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DELIVERING THE GOODS Why Jumeirah Restaurant Group wants to capitalise on the UAE’s AED12.9 billion home delivery market

DISCOVERING NORTHERN IRELAND Catering News and Invest Northern Ireland host a roundtable and tasting session exploring Northern Irish produce

AHEAD OF THE CURVE With outlets specialising in food bowls popping up ubiquitously, what key factors are driving the trend?

Connecting F&B professionals with industry knowledge

JULY 2017

Out the

Gate Naim Maadad, CEO of Gates Hospitality, one of Dubai’s most successful homegrown hospitality investors, is ready to take London by storm with the company’s first international venture

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

10 What's Cooking?

July 2017 // Issue #030


16 New places

18 Talent

26 The business

10 //

WHAT’S COOKING? Four GCC chefs make S. Pellegrino Young Chef semifinals; US rotisserie brand signs deal for 30 Middle East outlets; Vis Mundi acquires large stake in healthy-eating brand Kcal

16 //

NEW PLACES How Katsuya by Starck, the new JapaneseAmerican restaurant at Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, will stand out from the crowd

18 //

TALENT Nick Freeman, head of marketing at PizzaExpress says the best thing about his role is being creative

22 //

COVER STORY He broke the rules to become a culinary pioneer in Berlin, but how has two-Michelin-starred chef and Netflix icon Tim Raue tackled Dubai?

26 //

THE BUSINESS Delivering the goods Why Jumeirah Restaurant Group wants to capitalise on the UAE’s AED12.9 billion home delivery market

July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


July 2017 // Issue #030

Contents Managing Director Walid Zok

30 //

CHEF FOCUS THE TURGEON GENERAL Meet Eric Turgeon, the chef making waves at Lexington Grill, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah

34 //

DISCOVERING NORTHERN IRELAND Catering News and Invest Northern Ireland host a roundtable and tasting session exploring Northern Irish produce

40 //

AHEAD OF THE CURVE With outlets specialising in food bowls popping up ubiquitously, what key factors are driving the trend?

46 //

TOP OF THE TABLE The tableware products and trends setting the scene at the Middle East’s restaurants and hotels

Director Rabih Najm CEO Wissam Younane Group Publishing Director Diarmuid O'Malley Group Commercial Director Fred Dubery Group Editor, Hospitality Crystal Chesters Contributor

Marouane Al Mandri Art Director Aaron Sutton


Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon Photographer

Hayder Al-Zuhairi

40 Chef Focus

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46 Marketplace

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E ditor's L etter

Breaking New ground

Crystal Chesters Editor

July’s issue includes a number of stories that focus, in one way or another, on breaking new ground in Dubai’s restaurant scene. We interviewed Berlin-based trouble maker-turnedculinary icon, Tim Raue, to find out how his two-Michelin-starred Asian cuisine has been received in Dubai – the first international location he has ventured into (“Rebel with a Cause”, page 22). While Dragonfly by Tim Raue on City Walk is undoubtedly a beautiful restaurant with an excellent menu, Raue admits he has experienced a number of challenges moving from the limelight of Berlin into the Middle East, where he is still relatively unknown. Making the restaurant more casual and Dubai-friendly is his goal moving forward and there is no reason to doubt the chef, who broke all the rules and still ended up with numerous awards from Michelin, Gault et Millau and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He also offers a very interesting insight into the PR power of Netflix series, Chef’s Table, in which he recently starred. In “Delivering the Goods” (page 26), Jumeirah Restaurant Group general manager Emma Banks speaks to Catering News about the rollout of the group’s first delivery hub for The Noodle House, arguably one of Dubai’s most established Asian restaurant brands. Banks

is excited for JRG to be first-to-market with such a concept. The delivery hub, located in Dubailand, has allowed the brand to expand its reach to 17 new locations and achieve record-breaking revenue in home delivery. Watch this space, because already Perry & Blackwelder’s has moved into the hub and is ramping up delivery revenues, and Banks admits there is potential for more JRG brands to capitalise on Dubai’s lucrative home delivery market in a similar way. Finally, we take a light-hearted look at the food bowl trend (“Ahead of the Curve”, page 40). With Pineapple Express, Poke Poke and The Acai Spot just some of the outlets popping up around the Middle East in response to demand for Hawaiian-inspired poke, healthy acai and basically anything that fits in a bowl, we try to get to the bottom of what makes it such a compelling implement. And what did we learn? It’s time to ditch the plate, the slate and the pan and opt for the bowl – it’s tastier, more fun and apparently even offers a feeling of ‘zen’. Enjoy the issue! Crystal

Cover Star

Social Media

Our cover star this month is two-Michelin-starred chef and Netflix icon Tim Raue from Berlin. Raue oversees eight restaurants in Germany and at the end of last year launched Dragonfly by Tim Raue on City Walk, his first international venture.

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W hat's cooking?

W hat's cooking?

P11: Boston market signs 30 Middle East outlets // P12: Coffee Planet to expand to 70 locations // P14: Vis Mundi acquires stake in Kcal//

What's cooking?

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Four GCC chefs make S. Pellegrino Young Chef semifinal competition

Three chefs from the UAE and one from Bahrain have been selected among the 10 Middle East and Africa S. Pellegrino Young Chef semifinalists. Thousands of applications were submitted by young chefs from more than 90 countries, and 10 semifinalists have been chosen from each of the 20 regions taking part. Luca Antonelli, area manager – Middle East, S.Pellegrino commented: “We are very pleased to see an increase in the number of applications for S. Pellegrino Young Chef Award from the UAE this year. “This edition is very special for us as we eagerly look forward to hosting the MEA region semifinals for the first time in Dubai. The increasing interest further demonstrates the importance of the awards programme in helping young, talented chefs with immense potential and inspiration to make their mark in the industry.” The GCC semifinalists are: Aditya Kumar Jha from Tamba Abu Dhabi, Mario Christianto from The Exchange Grill in Dubai, Nigel Lobo from The Eloquent Elephant in Dubai and Jorge Alexis Falcon Valera from 10

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

Cantina Kahlo in Bahrain. The 10 MEA semifinalists will compete at a local challenge in Dubai this year for the chance to go forward to the finals in 2018. Now in its third year, S.Pellegrino Young Chef Award is an opportunity for culinary talents to demonstrate and strengthen their skills and gain visibility on an international stage. Each young chef’s applica-

tion and signature dish was evaluated by experts at the international educational and training centre for Italian cuisine, ALMA, in adherence with five ‘Golden Rules’ – ingredients, skill, genius, beauty and message. Andrea Sinigaglia, general manager of ALMA commented: “It is the third time now that we have the responsibility to select the young chefs for the local finals, but we continue to

be amazed by how much flair and passion for fine food these young talents possess. “Having to select only 10 semifinalists for each region when you are presented with so many interesting applications, is not at all easy. It is also our responsibility to accompany all candidates in a way that renders the competition realistic and highly educational. S.Pellegrino Young Chef is not only a chance to emerge, but also a moment of international encounter, exchange and sharing.” The other semifinalists from the Middle East and Africa region are from South Africa. They are: Ianca Stryom, Garth Rauben Heimer, and Paul Prinsloo from The Restaurant at Waterkloof; Georgios Spandos, Palm Hotel & Spa; Sheldon Raju, Sheldon Raju Consultancy and Vusumi Ndlovu, The Saxon Hotel Villas and SPA. From June to December 2017 the semifinalists of each region will compete in local challenges. Each region will have a jury composed of independent chefs, who will judge the semifinalists’ signature dishes and select the best one, based on the five ‘Golden Rules’.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?


US rotisserie brand signs deal for 30 Middle East outlets

TASTE THE FUTURE COLOGNE, 07.–11.10.2017 Rotisserie chicken and homestyle cooking restaurant, Boston Market, has opened its first Middle East restaurant in Kuwait. First announced in June 2016, Boston Market IP Company, Ltd., an affiliate of Boston Market Corporation, signed an area development agreement with Al-Ghunaim Trading Co. Ltd. to open 25 – 30 Boston Market restaurants in the region over the next few years. Boston Market prepares chicken and turkey in rotisserie ovens and features a selection of home-style sides and madefrom-scratch cornbread. George Michel, chief executive officer of Boston Market commented: "Rotisserie chicken is a very popular food in the Middle East and as the leading restaurant offering high quality, all-natural rotisserie chicken, rotisserie ribs and turkey, we see a significant opportunity to delight consumers and grow our brand in this region of the world." Under the terms of the agreement, Al-Ghunaim Trading Co. will develop Boston Market restaurants in Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar, and Jordan. The first Boston Market res-

taurant to open in the Middle East is located in Jabriya of the Hawalli Governorate in Kuwait and has indoor and outdoor patio seating, and offers home delivery and event catering. A second Boston Market restaurant is in the final stages of preparing to open in Sabah Al Salem of the Mubarak AlKabeer Governorate in Kuwait. Al-Ghunaim Trading Co. Ltd. has experience developing and operating casual dining restaurants in the Middle East and South Asia. It owns and operates brands including Chili's, Johnny Carino's Italian Grill, The Pizzeria, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Cinnamonster, and Which Wich. Al-Ghunaim Trading Co. CEO, Abdulghani Al-Ghunaim added: "Boston Market brings a unique restaurant concept to the Middle East and its highquality food and diverse menu options will result in customer loyalty. We look forward to our continued partnership as we open the first restaurant in Kuwait, followed by expansion into additional countries throughout the Middle East." Boston Market Corporation, headquartered in Golden, Colorado, has more than 450 US locations.

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W hat's cooking?


Coffee Planet signs franchise deal for 70 outlets in Saudi Arabia

Dubai-based coffee roaster, Coffee Planet, has signed a 10year franchise agreement with HB Brands to open 70 outlets across Saudi Arabia. Coffee Planet, known for its 100% Arabica specialty coffee, recently launched a new franchise concept with the aim of increasing its global presence with franchise partners. The brand currently has franchise outlets in the UAE, Qatar, Pakistan and Malaysia. Robert Jones, managing director of Coffee Planet commented: “We are delighted to partner with HB Brands in KSA. We are convinced that their F&B expertise, combined with our coffee know-how, will deliver a winning proposition for customers.” Martin Venter, chief operating officer of HB Brands added: “We are extremely impressed with Coffee Planet’s quality and the brand that they have created. We are thrilled to lend our franchising expertise to their proposition to help Saudi residents enjoy what we consider to be the finest 12

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

coffee we have ever tasted.” The new Coffee Planet outlet designs merge modern Dubai with traditional Arabia. Inspiration has been taken from Coffee Planet’s crop-tocup ethos, with the interiors featuring warm, earthy tones, exposed brick, brass, black tiling and wood finishes. A press statement from Coffee Planet, said: “The UAE has been at the forefront of speciality coffee development within the GCC, and Saudi Arabia is projected to be the next big growth market. “Both companies are looking to collaborate to provide a branded specialty-coffee offering to compete with the coffee chains already operating in the kingdom.” HB Brands, founded by Hamdan Al Bader 26 years ago, is one of the largest F&B providers in KSA and has rolled out Canton, TakoHut, RomaWay, Cinnabon, Wingstop, Sizzler House and Shawirmarito outlets. Its portfolio is projected to reach 320 outlets by the end of August 2017.


Fortieth Host Milan to outshine previous edition in numbers The 2017 edition of hospitality exhibition, Host Milan, is currently outperforming the 2015 event in terms of visitor and exhibitor numbers. Already, 1,824 companies have confirmed their attendance at the 40th edition of the show, which is set to take place at FieraMilano from Friday 20 – Tuesday 24 October. These include 1,092 Italian companies (59.9%) and 732 international firms (40.1%), representing an increase of 11.4% compared to the 2015 edition. This year, 55 countries will be represented on the opening day, including eight new entries – Belarus, Egypt, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Serbia,

South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Ukraine. Germany, Spain, France, the USA and the United Kingdom top the list of the 10 main foreign nations in attendance. Over 1,500 buyers will attend, hailing from Europe (10%), the Mediterranean and South Africa (7%), the Middle East (15%) North America (23%), Central and South America (8%) Russia (18%), Asia and Oceania (19%). In addition to business opportunities, Host Milan will feature a number of freeto-attend events, including workshops, training sessions, roundtables and show-cooking spectacles.

ICONS COFFEE COUTURE Elena Weber CEO and founder of Icons Coffee Couture reveals ambitious expansion plans for the healthy café brand What’s the concept of Icons Coffee Couture? Icons Coffee Couture is a German lifestyle coffee chain focusing on organic coffees, teas and healthy, but joyful sweets and treats. Icons is famous for its sugar-free bakes, beverages and ice cream assortments, which are sweetened naturally with zero-calorie sweetener, Stevia, organic agave or dates. With our specialty blends such as Kopi Luwak and Panama Geshaand Jamaican Blue, we are always looking to introduce new creations, including the world’s most exclusive and expensive coffees. What sets Icons apart from other coffee shop brands in the Middle East? Our focus is to provide healthy, organic sweets and treats in style and we do this while taking care of the people we work with and following a customer-first strategy. We also prepare our food options freshly in-store, and avoid packed food as much as possible.

perfect boost for your metabolism and the perfect pre-workout slurp. What are the latest trends in coffee? One new trend is pouring shots of espresso into deseeded avocado slices, in addition to cold brew, nitro coffee and Bulletproof coffee (a high-performance drink).

What is your best-selling coffee at Icons? Our Affogato – a shot of our long-roasted espresso beans poured over a scoop of our skinny vanilla ice cream – is one of our best sellers, along with our macadamia brownie frappe, which is gluten-free and made with zero refined sugar. Americanos and cappuccinos are all-time favorites, as well. Our fitness lovers’ musthave is our Bullet coffee, which is the

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What are your expansion plans for Icons? We have eight operating outlets in the UAE, with four more under construction. Our yearly target is to open between 8-10 companyowned stores locally to spread our healthy treats. We are looking at expanding within the GCC with our country development partners in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, where another 35 locations should be coming up. We are also about to expand into China and Austria, and we will be opening our doors in these regions in 2017 and early 2018.

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Unilever confirmed as Platinum Sponsor of Food and Hospitality Oman Unilever Food Solutions Oman has confirmed its association with Food & Hospitality Oman 2017 as Platinum Sponsor. The company looks forward to showcasing its solutions for professional chefs in hotels, restaurants and catering businesses at the exhibition, to be held from 16-18 October in Muscat. Unilever works with businesses of all sizes in more than 70

countries and encompasses such brands as Knorr, Hellmann’s, Colman's and Lipton. The company’s clients include Emirates Flight Catering, Abela Catering, and Habtoor Group. At Food & Hospitality Oman, Unilever Food Solutions will introduce new products, such as Knorr Tomato Powder, Shawarma Marinade and a range of brown sauces.

countdown underway for gulfhost in september The countdown is well and truly underway for GulfHost which takes place on 18 – 20 September 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The hospitality equipment and food service expo aims to connect all catering equipment manufacturers, suppliers, solution providers and investors with the most influential buyers from hotels and resorts, restaurants, cafés and bars, bakeries, fast food chains, and professionals serving kitchens, actively involved in the Middle East and Africa. “In short, we are showcasing

anything purchased by a restaurant, bar or café that isn’t edible,” said Andrew Pert, portfolio exhibitions director at DWTC. “The region’s hospitality, foodservice and catering industry is continually innovating and investing in all aspects of the preparation and serving of food. The UAE currently has over 6,000 F&B outlets, with another 19,000 expected to open by 2019.” The event is part of the Dubai Hospitality Week which is organised by The Hotel Show and Dmg Events.

Chef Uwe Micheel awarded Best Chef Author for new cookbook Dubai-based chef Uwe Micheel’s latest book, Flavours of Dubai, was awarded second prize in the ‘Best Chef Author’ category at the 22nd Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2017. Micheel, from Germany, is director of kitchens at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, president of the Emirates Culinary Guild and assistant vice president of the 14

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

World Association of Chefs Societies. The book, published by Smartcast Group, edged out other nominated books from Denmark, France, Poland, Singapore and Sweden to win the award. It brings together traditional Emirati recipes, modern recipes using locally sourced ingredients, and a historical insight into Dubai’s culinary metamorphosis.


Vis Mundi acquires large stake in dubai's healthyeating brand, Kcal Investment company, Vis Mundi, has acquired a substantial stake in Dubai-based healthy eating brand, Kcal Group, through one of its affiliated companies. The investment and active strategic involvement of Vis Mundi will support Kcal's expansion through financing, strategic resources, strengthened management and implementation of global best practices. Commenting on the transaction, Salvatore Caizzone, founder and CEO of Vis Mundi, said: "We are happy to help drive Kcal business to the next level. We are even more excited to contribute and spread the big idea behind the brand: eat well, be well. Our vision is to be in the forefront of a new culture of healthy eating and healthy living in the Middle East and beyond.” Vis Mundi is an investment company focusing on fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and consumer healthcare in high-growth geographies, with a presence in Dubai, Cairo, Lagos, Istanbul and Moscow.

Founded in Dubai in 2010 by European entrepreneurs, Mark Carroll and Andreas L. Borgmann, Kcal is a group of companies that promote healthy eating across the Middle East through restaurants, corporate catering, home-delivered meal plans and retail products. With plans to expand further throughout the Middle East, Kcal operates through its Kcal Life restaurants, Kcal Extra and Fuel-UP by Kcal (home-delivered healthy meal plans), Kcal Catering and Kcal GO (a retail product line). Mark Carroll and Andreas L. Borgmann, founders and co-CEOs of Kcal, said: “Today, our single restaurant has grown into a group of several companies in several countries, and we are excited with the new partnership, which will help drive the business into the global market. Kcal's vision, passion and innovative thinking, combined with the experience and knowledge of Vis Mundi, will help the business achieve its long-term goals.”

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

The biggest hospitality show in the world Franchising

Man'oushe Street signs franchise deal for 25 outlets in Riyadh Middle Eastern street food restaurant, Man’oushe Street, has signed a strategic master franchise agreement with Saudi Arabia-based investment company, Al Rajhi Group. The deal will see the brand debut in Saudi Arabia and open 25 Man’oushe Street branches in Riyadh, with two to launch before the end of 2017. Khalid Abdullah Al Rajhi, Al Rajhi Group, said: “These are truly exciting times for Saudi Arabia’s F&B segment and this new agreement with Man’oushe Street will allow us the opportunity to make our mark in this rapidly growing segment. “We are confident that we will be able to retain the mark of excellence that Man’oushe Street has become famous for and [this is] something that we also share in common. Man'oushe Street is expected to be a crowd favorite in KSA, especially here in the kingdom's capital as it represents a winning combination for those wanting a fast meal that is highly nutritious yet easy on the budget.” Man’oushe Street was founded in 2010 and offers Middle Eastern dishes in a fast-casual environment, with dishes including manakeesh, bureks, wrap sandwiches, pizza and desserts. The franchise agreement marks an important step in the brand’s expansion plans for the Middle East region. Jihad El Eit, CEO and founder, Man’oushe Street, said: “Over the last few years, Man’oushe Street has positioned itself as a leading player in the region’s fast food industry. This new agreement with the Al Rajhi Group demonstrates our efforts to implement a new roadmap towards further reinforcing and expanding our presence in the Middle East. “This is a landmark agreement for Man’oushe Street, as it is our first time to enter the KSA market with the initial opening of 25 branches in Riyadh. Rest assured, we remain steadfast in our commitment to work closely with our new partner, the Al Rajhi Group, to make Man’oushe Street a highly preferred fast food brand in the kingdom.” July 2017 Catering NEWS ME

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19/01/17 15:15

New places

Katsuya by Starck

Chef Katsuya Uechi, founder & CEO of Katsu-ya Group of Companies explains how the new Japanese-American restaurant at Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel will stand out from the crowd

Describe the concept of the venue in your words?

A full service, upscale Japanese fusion dining concept, Katsuya by Starck brings together myself and the great designer, Phillippe Starck. The menu and design merge to offer a true feast for the senses and a memorable experience. Combining Japanese and American palates, the menu features sushi rolls, specialty cocktails, robata grills, and signature hot dishes.

What are the signature items on the menu?

Katsuya has become synonymous with much-loved dishes, such as the famous crispy rice with spicy tuna. Some of our other, must-try signatures include spicy albacore sashimi with crispy onion, mushroom





CHI Hospitality, which operates brands such as St. Tropez Bistro and Soho, has launched The Pizza Station in Dubai’s Barsha Heights and DIFC. The Pizza Station serves thick dough pizzas inspired by various international cuisines, such as Italian, American, Mexican, Arabic, and Indian. Menu items include the El Paso chicken pizza, the veggie paneer pizza and a chicken tawook pizza. As an introductory offer, The Pizza Station is doing a standard lunch combo, which includes a single pizza, starter, and a beverage for AED35.

Originally launched in the UK in 2013, Veri Peri debuted in the Middle East with a venue in Saudi Arabia before expanding to the UAE last month. All produce is prepared fresh and sourced locally and the menu features traditional chicken and beef espetadas, Veri Peri sizzling steak and Cataplana salads in addition to soups, burgers, wraps, and pastas. Veri Peri will open its second UAE branch in Motor City in May 2017. The restaurant operates from 12pm to 12am daily, with dinein, takeaway and delivery options available.

Jordanian restaurant, Azkadenya first opened in Amman in 2011 and the Marina Mall venue marks the company’s third outpost in the UAE and first in the country’s capital. Azkadenya blends a modern approach to traditional Arabic dishes with quirky interiors evoking the 1950s – 1990s in the Middle East. Breakfast items include manaeesh, chakchouka, fresh fruit juices and smoothies. For lunch and dinner, the menu includes fried kibbeh, falafel sliders, shawarma enchiladas, and traditional Jordanian mansaf.

LOCATION: Barsha Heights and DIFC, Dubai OPENING DATE: 21 May

LOCATION: Copthorne Hotel, Deira, Dubai OPENING DATE: 21 May

LOCATION: Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi OPENING DATE: 31 May

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

N ew places

bop, Wagyu fillet with foie gras, Hollywood roll, and edamame hummus, an exclusive dish to the region.

What is interesting about the beverage offer?

We have a lot of special beverage offerings on the Dubai menu, from our Katsuya signature sake, which is bottled specifically for the location, to Phillippe Starck’s own brand of wine. Of course, we also have our specialty cocktails, which merge a modern Los Angeles taste with Japanese flavours, such as our burning mandarin, an infusion of Absolut Mandarin, hand-crushed serrano chili, fresh lemon, orange juice and cranberry.

Japanese-American fusion restaurant that is cutting-edge, while also being very welcoming and approachable.

How will the venue compete in Dubai?

The Facts Venue Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah Date opened: 13 May

Iconic designer, Phillippe Starck, designed the interiors. They are ultra-modern yet cosy, with a sleek and sultry vibe and whimsical elements. The warm wood and signature large, white tables provide an inviting atmosphere, while bold, modern art pieces are displayed throughout. The interiors manage to reflect everything about the brand’s true aesthetic – being a modern,

I think what really sets us apart on the competitive market, is approachability. While there are some great Japanese fusion restaurants in the area, Katsuya provides a different level of warmth and service. For an upscale Japanese restaurant, our price-points appeal to a broader crowd, and we happily accommodate families and large groups. We also wanted to cater to the local palate as much as possible with specialty dishes exclusive to the region. Besides all of this, our location at Jumeirah Al Naseem, overlooking the ocean and iconic Burj Al Arab, really enhances the overall experience for guests.




Pampas offers Argentinian-style grilled meat and seafood. The space, created by Olga Polizzi, director of design for Rocco Forte Hotels and well-known designer Martin Brudnizki, features an open kitchen. Chef Lucas Adrian Farias, an Argentinean national, offers a menu that includes the Pampas mixed grill, lamb and goat mixed grill, and a seafood mixed platter, in addition to Argentinean signature beef cuts and a seafood selection with whole Canadian lobster a la parrilla, king prawns, grilled hammour and najil from the Red Sea.

Belgian restaurant, Le Petit Belge, has opened at Pullman Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers in Dubai. Le Petit Belge offers dishes such as mussels, coq au vin and Belgian chocolate mousse. Beverages include Belgian hops and grape and monthly specialty draught options. The Friday and Saturday breakfast brunch has options such as French toast, eggs Florentine and pastries. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Nando’s flagship outlet has opened in Riyadh after first launching in the Saudi capital in November 2016 and breaking international sales records, serving 180,000 people to date. The restaurant brand, which specialises in flame-grilled Peri Peri chicken, features earthy textures and vibrant colours that reflect its Afro-Portuguese heritage. Over 50 pieces of Southern African art are displayed on the walls of the new Riyadh outlet. The menu offers flame-grilled Peri-Peri chicken, salads, burgers, wraps, desserts and soft drinks.

LOCATION: Assila, a Rocco Forte Hotel, Jeddah OPENING DATE: 18 May


LOCATION: Tahlia Street, Riyadh OPENING DATE: 3 June

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

Executive chef: Gerard Ruvira Restaurant manager: Carlos Weng Fun fact: The venue is designed in the shape of a bento box.

July 2017 Catering NEWS ME



Express yourself

Nick Freeman, head of marketing at PizzaExpress UAE says the best thing about his role is the freedom to be creative Describe your first ever role in the F&B industry?

Straight after graduating I scored a job in a small village in Hertfordshire, UK, where I was the 10th head office employee working for an aptly-named start-up called Innovate. The company’s mission was to “transform school catering”, helping schools across England to invest in building great restaurants to rival those on the high street. Schools would have superb, colourful restaurants and cafeterias, which could then be operated by Innovate on a commercial basis. This was a departure from the traditional, uninspiring canteens run by larger corporations and propped up by heavy management fees. Our office was a converted stable and we had around 20 chickens in the garden. It was a brilliant place to work and I enjoyed three-and-a-half years there. At Innovate, I met celebrity chef, Gino D'Acamp, who led me into my next F&B role.

Who has inspired you most in your career?

Work Experience

Co-founder and chairman of Innovate, Geoff Peppiatt, really took me under his wing and gave me a crash course in marketing and business management. I learned so much under his guidance, it was almost like doing a second stint at university.

Oct 2015 - present: Head of marketing,

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

Bar - Gino D’Acampo

It’s certainly challenging. There are now so many brands competing for market share and so many new developments across the country. As an ambitious, expanding brand in the local market, it is important to select the right locations for new restaurants to fuel continued growth.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

We have restaurants in very different parts of the UAE, from Fujairah City Center, through our Jazz set-up in JLT to Kidzania 18

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

PizzaExpress UAE Jun 2014 - Sep 2015: Marketing manager, New York University of Abu Dhabi for ADNH Compass Aug 2009 - May 2014: Marketing manager, Innovate Services/My Pasta

in Dubai Mall. This means we need to communicate with – and understand – customers of different cultures, ages and languages. This adds a layer of complexity when coming up with a new campaign.

What is the best aspect of your role?

Freedom! PizzaExpress promotes good ideas, so it’s very rewarding to see so many ideas from the team come to fruition. As a leadership team, we are trusted to under-

stand the region in which we operate and to take appropriate business decisions. It’s really exciting to be so close to the action and to have such a hand in the success of this great company here in the Middle East.

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

I recently watched the series, Chef’s Table, on Netflix, and the first episode about Massimo Bottura and his restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, was truly inspiring. His passion for ingredients and his total dedication to creating sublime cuisine has led to such immense success. I’m not sure I’d last long, but I’d like to spend time in Massimo’s kitchen!

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

Be flexible. This region is exciting because it’s developing so fast, but sometimes it presents unexpected challenges or opportunities at very short notice, and you need to be able to react to succeed.


Fairmont The Palm appoints new chef de cuisine

Fairmont The Palm has hired chef de cuisine, Romain Van Durmen, from Belgium to manage The Chef’s Palette, an interactive cooking experience hosted in the resort’s dedicated cooking studio. He has held roles at Luxury Brasserie and La Petite Madeleine in Belgium and as chef de partie at Zaranda, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Mallorca, Spain. Romain first moved to Dubai in 2014 as chef de cuisine at Café Belge and Sunken Garden, where he managed a team of 16 chefs for three years.

F&B manager joins Four Kitchen supplier Welbilt Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai announces VP sales for EMEA The 125-room Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai has welcomed back Victoria Kashakashvili as assistant food & beverage manager. Kashakashvili’s career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts started in 2002 in her native Georgia. After a stint in Kuwait, she was part of the F&B team at Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai from 2006 – 2015. Before moving back to Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai to head the growing F&B team, she was F&B service manager on a pre-opening team with AccorHotels.

Kitchen equipment supplier Welbilt (previously Manitowoc) has appointed Jean-Paul Roudier to the role of vice president of sales for the EMEA region. In his new role, he will assume responsibility for sales and distribution strategy for the EMEA region and will develop a solid team to continue driving strong sales and marketing performance and to strengthen relationships with customers. Roudier first joined the company as vice president of sales for emerging markets in 2012.

July 2017 Catering NEWS ME



Why feasibility studies are unfeasible Murad Alnasur, managing director of Restoanalysis and chief operating officer of FranchiseME argues that traditional feasibility studies are too often focused purely on financials


used to be involved with a company in the F&B business, which had a location in mind for a brand it had the rights to. I gathered my top team, and we prepared a feasibility study for the brand in that location based on the traditional method, 85% of which is focused on financials. We gathered all the numbers and presented a feasibility study that reflected a six- year return on investment (ROI), however the board told us that we didn’t make a convincing enough case for the company to invest in this location for the brand. Our accounting team suggested increasing sales and keeping costs the same, which sounded like a great idea. They increased sales by AED1 million and the ROI dropped to 4.5 years, however the board rejected the proposal again. We then decided we could increase sales by AED500,000, which would put ROI at 3.9 years – below the four years the board was asking for. Bingo. They liked it and approved it. However, all we did was increase sales without offering a logical reason, and the board approved it. We told them the location had more potential than we had originally thought and that we could charge a little extra to increase the average cheque. However, in reality, we never actually did this. We just wanted to buy two years of employment and to act busy. To say it bluntly, we had to lie to be able to keep on working. I know you may think that not everyone is as unethical as we were, but think again. Traditional feasibility studies are based on financials and nothing else. If the numbers look good, they will invest, and if not, you’re out of a job. I know some people will fight the temptation to lie but I also know from experience that many operators will lie in order to buy time and make money. Soon after we had paid the deposit, 20

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

About the author

Murad Alnasur is managing director of F&B consultancy service, Restoanalysis FZE, and chief operating officer of its sister company in Saudi Arabia, FranchiseME. Prior to arriving in the GCC, he operated international brands in the US for more than 32 years. an honest person in the team went back and tried to really look at the feasibility of even breaking even. That person found out that we would have to make

300 sandwiches, and charge AED25 for each to break even. The location had just 90m2 of space and our sandwiches were made to order. It would be impossible to make 300 sandwiches in three hours from scratch and so we went back and offered the findings to the board. They made the right choice to forfeit the deposit and walk away from the brand and concept. However, they were lucky – often you don’t find people who are honest. If you are not going to do a feasibility study based on financials, then how should you do one? The answer is simple: daydream. It sounds crazy, but trust me. Close your eyes and picture the brand in the location. Now, who do you see lined up at the door trying to get in? How long is the line? You must imagine that to be able to identify your customers. Who are they? What do they want and how much are they willing to pay for it? Don’t wait for them to come to you; go to them and imagine them lining up at your door. Once you know your customer and you go after them, you will succeed. Anyone can easily do that sort of feasibility study. And the bonus is, it’s free of charge.

Traditional feasibility studies are based on financials and nothing else. If the numbers look good they will invest and if not, you're out of a job”

C over Story

Having broken the rules to become a culinary pioneer in his home city of Berlin, two-Michelin-starred chef and Netflix icon, Tim Raue, is discovering the trials of the Dubai market with his first international venture, Dragonfly by Tim Raue on City Walk


Catering NEWS ME July 2017

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Dragonfly by Tim Raue on City Walk, Dubai


hile Tim Raue is a pretty big deal in Germany – the two-Michelin-starred chef currently oversees eight restaurants in his native country – he remains relatively unknown internationally. Eight months after opening his first international venture in Dubai with Dragonfly on City Walk, he is disappointed that customers aren’t practically breaking down the door to get in, like they do in Berlin. “I’m happy with the concept and the quality but I’m not happy that it’s not packed out and that we’re not doing double or triple seatings like we do in Berlin,” he tells Catering News on the sidelines of an event at the Dubai venue, which features striking red interiors, Asian lanterns, luxurious textures and floor-to-ceiling windows, reminiscent of an oriental tea room. “Normally when I open a restaurant, everyone knows me. You have to stand at the door and keep it closed because everyone wants in. Here, nobody was waiting on me.” He expects his name to become better

Normally when I open a restaurant, everyone knows me. You have to stand at the door and keep it closed because everyone wants in. Here, nobody was waiting on me” known now, following the spring release of his episode on the popular Netflix show, Chef’s Table. “For the third season, they wanted to take guys that have a unique story,” says Raue. “I was really lucky. They looked around Berlin and said ‘who’s the guy that can cook Asian food on that level? We have to take Tim’.” Raue’s story certainly is unique, as the Netflix programme highlights. Having grown up in working-class Kreuzberg in Berlin, he was abused by his father and be-

came involved in street gangs at a young age. Cooking is what saved Raue and a single-minded creativity and lack of regard for the rules of fine dining saw him rise through the ranks to become a culinary superstar in Germany. After receiving his first Michelin star, Raue decided that the traditional mix of Spanish and French fine dining cuisine that he had come to excel in, wasn’t actually his thing. Much to the dismay of his colleagues and investors, he began experimenting with Asian techniques and flavours, with a belief that his ability to combine these would set him apart from Asian chefs. “Chefs are interested in how I mix Cantonese cooking techniques with Thai flavours. No Cantonese chef will ever use Thai flavours and no Thai chef will use Cantonese techniques – they’re so in their own worlds, they cannot blend, but as Europeans we can easily transform things.” Raue admits he didn’t like the way he was portrayed in the Netflix show; however, the PR benefits have been outstanding. “I don’t love [my episode] because it shows July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C over Story

me being rude and it looks like it’s only me, whereas I have a team of more than 20 head chefs and restaurant managers. However, it’s so provocative that people who see it either love me or hate me. “It’s a big honour, it’s the biggest honour you can have. When it was announced I would be in the third series, I had about 300 chefs calling me and asking me for a contact [at Netflix] – they wanted to be on it also. It’s the biggest value in my world, it packed out the restaurant, it was amazing, a rush of clients in Berlin.” However, Raue’s excitement about his Chef’s Table episode is not to discredit two other life-changing moments, made all the more special by their timing – getting named Chef of the Year by Gault et Millau one week and gaining his first Michelin star the next. “The Michelin star really pushed me over so many boundaries and increased the revenue of the restaurant by nearly 50%,” he says. “There was a tsunami of clients and awards; it changed my life from one day to the next.” Another major achievement was having his eponymous restaurant, Restaurant Tim Raue, named at number 34 on 'The

I don’t love my [Chef’s Table episode] because it shows me being rude and it looks like it’s only me, whereas I have a team of more than 20 head chefs and restaurant managers. However, it’s so provocative that people who see it either love me or hate me” World’s 50 Best Restaurants' list in 2016. “This year we dropped down on the list but we’re still on it. There’s number one, two and three and then everything else, so it doesn’t matter where you are on the list – just be on it!” It’s clear that success is extremely important to Raue, and he is determined to

achieve this in Dubai. He has all of the ingredients, with Meraas on side – of whom he speaks very highly – and with Christian Singer, previous chef de cuisine at Restaurant Tim Raue, and restaurant manager, Patricia Liebscher, running the venue. With more than double the investment that was put into Restaurant Tim Raue having gone into the Dubai venture, it’s important the team tweaks the offer quickly in order to ramp up demand. However, one issue that cannot be overcome, is the fact that there is no alcohol licence, which is a challenge Raue has never faced before. “It wasn’t something I thought about; I thought it didn’t matter, but it does,” he says, explaining that the team at Dragonfly has come up with a collection of ‘Jines’ – flavoured juices fermented in-house and served in wine glasses. “They have the difference in flavours, tastes and textures, but to be honest, people want alcohol. We’ll never have a licence though. Things would move better if we had alcohol, but we make the best of our opportunities.” And this means highlighting the restaurant’s stand-out culinary offer, which mimics that of Raue’s two-starred venue. Dishes include the wasabi langoustine,

Kabeljau, Erbse und kohlrabi (cod, peas and turnip cabbage Restaurant Tim Raue


Catering NEWS ME July 2017

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Colette Team Berlin

Dragonfly by Tim Raue - Lamb Shank dashi and ginger

Restaurant Tim Raue

deep-fried in tempura dough, complemented with wasabi mayonnaise and green riceflakes, and balanced with Thai mango jelly and a Thai street food-style dressing. One of the mains is turbot with kamebishi, leek and ginger, served with dry ice and hot water, simulating the steaming process and adding a touch of theatre. Meanwhile, one of Raue’s signature dishes, the peking duck, is recreated using a whole duck and three plates: one with roasted duck breast and a sauce of duck feet, the second with a stock made from the legs and bones of the duck, and the third, a cold mouse of fois gras. With Michelin-star quality food, Raue believes Dragonfly will stand apart from the other restaurants in town, which he says are more concerned with atmosphere. “The quality we’re serving here is outstanding – more than [Meraas] expected. Everything is available in Dubai, but I’ve also seen I can be very focused on the food and that’s not happening here. [In Dubai] you have to have a really good atmosphere, that is number one. Number two is service and licence and number three is the food – that’s different to 99% of the restaurants in the rest of the world.” Raue is conscious however, that he has to adapt to what the market wants, and the first step will be toning down the atmosphere and service to a more casual offer, and pumping up the music – something he has never had to consider in Germany. “We have to adjust it to make it a bit more casual. This is Dubai and the locals and expats like good food but in a relaxed atmosphere. This is what you have to learn when you go to a new region – it’s not enough just having success there, it doesn’t mean you’ll have success in Dubai.” Dragonfly on City Walk has been a learning curve for Raue, who drops a big hint by saying that "next time" he would do things differently. While he is open to more concepts in Dubai, he has no plans of expanding elsewhere internationally for now. “I’m very focused and I think the Dubai market is pretty big. Meraas is a great partner and they will open so many more places. I have a couple of concepts and I will stay close with them and focused on them. I’m not trying to spread around the world; I’m focused on one place and I’ve now learned to understand the Dubai market more deeply.” July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

D EL I V E R I N G THE GOODS Having identified home delivery as a major growth opportunity, Jumeirah Restaurant Group rolled out its first delivery hub for The Noodle House brand, expanding its reach to 17 new locations and achieving record-breaking revenue. Crystal Chesters speaks to JRG general manager Emma Banks to find out more


Catering NEWS ME July 2017

The business


hen Jumeirah Restaurant Group (JRG) carried out a feasibility study two years ago, it identified major growth opportunities in the home delivery space, with a need to increase the speed and reach of deliveries in order to maximise revenues. The first thing the group did was transition from cars to ergonomically designed bikes to allow drivers to cut through congestion. Secondly, it launched a dedicated delivery hub and industrial kitchen in Dubailand to supplement and expand The Noodle House’s in-restaurant dining business, which currently comprises six Dubai outlets, three of which deliver. The delivery hub has increased the pan-Asian brand’s geographical reach to 17 new locations in the UAE and has improved efficiency and speed of delivery in 10 alreadyserviced areas. Speaking to Catering News at the new delivery hub, Jumeirah Restaurant Group general manager, Emma Banks, said: “We wanted to meet growing demand from our customers, deliver consistency and quality and stick to a 45 minutes or below delivery time to expand our market share. By opening this hub, we can deliver to 17 new areas and take some of the pressure off existing units so they can deliver faster to their customers and do more turnover in their areas.” The 80m2 facility taps into lucrative new markets, covering Arabian Ranches, Dubailand, IMPZ, Jumeirah Village Circle, Motor City and Barsha 1,2 and 3. Banks reveals that since opening, the hub has generated the highest average cheque out of all of the delivery outlets for The Noodle House. “These were areas we couldn’t get to fast enough before – huge and lucrative markets we weren’t tapping into,” she explains. With 24 bikes on the road and the new delivery hub launched, The Noodle House’s direct delivery proposition is strong, however Banks admits that working with third parties is an important part of the strategy, with Deliveroo, Foodonclick and Talabat some of the partners on board. “Third-party business is growing rapidly, but we keep our own drivers very

The Dubailand Delivery hub

By opening this hub, we can deliver to 17 new areas and take some of the pressure off existing units so they can deliver faster to their customers and do more turnover in their areas” - Emma Banks busy. We’ve expanded our home delivery business by 25 – 30% because our own fleet is working in conjunction with third parties. At the end of the day, it allows us to deliver more and faster, because the consumer is looking at half-an-hour to 45 minutes’ delivery time. Nobody will wait more than an hour now. If we didn’t work with the third parties, we’d be cutting off our nose to spite our face.” Jumeirah Restaurant Group still promotes its 800-NOODLE call centre number, which is integrated with the deliveryenabled outlets. While it was once part of the plan to develop an app for The Noodle House, this has been put on hold in re-

sponse to a shift in the delivery landscape – Banks admits it’s difficult to compete with third-party players such as Deliveroo and UberEats. “If you have a one-brand app, how will it compete with apps that have 40 or 50 restaurants featured?” she comments. Instead, JRG is focused on upgrading its website this summer and is introducing a payment gateway to make ordering directly more convenient. While The Noodle House, Jumeirah Restaurant Group’s flagship brand was the obvious choice for the first delivery hub given the success of its delivery business in the emirate already, Banks is clear that the Dubailand hub is a “pilot” and there could be space for other brands being represented. “We thought about doing hubs with other brands but I think we’ll evaluate this as Deliveroo has changed that whole space and some brands can be just as easily facilitated through that. We could consider doing multiple brands in these hubs because we can design the kitchens with different brand set-ups. I do think there’s potential for other brands – the delivery market in Dubai is growing fast and there’s no sign of it stopping.” Since the interview took place, the delivery menu of Perry & Blackwelder’s has been made available at the Dubailand delivery hub, and JRG has partnered with July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

The Noodle House Dim Sum feast

BRAND NEW As well as upgrading existing brands, Jumeirah Restaurant Group recently launched an innovative new brand, Flow, at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in conjunction with the Emirates Youth Council. Flow is at the forefront of industry trends, catering for coffee connoisseurs, and vegan and paleo diets. The concept was turned around in just two months and is currently undergoing an incubation period. “I think at Jumeirah Restaurant Group we’re showing that we’re prepared to get right on-trend. We’ll continue to consolidate our successful brands – The Noodle House, Pierchic, Pai Thai and Trattoria – and create innovative brands. There are a couple of concepts I’m keen to work on – we’re a small but talented team,” reveals Banks. Deliveroo to offer this service. In a statement, JRG said: “The reaction so far has been fantastic. JRG is attributing this to a previous gap in the market as the traditional smokehouse segment is not well represented in the home delivery market. Sales are growing week on week for Perry & Blackwelder’s as awareness grows.” The Dubailand delivery hub is the first of three to be rolled out, and without being able to reveal the exact locations of the other two, Banks hints that these will service untapped markets on the outskirts of Dubai. In addition to improving its delivery capacity for The Noodle House brand, the group is focused on rolling out its new design concept at the Madinat Jumeirah venue, and the Burjuman restaurant, which will be closed and re-opened in a new building. Making the kitchens more efficient is 28

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Third-party business is growing rapidly, but we keep our own drivers very busy. We’ve expanded our home delivery business by 25 – 30% because our own fleet is working in conjunction with third parties” - Emma Banks The Noodle House menu

another objective, and the Dubailand delivery hub has acted as a testing ground for space-saving, multi-tasking equipment. “It used to be you’d have one piece of equipment for one task,” says Banks. “Nowadays, with rents in premium loca-

tions high, you don’t want to pay for space that’s not being used. We’re looking to reduce the footprint of our equipment and make sure it’s designed to be user-friendly, intuitive and hygienic. Equipment is expensive so we want it to be functional and do more than one task. We’re hoping future Noodle House kitchens will be value-engineered and more efficient.” The new Dubailand delivery hub has gone a long way to helping Jumeirah Restaurant Group further penetrate the UAE’s growing home delivery market, which is currently valued at AED12.9 billion. May 2017 was a record-breaking month for The Noodle House’s home delivery business, with the brand clearing over AED1 million on home delivery alone. “I feel we’re the first-to-market in this for a dine-in restaurant brand – we are right on the crest of this wave,” concludes Banks.


Dubai World Trade Centre 18 - 20 September 2017

C hef focus


Catering NEWS ME July 2017

C hef F ocus

Turgeon T he

G eneral

Patrick Ryan catches up with Eric Turgeon, the chef making waves at Lexington Grill, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah


he culinary landscape might be constantly evolving but hard work is still the key to success, according to Eric Turgeon, chef de cuisine at Lexington Grill, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. The Canadian native has travelled across the corners of the globe to hone his craft, taking in locations like Chile, Peru, Argentina and Singapore to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry. He insists that wherever a restaurant has been successful, it’s on the back of hard work and an understanding of the basics of the craft. “It’s a different world from when I started – you have to be patient and passionate about what you’re doing. You’re going to realise it’s a lot of hard work,” he says. “The Middle East is one of the best places to be a chef but there’s a lot happening in terms of competition. New hotels, new restaurants, lots of people coming here for food, but when you’re a young chef you need to be patient about food.” It’s vital that chefs don’t cut corners, Turgeon insists, because the market here in the Middle East is so competitive that you will almost certainly be found out. He urges anyone interested in starting out in the industry to “begin with cutting onions and potatoes”. “Don’t learn too fast, be careful, learn your technique, technique is everything, if you don’t learn your technique you don’t

The Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah

Lexington Grill

have consistency in your food,” says Turgeon, emphasising that a lot of chefs jump steps when they start. “What I would suggest is working in different areas of the industry – you can work in a butcher's, make pastries or work in an all-day dining – all those outlets will provide opportunities for your development. “A lot of my chefs want to learn molecular gastronomy. I can teach that, but learn how to cook a chicken first… learn

how to cook a steak first, then I will teach you something else that you deserve to do. Right now the answer is no! Just be patient, be stable, work for the same hotel for years and years. In the long term that will be much more helpful for your career.” Turgeon speaks from a position of authority and experience, some 17 years’ worth in fact, having started out working in a French bistro in his native Canada. “I didn’t speak English very well because July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


W hat's cooking?

The signature dish

While foie gras is not exactly a stranger to menus in the Middle East, it’s unlikely many chefs have weighed up the pros and cons to the extent that Eric Turgeon has with his signature dish. “A lot of people have issues about how foie gras is produced, but I went to the farm in France where ours is produced,” he says. “If you go there you will see the ducks are lining up and running around, free range.” He adds that a good chef will always be aware of how their products are made and that the reception he gets from guests proves he has made the right decision. “Every time I serve foie gras people are blown away,” he says. “Everywhere you go it is served with apples, served with pineapples, but right now I am serving it with celeriac and banana puree with pine nut butter and pine nuts. It goes very well, it’s quite adventurous, people say it’s very different but it’s very good.” my first language is French so I moved to Alberta on the other side of Canada to work in a French restaurant. I learned a lot there, including how to speak English,” he says. “I think travelling brings me lots of creativity. Every time I go somewhere I learn something new. I went to Chile, Peru, Argentina; I was in France for a while before going to Germany, Spain and then Cuba to see how to roll a cigar. It all helped with my imagination on how to create food.” Turgeon has also worked in Abu Dhabi and the Philippines, so it’s fair to say he is well-travelled. Working in a steak house is not a strange experience for Turgeon – in fact he describes it as second nature. “It’s in my blood, it’s what I used to do at home, my father owned a steak house, I know fine dining but I know about comfort food too – it’s about finding that balance,” Turgeon says. So where does a chef who has travelled the globe to hone his craft get his influences from? “Everything inspires me,” he says. “I think 32

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me and my team talk about food all the time and my younger staff members give me ideas and help me to think out of the box. “There’s a lot happening in the chef industry right now, a lot of people have a lot more interest in what we do, it’s moved on from the television cliché of people screaming at you across the kitchen.” The destination of Ras Al Khaimah has given Turgeon an opportunity to truly stand out from the pack.

Surf 'n' Turf at Lexington Grill

“People come here to relax, to have family time with great food. There are a lot of great hotels and restaurants in Dubai but we are the centrepiece here in Ras Al Khaimah,” he says. “We are only an hour away – you can drive for an hour in Dubai just being stuck in traffic, it’s the same thing. Since we’re not that far away, people sometimes even come out to Ras Al Khaimah just to try the quality of our food.” So what is it that makes the Lexington Grill in Ras Al Khaimah stand out? “It’s about communication. We plan months in advance; my plan for the calendar year ahead is done in October,” he says. “I know I need lamb spare ribs in September for example. I tell the supplier I need this or that, so it is not left to the last minute.” Turgeon says that while people expect a certain menu – steak tartare, mac and cheese, Caesar salad and crab cakes, to name but a few – it’s his job to keep offering more choice. “We have to be more adventurous. Right now, I have a crab cake doughnut, why not?” he asks. “It’s how I promote the menu and turn it around two to three times a year. Once a year I would have a meat tasting to change my brand as well. Last year I had truffle with coffee reduction, people thought it was weird until they ordered it and they loved it. It’s all about what I am going to do next year, it’s about never staying still and how I move forward.”

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Northern Ireland

Catering News Middle East in partnership with Invest Northern Ireland, Sea Source, Kettyle Foods and Pritchitts Foods hosted a roundtable, networking and tasting event with chefs and F&B professionals to highlight the quality of Northern Irish produce and explore the trends, opportunities and challenges chefs face when it comes to procuring quality produce in the Middle East

(Clockwise from L-R) Scott Price, chef patron/ partner, Folly by Nick & Scott; Colin Clague, executive chef, Ruya; Mark Taquet, corporate chef, business and product development head, JM Foods llc; Mostafa Chhoury, head chef, Indie DIFC; HaikoMichael Schafer, executive chef, Emirates Flight Catering; Chef Francesco Di Noia, head chef Segreto; Madinat Jumeirah; Reif Othman, chief culinary officer, RAW Galadari Holding (Play Restaurant & Lounge and The Experience by Reif Othman); Brian Voelzing, head chef, The Hide; Tristin Farmer, head chef, Marina Social; Nick Alvis, chef patron/ partner, Folly by Nick & Scott 34

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Karl Devlin from Invest Northern Ireland welcomes the chefs

Invest Northern Ireland Invest Northern Ireland is the regional economic development agency responsible for developing export markets for Northern Ireland companies, including food and drink. In the Middle East it has offices in Dubai, Jeddah and Doha.


atering News Middle East, in partnership with Invest Northern Ireland, Kettyle Irish Foods, Pritchitts and Sea Source, hosted a chef’s roundtable at The Hide, Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai to showcase a variety of Northern Irish produce and discuss what differentiates it on the market and the challenges when it comes to procuring it. Commenting on why Invest Northern Ireland collaborated with Catering News on the roundtable, Karl Devlin, head of business development, Middle East Food Division commented: “Invest Northern Ireland sees high-end restaurants as a growth op-

CONTACT: Karl Devlin Head of business development, Middle East Food Division T: +44 2890698225 E: portunity for these categories and decided to participate in the chef’s roundtable to encourage food experts and professionals to try what we have to offer. “Dubai is famous for its excellent restaurant standards and it’s my view that there’s a really good fit between some of the fine restaurants here and the best of Northern Ireland ingredients.” The event incorporated presentations and tasting sessions hosted by the three participating suppliers. Kettyle Irish Foods, which supplies halal-certified meat to the Middle East and specialises in dry-ageing, showcased its lamb and beef, while Sea Source highlighted its scallops

and langoustines. Pritchitts demonstrated the yield that can be achieved from Millac Gold, its dairy cream alternative, which doesn't split when cooking and thickens faster than dary single cream, saving time in the kitchen. Commenting on the event, Maurice Kettyle, managing director of Kettyle Irish Foods said: “The roundtable was an excellent forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities of exporting to the region and meeting likeminded businesses, giving a better understanding of each other's experiences. "We see the Middle East as an important growth opportunity.” July 2017 Catering NEWS ME



KETTYLE IRISH FOODS Founded in 2004 in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, Kettyle is the original dry aged company and supplies halal-certified beef and lamb to the Middle East. It recently invested in a fully IP protected salt moss cave, which allows for an enhanced dry ageing process. Salt moss ageing is the optimum and most consistent method of meat maturation as it doesn’t disturb the tissue make-up of the product and holds and intensifies the flavour profile. The result is meat that is more consistent, tender and flavoursome. CONTACT: Maurice Kettyle, managing director T: +4428 6772 3777 E: W:

What do you think of the Northern Irish products you have tasted today? Colin Clague: The seafood we tried was

fantastic, but I wouldn’t use frozen seafood. If you could get it fresh in Britain, that’s different. I get my seafood from Japan, France, and from the new fish farm in Jebel Ali, which has sea bream, sea bass, etcetera – it’s fantastic. Mark Taquet: I think the Kettyle beef is a good product. With Kettyle, it’s like getting back to that relationship you’d have with your butcher at home; the artisanal cuts that could be available through them. I think it’s important that chefs take the input and try to do something a bit different. Haiko-Michael Schafer: As a chef, I know that people in Northern Ireland are very passionate about what they’re producing 36

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and an important thing is the grass – their lamb is very good.

Do you use Northern Irish produce at the moment? Nick Alvis: No, we don’t but that’s why we’re here.

Brian Voelzing: I use Kettyle beef from Northern Ireland.

Mostafa Chhoury: We use Australian and

Argentinian beef because we share the business with Gaucho. We don’t use much lamb though.

What barriers do you face as chefs when introducing Northern Irish products? Mark: One of the problems we have as a

distributor/ supplier of beef is educating the front-of-house staff so they understand the

product and can differentiate it. If you look at the menus of most steakhouses here, you’ll see a large variety of beef and having to transfer that information to the front-of-house staff, then the customer, is challenging. Most people will understand a striploin or a tenderloin but if you start to do something more exciting with a sous vide, a secondary cut or something like that, a lot of the customers will look at you like you’re crazy. They don’t really understand the product. Nick: An amazing product is an amazing product, but it’s just got to come in. Scott Price: It’s the balance between where your quality and standards are. It’s easy to fall into the trap over here of just getting everything frozen. Nick: For us we want everything fresh and that’s a big point for the seafood; I think us guys can all say the same thing. We want


PRITCHITTS, A LAKELAND DAIRIES COMPANY With a heritage spanning 120 years, the Lakeland Dairies group is one of Ireland’s largest farmer-owned dairy co-operatives and a specialist in the production of value-added long life dairy products. Fresh milk is collected daily from over 2,200 family farms in 15 county catchment areas of Ireland. The group processes over one billion litres of quality milk annually, producing high-quality, yet functional dairy products designed to meet the needs of busy chefs around the world. CONTACT: Anton Maas Export manager – Middle East T: +971 544 39 39 32 E: W:

live langoustines, live scallops – the more they move the better. Haiko-Michael: For me that’s not so important, I can use frozen.

Do you use grain-fed or grassfed beef in your restaurants? Tristin Farmer: We use grain-fed Brian: We use both but most is grain-fed. If it’s not dry-aged all the prime cuts are grain fed.

Reif: I use dry-aged beef and some Japanese beef. Francesco Di Noia: We use striploin and

we’re trying to work with beef on the bone now too. It comes from the US/ Australia.

is there a consumer perception in the Middle East that grass-fed beef isn’t as good as grain fed? Tristin Farmer: The consumers don’t un-

derstand when they’re eating grass-fed; they just think it’s an expensive, chewy steak. They’re used to eating grain-fed meat all the time, which is really tender. It’s front-ofhouse training, understanding the customers and the menu. I had never used grain-fed beef until I moved to Dubai. Working in the UK and London, it was always grass-fed. I’d never considered it but it’s consumer-led, it’s what people want here. Scott: Yeah, some people might complain that the steak is chewy and you have to suffer that; you can’t tell them they’re wrong. Colin: Grass-fed beef isn’t as tender and grain-fed is more tender. That’s just a fact and there’s nothing we can do about it. Even if it’s tender with no flavour to it, that’s what people want! Mark: I think it’s also a lot to do with genetics. I think a lot of the grass-fed beef is from dairy

cattle. Genetics have a lot to do with the marbling in the meat as well. If the genetics aren’t there, you can grain feed the product as long as you want but you’re not necessarily going to get good intramuscular fat on the meat. Brian: As a consumer, I don’t have a preference, I like both. I think a bit of a chew to a steak is alright.

As chefs, is it important to you to use the whole animal? Tristin: We’ve got to try and use everything

up but the Dubai market is so different in terms of what you can buy, whereas in the UK you could buy a quarter side of beef and then you’ve got to use everything to make the margins. Here it’s very different and you can only buy individual cuts. Because it’s readily available, everyone is happy to buy full fillets and full sirloins. July 2017 Catering NEWS ME



SEA SOURCE Established as the Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers Organisation (ANIFPO) in 1984, the collective of County Down trawler owners have their own fish selling division, processing arm and offshore energy services company. Sea Source catches, sells and processes its own fish and shellfish products, with the aim of reducing costs and maximising the financial returns for the local fishermen. Sea Source offers a wide range of products exported internationally, including high quality whole prawns, prawn tails and scallops. CONTACT: Steven Pryce, factory manager T: +44 (0)28 4176 2591 E: W:

Colin: We use the whole lamb but we don’t get it all the time. We get it from Australia and Wales. We can do kebabs but ours is a Turkish restaurant. Scott: It very much depends on the type of restaurant. How easy is it to procure Northern Irish produce in the Middle East? Mark: It’s difficult here to team up with the

correct supplier to get a product into the market. Back home the prices fluctuate and the market here is savage. One week you’ll have a product you’re selling that’s doing really well and another week someone will offer a product that’s cheaper in terms of kilo price. The way the market has gone over the past year, chefs have to be a lot more price-conscious. They need to have a consistent product, so the pricing is stable and it’s less of a headache. Scott: Everyone sitting around this table has been in Dubai for a few years and knows that four or five years ago, you couldn’t get 38

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anything from Britain supplier-wise. Welsh lamb for example, you couldn’t get. We’re all here because we’re interested in seeing what’s available. Colin: British beef was banned for a while. Tristin: Protein is a lot more readily-available than vegetables anyway. There is a lot of UK/ Irish produce but it’s much more protein-based. Scott: It’s not a case of not being able to get it but price-wise and consistency-wise, it’s the same old story; we’ve all got budgets and prices. We can look at things, maybe we’re interested in some of the beef and the scallops because they might fit into the price bracket, but the only way you learn about new products is by coming to have a look.

Is it useful having a supplier demonstrate how their product should be handled? Nick: Yes, 100%. We didn’t treat the sam-

ple from Kettyle properly. We left it in the

bag too long then we cooked it up and we weren’t that impressed. Suppliers need to just educate the chef on how to handle and look after the product. Scott: We’ve tested a lot of beef and we’ve found a product that’s consistent, but it doesn’t mean we can’t change. Nick: We’re not locked into anything; we’re a standalone restaurant and we call all the shots with the menu and nobody gets in the way of that. If you come knocking on the door and we’re interested in using your product then we’ll use it – but it has to be consistent.

How important is frontof-house training when introducing a new product to the menu? Tristin: We don’t do training with the sup-

pliers but we do a lot of product knowledge – menu tastings, menu trainings, etcetera, and we’re training the front-of-house staff to know everything about the menu. How-


ever, we as chefs should be doing more training with the suppliers so that we can talk about specific products, where they’re from and the story behind them. Nick: But that’s down to us to sell your product; we like to work with the people in the background like the farmers and the growers. Tristin: The story and the passion behind it all is amazing and the customers never know that. If it’s more expensive than something else on the menu, the customers don’t understand that or why they’re buying it. Colin: When you get the high-end stuff like truffles and caviar, the supplier will come in and do the explanation.

Would the stories behind Northern Irish products resonate with Middle East consumers? Nick: We like the story and the ethics that

go into the products. I’m not sure we’d

write the brand of beef on the menu, but we’d talk to people who are interested in it. Colin: I think less so. At the end of the day everything has been flown thousands of miles to get here so it’s not as local as it would be in the UK. Scott: I think everyone here who is from Europe or Britain likes seeing these stories because it reminds them of home.

Although it’s not local, it is local in their minds and that’s something. We try to use as much local Middle Eastern stuff as possible. Price-wise it’s good so we use as much local fish and local vegetables as possible and we’re always trying to champion local produce. At the same time if you can get fresh langoustines or scallops that are of amazing quality, we’d use them as well. July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T rends

With outlets specialising in food bowls popping up ubiquitously in the Middle East, Catering News rounds up the key factors driving the trend


ineapple Express, Poke Poke and The Acai Spot are just some of the bowlfocused outlets that have opened their doors in recent years in Dubai. Some venues, such as Poke Poke, specialise in the Hawaiian delicacy pronounced ‘poh-keh’ – fresh fish tossed in soy sauce, sesame seeds and rice wine vinegar on a bed of sushi rice – while others, such as The Acai Spot, focus on the Amazonian berry, acai, which is considered a super fruit, while offering some quirky options, such as Brazilian cheese balls (pão de queijo) in paper bowls. Australian brand, Pineapple Express, which has a venue in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers and is exploring further expansion in the Middle East, offers both acai bowls and poke bowls. The outlet’s signature dishes are Posh Fish, a poke bowl containing salmon, truffle, ponzu, avocado, spring onions, burnt 40

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

I believe the best types of food eaten out of a bowl include anything quick, easy and appealing to the eye. The ingredients must also be fresh!” - Leigh Metzeling, director of Pineapple Express pineapple and wakame seaweed; and the Acai Nutter – acai, almond milk, banana, Raw cacao and organic almond butter topped with twice-baked granola, peanuts, cacao nibs and Raw chocolate sauce. “I believe the best types of food eaten out of a bowl include anything quick, easy and appealing to the eye. The ingredients must also be fresh!” comments Leigh Metzeling, director of Pineapple

Express Australia and Pineapple Express Head Office (MENA region). According to Michael Whiteman, president of US-based food and restaurant consulting firm, Baum & Whiteman, the food bowl trend began with cold items such as fruit, grains and various yoghurts, however hot bowls have become popular recently. “There has been a movement toward serving hot proteins on top of cold greens and grains or hot proteins and hot vegetables or hot grains on top of greens,” he says. “One reason is that in the US, we have more extreme seasons, so warm food is required to satisfy changes in demand.” For Marcio Saboya, CEO of The Acai Spot, Dubai, key consumer drivers for the food bowl trend are convenience and fashion. “I believe that some food started being served in bowls for convenience, however it is becoming fashionable now.


The Acai Spot Strawberry Bowl

One of Poke Poke’s creations is the Dubai Bowl with cooked salmon or tuna, honey ginger tamari, edamame, tomato, spring onion, cucumber and snow peas

July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T rends

Our bowls are photogenic, which customers find appealing for posting on social media and sharing with friends” - Jeremiah Dupin, founder and managing partner, Poke Poke I can see more and more restaurants using bowls,” he says. Agreeing that convenience is a factor, Jeremiah Dupin, founder and managing partner of Poke Poke points out that it’s easier to combine ingredients in a bowl and their ability to be customised is also appealing. “I enjoy food in a bowl because it’s easier to mix it all together and to take on-the-go rather than food on a plate. People can pick their own options for whatever mood they are in,” he comments, explaining that Poke Poke offers more than 60 combinations of bowls. Whiteman adds that bowls fit comfortably in the hand compared to plates and are particularly suited to fast-paced lifestyles. “It’s easier to eat from [a bowl], especially if you are dining at your desk, which at least 50% of US workers do every day at lunch time,” he says. He also highlights the primitive aspect of eating out of a bowl, which many people find satisfying. “There is a ‘zen’ sense about eating from a bowl that adds a cultural or moral significance to what otherwise might seem like an ordinary meal. This has something to do with the way a bowl fits in your hand and because it’s a more primitive implement.” From a chef’s perspective, plating food in bowls is easier, quicker and according to Metzeling, promotes creativity. “Anyone can do the plating and it’s usually the staff behind the counter that have the most inspiration for the bowls. This allows for more creativity within the team,” she comments. Plating food in bowls also eliminates problematic white space on a plate and can make the dish tastier and more visually appealing for all-important Instagram shots, according to the experts. “It’s faster and easier to create good-looking bowls of 42

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

Pineapple Express’s Posh Fish, a poke bowl containing salmon, truffle, ponzu, avocado, spring onions, burnt pineapple and wakame seaweed

Poke Poke, Dubai

The Acai Spot is located in Deira, Dubai


In addition to acai bowls, The Acai Spot serves Brazilian cheese balls in bowls

food rather than doing so on a plate that has a much larger surface area,” says Whiteman. “Chefs don’t have to deal with the white space of a plate and they don’t have to position everything just-so.” Dupin adds: “Our bowls are photogenic, which customers find appealing for posting on social media and sharing with friends.” As the trend grows and evolves, food bowl proponents have to keep looking for new ways to stand out. Pineapple Express will do so by introducing new flavours and ingredients to its bowls, such as pink pitaya (pink dragon fruit). “It has more antioxidants and health benefits than acai and boasts an electric pink colour,” says Metzeling. “Pineapple Express is also about to release a premium set of acai bowls and smoothie bowls that capture a new set of flavours and are Instagram-worthy.” Similarly, Poke Poke is looking to bring in new ingredients such as proteins, marinades and bases, however the poke concept will stay the same. Moving forward, the experts agree that the trend is here to stay, given the convenience, attractiveness and health benefits of bowls. “We have become smarter about nutrition and realise each of us is unique in how our bodies handle certain food,” says Dupin of Poke Poke. “With custom bowls, people can tailor them to specific needs versus fixed menu options at other restaurants.” Metzling adds: “The trend has many years to go. In Australia, Amazonia, a leading acai company goes through 700,000 cases per month of 77 acai sachets, and this trend has been going on for more than five years now in Australia. I’m 100% sure that it will hit the Middle East in a big way.”

It’s faster and easier to create goodlooking bowls of food rather than doing so on a plate that has a much larger surface area” - Michael Whiteman, president, Baum & Whiteman

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July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T he Hotel Show

The Hotel Show is focused on ‘hospitality redefined’ for 2017 The Middle East’s leading hospitality event, The Hotel Show Dubai, has announced a raft of exciting new features for 2017 as it looks to lead the way in reshaping and redefining the region’s hospitality and tourism sectors


ow in its 18th year, The Hotel Show Dubai will take place as part of ‘Dubai International Hospitality Week’ – organised by dmg events and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) – which will bring together dmg’s The Hotel Show with the launch of DWTC’s GulfHost. The Dubai Tourism-endorsed event, set to bring the world of hospitality to Dubai, is anticipated to attract more than 50,000 visitors when it opens at the DWTC in September 2017. The Hotel Show Dubai 2017 will cater to every element of the guest experience, from décor, finishings and in-room technologies, to restaurants, leisure facilities and the design of staff uniforms. The Hotel Show redefined In consultation with the international hospitality industry, associations and professionals from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, WORLDCHEFS, Emirates Culinary Guild, The UAE Professional Housekeepers Group, and many more, The Hotel Show’s global portfolio and associated events will reflect and cater to the whole of the industry like never before – showcasing and forecasting the latest trends, as well as harnessing industry talent and development. Taking place in Dubai in September, the portfolio’s flagship event, The Hotel Show Dubai, will offer unique networking platforms that celebrate every facet of hospitality, whilst helping its people grow and develop both personally and professionally, in one of the most active areas for hospitality development in the world. 44

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

The H otel S h ow

“The dmg events hospitality portfolio is providing our students with invaluable opportunities via workshops, internships and more – to see inside the region’s biggest and longest-standing hospitality events company, and to meet the industry players when they attend The Hotel Show Dubai in September,” said Judy Hou, managing director, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. As such, across The Hotel Show floor, visitors will be treated to a range of educational seminars and workshops run by leading industry experts. The show will also introduce a host of live features, including The Middle East Housekeepers League of Champions, The Runway, The Great Taste Theatre (for Middle East Hospitality Awards 2017 sponsors) and the second edition of The Tec-Innovation Zone, all of which will entertain and offer valuable hospitality insight. Ray Tinston, portfolio director of The Hotel Show, said: “Whatever stage you are at in your career, we aim to provide an experience to help harness your talent, keep you on top of the latest trends and provide unlimited access to suppliers to help your hotel and business grow in any way it needs. “As the industry changes and grows, so must we, and we have. The Hotel Show has been rebranded, creating a sleek platform on which to network in the most efficient way possible. Through our new features that directly reflect the industry, the hoteliers and all departments within a hotel, we are confident that our rebrand allows us to reposition our place within the region’s outstanding hospitality industry, and provides a stage that its people deserve and are proud to do business on. “Our format for 2017 seeks to pull down the hurdles that hoteliers find along the way – from career advancement to working with suppliers. We are a community, and The Hotel Show is our annual get-together.” What’s new this year? With its roots in the Middle East, The Hotel Show portfolio is expanding internationally this year. Identifying hospitality development hotspots in South Africa

The Hotel show 2017


and the Philippines, the event is launching new editions in Africa and Asia in 2017 in June and August, respectively – providing a unique opportunity for collaboration and insight into these thriving areas as the show has historically provided in Dubai. The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia kicked off 2017 for the portfolio, with its fifth edition in April. Identifying a gap in the market, a new cooking competition hailed as a “first” for the kingdom was introduced to the event, endorsed by WORLDCHEFS, Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association and Saudi Arabian Chefs Table Circle. Jeddah’s Mövenpick Resort Al Nawras took home the gold medals and trophies designed by RAK Porcelain at Saudi Arabia’s first ever ‘Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition – Mystery Box Challenge’ – now established as a core feature of the Jeddah event.

The first new installation The Hotel Show Dubai 2017 has announced, is a feature area dedicated to housekeepers – a vital and strategic part of any hotel. The Middle East Housekeepers League of Champions concept is a live competition pitching hotel groups against each other. Two typical hotel rooms consisting of a bed, curtains, flooring and TV units, will be set up back-to-back. The rooms will then be turned upside down, and the two teams compete head-to-head to put the room back to its original state in just 15 minutes. There will be a league of competing teams and a prize-giving at the end of the show, with two teams in the final. In association with bespoke uniform designers, A. Ronai LLC, The Hotel Show will also welcome The Runway for 2017. Hospitality workwear is always picked up on by guests. As such, the new feature will give multiple hospitality groups the opportunity to show off their latest uniform ranges for the likes of security, front of house, spa and pool personnel, to the region’s key buyers. The Middle East Hospitality Awards have evolved from the Middle East Hotel Awards following five successful years, and are set to run on the second evening of The Hotel Show Dubai (19 September 2017). With the endorsement of industry leaders, including Ambassador and Judge, decorated Chef and restaurateur, Gary Rhodes OBE, the new-look awards reflect how the industry is evolving, with new categories for restaurants, bars, spas, sporting facilities, event and nightlife venues and more. Find out more: July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


M arketplace

Top of the table

The tableware products and trends setting the scene at the Middle East’s restaurants and hotels



A. RONAI LLC Managing director, A. Ronai LLC, Gavin Dodd presents Steelite’s Scape range, which explores a multimaterial approach

Glenn Ewart, commercial director of 1765 Gemini says Churchill’s ranges are in demand What is your best-selling tableware product? Churchill is our best-selling manufacturer with Stonecast and Studio Prints its most successful lines at the moment. What is unique about it? Stonecast is a hand-painted chinaware, which makes each piece unique. Studio Prints uses a similar technique but with machine print and this creates texture on the plates with multiple printing techniques. What is the most important feature of the perfect tableware product? Customers eat with their eyes first, so it is important for the tableware to complement the food and act as a canvas for the chef. The shape must work, it should be functional and durable. Elements such as whether it can be heated, and if it’s dishwasher safe, stackable and chip resistant, are also essential when choosing tableware. What are the latest trends in tableware? There is market demand at the moment for texture and colour in tableware – the feeling of it being handmade. T: +97145543003 E: W:

Premium napkins are the best-seller at Duni according to Marcus Toft, area manager Middle East & Africa What is your best-selling tableware product? Our best-seller is our premium napkin alternative, made from Dunilin. It comes in two sizes and as a pre-folded cutlery pocket. What is unique about it? It is available in more than 20 colours and even more design options. What is the most important feature of the perfect tableware product? The perfect tableware product is something that caters to the needs of whoever uses it. The flexibility that Duni offers in materials and products will fulfill most needs. What are the latest trends in tableware? There is a trend towards natural materials and colours, with the introduction of shades such as chestnut and honey. We supply a candleholder made from onyx stone in line with this trend. T: +971 55 892 7548 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME July 2017

What is your best-selling tableware product? We have several new collections for 2017 from our crockery brand, Steelite, which are proving popular. What is unique about it? One of Steelite’s new collections, Scape, explores a multi-material approach with the unique ability to transition between dining styles using chinaware, melamine and glass combined to create an innovative dining experience. What is the most important feature of the perfect tableware product? Tableware must be fit for purpose. Choosing a range that complements the atmosphere and décor of the restaurant can also enhance the guest experience and provide talking points. What are the latest trends in tableware? Casual, yet chic dining. We are seeing a continuing trend for a more relaxed dining experience created through the use of rustic products but in a contemporary and creative manner. T: +971 4 3414409 E: W:

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Allen Hutchings, regional manager GCC, unveils the handcrafted, nostalgic charm of the company’s Shabby Chic range

Adam Rahmani, director, Al Diyafa Hotel & Catering Supplies highlights what makes Porland porcelain unique What is your best-selling tableware product? Since early 2017, our best-selling tableware product has been Porland porcelain, a new brand we have introduced to widen our tableware range and offer a unique dining experience.

What is your best-selling tableware product? One of our current best-selling products is the Shabby Chic line. What is unique about it? Shabby Chic is a contemporary interpretation of the vintage look, with a handcrafted, nostalgic charm. The range is available in eight varieties, in shades of blue and grey or stone-look, both with and without ornamentation. The patterns also set fascinating and eye-catching counterpoints when used in combination with the sheer elegance of pure white porcelain. What is the most important feature of the perfect tableware product? As well as being practical in everyday use, the perfect tableware product should offer the customer the possibility to react to current tableware trends whilst still being able to differentiate themselves from the competition with their own individual solutions. What are the latest trends in tableware? We are seeing authentic, individualistic, organic décor patterns and natural structures. T: +971504800937 E: W:


Nikolan Dietz, marketing manager explains why the Vision glass series is the company’s best-seller What is your best-selling tableware product? Our all-time hero is the Vision glass series, which has been a hit since it was introduced. What is unique about it? Each glass is unique, and has been created from lead-free crystalline glass, using a traditional, hand-blown method. As well as having a highly sophisticated design, the glasses in the Vision range are guaranteed to provide maximum aroma and optimum development of grape. However, the light, colours and visual depth of the glasses are what make it impossible to tear your eyes away from them.

What is unique about it? The combination of quality, design and varied style and colour options make Porland a unique choice in the UAE hospitality market. What is the most important feature of the perfect tableware product? We believe in an initial striking design feature and a high quality, durable product that offers long-term value to the client’s dining set-up. What are the latest trends in tableware? We have noticed a growing trend towards platter presentation and introducing items such as cast-iron cookware on table-top settings. T: +971 2 673 6566 E: W:

What is the most important feature of the perfect tableware product? The most important feature is tableware that adjusts to the ambience, supporting and enhancing it so that the overall result is a unique experience for the customer. What are the latest trends in tableware? We’ve noticed a rise in metal finishes, especially copper tones and matching wooden materials. T:+ 49 9273 9273 68 E: W: July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Rikan The Tabletop Toast Holder is Rikan’s most in-demand product says Mohammed Zain, assistant marketing manager What is your best-selling tableware product? The Tabletop Toast Holder and Jam Holder set is our best-seller. What is unique about it? The Toast Holder occupies less space on the table and holds a whole family of toast and spreads. The product is customised in such a way that it holds toast, butter and has two spreaders attached side by side with a bull horn T-shaped handle on top. A matching jam holder complements the set. It is made in India using 100% stainless steel non-rusting material. What are the latest trends in tableware? Products that are user-friendly, compact on the table and that have a chic appearance. T: +9714 3252500 E: W:

STEELITE Andrew Klimecki, VP design, introduces Steelite’s latest launch, the Willow plate and bowl series What is your best-selling tableware product? Our latest launch is Willow, a plate and bowl series designed for fine dining and banqueting. What is unique about it? Willow features a repeating interweave design that mirrors traditional woven craft. The combination of crisp style and precision technology reproduces the natural qualities of willow – a pale, beautiful wood with hidden inner strength. What is the most important feature of the perfect tableware product? Collections that stack well together make for a more efficient kitchen. We design some of our collections to be compatible with our other ranges, so it’s easy for operators to add new pieces to their existing stock of tableware. What are the latest trends in tableware? We’re seeing a strong return to traditional styles once again, with consumers looking for heritage and retro eating-out experiences. Classic white tableware collections like our Willow range – ‘your new white’ – are in vogue. T: +971 043414409 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME July 2017

Pr oducts

In Uniform

Uniform suppliers reveal the latest products available in the Middle East



One of the latest uniforms Bragard has launched for the 2017 collection is the Model Lexington for Man and Lexi for Woman. Developed using the latest fabric technology at Bragard’s research and development facility in Epinal, France, the longsleeved chef jacket has a teddy collar with honeycomb panels; a pocket concealed press-stud placket; a pen pocket on the left sleeve; underarm air vents; sleeve gussets with Coolmax fabric on the back; and a back length of 75cm. Made of 50% polyester and 50% Tencel, the material is antibacterial, easy-care and easy-iron, regulates perspiration and neutralises odors. Bragard regularly carries out research and development work to improve comfort for chefs working in busy environments and is committed to using sustainable raw materials, such as Tencel fabric, which is ecofriendly, durable, soft and breathable. T: +971 4 395 16 11 E: W:

The Uniforms by Ronai catalogue continues to grow with a host of clothing lines suitable for hospitality and corporate industries. The company’s suiting range is particularly versatile, offering fashionable and flattering separates in three timeless colours, allowing users to create a look that’s perfect for the front office, finance or management team. Created in a luxury wool blend fabric with the added advantage of lycra, Ronai’s suits provide increased comfort to the wearer as well as supporting creasefree all-day wear. With a classic and contemporary fit, each suit contains distinctive features including an inner pocket and shirt grippers on the trousers and alternate skirt options for females. Ronai’s catalogue ‘builder’ sections allow businesses to create their own collections – for management teams, waiters and hosts to chefs and stewards. The catalogue ensures a smooth ordering process together with stock supported garments. In line with Gulf Hospitality Week in September, the catalogue will feature enhanced ‘builder’ sections and a collection of new fabrics to increase the range. T: +971 4 3414409 E: W: July 2017 Catering NEWS ME


Ian West, group general manager of 4-Front unveils ambitious growth plans for the group behind The Scene by Simon Rimmer

You recently joined 4-Front as group GM – what’s your previous experience? I began my career in the UK working as on-trade category manager and business development manager for AB Inbev, the parent group for several beverage brands. I moved to the Middle East with Heineken (Sirocco) in 2005 where I successfully implemented the commercial and channel strategy of the sales team before moving to 4-Front as group general manager in January 2016. I now oversee all aspects of the multi-unit F&B organisation. What attracted you to the role? With a wide range of international involvement across sales, trade marketing and brand management, I was eager to channel my decade of knowledge and experience across the Middle East into a hospitality management company. I was instantly drawn to the 4-Front vision to create outlets that target the expat community on a worldwide scale with diverse and unique mid-scale, casual concepts. Please offer an overview of 4-Front’s concepts? The company’s first venture, The Scene by Simon Rimmer, became an instant hit when it opened in 2014. The Scene, situated against the picturesque Dubai Marina backdrop, is an award-winning British restaurant serving pub classics and comfort food with a retro twist. After the huge success of its first outlet, 4-Front went on to open La Cala, a Balearic beach bar located 20 minutes outside of Dubai in Ghantoot Marina, which has grown to be a consumer favourite for its Balearic Brunch and after-hour’s events. Then we introduced Jekyll & Hyde to DIFC, which has had a fantastic response and has already developed a loyal following for its hearty pub grub, great beverage offerings and heavy focus on sports. 50

Catering NEWS ME July 2017

La Cala, a Balearic beach bar at Ghantoot Marina

The Scene by Simon Rimmer overlooks Dubai Marina

What is the latest concept to launch from 4-Front? Mr Miyagi’s Asian street food restaurant and bar on level nine of Media One Hotel in Media City is opening this summer. It’s probably our most creative and flamboyant project yet and there’s definitely nothing like it in Dubai. We’ve been very determined to ensure we deliver authentic Asian street food, funky drinks, kitsch décor and a guaranteed good time. Hailing from the streets of Asia, fictional sensei, Mr Miyagi, heads up an outlet like no other, bringing recipes, trinkets and entertainment from his travels across Japan, China, Thailand and Vietnam. There will be a unique concept party brunch, larger than life entertainment on a bi-weekly basis and a great value business lunch menu. What makes 4-Front stand out from its competitors? What differentiates us from our competitors are two key elements; authenticity and people. No matter what the concept, we firmly believe

that creating an experience that allows consumers to connect to the concept origin is paramount for success. Whether that is Kho San Road or Abbey Road, we want guests to really feel as though they’ve left Dubai, through our décor, branding and food and beverage. Secondly, people are the foundation of our business, be it our clients, staff or the customers. We recognise that we need to have the best staff in place to achieve our mission and we are passionate about nurturing our employees to facilitate their growth and development in a proactive environment. We also know that treating every customer like they matter and gaining their loyalty is the backbone of our business. What are the plans for the company over the next 12 months? The company has an ambitious growth plan, with a mission to launch 100 new outlets across four continents in the next decade. Later this year we plan to add three exciting new concepts to the portfolio, so stay tuned for more on those!

Catering News ME - July 2017  
Catering News ME - July 2017