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Connecting F&B professionals with industry knowledge

March 2018

Keeping it Natural

Cooking up a storm The pitmaster who is bringing American traditions to the UAE

How Nourish is trying to change Dubai’s taste buds

Gulfood 2018 A round up of all the activities from the event

Cover Story

Bullseye Toro Toro aims for sustainability



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What's Cooking?


March 2018 // Issue #038

Contents 24 Opinion

34 The business

Features 10 //

WHAT’S COOKING? Consumer spending in F&B set to increase/ Italian food export reaches over $350 million/New mobile application to benefit F&B sector.

24 //

OPINION Lifting up Emirati cuisine with Andrew Cullen, director of retail brand development at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

30 //

COVER STORY Chef Richard Sandoval reveals his plans for 2018.

34 //

THE BUSINESS A new healthy restaurant, Nourish aims to give Dubai the real taste of natural ingredients.

March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


March 2018 // Issue #038

Contents 46 //

Gulfood 2018 A round up of all the action from the five day exhibition.

72 //

PRODUCTS Explore the best of packaging options in the Middle East.

74 //

SPILL THE BEANS Chef Stefano Ratti spills the beans on Dubai’s first supper club.

Director Rabih Najm CEO Wissam Younane Editor Mahak Mannan Group Commercial Director

Samer Alloush

Sales Manager James Stead Contributor

Marouane Al Mandri Art Director Aaron Sutton


Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon Photographer

Hayder Al-Zuhairi


Out of this world: British

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


Catering NEWS ME March 2018

E ditor's L etter

Mahak Mannan Editor @MahakLFC

First excel, then grow

ou might have noticed there is a new face and name on this page. This is one of many issues I will be editing that will focus on the best of what the industry has to offer and what a time to start writing about the F&B market! With so much happening day on a daily basis, the slightest movement within the industry can have the biggest impact. With the increasing number of new venues opening across the UAE, one has to wonder how long will the dining scene reflect a balance of supply and demand and will outlets be able to sustain themselves once this balance gets heavy on the supply side? An important question that any F&B venue operator will ask is, “Will there be enough people to fit the seats?� The more options people have the more they will explore, it is only human nature. Loyalty is an important factor especially for people who do not like to experiment with their taste buds, but the ones who like to experiment outnumber them. Following a challenging year in 2017, it is imperative that restaurant operators focus on

building their existing brand image in the market, secure their market share and fill their venues regularly to the maximum capacity before planning further expansion. In our cover story, Chef Richard Sandoval tells us why 2018 is a year for sustainability and not growth, months after opening their second venue in Abu Dhabi while Nourish, from The Business section is an example of how to stand out from your competition in the market. Our Gulfood review will show that producers and suppliers are aiming to make the most out of this growing market. With an increase in new venues, an increase in product demand is evident which in turn increases the competition in the market. Already three months in to 2018, F&B operators need to evaluate the strength of their brand and then decide what is the best way to maximise profits, and eliminate costs. Kind regards, Mahak Mannan

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Catering NEWS ME March 2018




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Consumer spend in the F&B sector across the Middle East The Middle East and Africa (MEA) will deliver the strongest regional growth for the international food and beverage industry, a report has found. High birth rates, expanding cities and growing employment will be the key factors behind a positive outlook in the region according to the Gulfood Global Industry Outlook Report. The report follows a Euromonitor International market study based on published sources and trade surveys with local and global manufacturers, distributors, trade associations and government entities. The report cited that the combined consumer spend in the 10

Catering NEWS ME March 2018

food and beverage sector in MEA and Asia Pacific is forecast to rise to 60% of global expenditure by 2030, up from 53% today. “With greater distribution of wealth, growing economic and political stability and rapidly developing infrastructure, consumers have greater access to a wider range of foods and beverages,” the report stated, which also adds that despite lower growth rates, the sheer size of the Asia Pacific population and disposable income growth “also offers an enticing growth market in all categories.” The independent report was commissioned by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

“The findings show that with a rapidly growing and highly urbanised population, demand across the globe for processed and packaged food and beverages is set to increase,” Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions & events, DWTC said. “Yet while there’s more consumers to go around, overall consumer spending is set to drop from 8.5% of GDP to 8.0% by 2030 as products become relatively more affordable and make up a smaller proportion of overall consumer spending,” she added. “Detailing trends, challenges and opportunities, the report

identifies an industry entering a massive transformational era with innovation on product, production, packaging and delivery in the vanguard. “As can be tracked annually at Gulfood, consumers are actively transitioning to healthier, more adventurous foods and beverages while still looking for convenient packaging and product delivery. Internet buying is also changing product delivery not just for home-delivery but also in terms of access to local brands and short order supply,” LohMirmand explained. Don’t miss our exclusive Gulfood review starting on page 46.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?


Vive La France

His Excellency Ludovic Pouille, the French Ambassador to the UAE, has praised Gulfood as a “strategic gateway” for French food and beverage producers exploring increased export potential across the rapidly emerging consumer markets of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. More than 70 specialist food and beverage companies, led by Business France, participated in Gulfood’s tailored segments for

dairy, beverage, fine foods, and meat and poultry. “The current total of French exports to the Middle East can only increase because when you speak about food, you speak about France. We already have established export markets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE but there are huge opportunities in other countries, specifically Egypt, the largest country in the region in terms of population, as well as Pakistan and India,”

said Ambassador Pouille. He added that these are all big growth markets and that France is looking forward to increasing its export presence in each of them. According to Mark Napier, the Gulfood show director, the expansive French contingent is one of many record national participations at this year’s show. “In an exhibition with more than 120 country pavilions, it is very tell-

ing that major global food producing nations such as France, Italy, Germany, the USA and many more are here with more companies and suppliers than ever before – this presence signifies the strength and robustness of the international food market,” said Napier. “Vitally, the record exhibitor participation also aligns with our high-level ministerial delegations to further Gulfood’s status as a true power brand in the global food industry.” March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


W hat 's cookin g?


Italian food exports to the UAE reaches $350m


Get ready for the Leaders in Hospitality Awards 2018

More than 190 Italian companies took part in the Italian Food Lab at Gulfood this year. Displaying products from cheese, coffee and pasta to agricultural produce, Italian exhibitors at Gulfood are looking to benefit from the growing trade in the region. “According to recent reports, the food and beverage sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states is expected to continue to grow at a healthy 7.1% annually, reaching $196 billion by 2021, from the current $130 billion,” Gianpaolo Bruno, trade commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan at the Italian Trade Agency said.

Platin u m S p o ns o r

“This is a great opportunity for Italian companies as there is a growing demand for Italian produce, known for their quality, authenticity and gastronomical delights. Currently, Italian food exports to the UAE alone is worth over $350 million, and through events like Gulfood we are able to bring together makers of authentic Italian produce and major industry players in the region, to do business together,” Bruno added. Speaking on the overview of Gulfood 2018, the trade commissioner said:“The Italian companies that participated in this year’s Gulfood experienced a positive response and we look forward to strengthening Italy’s food trade with the region.” 14

Catering NEWS ME March 2018

The nominations for this year’s Leaders in Hospitality Awards are now open. The event, which celebrates excellence and innovation in the industry, is taking place at The St. Regis Dubai on 29 April. The Leaders in Hospitality Awards will celebrate the excellence and innovation that we have come to expect from the hotel sector here in the Middle East. This year’s event is bigger and better than ever with a record 24 awards up for grabs. The increase in the number of awards is an indication of the strength of the hotel industry across the GCC. The platinum sponsor of this year’s awards is Du. Wissam Younane, CEO, BNC Publishing said: “This is the third consecutive year that Hotel News Middle East and BNC Publishing has held the Leaders in Hospitality Awards and once

again we are really looking forward to bringing together the best that the hospitality industry has to offer for a night to remember. “While the past year has been a challenging time, the hospitality industry here in the Middle East continues to find new ways to confound with new innovations and it is only right that we take this opportunity to salute the best talent, properties and concepts that the region has to offer.” To enquire about sponsorship opportunities contact samer@bncpublishing. net or For nomination enquiries and to request a nomination form, please contact Nominations for the awards close on Thursday, 5 April. Judges for the event will be announced shortly.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

In A Nutshell: The Indian fine-dining restaurant recently re-launched a newly furbished venue and Rakshak Puri, general manager, Asian Dining, Foodmark has all the details.

Please describe the venue. Our Dubai Marina Mall branch can seat 160 people and offers both indoor and al fresco dining. Zafran has one distinctive feature, a stunning collage art installation depicting the art, culture and history of India created exclusively for the venue by renowned Arab artist, Jeffar Khaldi. What are the signature items on the menu? Our signature items include classic recipes that have been put together with a special Zafran twist like the Dahee kebabs, which are deep-fried yoghurt dumplings, aloo tikkia, bhatti kebabs and the chicken malai tikka. What is interesting about the beverage offer? Our beverage offering has an interesting collection of home-made recipes that are

Fact box Venue Zafran, Dubai Marina Mall Date opened 16 January 2018 Head chef Chef Saabu Panicker Restaurant manager Ison Barboza Fun fact We’ve got people ziplining right across the restaurant terrace. not only great tasting thirst quenchers but are refreshing as well. We use natural ingredients in our drinks, that are blended to order in house. Our guest favourites are the fruit drinks – Watermelon and mint

smash, kiwi mojito, very berry and the apple cinnamon twist. Who designed the interiors and how do they reflect the concept? The interiors of Zafran has been designed by Paul Bishop of Bishop Designs. Zafran is stylish but casual, comfortable and approachable. It is elegantly urban and non-intimidating. The front fascia of the kitchen is all carbonised wood inset with a beautiful brass strip detailing meant to replicate the tandoor. What was the reason behind the renovation? Customers today are well-travelled, discerning, critical and demand that you evolve with the changing times. The only thing constant is change. We looked at our brand and thought this was the time for that change. March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


W hat 's cookin g?


New mobile application aims to increase F&B spending across region A Dubai based startup application– Weytr, that allows users to place their order without speaking to staff members, and have it then delivered directly to them, is set to launch early this year. The mobile application aims to cut down the time staff spends on each guests by 61% and increase the average order value by up to 23%. “It’s a bit strange that I can have a private limo driver pick me up from any location in two minutes, but my phone can’t get me a Pepsi. We aim to change that,” says founder and CEO Weytr Petter Amlie. Weytr uses the phone’s GPS to detect dining venues close to the users geographi-

cal location. Once the user has chosen a venue, they are able to view the menu of the particular location and place their order before making their way to the venue. Once they arrive, the din-


ing venue will have already received the order, which cuts down the service time spent on the guest. “For a guest sunbathing at a resort, the average time from deciding to place an order, is 38

minutes. Getting the attention of the staff is the main hurdle, and it can be a frustrating experience, ” Petter Amlie said. “This is not because the staff is poorly trained – hotels in Dubai have world class training programs – but simply a result of these resorts covering large areas. If a customer stays for two hours, and waits 40 minutes for service, you’ve lost 33% of that customer’s time, and you will never get it back,” he added. The time saved may also result in the user ordering more that they usually would within the same period of time which benefits both sides, the founder claims. Weytr is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2018.

Deliveroo For Business Launches in Dubai The delivery service now offers a corporate ordering system for office workers as they aim to help businesses simplify the process of offering better food choices to employees. Anis Harb, general manager of Deliveroo GCC said: “Deliveroo for Business is an opportunity for companies to offer a delicious reward to hard workers, who work late nights and lengthy hours. It allows employees, who don’t necessarily have time to go out and about during lunch hours, to have access to a wide variety of restaurants, and amazing food from different cuisines to be brought straight to their offices.” Deliveroo For Business works in the same way as De16

Catering NEWS ME March 2018

liveroo’s core business, allowing customers access to a huge variety of local restaurants with orders arriving in an average of 32 minutes. Upon signing up, companies are provided with a tailored system, which matches their internal needs, along with a dedicated account manager to help them set up and assist them on an ongoing basis. After signing up, the company can enjoy hassle-free client billing and internal expensing, place individual orders on credit, with monthly invoicing to the parent company and order platters for all mealtimes of the day, breakfasts, lunches and dinners for internal or client meetings.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?


Steigenberger Hotel appoints new director of food and beverage

PERSONAL. PRACTICAL. PREMIUM. Andrew Vieira has joined the hotel as director of food and beverage to head the property’s culinary operations. With 14 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Vieira started his career in his hometown, London before moving to the Middle East with Jumeirah Group where he worked for six years and Emaar Hospitality for three years. Prior to joining Steigenberger, Vieira served as food and beverage manager for two years at The Meydan Hotel,

working closely with the leadership team to maximise financial performance. “We are delighted to welcome Andrew aboard. Andrew brings a world of hotel experience and zest for life to our team. He is able to respond quickly to the constantly changing culinary scene in Dubai and will be key in ensuring that our F&B offering remains the talk of the town,” Stephen Meredith, general manager, Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay said.

Commenting on his new role, Vieira said, “I have been blessed with opportunities to work in every corner of the F&B business, and I get a real kick out of driving new challenges to completion. “I am delighted to take up the position of director of food & beverage at Steigenberger, with its unique outlets, exceptional standards of German hospitality, and prime position within Business Bay. This is a great time for me to join this talented team.”

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March 2018 Catering NEWS ME



800 999 999 I


New places

New Openings New friendship themed Indian restaurant opens in Al Seef Located in Al Seef waterfront heritage zone, recently opened venue Mitra is the largest Indian licensed floating restaurant covering 6,000 Sq. ft. over two levels offering indoor and outdoor seating options. According to Shivam Goyal and Shipra Khurana, co-founders of the restaurant, Mitra, which means friendship in Hindi, endeavours to bring friends together to enjoy an a stimulating culinary experience. “Mitra promises to offer an array of intricately prepared Indian dishes using a perfect mix of spices that will transform every diner’s experience into an unforgettable one. It is a unique dining concept that elucidates the rich palate of Pan-Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, providing a unique, diverse and international experience,” Goyal said. The menu includes dishes like the chicken kulfi, which is an inspiration from the traditional Indian frozen dessert, however this is a salted and hot version contrasting its cold and sweet counterpart. Also on the menu is the dal bombshell makhani, a different take on a regular favourite. 20

Catering NEWS ME March 2018

Fresh from the sea to your table at The Fish House A new seafood restaurant has joined the city’s dining scene as The Fish House opened doors to customers at the InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City. Inspired by local heritage and sourcing fresh produce, The Fish House prides itself on delivering an authentic dining experience, accompanied by a social and warm atmosphere. “The centre-piece of The Fish House experience is our signature raw bar which houses our charcoal and wood grill, allowing our team to prepare your meal right at the heart of the venue. In addition, our hero

Fish House Tower dishes are what sets us apart, showcasing an impressive assortment of premium fresh delicacies of the ocean. We cherish the food, the theatre and the atmosphere,” Ben Nicholas, restaurant general manager, The Fish House said. The cold bar houses the catch of the day on ice, enabling diners to interact with the chef whilst choosing how they would like to customise through cooking style, side and sauce. Options include deep fried, pan fried, poached, oven baked, breaded and barbecued, offering something for everyone.

Asia De Cuba To Replace China Grill The new outlet will open on Tuesday 6 March as the two-storey venue undergoes a complete revamp to reflect Asia de Cuba’s personality, with bespoke wallpaper, furnishings and décor. “We’ve had a great four years with China Grill, but we like to mix things up and now is the time for a little shake-up,” Tolga Lacin, general manager, The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina said. “We share a great working relationship with the team at China Grill Management so when they presented us with the opportunity to take on Asia de Cuba, we couldn’t miss it!

Asia de Cuba is the perfect addition to our already impressive F&B family and we’re really excited for the big reveal,” he added. The sharing style menu, created by Cuban-born Executive Chef, Luis Pous is a fusion of Latin and Asian cuisines. Asia de Cuba signature dishes like tunapica tartare with crispy wontons will be on offer as well as Spanish olives, toasted coconut and avocado ceviche, ropa vieja spring rolls with braised beef short rib, rocoto sweet & sour sauce, shrimp churros with sesame and coconut curry; roasted peking duck with chili herb salad, tortillas and hoisin.

N ew places

March 2018 New Japanese Restaurant Opens In Shangri-La Hotel Bringing the streets of Japan to Dubai, ONI Japanese Restaurant, Lounge and Sake Bar officially opened last month. The new venue has been launched by Chef Mohammad Islam who aims to bring authentic Japanese food to Dubai diners by sourcing his ingredients from Hokkaido, Japan’s ‘hakodate asaichi’ or morning market.

A taste of Texas in La Mer Texas Roadhouse opens a beachfront location for meat lovers. Combining authentic barbecue techniques with fresh ingredients and a selection of cuts, this all-day dining destination offers a steakhouse-style menu with a Southern flair. The menu offers ribs, steak kebab, beef brisket, fried pickles, mashed potatoes, freshly made salads and combo appetisers – all made-to-order by Chef Brandon Everett and his team. The interior of the venue is designed to create a Texan neighbourhood ambiance with wooden floors and tables and cacti hangings complete from country music to the staff line dancing routines every hour.

The idea behind the new dining concept is to create authentic, varied dishes mixed with a laid-back vibe. “ONI is more than just quality food. It is culinary creativity at its best, straight from fresh ingredients to an attractively plated dish,”Chef Islam said. “ONI is about creating a dining atmo-

sphere that is comfortable and unforgettable. It is an ode to street-style delicacies from Japan and its star flavors and styles, while it celebrates connections and unity.” Guests dining at ONI will be able to enjoy a range of Japanese specialties like sushi, sashimi and nigiri along with authentic grills.

A new tiki bar spot in Jumeirah Set to open on March 4 2018, the tikithemed restaurant group will be welcoming guests this month to their new venue in Jumeirah. Staying true to its identity, the new Trader Vic’s JBR, located in Hilton Dubai Jumeirah will feature tiki-themed interiors with canoes from the Taiwanese Orchid Island hanging from the ceiling, tribal masks from Papua New Guinea on the walls, fishing net orbs from Japan on the tables and an original painting by Trader Vic himself placed behind the bar. “Trader Vic’s is a world-famous restaurant brand and it’s a pleasure to partner with them again – this is my second

time opening a Trader Vic’s branch in a Hilton hotel,” Andreas Searty, cluster general manager at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah said. “This new venue will be a fantastic addition to the food and beverage outlets that we operate at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, and we expect it to be very popular with our hotel guests and the local JBR community. I’m looking forward to seeing it open,” he added. The restaurant will feature semiprivate booths by the windows, a raised centre area and a dance floor in front of the stage while diners seated on the outdoor terrace can enjoy views of the Arabian Gulf and The Palm Jumeirah.

March 2018 Catering NEWS ME



Striking the Perfect Balance

From picking fresh produce at the local vendors to managing quality and cost, Ashiana’s new Chef de Cuisine at Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Towers, Joseph Yohannan says keeping a balance is the biggest challenge in today’s industry.

Quality does not always come at a cost, but when in the food and beverage industry, ensuring guests are served the best leaves no place for compromise. With a growing and competitive market, costs are bound to increase while on the other hand, consumers become price sensitive according to Chef Joseph Yohannan. “The biggest challenge being a Chef today has to be getting the right quality ingredients at the desired cost. Guests are becoming more and more price sensitive and hikes in ingredients costs are not helping the cause,” he says. 22

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“Every chef wants to produce quality products for his/her guests while also making sure that they feel they have got their money’s worth. It’s an on-going battle and quite frankly, the one that keeps us on our toes all the time.” Starting his career in 2001, Chef Josephs oldest memory of food dates back to his childhood days when he would go ingredient shopping. “My love for cooking started from watching my mother,” the Chef explains. “She would take me to the vegetable mar-

ket every day to buy the freshest ingredients as she believed in cooking just enough for the day. Each day would be fresh start and a new adventure for me, identifying and picking fresh produce from the local vendors was something I soon excelled in. “The passion and love with which she cooked, made me understand that it’s not what you cook, but how you cook that makes all the difference,” he adds. After completing a graduate program in culinary arts, Chef Joseph was appointed as commis one at a hotel in Kochi, India, “Dur-


ing my three years there, I learned a lot from the most experienced hands in the industry. Apart from the technical skills in the kitchen, methodology and kitchen management, I developed a pure passion for the job and took pride in what I did,” Chef Joseph says. “As clichéd as it may sound – the fact that we are able to touch people’s heart is the part of my job that I enjoy the most. A wellcooked meal can instantly put you in the right mood. “People go to restaurants for an experience, excellent food with warm service, pleasant décor and some form of entertainment that pulls them out of their routine life. It is our responsibility to make sure we deliver this,” he adds. No stranger to the food scene in the UAE, having been here for over eight years, the multi-cultural environment is the biggest contributing factor to the ever-growing industry, according to Chef.

Work Experience February 2014 - Present Sous Chef in charge, Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Towers, Dubai. May 2011 - January 2014 Chef Tournant, Westin Mina Seyahi and Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Dubai March 2010 - April 2011 Senior Chef de Partie, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Dubai February 2009 - March 2010 Chef de Partie, Movenpick Resort and Spa, Yemen

“The Middle East has become home to many expatriates and the versatility can be experienced by the cuisines that are being offered these days. It’s wonderful to see numerous restaurants offering fusion cuisine, mixing and matching the ingredients and cooking styles,” he says. And to keep up with and ever-growing industry you need to ensure it is in the hands of the right people, which is why Chef Joseph wants young chefs entering the industry to ‘pay their dues’. “Getting a degree from a reputed university is important but getting on-job experience is equally crucial. They need to be patient,” he says. “Try your hand at everything – work in the cold section, pastry section, and desert section along with hardcore cooking. Work for the banquets, try all sorts of things before claiming your niche. This industry demands time, hard work and a lot of heart.”

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March 2018 Catering NEWS ME



Is now the time for Emirati cuisine?

As the Director of retail brand development at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Andrew Cullen looks after the Seven Sands Emirati Cuisine brand, which opened in 2015. At the time there were a handful of restaurants offering Emirati food, very rare in the casual dining category. Now, three years later, the Emirati dining scene is evolving. Here, Cullen looks at the culinary scene in Dubai and asks if now is the time for Emirati cuisine to emerge?


s recognition grows for Emirati cuisine the question needs to be asked, what is next? Perhaps Emirati cuisine needs to take its inspiration from the international market. I have lived in Dubai since 2011 and watched the rapid growth of Peruvian food, a regional cuisine from Latin America which is now a global phenomenon. Peruvian cuisine has only recently developed and the cuisine is based on the combination of produce available and influences over the centuries. When the Spanish conquered the Incas, they brought with them 24

Catering NEWS ME March 2018

their Arabic heritage and African influences. Peru has the second largest ethnic Japanese population in South America. The cuisine developed from this was Nikkei, a Japanese Peruvian fusion best identified today by the Nobu brand. When we compare the current rise of Peruvian cuisine with Emirati cuisine we can see that there is a long way to go but the potential is present. Emirati food needs to come out of the home kitchen and find its place in the spotlight. At Seven Sands the majority of our dish-

es are traditional, but we also like to innovate. If a dish uses local ingredients or techniques we are happy for it to be part of our Emirati cuisine. Emirati cuisine needs more exposure within the UAE itself. I have visited JBR hotels posing as a tourist looking for somewhere to eat local food and was directed to Seven Sands as an Emirati and Arabic restaurant on several occasions. However, most concierge employees suggested Lebanese restaurants as local food. Education is the key here. It would be good to see new Emirati cuisine based concepts being developed and launched rather than another new burger or pizza joint. It would also be good to see more restaurants elevating the cuisine like Mezlai in Abu Dhabi. Hotel chains in Abu Dhabi have already signed up to Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s Emirati Cuisine & Hospitality Capacity Building Program, through which all four-star and five-star hotels in the capital will feature and promote national dishes. This example needs to be followed throughout the UAE. As a fan of local food I would like to see it more widely available and as a restaurateur I see the potential that has yet to be fully explored. The last piece of the puzzle will be developing the right ambassadors for Emirati cuisine. Someone who embodies the cuisine and culture and who can communicate it to a greater audience.

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Case stu dy

Chef Michel Willaume leads the workshop

The solution f or pastry pr ofe ssionals The team from Catering News Middle East were shown firsthand how Chef Middle East’s pastry range provides a complete solution for pastry professionals across the region… t is one thing to have a wonderful product but it is quite another to be able to get the message out to the market. That was why Chef Middle East, the one stop solution for the regional dining scene’s quality food and beverage requirements, and recently offering a complete solution for Pastry professionals, organized a workshop last month 26

Catering NEWS ME March 2018

with frozen fruit and vegetable puree manufacturer Les Vergers Boiron to showcase what Chef Middle East has to offer. The firm was already one of the leading lights in the foodservice industry here in the Middle East and that reputation has only been bolstered by the announcement it has teamed up with French dairy brand President. That means that Chef Middle East now

offers pastry professionals a dream-team of options with Valrhona, Les Vergers Boiron and, now, President. The workshop was another example of how Chef Middle East executes its vision of continuously developing and bringing onboard new brands to serve the needs of its customers – as well as investing in its own in-house talent to set the benchmark for the industry in the region.

Case St udy

Les Vergers Boiron area sales manager Florian Golhen says that he required an audience with some of Dubai’s leading pastry chefs to make sure the right people were made aware of the benefits of Les Vergers Boiron’s products. The result was a special workshop with Chef Michel Willaume, a legend in the world of pastry cooking, held at Chef Middle East’s own Culinary Innovation Centre at their headquarters in DIP2. “Each year we organise workshops with talented Pastry Chefs, our brand ambassadors who know the region here in the Middle East,” says Florian. “The idea is to share expertise and offer new techniques that chefs in this region might not be familiar with.” Juan L Lopez, head of category team with Chef Middle East says the event was a reinforcement of his company’s “commitment to the culinary community”. “Our strategy is not just about having the right brands. It is about giving value to our customers and engaging with the right people to provide a value-added service,” he says, adding that Les Vergers Boiron is a key component of Chef Middle East’s evergrowing portfolio of brands. “This is a dream team of brands that we offer to pastry chefs across the region. It allows us to provide a full solution for four and five-star hotels, even a seven-star hotel in some cases, as well as caterers in casual and fine-dining.” Lopez says that, even though Les Vergers Boiron is a high-quality brand, it is vital, in

Juan L Lopez, head of category team with Chef Middle East

the competitive Dubai market, to get the message across to the right people. Chef Michel adds that the workshop was the perfect opportunity to educate the market about the Les Vergers Boiron brand – a subject he clearly feels passionate about. “People always say that working with fresh fruit is the quickest and best solution. But when you have different seasons it limits your options,” he says. “Some people believe that frozen products are inferior but that is not always to the case. “If you have a quality frozen product it means you don’t have to wait until next season to create a certain dish, it can be on the shelf all year round if the customer asks for it.” March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


Case stu dy


Another advantage to Les Vergers Boiron’s product that both Chef Michel and Florian are keen to flag up is the health benefit. “As it has natural sugar inside you don’t have to add any sugar to it,” says Florian, who quite rightly is proud of the fact that his company’s product also contains no pesticides, no preservatives and no colouring. “You have a big emphasis on healthy options in restaurants, consumers pay a lot more attention to the ingredients nowadays. We are all in the same position really, we want to know what it is that we are eating.” Chef Michel concurs. “Now we have a range of purees that are 100% fruit,” he says. “There is no sugar added. This is vital to chefs as so many customers are driven by keeping the calorie count down, it helps give chefs even more liberty.” With diabetes levels rising across the world, Les Vergers Boiron’s emphasis on providing a healthy product is sure to be welcomed. The ability to experiment has long been a priority for any leading-chef and Florian feels that Les Vergers Boiron is perfectly placed to provide for that. “People are more willing than ever to discover new things,” he says. “We provide a unique opportunity to play about with colours and flavours. People from the Middle East are used to travelling, they want to be able to get the very same things in Dubai, or the entire Middle East, in fact, that they were able to get in Asia or Europe.”


Chef Michel says that Les Vergers Boiron has a unique insight, down to its 75-year history, that gives it a certain knowledge and experience that cannot be faked. “It is not just about eating purees, we have a lot of different ways to play,” he says. “If I want to make an exotic flavour I can create my own. Another win-win with Les Vergers Boiron products is the time it saves chefs in the kitchen. “It absolutely saves time,” says Chef Michel. “If you are using a puree you don’t have to treat it like you would with fresh fruit or 28

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vegetables. You don’t have to clean it either which saves on the cost of having to pay someone to do that. “It’s important that you can save that time without sacrificing the quality of the product.” “This a third-generation family business,” says Florian. “Unlike a lot of our competitors, we are not part of a large corporation which means that quality always comes first and the financial aspect is not allowed to override that key principle. As a company if we feel a product is not up to the high company standard then we will look at discontinuing it, rather than put out an inferior quality product.” It’s clear that transparency is vital to

how Les Vergers Boiron does business. “We believe in building relationships with customers and ensuring there is full transparency in how we do business,” he says. “If something is short of quality we are quite prepared to stop the production of that line and tell the customer and client that it will only come back when it is the way it should be. “I think the honesty of that speaks volumes about the integrity of Les Vergers Boiron.”


Chef Middle East also participated in Gulfood 2018 at Dubai World Trade Centre last month.

Case St udy

Even though the focus was firmly on Valrhona, Valrhona Signature and Sosa – Steve Pyle, CEO Chef Middle East, and his team were still very much a visible presence at the event. “It is important for us to be here with the brands we are supporting,” Pyle said. “Sosa is a new brand for us underneath the Valrhona umbrella. But we see huge opportunity for that, not just in the UAE market but also In Oman and Qatar where we work. We are looking ahead with enthusiasm for what we hope will be a good year for the business.” It’s just another example of Chef Middle East’s commitment to both its clients and the wider region. March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


C ov er Story


Catering NEWS ME March 2018

C over Story

Sustaining growth in the region After expanding the successful Toro Toro brand in Abu Dhabi last year, Mexican Chef and the face behind some of the world’s leading Latin American restaurants Chef Richard Sandoval tells Mahak Mannan that the plan for 2018 is sustainability not growth, in an exclusive interview. verseeing the operations of over 52 Latin American restaurants spread across the globe, Chef Richard Sandoval opened the UAE’s first venue under the Toro Toro umbrella in 2011 at The Grosvenor House Dubai. Six years and a $5 million investment later, Toro Toro opened doors to the Abu Dhabi dining scene in September last year. “Toro Toro Abu Dhabi came about when Turab Saleem, my partner asked me if I was interested in opening a branch in Abu Dhabi and showed me the location in Jumeirah Etihad Towers. I felt the venue was one of the best ever and the rest is history,” Chef Sandoval says. The brand Toro Toro was conceptualised when Chef Sandoval was looking at a Brazilian concept for the Grosvenor House Dubai, “I was asked to create a Brazilian Churasqueria for Grosvenor House but took a step further and created a modern version of a Churasqueria in Toro Toro. “To create the menu I drew influences from my Mexican heritage and extensive travel through Latin, South and Central America,” Chef Sandoval explains. “As a professional tennis player I spent a great deal of time travelling across South America, visiting the street markets there and learning about their ingredients which is where I gained a lot of my

inspiration while creating the menu.” The Toro Toro menu is designed to promote the sharing concept. “With so many influences from different countries, the only way to really experience Toro Toro is to order many different small plates and share with your friends and family,” he says adding that the menu at the venue changes four times a year. With the aim of building on the strong existing brand recognition in Dubai, Chef Sandoval explains why the Abu Dhabi venue will be the focus this year. “My plans for 2018 are to make Toro Toro Abu Dhabi an icon in the region, as far as growth plans are concerned, we want to focus on improving our current operations instead of growing our business because 2018 is a year of sustainability not growth,” he says. “Dubai and Abu Dhabi are two very different markets, with the main differentiating factor being the number of tourists you have in Dubai, it is much larger as compared to the capital therefore Dubai has a much larger pool of people. “However the locals in both cities are very supportive of their local restaurants and have developed a culture of consistently dinning out which is good for the restaurant industry,” he says. Operating more than 50 restaurants March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


C ov er Story

across the globe comes with its own challenges, but compromising on representing the culture has no place in Chef Sandoval’s diary. In order to enhance the South American culture and experience at Toro Toro, the staff is picked from that very region. “We typically hold job fairs in South America which is where we have employed our staff from,” he says. “It is important for us to have staff that is representative of the culture we are showcasing in our restaurants. “In order to be consistent with your brand, you must have four key ingredients, one is systems in place, another is checks and balances to maintain consistency, third being a great training program and the fourth and most important factor is having passionate leaders in great people,” he adds. All of those guidelines need to be followed especially when catering to a con32

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C over Story

sumer base who are well versed with the concept of South American cuisine, according to Chef Sandoval who also adds that the reason Toro Toro stands out from its competitors is due to the originality and quality of their food and drink paired with the spaces they have brought to life. “South American cuisine has become very popular in the region. When I first opened Maya 10 years ago in Dubai there were two or three Latin American restaurants and today there are many more,” he says. “I feel the community is very knowledgeable because the Latin restaurants that have been opening are truly authentic, leading me to believe that the guests are well aware of the different cuisines and Latin cultures,” he says. However, the constantly growing dining scene in the UAE does not necessarily pave an optimistic path for the industry. “I feel the dining scene in the UAE is in a great place right now and can be com-

pared to some of the best cities around the world,” he explains. “My only concern is that there are too many restaurants opening and there won’t

be enough bodies to fill all the seats. This will create a culture of discounts which in turn will lower the standards and quality of the restaurants.”

March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


T he Bu siness

K e e p i ng it n at ura l

In an industry where costs are increasing day-by-day and consumers are becoming conscious of their spending, not having competitive market prices can be a challenge, however head chef and operations manager at Nourish, Julie Watson has found the answer to serving healthy, fresh food at reasonable prices. Her mantra? Do it yourself. hef Julie caught up with Catering News Middle East on the challenges, perks and red flags of running a restaurant and educating Dubai consumers on real healthy food. “Healthy food does not have to be expensive, the trick from my perspective as a chef is, do it yourself,” Chef Julie says. “I try not to buy as much as I can, from my product list of 600 items, I buy only five ready-made items, like tomato paste- because taking 50kg of tomato and cooking it down to 1kg of paste is not feasible to me and I don’t have the manpower or space to do so. “The rest, we make it all in-house. Doing it yourself is the key – buying bread or making bread, buying pasta or making pasta, there is always an option and most other outlets buy almost everything,” she explains. Making all her products at the restaurant also gives her the opportunity to educate the chefs on how to build from scratch, “I don’t just look at the customers perspective, I also look at the people in the kitchen, the ones who are learning. “I want to take my steward and turn him into a head chef, I never want to hire midlevel but want to work on the talent we already have and the best way to make them grow is to teach them to do it yourself,” the South African Chef adds. With most restaurants using ‘shortcuts’ also known as canned and tinned products, diners in the UAE have become accustomed to having a dish taste exactly the same every time they dine-in, however 34

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Th e Business

when using natural produce, the taste may differ based on seasonality and that is one of the biggest challenges Chef Julie faces with her customers. “The difficulty with healthy food here is not that it tastes bland, but the fact that the palette is so sensitised because of all the added preservatives that people eat here,” she says. “We are trying to re-train the taste palettes, and the difficulty I face is that majority of our clientele would comment that the food does not taste the same as the last time they had it. This is a very big challenge for me but six month old ginger will not smell and taste the same as it does right now, it depends on seasonality and I do not aim for it to be the same either. It is not possible to have the exact same taste when the produce is coming in at a different time. “The consistency part you can get from cooking with tins and packets, it is easy to do but is it really of benefit to the customer? March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


T he Bu siness

“We are trying to help people adapt to this change, it is a slow process but it is picking up,” she adds. Sourcing fresh produce, making your own ingredients and serving fresh food comes with its own set of challenges, one of them being keeping the price consistent, however, Nourish is not the kind of outlet that will only chase profit. “The challenge is really during the summer because in winter the farms have more variety, where as in the summer it is a challenge to find that variety so we have to import. We try to use as much of local product as we can and also have 36

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a farm in Al Khawaneej, but we stick to the prices on the menu throughout. We are not chasing profit, you cannot become rich from one shop and there are expansions in the horizon for Nourish, not necessarily another Nourish but we are aiming for the brand Nourish to become an umbrella for other ideas and I believe the future is collaboration.” Currently located in Dar Wasl Mall in Jumeirah, Nourish will be partnering with delivery service Deliveroo, who launched a delivery-only kitchen in Jumeirah Lake Towers late last year to help venues reach customers beyond their cur-

rent range of access. “By the end of March we will launch with Deliveroo Editions which means we will be able to deliver to Marina, JLT, JVC, Meadows, Greens and other areas around that location. There are more sites in the wraps within the year and this concept does not have big technical costs- working together is the way forward,” Chef Julie explains. The restaurant will also be rolling out a healthy meal plan delivery service soon but on a small scale. “If people approach us and say they want a meal plan, we will offer it to them but my route in order to take this further will

Th e Business

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not be aimed at grown-ups, but children up to 10 years of age,” she says. “We serve fresh and healthy food and I tell you exactly what is in it, I do not lie whereas I have seen people talking about food from particular places claiming it is gluten free and organic and what not when it is not true, you need to be open and honest to your customers.” Nourish does not claim to be organic as it is not feasible for the Dubai dining market, but source locally as much as possible instead. Chef Julie explains: “This is a huge debate within the industry here, organic food is not feasible for Dubai because the shelf life for organic produce is 24 hours. You pay more for organic products with a limited shelf life as compared to just getting product from natural agricultural processes. We try and be as sustainable as possible by sourcing locally and growing vegetables in our own farm.”

March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


T he bu siness

Smoking up Du ba i ’s ta ste b u d s Bringing the American barbecue tradition to diners in Dubai, head chef and pitmaster at the Blacksmith Smokehouse, Orelle Young tells Mahak Mannan why every restaurant in the city can be a competition for them. 38

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Th e b usiness

fter spending over a decade mastering the art of a perfect barbecue in the US and UK, Chef Young joined Wyndhyam Dubai Marina to open the first American Smokehouse in Dubai and he believes that there is no limit to competition. “Every operating restaurant in the city can be a competition for us. At any given point of time people have different moods, appetites, and bank balances. People write about food all around the world until they

are blue in the face but they always come back and bring a friend with them to a place where they receive great hospitality,” he says. “As long as Blacksmith puts our guest experience first there is no competition, just other restaurants around us working hard to keep diners happy.” Drawing his experiences from the American holidays, Chef Young explains how family gatherings and special occasions helped him create the menu for Blacksmith.

“I am here to give Dubai some boldly seasoned eats that are humbly crafted by a century of American barbecue traditions,” he says. “Some of the best food comes out to the table for Labour Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Americans will find any reason to pull out a grill or a smoker. “The menu I have created for Blacksmith brings those occasions together. Soul food means a lot of different things March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


T he bu siness

“Brisket, short ribs and chicken tend to always get their time to shine due to the familiarity with the masses”

to a lot of different people, for me it was the meals I ate after church with my family every Sunday, the food served at large church festivals and conventions and packed plates at annual family reunions in Memphis and Florida.” The menu at Blacksmith is a mashup of Chef Young’s favourite ribs, smoked meat, trimmings and desserts. “I’m very proud of the unconventional and off the wall smoked items we have on the menu like the smoked apricot duck breast and grilled octopus,” he says. 40

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“Brisket, short ribs and chicken tend to always get their time to shine due to the familiarity with the masses. But the smaller the meat, the bigger the amount of creativity and precision required, you may also see rattlesnake on the menu sooner than you think. There will be several new regular specials popping up throughout the year either weekly or monthly.” However, opening a smokehouse in Dubai comes with its own set of challenges which includes setting up a smoker inside the kitchen, according to Chef Young.

“A smoker is a very powerful machine that is normally operated outdoors, which is why if you plan to operate one indoors you face several challenges. The top three faced thus far have been getting a gas-line approved and installed for the smoker, getting clean into the pit room and getting the smoke or heat out of the pit room,” he explains. “In terms of supplies, we are breakdancing between American and Australian based suppliers at the moment. South Africa also has some increasingly competitive products in the UAE market.

Th e b usiness

“But one thing that has been a challenge to source so far is Ancho chili powder which is pretty elusive here, so now I dry roast and grind my own. Everything has an alternative, you do the best with what you got,” Chef Young adds. Speaking about chefs starting out in the region, Chef Young says it is imperative for them to choose quality over quantity. “Control your menu size. It is better to change up a smaller menu frequently than trying to please everyone and their mother with a gigantic menu,” he explains. “This also promotes pushing fresher, more flavourful and more consistent eats out to your loyal guests. Use a specials category to your advantage as well, your next hit dish could be on that chalkboard. Feel out the response and don’t be afraid to give out free samples.”

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March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


O ut of this world

Out of this world

From bangers and mash to fish and chips, Catering News Middle East speaks to the leading British cuisine restaurants in Dubai on what’s hot on the English plate.


Catering NEWS ME February 2018

O ut of t h is world

How popular is British cuisine in Dubai?

Daniel Hillier – Executive chef, Dhow & Anchor: British cuisine is extremely popular in the Middle East due to the large expat community, as well as British tourists travelling to the UAE. Not only does the United Kingdom boast a host of high profile chefs that are recognised globally in the culinary world, but London is also known for being one of the most influential cities in the world when it comes to food. Martin Cahill – Executive chef, Dukes Dubai: Here in the UAE, customers really do love variety when it comes to dining options. One day they will eat Indian, the next Chinese, the following Italian and so on. They are very much spoilt for choice. However, with the number of British expats living and working in the region traditional dishes from the UK will always stand the test of time. We also find that a large number of tourists love to sample and indulge in classic British dishes. Tom Hammond – Head chef, Reform Social & Grill: With the high number of British expats living in Dubai, British cuisine underpins the food scene. It is the food that makes people from the UK feel at home and give them a slice of nostalgia, especially the famous British roast or full English breakfast.

Daniel Hillier – Executive chef, Dhow & Anchor

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

Daniel Hillier: At Dhow and Anchor (D&A) we try to stay as close to British cuisine as possible, customers visit our restaurant because they know they’re getting simple British dishes that they know, love and enjoy. Martin Cahill: At Dukes Dubai we have always wanted to stay true to our British roots and this has become an important selling point for us. Combining authentic dishes with modern presentation and training the team to keep the consistency will always be one of my focuses. Tom Hammond: I don’t think you need to, British food is quite homely and the flavours are not too wacky or out there for people to understand, sometimes this makes it harder though, the simpler the dish the easier it is to get it wrong so it’s

Martin Cahill – Executive chef, Dukes Dubai all about preparation and making sure each element is cooked well.

What are the key trends emerging in British Cuisine?

Daniel Hillier: The fine dining scene is slowing down and consumers are looking for a more casual and relaxed dining experience, not just in this region, but globally. We’re seeing more and more restaurants growing their own produce which I think will continue to be a key focus, as well as the health movement which is huge. Martin Cahill: Casual dining concepts are

hugely popular in Dubai, and I believe they will continue to be so. Dubai is currently attracting renowned chefs from all over the world as well as encouraging young talent to create and introduce new food trends in the region. The emergence of more British chefs in the UAE is leading to an increase in awareness of delicacies from the UK. Tom Hammond: I think vegetarian and vegan is becoming a trend, especially in London this is a real hot area of growth, when we have looked at our new menu launch coming soon we have added extra dishes as people are demanding for it. March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


O ut of this world

Where do you source produce for your menu and what are the challenges?

Daniel Hillier: It is important to us that we embrace local suppliers and produce where we can. However, being a British restaurant means we do have to import some of our produce from the UK to offer our guests a truly authentic experience. Fruit and vegetables are quite challenging, especially as we strive for the highest quality in both flavour and freshness of the produce. Just recently, we have actually partnered with a farm in Oman to help provide the chefs with the best possible local ingredients. Martin Cahill: We use a mixture of both local and imported food. When our menu specifically mentions Dover sole, Atlantic cod or Irish beef for example, then clearly we have to import. However, we do cultivate our own herbs, source our vegetables locally and squeeze our own juices in-house. Taking these steps goes a long way to helping both the environment and the local economy. Imported items with a short shelf life are the most challenging to source. Distributors require a three-day lead time which means we always need to plan well in advance when placing these orders. Incidentally, I would love to see the import restrictions on British beef lifted. Tom Hammond: We use our trusted relationships to work with a few key suppliers to make sure they understand what we need and the quality we expect. It is easier to do this so we can be picky about provenance of our menu. I don’t think it is so much produce that is the challenge, but great produce at a sensible price so we don’t have to charge the world for a great dish using the very best produce that back in the UK we could buy off the local farm for a fraction of the price.

What is the future for British Cuisine in the region?

Daniel Hillier: I believe places like D&A will have to continuously look at new and interesting ways to keep customers coming back, as the competition is fierce and is continues to grow. It is up to us as a restaurant to keep evolving with the demands and needs of our customers and continue to offer guests an honest and memorable experience. Martin Cahill: With a constant influx of 44

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expats and tourists from the UK and an increasing number of young British chefs moving out here for work I am confident that the future will be bright for British cuisine. However, irrespective of what cuisine is on the menu, customers will always vote with their feet, returning to the most consistent, lively establishments time and time again. It is down to us to ensure that our customers receive a warm welcome, high quality food, a convivial atmosphere and unbeatable value. Tom Hammond: When you talk about nostalgia and memories people often come back to it as a safety net, especially in times when economy is hard and money is tight. For me it is about keeping the principles of good honest British food that people recognise and resonate with us. Guests will always know that there will be choice in Dubai with the number of restaurants opening, but home is where the heart is and that is what we see Reform

Social & Grill as, your local, the place you know and always go back to.

What is your hero dish?

Daniel Hillier: It has to be the Corn-fed chicken and mushroom pie with charred leeks and raisins. This dish embraces the D&A philosophy, taking British cuisine and putting our own unique twist on them. Martin Cahill: British dishes tend to differ by season, as does the availability of produce - so what may be a firm favourite in winter, may not be so popular in summer. Food types and trends are continuously evolving so this also makes it difficult to label one dish. We always take on board feedback from our guests and work to make every dish a hero. Tom Hammond: Our mixed roast is epic, we have a choice of meats and serve it with duck fat roast potatoes, all the trimmings such as carrot and swede mash, red cabbage and green beans, two Yorkshire Puddings and lots of gravy.


All about the food

Over 5000 local, regional and international exhibitors gathered together for Gulfood this year which took place at the World Trade Centre from 18-22 February.

Over 97,000 visitors attended the show to build relations, grow their business and keep up with the industry trends. Catering News Middle East brings to you all the action from key players in the market at Gulfood 2018.

Agthia Group is Vitamin D strong in region

Launched earlier this month, Al Ain Plus Vitamin D aims to address Vitamin D deficiency in the UAE. “Al Ain Vitamin D has been developed through consumer insights and talking to the regulatory health authorities because 80% of the people in the UAE suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. “We try to find products that are wholesome for a wholehearted living and bring such relevant products to the market place. “Everyone from small kids to adults need Vitamin D, it’s not a solution but a supplement and it compliments existing medicartion and adds the hydration aspect as well. Al Ain Vitamin D is the first water in the world which does not have any flavour or colour and is dosed with a relevant amount of Vitamin D, 50 units in the 46

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500 ml and 30 units in the 330 ml,” Beg explained. 2018 is expected to be busy with several expansion plans in the pipeline, according to the executive vice president. “We already have several plans in place, water is a core category in it. We have started production of Al Ain water in Kuwait and last year we acquired the Al Ain brand in Saudi Arabia so that factory is expanding too. There are massive expansion plans for Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey as we expand beyond the UAE. “Our market share right now is close to 30% if you aggregate all our water products together so we are the leading water in the market and will continue to enhance that. Across all the different categories we represent, we have very high confidence for 2018 and will continue to grow and deliver for our shareholders,” Beg concluded.

Anchor Food Professionals say cheese Anchor Food Professionals were saying cheese, literally, at Gulfood this year as they promoted their new range of products. “We took the chance to launch our Anchor soft cream cheese two months ago. That is one that we are demonstrating here on the stand,” said general manager – foodservice, CAMEA, Fonterra Brands Middle East. “The second is another mozzarella. Both blend themselves to the trends we see here across the Middle East. Really soft cream cheese in a Philadelphia style is what are customers are used to, that’s what we have developed.”

He said that while the Anchor brand has been successful in the region, he believes the advent of the European-style cheese will only add to its success. “We are very excited, last year we managed to grow by double digits, for many brands across the region, the last 12-18 months have frankly been quite difficult,” he said. “We have got a great product here and so we are working very closely with our customers to help them grow their business and if we can help them make money it is good for them and good for us. The next 12-18 months are going to be very positive.”


Bidfood predicts strong 2018 following challenging year With new platforms, new brands and partnerships already in the pipeline for 2018, business is looking positive, according to the distributor Bidfood. “The first months of 2018 have shown that we are out of the tough 2017 times. The momentum at Gulfood shows that everybody is back on track and very energetic to show good results in 2018,” he said. “Bidfood too has several platforms that are launching across the region, we are really driving our e-commerce

platform, making it available in Saudi Arabia and launching a couple of new brands too. “We recently announced CSM

bakery solutions across the region and also announced our partnership with Daymark Solutions, so it is looking very positive across

the region,” Al Jamil added. Representing their brands and partners at Gulfood 2018, Bidfood aims to build their network through the five day exhibition. “Gulfood is a platform for all the stakeholders in the industry to really connect and be able to build on each other’s network in order to grow their top and bottom line,” Al Jamil said. “Our presence here is to further grow our network across the region and help our partnering brands to grow their customers base in the food service industry.”

Public health experts Boecker stand out at Gulfood Public Health company Boecker is the exclusive Hygiene Jury at Gulfood 2018. Speaking to Catering News at Gulfood 2018 in Dubai World Trade Centre, Abdulhadi Chalak, (pictured right), country manager of Boecker UAE said: “For the last 10 years, Boecker has always participated at the Salon Culinaire at Gulfood as the exclusive hygiene jury in collaboration with the Emirates Culinary Guild. We support them in making this global event safer in terms of food safety and hygiene practices”. “Our food safety professionals are supervising kitchen stations where the food competitions are taking place and auditing hygiene practices of chefs during the cooking sessions. We make sure everyone is using the necessary tools to safeguard food safety.” He added: “We continuously strive to support F&B events, as we strongly believe in promot-

ing the importance of food safety practices. For this reason, we will be extending our training services from a CSR perspective to train household food handlers, from mothers to nannies, through food safety awareness sessions. This is

to ensure at the end of the day, it is not just restaurants but householders as well who are responsible for food safety.” Boecker is the Middle East's largest Public Health company, providing a holistic range of

products and services in Pest Management, Food Safety, Biosecurity and Occupational Health and Safety across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan and Kuwait. March 2018 Catering NEWS ME



Fun Fact //

Over 97,000 visitors attended Gulfood 2018

Irish Food Board turns Gulfood green Green is a colour that has long been associated with Ireland, but Bord Bia, the Irish food board, was taking the Emerald Isle’s connection with the colour quite literally as it promoted its Origin Green programme at Gulfood. Michael Hussey, director Middle East Markets, Bord Bia was on hand to speak to Catering News Middle East directly at Gulfood 2018, in Dubai World Trade Centre, about Ireland’s commitment to providing sustainable produce. “Origin Green is an initiative by the Irish government and the food industry. It is about helping our industry to produce food in a sustainable manner. It’s about producing a lot more food with

less environmental impact,” said Hussey. “At every level of the process, from farm, through processor, all the way to the end consumer we are trying to produce this food with much less impact on the environment. In Ireland we have a grass fed system,

we are one of the most carbon efficient producers of beef and dairy products.” Hussey said he hopes the project will help inspire other agencies to think more about the impact on the environment. It is clear from speaking to Hussey that he, and his team,

have big plans for the Middle Eastern region. “There is more beef than ever coming out of Ireland and we are looking to get some of the premium end of the market for this region,” he said. “If you look at exports from Ireland into this market – here in the UAE – it has grown from 58 million Euro in 2016 to 78 million last year, we are hoping to continue that growth. We are also hoping to soon do more than 100 million Euro worth of exports just to this region alone. If you look at the wider GCC we are projecting to do over 300m Euro worth of exports, these are great markets and we are here to promote them the best that we can.”

Chef Middle East to expand reach across the region Chef Middle East plans to expand its presence across the region by following the mantra of CEO Steve Pyle - doing the simple things and doing them well. Pyle was speaking to Catering News Middle East at Gulfood 2018 in Dubai World Trade Centre. "Our strategy is really a simple one – it is to continue to support the people we work with and continue to grow our share of basket with our existing clients while maintaining opportunities for customer acquisition as well," he said. "One of the things we have been doing at the latter part of 2017 is investing in infrastructure in order to support the markets we work in outside the 48

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UAE. We are building platforms for growth so we hope to be able to replicate some of the things we did in the UAE last year." Pyle also spoke about the importance of having a presence at Gulfood. "It is important for us to be here with the brands we are supporting," he said, adding that Chef Middle East has a specific focus on the Valrhona and Sosa brands at this year's event. "Sosa is a new brand for us underneath the Valrhona umbrella. But we see huge opportunity for that, not just in the UAE market but also In Oman and Qatar where we work. We are looking ahead with enthusiasm for what we hope will be a good year for the business."


Chef Jerick Antes from Cup N Cakes wins gold at Gulfood

The chef beat 35 competitors to grab the top spot in the Open Showpiece category at Emirates Salon Culinaire. After observing the competition last year, Nicole Mrad, founder Cup N Cakes signed up her head Chef Jerick Antes for the Salon Culinaire competition, who crafted a cake right out of a scene from the Pirates of the Carribean movie. “I watched the movie and thought the

scene could make me win at the competition due to the little details that were in it,” Chef Jerick said. It took me four days to make it and the preparation was a tough and pressurising as I had orders to cater to as well but it all worked out well,” he added. Speaking about her chefs successful participation, Mrad said: “I am so proud and happy, when I signed him up he was confident that he could create something exceptional and his talent really showed out today. “I am a person who liked to motivate people who have talent and show their skills to the world. When you encourage your colleagues and employees, they become happy and self-motivated which eventually results in their desire to achieve more. “It is very important to give that push and encouragement to the people around you, especially when you can show your skills in the form of and art,” she added.

CNIEL expands business at Gulfood French dairy products are becoming increasingly popular in the Middle East among both consumers and businesses according to the French Dairy Interbranch Organisation (CNIEL). “French cream in particular is becoming popular because in the UAE, people like cakes and you need fresh cream make French cakes and the French pastry batter is very delicate too. With the growing number of foodies in the Middle East, these products work very well,” Laurent Damiens, international communications director for CNIEL said. The number of hotels and restaurants opening around Dubai also benefits the business, according to Damiens. “In a place like Dubai there are opportunities every day which is why it is important to represent your brand at an event like Gulfood. There are many new restaurants and hotels opening and Gulfood is the best place to make new business. “We are optimistic about 2018, as 2017

was a good year, the area is booming- we are increasing a lot in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait is doing very well, Dubai is still good. There are a lot of European expats buying the products, the population is expanding too, which means more people are looking for the product, not just business,” Damiens explained.

Cherry Rocher aims to build strong Gulf market

After exporting their first shipment to the region last year, the French syrup brand is looking to fill the gap of quality competition. “There are a few key players in the region, some of them are French and have been dealing here for quite some years,” Cyrille Guegaden, export manager North Europe, Asia, Pacific for Cherry Rocher said. “Customers are expecting decent quality from an alternative player so we are arriving in this market quite late but with very high quality halal products. “We started our business in UAE and Saudi Arabia last year and the feedback has been very good so we are now targeting a few more containers in 2018 and the UAE, Saudi Arabia market looks to be very promising for us with growing sales,” Guegaden added. Targeting the Horeca sector, the brand also launched two new flavours at Gulfood in Dubai this week, “Currently we have 30 flavours in this range and have launched two new flavours – kiwi and rose. These flavours have been requested by customers and the point of differentiation in our product is that we use only pure ingredients,” he explained.

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FrieslandCampina exhibits new Debic products at Gulfood 2018 Following their launch in the UAE last year, FrieslandCampina aims to go strong in 2018. Speaking to Catering News Middle East Stefan Hoonhoud, business development manager, FrieslandCampina Middle East said, “We are trying out a few new innovations but are focusing on Debic at this year’s Gulfood. “Our aim is to break into the food service sector for professional chefs and F&B directors with Debic’s new cream range. “We launched three products in October last year for the UAE and are potentially

looking to launch more this year,” he added. The company is looking to expand into the region accord-

ing to Hoonhoud: “The idea is to penetrate into the UAE market and geographically expand to Saudi Arabia and Oman and

have discussions with potential distributors,” he said. “We have been a market leader in Europe and need to focus on going abroad now with the launch in the UAE. We have to find some traction and contract a few hotels which is looking promising so far. “The UAE market is certainly competitive and we are focusing on the horeca sector in which a lot of hotels are coming up. People here appreciate quality and we believe our premium products will work well here,” he added.

People are more important than profits says Dilmah founder With Gulfood taking place in Dubai, as you read this, companies could be forgiven for putting the emphasis on profits – especially in this turbulent financial climate. However one company is very much putting people before profits. Dilmah Tea founder Merrill J Fernando spoke to Catering News Middle East about the importance of giving something back to the people who helped make his company what it is. “As I stand here, I can honestly when you go to a supermarket and buy Dilmah Tea I don’t put the profit into my pocket,” he said. “I share it with the poor and the wider community.” The 87-year-old is not afraid to put his money where his mouth is with 10% of all profits, before tax, going to the 50

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MJF Charitable Foundation. “This changes 10,000 to 15,000 lives each year. Teapickers’ children who were destined to become the next

generation of tea makers are now able to become doctors, lawyers, professionals because of scholarships offered by the foundation,” he said.

“Where would they have seen those positions if not for the success of Dilmah? It is about helping the poor stand on their own two feet – that is my story and I am proud of it!” Fernando said the emphasis is very much on fairness rather than profit at Dilmah Tea. “We own everything from plantations to all the services and facilities required to release a packet of Dilmah Tea. Every pack of Dilmah Tea we release to the market is ethically produced. It comes to you with love and care from the plantation workers to everybody in my family,” he said. “That is the strength of Dilmah, a family brand with family values. Other brands are owned by traders and trading companies. Whether they are big or small, they squeeze the supplier.”


Elle and Vire launches new patissiers at Gulfood 2018

The French brand is highlighting dairy dessert products at the exhibition. “Elle and Vire is a premium brand for butter and cream and we also have dairy desserts that we are strongly promoting in modern trade across the region,” Alexis Jacquand, managing director, Africa and Middle East for Savencia said.

“We have a few new innovations this year like the new pattisier, which is a premium branch for dairy desserts and has been shortlisted for the Gulfood Innovation award too,”Jacquand said. The patissiers are available in raspberry, macaroon and lemon pie flavours and builds on the premiumness of the brand, “The product comes in a very unique designed packaging and recipes which makes it stand out,” he added. Speaking about their participation at Gulfood, Jacquand said: “This platform provides us a unique opportunity to meet all our customers in the region and make professional connections in a very efficient way. “2018 is looking very exciting, we are changing our organisation and managing business through regions which will be a unique opportunity for Savencia as a group to give access of our whole portfolio to our customers and not just selected parts of the brand,” Jacquand explained.

Eat my crystalised flowers

American dream for Farm Food at Gulfood 2018

America is calling for Egyptian company Farm Food. The CEO of the company that specialises in frozen fruit and vegetables revealed as much to Catering News Middle East at Gulfood 2018. “Farm Food is restructuring right now, we are taking the approach that the factory now will be an FDA certified facility for the US market. We are targeting the US market in terms of volume and Canada as

well, we are looking at other opportunities rather than the Middle East and Africa, so we can expand our reach,” said Mohammed Alshorafa, CEO Farm Food (pictured right). “That’s our plan, also we want to in the next 18 months we are planning on having our own local brand. The same brand distributed among the key accounts only. We will start opening it up to HORECA and the modern trade after that.”

Crystalised flowers could be the next big thing to hit hotels and patisseries across the Middle East. That is if Sarah Hughes from Eat My Flowers gets her way. She was speaking to Catering News Middle East at Gulfood where she revealed that her company is targeting the region with their unique product range - which, she says, has already been successful in the UK. "We are very much targeting the hotel patisserie market in Dubai because that’s the market we supply in the UK – mainly in London, hotels like the Barclay and The Dorchester," she said. "We are going to continue the crystalised edible flower range, that is something we have found is still popular in the hotel market."

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Kobe beef is the next big thing says Fuji boss Kobe beef is going to take the Middle East by storm, according to the managing director of Middle East Fuji Group. Ryusaku Hayashi was speaking to Catering News Middle East at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) during Gulfood. “We are here to promote Japanese beef particularly the kobe beef which

is a much higher quality than most beefs,” he said. Kobe beef is said to have properties that help reduce cholesterol and Hayashi is more than confident the product will be a huge hit across the region. “In the next few months we are targeting Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia as well,” he said.

Global Food Industries puts healthy food on the menu

Italian Trade Agency warns about fraudulent products on market Chicken nuggets are not exactly renowned for their health benefits but it is not likely you have encountered those produced by Global Food Industries. Catering News Middle East caught up with Jacek Plewa, general manager, Global Food Industries, who told us all about the launch of his new product at Gulfood 2018 in Dubai’s World Trade Centre. “We are very proud to be sharing our new brand of Healthy Farm. This is a com52

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bination of super foods, kale and quinoa, with chicken halal breast – which offers all the nutritional benefits with eight times less fat than normal burger and 30% more protein,” he said. “I think we are addressing the health concerns of society, we are the first company to make these particular products and healthy eating is something that is more important than ever in this region to combat the rise of illnesses such as diabetes.”

Consumers need to be aware of unfair practices and producers when dealing with Italian products, according to Gianpaolo Bruno, trade commissioner, Italian Trade Agency for UAE, Oman and Pakistan. “What we are exhibiting here shows that authentic Italian products are produced under strict regulations in terms of supervision of the whole chain from the farm to the table through careful production and transportation,” he added. A PDO or PGI seal of approval from the European Union can help differentiate authentic products from fraudulent ones,

according to Gianpaolo. “Authentic Italian products sometimes get a particular seal of quality from the European Union called the PDO and PGI stamp which is granted to almost 300 Italian products. Consumers should look out for this seal to ensure top quality. “Trade is looking very good between UAE and Italy, at the moment we export food products worth 320 million euros every year and these figures are growing. We believe there is potential for further growth which is why we are doubling our efforts to get our companies known in the region,” he added.


Greenhouse to cement position among leaders in Saudi Arabian market Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading is making a drive to cement its position as being among the market leaders in Saudi Arabia. Daniel Chidiac, general manager, Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading, revealed to Catering News Middle East how the company has heavily invested in the emerging Saudi market and is set to reap the rewards in 2018. "We have launched projects in Saudi in 2017 and we are looking forward to pushing further in 2018," said Chidiac, speaking at Gulfood 2018. "Our portfolio there is pretty complete – especially in the bakery and pastry categories where we are the leaders in the UAE. We want to make sure

that we match that status with the high-end food service properties in Saudi." Greenhouse is widely regarded as an industry giant in the region and, as Chidiac explains, it's the focus on innovation and continually moving forward that keeps the company at the front of the pack.

"I just want to say though the macro-economy has been turbulent over the last 12-18 months, I can feel that all companies are doing their best to keep the beat going on. We believe we have to fight and move forward and create new projects and concepts to keep things running and the economy doing well," he said.

Chidiac is happy to speak about one such project. "What we have coming up is a catering project that is focused on coffee houses, so we will be serving coffee houses everything that is related to snacking," he said. There is no doubt that a company of Greenhouse's status would of course have a visible presence at Gulfood. "By being at Gulfood we can meet with our principles and clients and have key discussions," he said. "We believe it is absolutely vital to be present at Gulfood which is expanding all the time with more people, more companies and even more countries visiting each year.”

Northern Ireland targets hospitality sector in 2018 Speaking on the side-lines of Gulfood last week, Invest Northern Ireland said trade to the UAE is growing year on year. “At the moment we are up by over 10% from last year in our food and beverage export and 90% in the dairy sector alone,” Karl Devlin, business development manager - Middle East and Hong Kong, Food and Drink Division at Invest Northern Ireland said. “We had new companies exhibiting at Gulfood for the first time and are seeing growth in a number of sectors, dairy being the biggest focus of last year is continuing to see growth,” he added. Commenting on their participation at Gulfood, Sheethal Rishi, business development

manager - UAE for Invest Northern Ireland said: “We started the year positively with Gulfood where we had 17 companies exhibiting. Most of them are already in retail stores

and some have distributors so in a certain sense they are already in the market but what we are looking to do in 2018 is progress that success. “The sector itself in retail

space has grown by 60% and most of our companies are able to cater to that. Northern Ireland is known for its food traceability, sustainability and pure and natural products. The idea is to introduce our companies to the food service sector and we are also looking at categories within minibars in hotels as most hotels are looking for sustainable, health and wellness products. “One of our clients had a lot of success within the first day of Gulfood itself as compared to the entire show last year, that indicates a very significant export success for our companies and a lot of our dairy companies supply to the hospitality sector, we would like to see that growing,” she added. March 2018 Catering NEWS ME



India Gate Rice launches new healthy products for the region

After launching India Gate Quinoa last year, KRBL Limited launched three new healthy products at Gulfood this year and are looking to introduce more value added products in the future. “This year we launched three new products which is an addition to our health line which we started last years,” Priyanka Mittal, director, KRBL Limited said. “We have introduced India Gate Flax Seed, India Gate Chia Seeds and India Gate Sprouted Brown Rice in the UAE which are all the first of their kind in the Middle East. “We enhanced the sprouted rice with gamma-Aminobutyric acid, which has neu-

rotransmitter that increase memory, makes you sleep better and offers a lot of other benefits,” she explained. Speaking on the reason behind stepping into the healthy food market, Mittal said: “ We are an integrated supply chain from farmer to the consumer so all of our new development will aim to enhance farmer income, promote sustainably good agriculture and also helps consumers live a better, healthier and fitter lifestyle. “Secondly, lifestyle diseases are on the rise and there is only so much you can alleviate through allopathic medicine, so we want to promote healthy living too,” she added. The brand also plans to launch additional value added products by next year, “For 2019 we are looking at value added products within the quinoa line. We have already started working on it and will hopefully launch a healthy rice oil too, but it is still in the early days,” Mittal added.

New Zealand firm doubles down on success at Gulfood

New pizza oven is game changer says Moretti Forni It’s hardly a surprise to find someone telling you how great their product is but Moretti Forni’s new oven, which can make a pizza in one minute, certainly caught the imagination at Gulfood. Alessandro Oliva spoke to Catering News Middle East about how he is confident that his company’s latest oven will be a resounding success on the market. “Our new product is the first oven in the world that can rise to 510 degrees. You can make a pizza in one minute – the fastest pizza in the world, the likes of which has never been seen before,” he said. “We are so excited about how the market is going to react to this product.” Oliva said the company’s 73-year history is the reason why it remains so successful in the market. “We have acquired a great amount of knowledge over those 73 years,” he said. “Moretti heavily invests in research and 54

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innovation. We always have something new and we have a top pizza chef who works with our engineers to ensure we always have the best equipment to provide for excellence in pizza baking.”

The dairy product market in the Middle Eastern region has witnessed extraordinary growth in the last number of years. At the spearhead of that movement is New Zealand dairy product company Open Country. Catering News Middle East had a chat with Open Country’s CEO Steve Koekemoer (pictured right) at the event. “We have a lot of interest from the shows, we are looking at the Middle East and North Africa is 25% of our sales when it was single digits just a few years ago,” he said. “This is our third year in a row at Gulfood and we have been growing our share of the market here in the region every year since.”


Lanjarón makes a splash at Gulfood Spanish natural mineral water Lanjarón is confident it will make a splash in the GCC market, according to president Jason Moore who was speaking to Catering News Middle East at Gulfood. He spokes about a new product that he believes will revolutionise the water cooler scene in the UAE. “At the moment the bottled water in the coolers in the UAE currently is mostly local bottled drinking water,” he said. “We are going to be offering a Spanish natural drinking water for the water cooler that involves an innovative device which will connect our six litre bottle which is made out of

50% recycled plastic directly to the water cooler.” Moore believes that Lan-

jarón’s history will help make it a success in the Middle East. “This is the oldest bottled

water in Spain, it is from the highest mountain range in the mainland Spain and the second-highest in mainland Europe,” he said. “Something that makes it different is it is from the region in Spain that has the highest life expectancy, they live to be very old.” He adds that the introduction of Lanjarón to the market couldn’t be better timed given its unique link to the World Expo, the next edition of which famously takes place in Dubai in 2020. “During the Expo in 1878 in Paris, Lanjarón won the silver medal for its healing properties,” he said.

Lavazza wants to lead education drive on coffee “We are building awareness and in a couple of years hopefully we will become leaders in this market,” he said. Lavazza was also at Gulfood to promote a new range of products. “This year we have launched a new product Tierra Origin – this is going along with the new trend for speciality coffee and single origin products,” he said. “We have launched Tierra Brazil which is a single ori-

Italian coffee company Lavazza is determined to lead the drive to educate the GCC market on coffee. That was according to Karim Merhi, marketing manager at Lavazza, who was speaking to Catering News Middle East at Gulfood. “As a 120-year-old company we believe we have a big role to play in education, we are already seeing so many new players, mainly Italian, who are trying to follow in Lavaz-

gin of Brazil, it’s more about the intense taste. The second product is Kafa – from Ethiopia, it’s one of the most premium products we have today, it comes from a farm that has been awarded global heritage by UNESCO. “It only gives us crops once a year in February. This is how premium and selective this product is, this is really is our crown jewel at Lavazza.”

za’s footsteps in the market here,” he said. “Coffee is only a semifinished product, you are not selling a product that is being consumed immediately, you need to be sure that whoever is using it understands what exactly is the blend and how do you prepare it.” He said that having the best product on the market will not help if the person using does not understand how to get the best from it. March 2018 Catering NEWS ME



Super foods is next step for Peru After growing 69% in food trade to the UAE in 2017, Peru aims to achieve more than 100% growth this year. Speaking to Catering News Middle East on the side-lines of Gulfood 2018, Alvaro SilvaSantisteban, director, Peru Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism said: “Last year we did not just meet our monthly targets but our yearly target too and the numbers have been growing month by month. “Our growth in just food has gone up by 69% and if you keep in mind that we are among the top five exporters in the world for a few products, the possibil-

ities of us growing is tremendous,” he added. The growing numbers validate the necessity of Peruvian products in the market, according to the director.

“The products are being perfectly accepted in the market. Our top performing products right now are pomegranates, mangoes, grapes, avocadoes and asparagus. I can say we

have 75% of the asparagus market in the UAE,” he added. With the current growth rate, Peru will also be looking at introducing healthy food supplies in the market, the director said. “We have to overpower what we did in 2017, if we take 69% growth last year, we now have to do a 100% growth, so we are looking at it positively. The healthy side of things is going to be a topic we are working on, super foods is something we have to take into consideration to keep growing in the market that we have already established,” he said.

World-famous marmalade company sets sights on Middle East hotels The award-winning marmalade company Radnor Preserves has set its sights on hotels in the Middle East. That is according to company director Joanna Morgan who was speaking to Catering News Middle East at Gulfood. “We make world-famous jams

and chutneys, our marmalade has won world marmalade awards and is officially the best marmalade in the world,” she said. “We just launched in Marks & Spencers nationwide in the UK and we would like to launch more gift boxes and target hotels over here with lovely marmalades as well.”

Roger & Roger expands into the UAE

Having a strong hold in other GCC countries, the snack producer is now looking to break into the UAE market. Speaking on the side lines of Gulfood 2018, Peter Traas, export manager, Roger & Roger said: “We recently introduced a few new flavours under our premium brand Roger’s and see a very strong market for it in the UAE. “We are launching new flavours under a number of brands the most recent being the chilli flavour under Rog56

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er’s, which we introduced to the market in January this year. “The response so far for the product has been very positive

and I was hopeful for the traction with this product because it works in the European market and we have tried to translate it

to the Middle East,” he added. Speaking on their plans for the region Traas commented, “With the Roger’s brand, we are not working in the UAE yet but are looking for a good importer and distributor who can put my brand under their umbrella and start promoting it here as well. “We are doing very good sales in Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, so we are ready to launch it in the UAE as we are looking to expand our base and grow the brand,” he added.


Food exports from Chile on the rise ACROSS REGION With food export on the rise logistic services between Chile and the Middle East needs to be addressed too. Over the past year, trade between the two countries has been going strong and is expected to increase further in 2018, according to Alejandro Buvinic, director, ProChile. “We have increased about 50% over all in terms of food export to the UAE, the most important product being nuts which increased by 270%, almonds almost a 100% and we can see an increase in red wine exports too especially for hotels,” Buvinic said. “We are seeing growth in all

different departments and what we need now is more logistic services to link cargo between

Chile and Dubai,” he added. Highlighting food safety at Gulfood 2018, ProChile is look-

ing to diversify their product exports to the UAE with the introduction of healthy foods. “We are bringing in some juices and healthy food in addition to what we are traditionally known for. We are trying to highlight food safety at the event too, we tell our customers where the product is coming from and explain the natural taste because food from Chile is very safe,” Buvinic added. “Gulfood brings in so many different opportunities, not only for Dubai but for us to reach markets across the whole region which will benefit the positive outlook for 2018,” the director said.

Sahara Tea launches in the UAE WITH RITZ-CARLTON The Canada based premium tea brand has signed a partnership with Ritz Carlton DIFC. Speaking with Catering News Middle East at Gulfood 2018, Yvonne Robertson, president, Sahara Tea said: “Our speciality is blending natural and wellness ingredients to create a tea that will benefit the body and that is what we are showcasing at Gulfood this year. “We have five collections and the most popular one is our energising collection which is a caffeine free combination of ingredients that will give you that daily dose of energy,” she added. Sahara tea products can be used for more than just making tea according to the president. “Our ingredients are all natural and we have a strong partnership with chefs in North America who also use our products to bake macaroons,” she added. Commenting on their expansion in the region Robertson said: “We are very excited to be

in the GCC. It has been a year in the making that we have developed these relationships and are now partnering with The Ritz Carlton, DIFC. They will be launching a Sahara Tea boutique

in the spa offering our entire line of accessories. “We have also secured a strong relationship with a local distributor, Pearl Tree, who are supporting us to break into this

market. We are currently speaking with a number of hotels and within the next 12-18 months we should have a strong standing in premium hotels over here, “she added. March 2018 Catering NEWS ME



Supple Tek aims for regional domination

Mathieu Teisseire launches new bottle design AT GULFOOD 2018

After consulting with bartenders, the flavoured syrup producer has introduced a designer bottle within their professional range. Launching the new bottle design at Gulfood 2018, Boris Chlebec, global brand ambassador, Mathieu Teisseire said, “The bottle celebrates Mathieu Teisseire himself as his signature is engraved at the back, the logo of the region we are based in-The French Alpsis included in the design and our founding date, 1720 is embossed on it too. “We consulted a lot of bartenders before introducing this design on how to improve the bottle which is why we have introduced Indian-based Supple Tek Industries is not only confident its new basmati rice line, Zeeba, will be a success – the company is going as far as planning on becoming the leading name in the region by 2020. “We are the largest exporter of basmati rice with more than 500,000 tonne of rice being exported by Supple Tek,” he said. “We believe in quality, because of that we are the biggest exporter of basmati rice from India– we don’t compromise on quality. Basmati rice is a growing market in the UAE region and that’s why we wanted to enter this sector.” Ramneek Singh who is the founder and CMD of the company was also present at Gulfood – an event that is proving successful for his company. “It is a great exhibition for us– almost all of our buyers are here. It is a good hunting ground for us as we get 40-50 buyers every year here,” he said. “It helps us promote the brand and gives us good recognition.”


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a longer neck that helps them grab the bottle and pour conveniently. “We also added new neck labels, so when the bottles are placed in a rail at the bar, it is easier for bartenders to recognise which bottle they need to pick up,” he added. The brand will be focusing on their professional range this year according to Chlebec, “2018 is all about our professional range, we are going to present this new bottle at a few other trade events across the globe and all the flavours, old and new which we are introducing this year are going to be in this new designer bottle,” he said.

The Fine Cheese Co. exhibits Handmade cheese PRODUCTS

Speaking with Catering News Middle East, Mickael Taillier from The Fine Cheese Co. said the market for handmade cheese has been growing. “We represent all the small cheese makers in England who make partisan cheese with their own hands from the recipe. It is very important for us to be present and be able to showcase true artisan cheese from England at Gulfood. “Demand for our product in the market has been growing for a few years now as

we deal with the food service sector, chefs and restaurants in Dubai. With all the new openings the demand is constantly increasing,” he added. The company was displaying the new flavour of their cheddar cheese at the exhibition, “We have new flavours made with goat milk and last year we launched two new flavours made from sheep and ox so now we have four different types of milk to have something different in the market than the cheese you already see,” Taillier explained.


Valrhona provides fruity offering TSSC targets at Gulfood 2018 new openings before Expo 2020 Valrhona is a company that is renowned for its innovation and that was again the case at Gulfood 2018. Catering News Middle East caught up with Zeyneb Larabi, business unit manager Valrhona, who was only to happy to reveal the company’s latest product. “Valrhona’s expert chocolate making skills allow us to transform cocoa into chocolate, but now we have found another use for them too: making almonds into the allnew almond, strawberry and passion fruit Inspiration,” she said.

“It has been made to enhance the ways we can use nuts in chocolate, pastries and ice cream and is aimed at professionals looking for the extra special je ne sais quoi that will make them stand out. “Almond Inspiration gives them the pure, natural flavour of almonds combined with the unique texture of chocolate.” She said the new products were to help push the boundaries of pastries and help to provide something unique to the chefs to create their own recipes.

Stability the key for Widriss

Stability is the key to the future prosperity of the region. Wafic NB Idriss, Widriss SAL business development, told Catering News Middle East that the market will truly flourish once there is true stability in the region. “The markets are changing daily, we need stability in the area and only stability will improve the markets,” he said. Idriss was speaking to Catering News

Middle East during Gulfood. “We are promoting fresh chilled and frozen meats, dairy products, some frozen vegetables some canned meat products,” he said. “This is what we are promoting at Gulfood. We deal only with top quality brands and products and ingredients. “We ensure we deliver what he promise – that is quality ingredients.”

TSSC is looking to build on the growth in demand leading up to Dubai Expo 2020. Speaking on the sidelines of Gulfood 2018, Bahar said: “There are 1600 new restaurants coming to the UAE in the next year so we are looking at that and understand that Dubai Expo 2020 is around the corner too. “There are a lot of hotels being built so we will be bidding and hopefully win some of them before the Expo. We are also looking to expand into a new country in the GCC soon so the coming year looks very positive,” he added. The company was exhibiting their food product range at Gulfood along with the newly acquired Island Oasis brand for frozen drinks. “Our newest product Island Oasis comes in many different flavours like sour mix, cappuccino, peach, wild berry and pina colada, which is a very popular one – all these are used to make frozen beverages and depending on the bartender, you can get very creative with it,” Bahar said. “We bought the product from another company here who already had many customers- they were at Applebee’s and a number of pool bars as well, so the future of this product looks positive as we already have the customers and are now adding on to them presenting it as a new product to our existing customers,” he said.

March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


I n profile

Coffee Planet

to brew up success in UK and Saudi Arabia Catering News Middle East caught up Coffee Planet managing director Robert Jones to hear about the group’s continued success in the region

UAE firm Coffee Planet is bucking the international trend and expanding into the UK market. Robert Jones, managing director Coffee Planet, made the announcement in an exclusive one-to-one interview with Catering News Middle at Gulfood 2018. “We will soon be opening our first store in the UK in the next few months, that will be the basis of a café retail op60

Catering NEWS ME March 2018

eration in the UK as well as a model for franchise in the market,” he said, but his plans for global domination do not stop there though. “Our franchising continues throughout the region, we will have a new franchise partner in Saudi Arabia, so we will be opening 70 locations in the next 5-10 years throughout the Kingdom.” It’s clear from speaking to Jones that the

future is bright for Coffee Planet – who formed in the UAE in 2005. “We have got a lot going on. A lot of effort went into last year, we had a lot of consolidation, we signed a lot of serious contracts in the last quarter of 2017 as well as January this year,” he said. “We have our work cut out in 2018, in the local market as well as with regional contracts – which is fantastic.”

I n Profile


Catering NEWS ME March 2018

I n profile

Ah ea d o f th e g a me

Catering News Middle East catches up with Sami Nasreddine, managing director of Quantum Enterprise, about how he has managed to maintain his company’s reputation for excellence… Companies need to collaborate with each other, not compete on price, if they are going to maximise their profits”. That’s the opinion of Sami Nasreddine, the managing director of Quantum Enterprise, who specialises in the supply, installation and testing of kitchen and laundry solutions, ventilation systems, air treatment, grease traps and stainless steel tiles to name but a few of their services – primarily for the hotel and airline catering markets. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, and the substantial fact that Quantum Enterprise received the Delivery beyond Expectations Award for their work on Airbus 380 building at Dubai International Airport; when Nasreddine talks… people listen. His theory on how companies should be working together to make the market an easier place to do business might fly in the face of the usual dog-eat-dog attitude, but there’s a logic to his musings. “I don’t see other businesses as competitors, we should cooperate and coordinate,” he says. “There is a lot of business in the market; yet, we continue to heavily compete to offer the lowest prices. “This will, by default, only benefit the end-user. For example, when there is a job up for tender and 13 companies are competing on who gives the highest price cut – sometimes as high as 20% or 30% after the submission of the tender; there is something fundamentally wrong and it has to change.” Taking into consideration the above,

Nasreddine wonders why rival companies cannot agree on a level of payment. “Agreeing on a level of payment will ultimately benefit everyone but no one is able to establish a level of trust between each other,” he says. According to Nasreddine, it is understandable that the high level of competitiveness in the market might lead companies to panic about the possibility of getting the best deal they could; but he speaks from a position of authority – given Quantum’s reputation in the market. “I have reached to the point where I have to reject certain business deals because of the huge price-cuts and very tough payment

terms that are being requested,” he adds. “Sometimes we receive requests from contractors whom we have worked with in the past and we politely refuse to send them quotations due to our bad experience with them”. It is no secret that these are difficult times for the industry with many companies struggling to keep their heads above water – a situation Nasreddine feels is a result of an unfair playing field that does not allow many companies to have an even hand. “Last year was not an easy year, this year and the next one are not going to be easy either because even though there is a lot of business in town, we are facing

March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


I n Profile

the challenge of liquidity and money collection,” he says. “Moreover, most of the projects we are currently targeting are requesting us to indirectly finance these jobs. This especially becomes an issue when working with bigger developers – with a turnover of billions, and they need to put down a down payment up to 10% only. In return, I have to give them a down payment guarantee, performance bond, they have to keep 10% retention for one or two years and force us to sign under the main contractor with back-to-back payment terms. “This is especially bad because I will only get my payments upon the completion of the job; this is the biggest challenge I’m currently facing.” Nasreddine has seen the industry go through so many changes; some were good but the rest not so much. “In the old days, it was completely different but now the industry is 30% real business and 70% paperwork,” he says. “In order to protect ourselves and our business, we are obliged to consume our resources in long and difficult formalities. “The second major challenge we are currently facing is the fact that we are not getting our money back even upon completion of the job; we sometimes have to wait a year or two in order to receive our payments,” he adds. “No one can maintain their business without receiving their payments, since I have to pay all my suppliers / manufacturers in advance; either with a payment in advance or with secured money. I also have to ship the material and get it in. I’m indirectly financing the entire job.” Another issue that Nasreddine raised is the different time zones. Since Quantum works with manufacturers from all around the world, they always lose two days of business; as in Dubai Fridays are off and in Europe Sundays are off. “Fortunately, this is starting to become less and less of a challenge as most of the international manufacturers we work with are opening branches in the UAE,” he says. His impressive standing in the industry is the reason Nasreddine feels he can speak out where others cannot. 64

Catering NEWS ME March 2018

“We had a three-year maintenance contract with Emirates Airlines and once we submitted this job, they extended our contract for another five years,” he says. He continues to say: “We provide our services along with an exclusive trained team who take care of the first-class lounges, business class lounges and other supporting facilities.” “We have also extended our target to other countries all around the world and not just inside the UAE.” In order to make this possible, Quantum works with 100+ manufacturers and one of their key partners is the German

kitchen equipment manufacturer MKN. “I started working a long time ago with MKN,” says Nasreddine. “We have built the trust that when there is a problem they tell you; however, just as importantly, when there is success they share it with you too. MKN is always around, they are always offering their ongoing support.” Quantum has had great success with maintaining their pristine reputation with hotel industry giants such as Rotana, Hilton, Hyatt, Movenpick, Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) and Le Meridien among the few in their portfolio.

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“Today we are working on two new five-star projects in Africa; one is Rotana which is the biggest hotel in Dar El Salam and the other one is Hyatt Regency in Arusha which is in the wild life around the African roof of the Kilimanjaro Mountain,” he says. While it’s clear that the catering and hotel industries are crowded and overly competitive markets, with plenty of challenges in the region; it’s equally clear that Quantum is proudly standing out from the rest of the pack with its ethical work dynamic and its many years of experience. March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


I n F ocus

Ma rke t it r ight.

James Hacon, managing director at Think Hospitality, who will be co-hosting a Masterclass on restaurant marketing at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) gives Catering News Middle East an outlook on the challenges of restaurant marketing in the region.

he role of a marketing leader in food and beverage brands is far broader than in other industries. They are seen as the centre pin to a successful organisation, taking responsibility of the brand, product development, internal communications, sales, innovation, pricing strategy and often business direction, hence senior marketers are very much seen as an important voice around a boardroom table. 66

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However, in a traditionally operator focused sector, the worth of marketing in the hospitality business is undoubtedly a grey area. A recent survey I conducted which included restaurant marketing professionals saw 61% citing a lack of operations team buy-in being a key challenge, while 44% said they lacked buy-in from their leaders. The only greater challenge was budget. Broader business leaders need to rec-

ognise the value that marketing brings to businesses, while marketers need to concentrate on building a better rapport with the operators. In the words of a speaker “collaborative working is key to successful marketing, it is not just the responsibility of the marketing team, but everyone at every level should buy-in, engagement starts within�. In the Middle East the lack of food and

I n F oc u s

Masterclass beverage focused marketing teams is pronounced, with the sector so linked to the hotel industry, the default position for many is to have the hotel marketing director look after promoting food and beverage too. Having worked in both sectors extensively, I can assure you they are chalk and cheese, with two very different skill sets. The hotel sector is mostly very corporate, focused on transactions often driven by digital and partnership arrangements, whereas the restaurant sector is traditionally much more creative, focused on creating brands and experiences. Restaurant marketers do however need a

clear commercial understanding – personally, this is the gap that I believe needs to be worked on in 2018. It is vital to understand your P&L, sales flows, margins and costs, to ensure you are making decisions that will move the needle, not just drive awareness. To be taken seriously as a marketer, you must be able to hold your own with financiers and operators, do this by not only voicing your own opinion but the brand and customer viewpoint. Remember, winning brands are not made by financiers, they are created by people with a vision, an understanding of customers and a good hand on the marketplace.

In partnership with Restaurant Marketer & Innovator, Hacon will be co-hosting a Masterclass on restaurant marketing at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) 2018 which takes place at the Palazzo Versace, from 12-14 March. The masterclass takes place from 9:00AM – 12:00PM on Monday 12 March and will be focused on building skills around becoming more strategic as a restaurant marketing leader, considering how to reduce reliance on media spend, developing strategies, winning approval of your leadership and driving innovation in brands. Hacon will also be moderating a session at GRIF on The Evolution of Marketing Restaurants from 11:30AM – 12:10PM on Wednesday 14 March.

March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


M ar ketplace

A lt o-sh aam

Catering News Middle East caught up with Gabriel Estrella Talentti, director Middle East and Africa, Alto-Shaam to hear what they have in store for 2018.

What is your best-selling oven product?

Contact details

Vector countertop multi-cook ovens.

Website: Contact:

What is unique about it?

Vector countertop multi-cook ovens are unique because they provide operators with unmatched flexibility in cooking. Operators can cook up to four different food items with zero flavour transfer while controlling the temperature, fan speed and time in each independent oven chamber. Exclusive structured air technology delivers superior cooking evenness, increased production and improved food quality. To reduce labour costs, structured air technology eliminates the need to watch and rotate pans. For addi-

What are the latest trends in ovens?

tional savings, these models are waterless, ventless and can be placed anywhere with a small footprint.

As consumer demand for convenient and fresh food increases, the food service industry is seeing a trend towards ovens that provide hot, high-quality food in minimal time. With food, labour and energy costs on the rise, there is also a trend towards ovens that are easy to use, take up less space and can operate outside of a costly kitchen hood.

Masc hi n en fa b r ik K urt Ne u bauer G m bH & C o.

Elias Rached, regional director, sales, Middle East and Africa MKN us how his products are heating up the market.

What is your best-selling oven product?

Contact details

O v en s

MKN has a very wide range of combi steaming technology. The decision for the right product depends on different aspects like the amount of dishes that have to be prepared, space and customer preferences. So we can’t say that there is one best-selling product. All MKN combi steamers from our Flexicombi till the small but still professional Spacecombi are highly appreciated in the market worldwide.

Website: Contact:

What are the latest trends in ovens?

What is unique about it?

Our combi steamers come with quite a few unique features that include The Magicpilot touch and slide operation concept that is just as simple to use as modern smartphones. The Flexicombi Magicpilot is equipped with a durable 316 S11 cooking chamber as the standard and the triple


Catering NEWS ME March 2018

glazed cooking chamber door offers energy saving of up to 28%. Waveclean, the automatic cleaning system works incredibly efficiently, hygienically and safely using a sealed two-in-one cartridge containing both detergent and a rinsing agent.

Following market trends, MKN has developed the Magichood system for our small combi steamers. This system has been developed specifically to face the hard conditions in front of cooking areas where unpleasant smoke and smells generated by frying and grilling can cause inconvenience. The combination of Spacecombi Magicpilot and Magichood also extracts harmful blue smoke, fat and odours, safely and effectively using a four-level filter system.


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The most acclaimed HEALTH & LIFESTYLE magazine in the region

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415555, DIFC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates +971 4 2989555

M ar ketplace

Moretti Forni Catering News Middle East speaks with Alessandro Oliva, export sales manager, Moretti Forni, on why their ovens stand out in the market. What is your best-selling oven product?

Since 1947 Moretti Forni has been the leading Italian manufacturer of professional ovens and offers its clients a full range of ovens, ranging from deck and convection ovens, to conveyor and rotor ovens. In January this year, Moretti Forni launched its latest, innovative pizza oven called Neapolis which undoubtedly represents a turning point in pizza making.


Leonard Parot, regional sales manager, Welbilt speaks about the latest trends in the market.

What is your latest product launch? What is unique about it?

Neapolis 510°C, is a truly unique product. To start with, it’s the most powerful electric pizza oven in the market cooking at temperatures as high as 510°C. This, enables our clients to cook their pizzas in less than one minute which is an incredible boost to their productivity. Neapolis is also equipped with a software to manage a maximum installed power of 14.7 kW in order to achieve the maximum working temperature in just under two hour and is equipped to consume an essential minimum during use: just 6.5 kW/h. The insulation materials, vintage stainless steel finishes, an opening in heavy-duty cast iron, black steel hood, baking deck in biscotto di sorrento clay, and optimised heating elements are all details that explain why Neapolis is an oven that cannot be equaled. It is Neapolis the perfect oven for Neapolitan Pizza and can beautifully replace a traditional a wood fire oven.

What are the latest trends in ovens?

O v en s

A major trend in ovens is certainly energy saving. For this reason, we have developed a line of pizza and bakery ovens called Serie S. Thanks to our Eco Smartbaking technology, energy consumptions is reduced by 30%. The electronic control in the Serie S is easy and intuitive thanks to the colour, user-friendly graphic display. With the Booster function for peak times and the eco-stand by for breaks, Serie S is the right oven for any requirement.


Our new Convotherm mini, a new innovative appliance and another generation of the combi steamer series.

What makes it unique?

Thanks to its compact size of 51.5 cm width, coupled with a large cooking chamber, the Convotherm mini is ideal for small and mediumsized operations. Even in the smallest of spaces, you do not have to do without a professional combi steamer. Its stacking feature allows the product to expand capacities without the need for extra space.

Why should businesses purchase your product?

Whether you are a system caterer, a restaurant chain owner, a bakery shop operator or a top chef, our combi steamers are made to meet your needs. Customers can choose between two user interfaces – the manual control variant and a tilt selector switch or the easytouch user interface. Using both, the manual and automatic cooking mode does not only save time and energy but also relieves the workforce of stressful workload. With the press & go, your personal cooking concepts can go into series production. Develop your own sophisticated cooking profiles and save them in the appliance with a photo to find them again. For optimal process reliability, your creations can always be retrieved and can be transferred through a USB. The combi steamer is a great relief for employees working in restaurant operations that require a lot of routine procedures. Additionally, the easy start function simplifies use and offers baking and cooking for six different food categories.

What’s next for your company in 2017 and onwards?

We see a big trend towards digitisation in the professional kitchen. So there is a great interest in technical solutions to facilitate the work flow. With our easytouch operating concept, we already offer our customers a digital user interface with image control that is easy to operate even for unskilled personnel without extensive training.

Contact details

Contact details

Website: Contact:

Website: Email:

Catering NEWS ME March 2018

M ar k etplace

Rat ional Ki t chen & Cat er i n g Equip m ent

Simon Parke-Davis, managing director, Rational Kitchen & Catering Equipment Trading tells Catering News Middle East what is new for the company.

What is your best-selling oven product?

It is hard to say what our best selling product is when we have four specialised products all offering the highest level of customer benefit to the market. Rational has set a new standard with the recently launched Selfcookingcenter and combimaster plus models, which significantly increase customer benefit. This is the result of 40 years of research in cooking and we have also introduced the first professional compact appliance with a fresh steam generator in the form of the Selfcookingcenter XS and Combimaster Plus XS. Despite their extremely small dimensions, the XS units deliver a full Rational performance and possess the same cooking intelligence. Another innovation is the Variocooking

center 112L, which fills a gap in the existing range and meets our customers wish for a powerful, space-saving multifunctional model with 50-litre capacity.

What is unique about it?

The Rational Selfcookingcenter and the Rational Selfcookingcenter XS is a small professional unit with 2/3GN trays, the Variocooking center allows more flexibility and compliments the Rational Selfcookingcenter, to offer the complete solution to people working in commercial kitchens, as you are able to go from zero to 200 degrees in under 2.5 minutes. It comes in a range of sizes to suit all operations from 2 x 14 litres up to 150 litres in a single appliance. With this appliance you can also reduce the space required in your kitchen and save up to 40%

Contact details Website: Contact: +97 1433 86615

of electricity and 70% of water compared to conventional appliances such as tilting pans, kettles, brat pans.

What are the latest trends in ovens?

The first trend to be considered is value for money and customers benefit. Each decision maker needs to know that they are making an investment rather than a purchase, with the best in class ROI and highest level of efficiency for operating in a commercial kitchen environment. This means that they need to be convinced that the equipment will deliver perfect and consistent results with reduced cost and a fast output, without deviating from the food quality. Therefore at Rational we have invested in the research and development of our products to ensure customer satisfaction at every level. We now have 15 people in the Middle East all focused on delivering customer benefit whether it is how to use or application, service and technical requirements or just being present for any questions the customers may have. March 2018 Catering NEWS ME



D e t pa k

Catering News Middle East catches up with Mudasir Mubarik, country sales manager – Middle East and India, Detpak on their new Coffee Origins launch.

What is your latest product launch?

Our latest product is the Coffee Origins cup collection, a collection of paper hot cups featuring designs inspired by the architecture, textiles and traditions of coffee producing nations.

What makes it unique?

Each carton of the Coffee Origins collection contains a random mix of designs that are updated seasonally. The Coffee Origins cup gallery is not just greatlooking packaging to serve a hot drink, it will bring your customers closer to the origins of their coffee, while supporting coffee growing communities around the world. 5% of the sales are contributed to our partner charities as we continue to work with them across the globe supporting positive social change through the power of coffee. Additionally, by purchasing the Coffee Origins cup gallery, you and your customers are helping improve the health, education and food security of families 72

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in rural coffee growing communities around the world.

Which is your most in-demand product in the Middle East and why?

With over 500 products in our ready-to-go range, there is a good chance if you need any of the following products, they’re ready to go right now: Bags, cups and cup accessories, plates, bowls and cutlery, cartons, trays, napkins and wraps. Given that many of these products are available in plain or subtle designs, you can easily add finishing touches like ties, labels, and stamps to make them part of your brand.

Why should F&B businesses purchase packaging products from Detpak?

Today, more than ever, your product either shines or never leaves the shelf. At Detpak, we design, manufacture, and supply the food service industry with world-class paper and cardboard packaging products, delivered

Contact details Website: Contact: +971 4 256 7880

with the level of service and care you would expect from a family-owned business like ours. And we have been doing it since 1948.

How do Detpak products stand out from other products in the market?

Quality to us means perfection, not ‘near enough is good enough’. That starts with global colour and printing standards so high you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between products manufactured in Adelaide from those in Ho Chi Minh City. It works by consistently operating 99.99% defect-free with constant improvements to catch that remaining 0.01%. This is also proven by our long-standing relationships with market-leading brands including McDonald’s, Starbucks, CSR Sugar, Goodman Fielder, and Jollibee.

What’s next for your company in 2018?

In 2018, Detpak will continue to serve its customers with the best of class packaging solutions.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

T e tra Pa k

Khaled Ismail, vice president communications, Cluster Greater Middle East and Africa, Tetra Pak tells us what’s in store for 2018 at the company. What is your latest product launch?

During last year’s edition of Gulfood Manufacturing, Tetra Pak launched Tetra Fino aseptic 100 ultra MiM (Micro injection moulding), Tetra Pak high shear mixer R370-1000D and Patented Tetra Pak extrusion wheel.

What makes it unique?

Tetra Fino aseptic 100 ultra MiM is a new package that allows dairy and juice drinks to be produced and distributed in small carton pouches at room temperature and subsequently be turned into frozen products in shops or in a consumer’s home allowing for enhanced flexibility. The carton-based package protects against light and oxygen, preserving the freshness, nutrition and taste of the food. Tetra Pak high shear mixer R370-1000D is a next generation high shear inline mixer that offers customers unparallelled ingredient mixing performance and lower operating costs. The new mixer can handle ingredients with up to 65% dry matter, the highest concentration for infant formula production. This cuts down the need for evaporation, another expensive step in food processing, slashing costs by up to 90%. Lastly, the Tetra Pak extrusion wheel creates stick ice cream products with large inclusions up to 25mm. The new machine does not use the traditional cutting technology, but instead has a number of cavities on its outer surface in the same shape of the final product. With a capacity of up to 200 products per minute, the machine ensures consistent high-quality appearance of the product.

convenience, easy opening, and optimal shelf life. Billions of litres of water, milk, juice and other liquid foods are consumed across the globe daily. Our packages protect both the nutritional value and the taste of the products inside. We also provide integrated processing, packaging, and distribution solutions for food manufacturing.

How do your products stand out from other products in the market?

Tetra Pak is the world's leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with customers and suppliers, Tetra Pak provides safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that meet the needs of people in more than 170 countries.The company’s motto is ‘Protect what’s

Contact details Website: Contact: + 971 4 803 6800 good,’ which reflects their vision to make food safe and available, everywhere. Tetra Pak supports its customers through meeting consumer demands and aspirations.

What’s next for your company in 2018?

Technology and digitalisation is constantly transforming the world today and Tetra Pak has transformed its services by launching digital services for our customers to focus on improving the ability to predict machine errors and accelerate response times. We expect the region to continue to offer growth potential and business opportunities, especially in many untapped markets. Consumer demand is constantly changing and there is a need to constantly innovate to stay ahead – particularly with new products.

Why should F&B businesses purchase packaging products from Tetra Pak?

We offer the most attractive and complete carton packaging range for consuming fresh products. Our packages offer consumer March 2018 Catering NEWS ME


Spill the beans As Dubai’s first supper club makes it way from Milan to The Maine Oyster Bar and Grill, Chef Stefano Ratti spills the beans on this unique dining experience. What is Ma’ Hidden Kitchen? Ma’ Hidden Kitchen is a supper club based in Milan that takes place at the founders Lele and Melissa’s loft. After years of dinners at home with their loves ones, they decided it was not enough to share their passion for food with only a few close friends and opened their kitchen to the public.

Sp i ll t h e be an s

What is the idea behind this supper club? Ma’ Hidden Kitchen Supper Club is not a restaurant but a shared experience at a secret location in one of the trendiest neighbourhoods of Milan. The Supper Club is much more than just a common table, it’s a feast of people and food. The idea is to make guests comfortable in a relaxing environment to socialise and meet new friends who share the same interests. Why is the concept of a Supper Club popular? With the current economy, dining out is becoming expensive and the supper club gives consumers a platform to enjoy high-end restaurant quality food for a reasonable price. Not only does the supper club offer a foodie experience like no other, it gives people a chance to interact with other humans and take it back to basics. In a world full of technology we rarely get the chance to meet people and have natural conversation, the supper club gives this opportunity. Why are you bringing it to Dubai? Ma’ Hidden Kitchen was approached by The Italian Way to come to Dubai and spread the word about the supper club concept and we jumped on the opportunity. Dubai has always fascinated us in terms 74

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of the culture and it will be a great way to show the people of Dubai what we do. What can guests expect when dining at your supper club? Supper club events last for several hours, with about 15 minutes between courses. Each dish has been designed to be enjoyed over conversation so nothing is too big or heavy. The Dubai menu is based on

Italian classic recipes with an international twist. Entrees are a strong throwback to the popular everyday tradition in Italy, redesigned in a contemporary way. I’ll present pasta as a snack, a form that the guests would have never tasted before. One of the main dishes is a risotto in which I propose an uncommon match with fish and cheese, playing with an unusual colour palette that goes from white to green.

Catering News ME - March 2018  
Catering News ME - March 2018