 is a powerful business decision making tool and will be will be free-of-charge and exclusive to delegates and exhibitors at the show. The outlook comes in an in-depth report compiled by the market intelligence research leader Euromonitor International, and commissioned by Dubai World Trade Centre, which organises Gulfood. This independent report sets out estimates and prospects for the industry, which have been prepared following a Euromonitor market study based on various official published sources and trade opinion surveys conducted with importers, local and global manufacturers, distributers, trading associations, retailers, food service providers within key industry sectors and government entities.

a glittering gala ceremony on the evening of Sunday, 18 February. With more than 300 entries, a panel of prestigious industry leaders will be presented with product display and tasting for the judging session to be held on Wednesday, 7 February. The judges will decide who takes the honours in categories


Top chefs in action

such as Best Soft Beverage; Best Hot Beverage; Best Dairy Innovation; Best Meat Or Poultry Innovation; Best Baked Or Confectionery; Best Condiment Or Sauce; Best Frozen Or Chilled Food; Best Halal Food; Best Organic Product; Best Health And Wellness Product and Best Consumer Promotion Product.

In addition to the Ibrik World Championships, Gulfood 2018 is hosting the Emirates Culinary Guild International Salon Culinaire - the largest singleentry chefs’ competition in the world. Structured as a series of practical and display-based culinary challenges or ‘classes’, this globally renowned annual contest gauges the diversity of entrants cooking skills and pushes the boundaries of modern-day food preparation and presentation. Evaluated by a panel of 30 international experts and mandated by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), the Salon Culinaire provides credible industry recognition to more than a thousand master chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and bakers. The Salon serves to inspire and encourage young chefs to continue striving for improvement in their profession.


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Get Brewing

This year’s show plays host to the Ibrik World Coffee Championships, which will see the world’s leading baristas coming together in one location and competing to be crowned the world’s best. The competition, dedicated to the centuries-old art of brewing coffee in a ‘Cezve’ or ‘Ibrik’ – the small, longhandled pot – showcases the special

Find the right Connexions

preparation of brewing coffee, set in a competition format that celebrates the cultural tradition. Competitors are encouraged to bring their own style/ cultural element to their performance to demonstrate how they interpret what is one of the oldest forms of preparing coffee in parts of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Spectators and visitors will also be

Exhibitors and visitors alike can capitalise on their presence at this year’s show by using Gulfood Connexions – an online platform that helps you plan your visit in advance. The feature allows users access to the online exhibitor directory to pinpoint who they would like to meet, before the show starts. Once selected, users can schedule an appointment as well as navigate the location of their target exhibitor on the floor plan. Users can also print a copy of their planner before heading to the exhibition. Gulfood Connexions – live on Gulfood website – helps beat the crowds and enables you to maximise crucial face-time with exhibitors.

Debutants hungry to impress


Visitors to Gulfood 2018 will get the opportunity to sample the delights from several countries exhibiting for the first time. Among them are Estonia, Serbia and Slovakia, who will be joining the large gathering of exhibitors from 120 national pavilions. In addition to first-time participants and returning exhibitors, the truly global food industry exhibition will welcome hundreds of international heads of state, ministers, government officials and scores of national trade associations eager to ink lucrative bi-lateral trade agreements among tens of thousands of anticipated visitors.

treated to live demonstrations and catch up on business at the brew bar. The Cezve/Ibrik Championship is managed and produced by World Coffee Events, an event management organization registered in Dublin, Ireland, which was originally founded by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

The return of Sectorisation

Following the success of Gulfood 2017’s revolutionary change in lay-out and format to focus on eight core sectors of the global food and beverage industry, Gulfood 2018 returns with a sectorised approach to further increase accessibility and trading potential between the thousands of exhibitors and focused buyers. Tens of thousands of finished food and beverage products will be featured in 13 halls, spanning more than 100,000sqm of exhibition space at DWTC, dedicated to eight of the biggest commodity trading sectors: Beverages; Dairy; Fats & Oils; Health, Wellness & Free-From; Pulses, Grains & Cereals; Meat & Poultry; Power Brands and World Food. The sectorised format allows visitors to get straight to business assessing quality and benchmarking price in their respective segments and leads to deeper market insights and trend awareness through focused consultation with the right experts in one place.


The World of Halal

Returning to Gulfood 2018 for its fifth edition, Halal World Food is a show-within-a-show concept. This major global trading platform generates lucrative investment opportunities for international F&B businesses looking to capitalise on the rapidly expanding halal sector that is witnessing significant growth in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries across the world. Reflecting the UAE's strategic position as an international centre for halal food trading, Halal World Food showcases the full spectrum of halal products – including vegan and vegetarian food, meat and poultry, canned goods, energy drinks, gourmet and much more. February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


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Looking ah e ad to

F o o d e x S audi Catering News Middle East takes a sneak peek at what to expect from this year’s event‌ There is going to be a strong European presence to the fifth edition of Foodex Saudi, which takes place from 12-15 November – in Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events. In attendance will be 600 international brands representing 32 competing countries attracting Saudi importers and distributors. The exhibition was inaugurated by Prince Abdullah Bin Saud, chairman of the Tourism and Entertainment Committee in Jeddah Chamber for Commerce. Foodex Saudi 2017 hosted 214 exhibitors 72

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In Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events. Prince Abdullah said that Foodex Saudi has become one of the main factors that will contribute to the anticipated domestic tourism boom. He stressed that the wide participation of European, Asian and Arab countries validates the importance of the event and illustrates the diversity of products in the Saudi market. According to recent statistics, the Kingdom's imports about 70% of its food and spend about SR 87 billion annually (CDSI).

Haya Al-Sunaidi, chairwoman of the organising committee, noted the European participation from countries such as Spain, Italy, England, France, Portugal and Greece. Al-Sunaidi said the event emphasises the position of Saudi Arabia as one of the largest and promising markets in the world. She pointed out the Salon Culinaire 2017 competition with 158 chefs competing from different countries in 16 professional sections representing most famous restaurants and hotels in the kingdom and

Event preview

Testimonials “This is our fifth time in Foodex Saudi. Every year the show is getting better in terms of of the quality of exhibitors and visitors. The number of visitors is increasing year after year. Our main goal as leading food trade company in Saudi Arabia is to meet with international suppliers and build partnerships.” Khalid Baassiri - general manager Alpha Trading and Shipping Agencies "Last year was our first time in Foodex Saudi. We are delighted with our participation as we had the chance to meet a lot of trade professionals, businessmen and investors." Hussen Alfakih general manager Al Baraka Fresh Dairy Factory, UAE “It was a very well organised show with lots of traffic and high interest from the visitors. I am sure that the expectations were reached and congratulation to the entire team. The international pavilions were nicely set up and the exhibitors were globally well selected.” Chef Thomas Gugler, President of World Association of Chef Societies supervised by World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and Saudi Arabian Chefs Table Circle (SACTC) as well as Saudi Arabian Chef Association (SARCA). Tuyap Fairs and Exhibitions Organisers, the team behind the national Turkish pavilion in Foodex Saudi 2017 said: “This year 10 Turkish companies are participating showcasing very good quality of 12 products such as nuts, sweets and Caykur the largest governmental tea company in Turkey. “We can see great potential in the Saudi market and looking forward for more cooperation. Last year the number of visitors was large and we received great response.” Saudi Arabia has the largest food market in the Gulf and the Middle East, and is one of the countries with strong economic and consumer power. Food and beverage imports are expected to increase up to SR130 billion riyals in 2020 against the present 80 billion riyals, fast food market volume exceeds SR5 billion a year, and retail sales grew by 66% with the opening of large number of hypermarkets and food markets. February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


I n F ocus

Digi ta l delights at your fingertips New app B1Menu is set to revolutionise restaurant menus, writes Gavin Gibbon

y the year 2020, an entire generation, Generation C, will have grown up in a primarily digital world. Computers, the internet, mobile phones, texting, social networking — all are second nature to members of this group. And their familiarity with technology, reliance on mobile communications, and desire to remain in contact with large networks of family members, friends, and business contacts is transforming how we work and how we consume. And yet, one of our most popular pastimes 74

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continues to resist this phenomena. Ordering food and beverages at a restaurant, be it a greasy spoon in the suburbs of London, or a five-star a la carte dining establishment in Dubai, is more often than not, done by flicking through the pages of a menu. It can be cumbersome and time consuming; it may not be in your language of choice; you may not understand the explanation of the dish itself; and, ultimately, you may order something you don’t like. However, all that may be a thing of the

past thanks to the launch of B1Menu - a digital interactive menu application that is revolutionising how restaurants and cafes present their menu to customers. B1Menu is designed specifically for tablets - IOS and Android - with the display version available for free. Krestina Soshnina, creative director B1 Menu, says: “We wanted to provide something that was the best available in the market and something that can be customised by restaurants themselves.

I n F ocus

“The new application has two sections. One section is just the display. You download the application and you upload up to 50 pictures from your own website or homepage, to create your own account. From this account you can upload all the details from your menu. This can work offline, which is very practical, because many places still have wi-fi issues. “The display is amazing, the detail is good, the pricing, there are seven different views of the dish. Customer has full control to edit and activate what they want. If they run out of one dish they can deactivate it,” she adds. “The other version is more advanced, a paid version with more features. The waiters can have their own iPhone to take the order from the iPhone, the management can get a full report of the items ordered. There is table management, point of sale, SMS for waiting lists, customer management and so much more.”

Despite being in its relative infancy, the B1Menu app is already proving popular and is being used by more than 30 F&B outlets across Dubai. It is available in a huge variety of languages - a full translation service is offered. “Having 14 million tourists every year from different countries, the only way the city with its lovely restaurants can be friendly to tourists, is to provide them with menus in their own language,” says Soshnina. While there is also the option to list details about the dishes at the restaurant, ingredients, cooking techniques, sauces etc. “A customer can see what he’s ordering, plus the explanation behind that and all the full details,” she adds. Further versions, planned to launch in the near future, will include nutritional facts on individual dishes, as well as calories and even an option for customers to review particular dishes as well as the restaurant itself.

Soshnina says: “In the upcoming versions we’re going to have the evaluation of dish by dish instead of the restaurant as a whole, so that will be very interesting for the restaurant to know what is popular, dish by dish - the chef likes to know how many people like the sushi or a particular dish. Usually people are shy to talk to the chef, but this offers the perfect solution.” Restaurants can easily add new dishes or delete anything that is no longer available that day, or on offer altogether - when breakfast is over for another day, one click can remove it until tomorrow. While customers can categorise their own searches through the app, should they be vegetarian, for example, or if they have an allergy to, possibly, nuts. Customers can even order their food themselves, straight from the tablet, with their order picked up through a corresponding app in the kitchen. This paperless way, which is a boost to the environment, can show the management team exactly how long it takes for any given order and can be monitored in real-time to ensure customer satisfaction is at the very top of their agenda. She adds: “We think this is the future. More and more restaurants will convert the paper menu to a digital menu and the other important aspect is it provides so much information to the management of the restaurant. “The restaurant management can organise their business better, they can save money on reducing wastage. They save paper on menus, save paper for invoicing and saving paper for the orders. Imagine how many tonnes of paper that get wasted every day that we can save by using digital menus?” B1Menu starts at $30 on a monthly basis, while the package becomes more expensive with any additional features. Live chat is also available, or maintenance issues can be addressed over email or on the telephone. “All you need is a tablet - Android or IoS; open an account at B1Menu website or tablet, download the app on the tablet and your menu is available. You’ll have the full customisation control, the logo, the colours, the background, all this you can control, so the menu will be custom-made for your restaurant,” says Soshnina. February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


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Susta i ning the c hal l enge

InSinkErator, the business unit of Emerson, is on a mission to educate the region on the advantages of sustainable practices. This was never better illustrated than an event last month in which they met members of the Sustainable City community for a night of education. Catering News Middle East was at the event to experience firsthand just how InSinkErator is educating the sector on this issue…

here is no question that the clock is ticking when it comes to the environment. That is something that the team is only too aware of at Insinkerator, the business unit of Emerson - the inventor and manufacturer of food waste disposers for home and commercial use. That was why Mohamed Karam, senior business development manager, InSinkErator Middle East and Africa, and his team 76

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were in Sustainable City last month for a special educational event with members of the local community. “It’s all about education – everybody talks about sustainability and green products but you have to put it into practice,” says Karam. “That’s why Sustainable City was the perfect venue for the event. is one of our key customers – it’s a flagship project for sustainability in the Gulf region.

“By partnering with them it is easier to explain the importance of disposing of food properly and how to control your carbon footprint.” To give you an idea of Insinkerator’s commitment to sustainability, the company has installed disposal units in each of the 520 villas in Sustainable City. “It is all about creating awareness about sustainability – sometimes people say I would like to be green but what is green?” he says.

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“Sometimes the concept is not clear, awareness and the key to explaining it is about engaging with individuals.” Phil Dunn, design and planning manager, See Nexus, is a key partner of Insinkerator when it comes to the project at Sustainable City. “Here at the Sustainable City we have 500 villas, they are all put together with the environment in mind,” he says.

“We have solar panels on the roof, we do a lot of things to make a sustainable community. You can build a sustainable community but if people don’t live in it then you are not achieving your goals. “We host many of these types of events to bring awareness – this is one of them – the InSinkErator waste disposal unit helps with the recycling concept that we push here.” The project at Sustainable City is based

on three pillars, says Dunn: Social, economic and the environment. “We have to go forward because the Earth matters. Developments have to come together to look at the sustainable paradigm that’s been put forward,” he says. “This is a perfect working example of how you can create a sustainable community with people wanting to live here and it doesn’t have to cost more.” February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


Carribean cuisine

n a e b b i r a C the

A taste of

Chef Olivier Hilton, Key West at Nikki Beach Hotel and Resort talks to Catering News Middle East about how Carribean cuisine is making waves on the F&B scene‌ How popular is Caribbean cuisine in Dubai/ The Middle East?

Caribbean Cuisine is new to Dubai and began making a buzz from last year.

What is your hero dish?

Fish in foil is my hero dish. It represents St Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean area. The ingredients and flavours can be found in almost every Caribbean country, and yet it still unique in its own way. The combination of the smoked ground provisions, together with the souskaille peppers marry perfectly. The coconut turmeric broth is smooth,rich in flavor and very aromatic.Its casual, simple, yet elegant.

Have you adapted Caribbean cuisine to suit local tastes? If so – how?

We have not adapted too much to fit to local taste, because we at Nikki Beach, are confident that the cuisine will be very well received. Our Key West flavours are a mix bag, and there is something everyone can enjoy

What are the key trends emerging in Caribbean cuisine globally / in the ME?

The key trends we believe in is to be as authentic as possible and stay true to the roots. To incorporate the actual ingredients and technics used in the Caribbean and no matter how fantastic the product is, what makes a real impact is how we deliver the experience. 78

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Where do you source produce for your menu? Most of our produce comes from neighboring countries with tropical climate and also from the UAE.

How do you see your menu evolving over the next 12 months? We see the Key West menu always evolving, as Caribbean cuisine is an evolved cuisine stemming from many cultures. We also intend to further evolve it by fusing it with traditional Middle Eastern cuisine and create a whole new dining experience.

What is the future for Caribbean cuisine in the region?

We see great potential for Caribbean and Floridian cuisines. The response we get from our guests is Phenomenal and a great motivator for the team. The diversity of techniques, flavours and ingredients keep this an exciting cuisine, and one that is always evolving to keep up with the other top cuisines. You can already see its influence growing all around the world.

“SIAL Middle East is obviously growing and the good “

thing about this exhibition is that you can spend quality time with buyers that come to your stand. Karl Devlin,



recognised SIAL Middle East as a platform to meet quality buyers

Strategic Partner

Culinary Partners

Head of Business Development, Invest Northern Ireland

Def ining Innovation in the Food, Beverage & Hospitality Industry


1,000+ exhibitors from 50+ countries 26,000+ vistors from 90+ countries 500 fully hosted VIP buyers 10+ events and features including Hosted Buyer Programme, La Cuisine, UAE National Coffee Championships, SIAL Innovation and The Mercury Awards #SIALME

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All r oads l ea d to

Food & Hospitality Oman

Catering News Middle East looks ahead to the biggest trade on Oman’s calendar…

manexpo’s signature food and hospitality trade event and Oman’s biggest event of its kind, Food & Hospitality Exhibition & Conference, is set to be held from the 15 -17 October at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. For three days, the world-class venue will be the centre of about 500 local and international brands from the food and beverage, ingredients and seasoning, food processing technology, agriculture and fisheries, kitchen and catering equipment, packaging systems, HORECA furniture, resort and spa facilities, hotel décor, hotel and hospitality technologies segments. The annual trade show, recognised as the landmark food and hospitality event 80

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in Oman and now celebrating its 13th edition, will showcase the industry’s continuous development and expansion through a comprehensive networking, education, business-to-business platform, reflecting the emerging opportunities that current and pipelined million-dollar tourism infrastructure projects have to offer. Ammar Ahmad, exhibition manager for Food & Hospitality Oman, says: “Most of the industry’s important segments, such as food supplies, which spur the requirement for food packaging, value and luxury retail outlets, shopping malls, new hotels, and hypermarkets, are in great demand especially at this time. “The industry is full of business opportunities and this is what we are offer-

ing to the trade. The business-to-business meetings, which is also part of the show offering, is a way for us to provide companies with opportunities to increase their contacts in the local and international markets," he adds. The previous edition, held in October 2017, saw a number of international exhibitors representing 18 countries, international buyers from UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, professionals from leading hotels and catering companies, importers, distributors and buyers from leading supermarkets and hypermarkets, and about 6,000 trade visitors. Highlighting the exhibition were the Omani Products Pavilion and the India Pavilion, which showcased 40 companies.

Event preview

A concurrent feature was the Food Safety Oman Conference, which covered current relevant issues as Food Safety Culture and Environment, Regulatory Environment, Food Handlers Training, Food Inspection, Supply Chain, Logistics and Packaging and New Technologies. Speakers also presented best-practice case studies to help and identify how to tackle critical issues in food safety. This year, apart from the pavilions and conference, the show will once again present the traditional Professional Chefs Competition organised in association with Oman Chefs Guild. The competition will put more than 50 of the country’s best professional chefs from 4 and 5-star hotels, restaurants, catering companies and bakeries, to a test of skill, technique and style in five categories: Three-Tier Wedding Cake, Tapas, Petit Fours, Live Cooking Mystery Box, and Five-Course Gourmet Dinner. The sought-after Oman Barista Competition will also be another crowd-drawer after successfully making its mark in the coffee scene after five editions. “The competition will pave the way for similar talent and skill platforms and will also be vital to the advancement of the hospitality sector, as we are bringing in opportunities to food and coffee producers, manufacturers, distributors, importers, and retailers,” Ahmad remarks. Food & Hospitality Oman is anticipated to be the biggest edition to date with the participation of more local and international companies, more country pavilions, widely participated competitions, and business-to-business meetings, lending testimony to a well-established show that has enjoyed its “UFI-approved event” status since 2010. It is recognised as the international flagship event for the food and hospitality sectors in the Sultanate, pioneering, as with Omanexpo’s trade shows, all other food and hotel-related events that have sprung up in the last two years. February 2018 Catering NEWS ME


M arketplace

O ne step bey ond

Table & Beyond’s Ghizlane Benzakour explains to Catering News Middle East why we should excited about the year ahead with the firm…

What is your latest product launch?

Our brand Rivolta Carmignani has introduced a new collection of fine bed linen with jacquard bordered design entirely made in Italy. In addition, Royale has come up with a new handmade collection made in Italy under the range Sumisura called Arte. The collection comes in 40 different décor colors.

What makes it unique?

In regards to the new Jacquard collection, usually bedlinen designs are all-over. Our new collection includes ‘bordered designs’ that somehow frame the top of the bed, creating a very special and unique effect.


Catering NEWS ME February 2018

The Arte collection is very unique from the way it is being produced, it is handmade, varies in different shapes and comes in 40 decorations.

Why should businesses purchase your product?

Because of exclusivity, quality, design and made in Italy craftsmanship.

What’s next for your company in 2018 and onwards?

We are looking forward to add more brands that has innovative and unique products, to achieve our vision to become the region’s leading supplier of operating equipment, and to be a one stop solution for the Hospitality industry.

Contact details Email: Phone: +971 50 4462727 / +971 4 354 0266 Website:

M arketplace

Draped in quality

Duni area manager Marcus Toft tells Catering News Middle East why we should be getting excited about what the company is offering for 2018… What is your latest product launch? Evolin - the evolution of linen.

P e r k in g u p f o r b u s in e s s Catering News Middle East catches up with Coffee Planet managing director Robert Jones about what his company has lined up for the market… What is your latest product launch?

We are currently getting ready to launch our new cold brew and nitro coffees for foodservice clients, made from a blend of our finest single origin coffees.

What makes it unique?

Evolin table covers combine the beauty and drape ability of linen with the convenience of single-use. Evolin comes in many different shapes and sizes, including square and round, but also as a table runner and table skirt. This innovative table cover material is available in colours like white, black, grey, red and cream. The design flexibility and choice of colours will make it easy for you to accommodate your guests’ wishes and change the atmosphere from a business event during the day to a wedding at night.

Why should businesses purchase your product?

Evolin can be used for all eating and drinking occasions, but since Evolin is single-use the product may appeal even more to managers handling outside catering and room service where you have less control of how the table covers are handled. In addition, because it is single-use your place will look brand new – every day!

What makes it unique?

The cold brew and nitro coffee blend has been expertly crafted from a selection of our small batch single origin coffees from Africa, sourced directly from the farmers in the region and roasted in our UAE roastery.

Why should businesses purchase your product?

Aside from the high-quality of our speciality graded Arabica coffee beans, we also roast and pack the coffee ourselves which means we can supply our customers with the freshest possible coffee. Above all, we provide coffee solutions for our customers to enable them to provide the best possible coffee to their guests.

What’s next for your company in 2018?

Most people associate Duni with napkins, and yes, we do produce napkins, but we also offer table covers, candles and take away solutions. However, the main purpose of our existence is helping hotels and restaurants achieve the atmosphere that they want to communicate in order to attract and retain customers. In 2018, we will continue to inspire restaurateurs and if you need some inspiration already today please visit us on Facebook,

What’s next for your company in 2018 and onwards?

This year, we look forward to continuing the expansion of our Dubai-based roastery as well as solidifying our existing presence in international markets, demonstrating our ability to cater to all, with our state-of-the-art coffee equipment and coffee solutions.

Contact details Email: Phone: +971 4 312 8444


Catering NEWS ME February 2018

Contact details Email: Phone: +971 55 892 7548 Website:

Spill the beans Executive chef Thorsten Beermann is the man responsible for the smooth running of all kitchen operations at Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort, he speaks to Catering News Middle East about his plans for the property… time I have also learned how to add a contemporary twist to things. I believe in respecting the ingredients and to allow their pure flavours to speak for themselves. When it comes to anyone starting out in the business, in this region, what advice would you give them? Embrace the cultural diversity, get creative, be open to new cuisines and ingredients and learn from the best people of this industry.

Sp i ll t h e be an s

How important is locally based produce to you? My preference is locally based suppliers. For instance, in our meat and fish brunch we get our fish freshly caught with the help of the local fishermen of Ras Al Khaimah. Only in exceptional situations when we are not able to source locally, we would important certain items.

What can you tell us about the restaurants at the property? We have a variety of restaurants concepts at Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort, from the classic international restaurant Al Shamal to the Polynesian concept of Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Lounge. Our Scirroco Bar it is an English-inspired pub serving burgers and tipples whilst Al Jazeera completes the list with a very traditional Lebanese cuisine. Not to be missed also is our beach-front Le Chalet which is famed for the sumptuous meat and fish brunch every Friday where you will be amazed by the seafood and meat selection, all cooked a la minute to your preference. 86

Catering NEWS ME February 2018

What would you say are the major challenges in getting to this point? Looking back at my career, I certainly had encountered my few shares of “challenges”. Nevertheless, I always see them in a positive note as they motivate me to go on and that is what built my character. I am resilient due to these challenges and these instabilities make up for the amazing experiences and skills I have now. How do you come up with the concepts for your menu? I usually take a classic approach when it comes to menu creation. However, over

Are there any items that are more difficult to source than others? I find it challenging when importing regional Asian items such as rare spices and south-east Asian products due to the extensive delivery period. What does 2018 hold for both you and the property? I have just transferred to Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort and I want to take the opportunity to develop the outlets in this hotel, build the team and provide guests with a memorable culinary experience. I am also making it my aim to create a bond with the local community. I want our restaurants to be culinary destinations and place them on the map of Ras Al Khaimah.


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Catering News ME - February 2018  
Catering News ME - February 2018