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FRENCH CUISINE TRENDS Chefs from the Middle East’s best-loved French restaurants explain how they achieve that ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that sets them apart from the competition

CHEF FOCUS Award-winning chef Robert Nilsson brings a touch of Scandi-cool to his first role in the middle east as executive chef of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah

After eight years in the making, the Galvin brothers are finally ready to electrify Dubai's F&B scene with two major restaurant openings

Connecting F&B professionals with industry knowledge

Amir Nahai, AccorHotels CEO of F&B reveals his strategy for creating excellence, authenticity and simplicity across Accor's 9,000-strong restaurant portfolio

MAY 2017


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

May 2017 // Issue #028


16 10 What's Cooking?

28 New places

The Business 10 //

WHAT’S COOKING? Gates Hospitality launches Italian concept in Downtown Dubai; Deliveroo Editions to help restaurants expand reach; Street Food Market returns to Yas Island

18 //

NEW PLACES Molecule restaurant, lounge and art gallery opens in Dubai Design District

24 //

COVER STORY After eight years of planning, the Galvin brothers are ready to electrify Dubai’s restaurant scene with two openings in 2017

28 //

THE BUSINESS Redefining Accor’s F&B strategy Amir Nahai, AccorHotels CEO of F&B reveals the company’s strategy for creating excellence, authenticity and simplicity across its 9,000-strong restaurant portfolio

May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


May 2017 // Issue #028

Contents 32 //

Managing Director Walid Zok

CHEF FOCUS Cultural exchange Award-winning chef Robert Nilsson brings a touch of Scandi-cool to his first UAE role as executive chef of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah

36 //

OUT OF THIS WORLD Chefs from the Middle East’s best-loved French restaurants explain how they achieve that ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that sets them apart from the competition

42 //

EVENT REVIEW Saudi Arabia’s first Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition took place in front of thousands of spectators at The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia last month

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

Marouane Al Mandri

44 //

Factory Tour As Pulsar Foodstuff Trading celebrates its 20th anniversary, we pay a visit to the facility in Dubai’s Al Quoz to find out what sets the company’s in-room and minibar snack products apart

48 //

Products Catering News spoons out the best and newest cutlery products available in the Middle East

Art Director Aaron Sutton Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon Photographer

Hayder Al-Zuhairi



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44 Out of this world

Factory tour

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Catering NEWS ME May 2017


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E ditor's L etter

Back to basics


Crystal Chesters Editor

Cover evolution

he Middle East has many young, creative chefs bringing a rich mix of knowledge, experience and ideas from around the globe and often they are viewed as the future of the industry. However, it’s important not to forget some of the more seasoned chefs out there who are perhaps less known in this region, but who are just as critical to the development and elevation of its F&B scene. Chris and Jeff Galvin are two such chefs and I had the pleasure of meeting them when they were in Dubai last month to open Demoiselle by Galvin, the first of their two restaurants launching in the emirate this year (page 24). What I liked about the Galvin brothers was their humble attitude – “we’re just two Essex boys cooking French food”. Of course, to their fans and followers in the UK – where the bulk of their restaurants are located – they are much more than this. However, experience has taught them well that they can’t just fly into the UAE and plonk a ‘Galvin’ sign on a door and expect to be busy. They’ve seen too many French chefs do the same in London and fail miserably. It took the brothers eight years to finally decide on a location and partner for their Dubai restaurants, and while they don’t doubt their food will be a hit with the local clientele, they understand that almost all the restaurants in the city can offer great food. Instead, their differential is giving people what they want. It sounds simple, but they doubt other restaurants are succeeding at doing this properly.

This reminded me of something I heard at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum in April, when I interviewed Amir Nahai, CEO F&B of AccorHotels (page 28). While some operators are out eyeing the latest trends in cocktail colours, Nahai and his team in Paris are busy identifying those elements in the customer journey that are truly relevant – those that are more enduring than cyclical trends. According to Nahai, it’s not about sugar-free, paleo or bone broth, but understanding the basics of what consumers want at a global level and responding to this at a local level. One of the key pillars of Accor’s strategy Nahai highlighted, was that everything must be simple, authentic and excellent. Again it seems obvious, but his point was that many restaurateurs miss these basics and as a result – I quote – are “dead on arrival”. If the Essex boys cooking French food and AccorHotels aren't enough to give this issue a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’, we interviewed chefs from the best-known French restaurants in the region to find out more about the trends, ingredients and concepts appearing this year (page 36). The answer? With increasing focus on ingredients, ambience and authenticity, casual concepts such as Couqley, Bistro Des Arts and Publique will continue to thrive and pop up around the Middle East. It’s that simple, really. Kind regards, Crystal

Social Media /Cateringnewsme




Catering NEWS ME May 2017

Valrhona yet again adds a new twist to the sensory universe of chocolate... Valrhona once again redraws the boundaries of chocolate with an innovative process of double fermentation, which paves the way for a new generation of aromatic profiles. More than ten years of research have gone into the development of thisexclusive new range of naturally fruity chocolates with Valrhona and partner growers working hand-in-hand.

An exclusive process Harvest




Double Fermentation When the first fermentation period is complete and the initial aromas unveiled, a new ingredient is introduced into the boxes of cocoa beans to initiate a second phase of fermentation. Valrhona experts came up with the idea of adding fruit pulp, naturally high in sugar, which triggers a second fermentation phase that imparts new distinctive aromatic qualities to the chocolate created. More than ten years of research have gone into the development of this new aromatic universe, with Valrhona and partner growers working hand-in-hand. In September 2015, Valrhona will be unveiling 2 new products: Mananka 62% (Orange) and Itakuja 55% (Passion fruit). Mananka immediately appeals thanks to the harmony between the orange notes and the aromatic character of Madagascan cocoa whilst Itakuja, with its intense passion fruit flavour brings a freshness and exotic character to this pure Brazilian dark chocolate.

Itakuja 55% pure Brazil, Passion fruit & chocolate intensity Mananka 62% pure Madagascar, Orange & tangy freshness

CONCEPTION/RÉALISATION : INSIGN - 06/2015 - CrÊdit photo : Pierre OLLIER - Laurent VU





W hat's cooking?

W hat's cooking?

P11: Star ratings system to be introduced // P12: Deliveroo Editions to help restaurants expand reach // P14: Third Last Exit opens //

What's cooking?

For all the latest News, Visit Follow us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute breaking news Read the latest edition on

New launch

Gates Hospitality launches Italian concept in Downtown Dubai


ates Hospitality has unveiled plans to open new Italian concept, Via Veneto, on Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai. Located in the space previously occupied by Fume Downtown, which closed in March, Via Veneto will have 226 covers across its outdoor terrace, and downstairs and upstairs areas. While the downstairs area will be a casual café concept offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with pizza, ciabattas, paninis and focaccias on the menu, upstairs will be a dining room/ bar area, with a full à la carte menu. Naim Maadad, CEO, Gates Hospitality told Catering News: “The boulevard is very Italian but there’s no Italian restaurant. Everyone eats pizza and pasta, so from an audience perspective we’re opening that gap. “Foodies can go upstairs and have alcohol and more sophisticated food, whereas downstairs it’s equally healthy, fresh and tasty but more comfort food-focused.” Chef Maxime Le Van – previous executive chef of Boca Dubai and head chef of Gros10

Catering NEWS ME May 2017

Naim Maadad, CEO, Gates Hospitality

A rendering of Via Veneto, Downtown Dubai

venor House Dubai – will be at the helm of the kitchen. The menu will feature modern presentations using traditional recipes, with a focus on quality, freshness and textures. The design is an important aspect of the concept, with a striking façade, black and white design motif, and an accessible, rustic-chic ambience. “We’re turning the façade of the building into a design element so when people stop at the lights they’ll look up. The whole building will be headturning, it will stand out like an icon,” Maadad added. “I’m making sure that I complement the offer [on the boulevard] rather than competing. Italian makes a lot of sense; we found a vacuum, we found a solution for that vacuum and we’re plugging it in.” The concept has been a year and a half in the making, and is expected to be operating by mid-May. Gates Hospitality’s F&B portfolio also includes Folly by Nick & Scott and Publique, both of which opened in march at Madinat Jumeirah, in addition to Bistro Des Arts, Reform Social & Grill, The Black Lion, and Ultra Brasserie.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?


Star ratings system to be introduced for restaurants and cafes in Dubai

The biggest hospitality show in the world

Dubai Economy has announced that a 'Global Star Rating System for Services' will be adopted across commercial establishments in the UAE to improve services and achieve customer happiness. The rating system will apply to approximately 38,000 establishments from sectors including restaurants and cafes (7204), speciality stores (29,815), supermarkets (706) and commercial centres (84) and businesses with five branches or more. The objective of the star ratings system is to evaluate the competitiveness of service providers in their respective fields and enable the private sector to enhance service quality. It was announced in the presence of Her Excellency Ohoud Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, UAE Minister of State for Happiness and Director General of the Prime Minister's Office. Al Roumi commented: “When His Highness launched the Global Star Rating System for Services, it was intended to motivate government entities to provide the best customer

service similar to those offered in the hospitality, aviation and banking sectors, and to develop government work and service centres. “Today we see that the private sector has adopted the system and applied it to their facilities, demonstrating that excellence is now a standard for service quality and customer experience across commercial establishments in the country. It also shows that the UAE has moved from customer satisfaction to customer happiness in the public and private sectors alike.” The evaluation and classification are based on three axes: self-classification based on data recorded in the commercial register in Dubai Economy (20%); business activity, commercial commitment, sustainability, capital and value, and the customer experience in restaurants and cafés (50%). The system has a set of standards covering 30 technical and service requirements relating to the efficiency and readiness of staff, prices, payment channels, facilities, design and customer relations management. May 2017 Catering NEWS ME

ADV_HOST_CateringNewsMiddleEast_90x242mm_Gennaio2017.indd 1


19/01/17 15:15

W hat's cooking?

Food waste

Dubai Municipality launches first UAE Foodbank Services

The first branch of the UAE Foodbank opened on 19 April in the Al Quoz area of Dubai with the objective of making Dubai the first city in the region to achieve zero food waste. The UAE Foodbank will be used to collect, pack, store and distribute meals to those most in need through partnerships with hospitality and F&B companies and charitable organisations. Since being announced in January 2017, the UAE Foodbank has forged partnerships with 96 hotels, 240 food outlets and seven charitable organisations. At the opening of the UAE Foodbank, Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, Chairman of the UAE Foodbank Board of Trustees said: “I am extremely proud to see the first branch open only three months after the announcement of the UAE Foodbank initiative in January. The site is equipped with all the nec12

Catering NEWS ME May 2017

essary technical and logistical amenities to provide support and sport the launch of the foodbank’s operations. “The UAE Foodbank represents one of the most humanitarian values in the UAE, and is well on its way to becoming one of the country’s largest humanitarian institutions, widely spreading the culture of giving within a sustainable institutional framework.” Dubai Municipality has said it will regulate all processes, introduce operational guidelines for stakeholders, and will continue to create strategic partnerships with organisations to maximise food usage and reduce waste. The initiative is part of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision to introduce a sustainable humanitarian framework that encourages philanthropic participation from the community, and ensures that no one goes hungry.

New Deliveroo Editions to help restaurants expand reach Deliveroo has launched Deliveroo Editions, a platform to enable restaurants to reach new customers in cities around the world, without having a high street premises. It provides restaurant partners with the infrastructure – including bespoke kitchens, local marketing support and fleets of riders – that allows them to launch delivery-only menus catered to local tastes. Will Shu, CEO of Deliveroo, commented: “Deliveroo Editions makes good on our promise to widen access to the world’s best food. By partnering with some of the top restaurants in the business – from unique independents to highstreet favourites – we’re ensuring that people have access to incredible food on demand. “By drawing on the unique technology that motors Deliveroo, we are able to identify gaps in the market and curate bespoke restaurant selections, meaning more choice for customers and the chance for our

partners to scale. This is the biggest development in the market since Deliveroo first launched.” Customers across the world will gain access to over 300 restaurants as Deliveroo Editions brings chefs and restaurateurs to new locations in cities across the world. The first Deliveroo Edition will launch in the UAE later in 2017, with one of the first restaurant partners being Pinza, a locally grown concept that specialises in hand-kneaded pizza. Deliveroo Editions gives restaurateurs the chance to launch, expand and test new innovations with delivery-only offerings, and are the result of extensive market analysis drawing on data available to Deliveroo. Using its own technology, Deliveroo can identify specific cuisines missing in an area, identify customer demand for that missing cuisine, and handpick the restaurant brands that are most likely to appeal to customers in that area.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

In a nutshell: Kitchen Nation

Rami Salous is founder and CEO of Kitchen Nation a culinary incubator that helps individuals and small businesses to connect and develop opportunities within the F&B sector Why did you launch Kitchen Nation? Kitchen Nation was launched to serve a gap in the market. Many people have great food concepts waiting to emerge but are unable to see them through due to high initial start-up costs. Our platform helps these entrepreneurs enter the market. What’s the concept? Kitchen Nation is a one-stop-shop for people looking to enter the F&B realm. It’s a shared venue where various members operate. The concept is to take care of all the less glamorous aspects of opening and operating a food concept allowing the members to focus on perfecting their products and developing their brands. What facilities and services are provided? Kitchen Nation provides kitchen space, trained

staff, front of house operations, mentoring, consultancy, food production, assistance with marketing and branding, menu development and food costing. We are paired with a construction/fit-out and design company ready to bring our graduated incubator members' visions of stand-alone venues to life. Does it operate as a restaurant also? Yes, Kitchen Nation operates as a restaurant showcasing the menus of our members. Currently you can choose between traditional British cuisine, Thai, Jamaican,

From 20 to 2,000 meals a day.

Always the right solution. Find out more:

Jordanian, and Mexican menu options. We have a neutral dining venue with both indoor and outdoor seating. What’s your vision for the future of Kitchen Nation? With Kitchen Nation, we aim to revolutionise the way concepts enter the market. We are empowering food entrepreneurs with the opportunity to test the market with real life data to help them make informed decisions. Kitchen Nation hopes to expand first into the Middle East and eventually have a presence in major cities all over the world.

W hat's cooking?

Dubai hotels now authorised Third Last Exit food truck to build rooftop restaurants park opens in Dubai An administrative decision authorising hotels to build restaurants on their rooftops has been issued by Dubai Municipality director-general, Hussain Nasser Lootah. Hotels are authorised to request permission for the construction of restaurants on rooftops according to specific planning requirements. The construction should not ex-

ceed 50% of the roof floor area, the maximum building area should not exceed 1,000m2, and the lateral slope of the building on the rooftop should not be less than 1.5 metres on all sides of the building. The move is in accordance with Decision No. 66 of 2007 regarding controls on some planning and structural modifications.

Street Food Market returns to Yas Island

The second edition of Street Food Market – Yas will take place in Abu Dhabi at Du Forum on Yas Island

every Friday and Saturday for the first two weekends of May. Homegrown food pop-ups and food trucks will offer street food and there will be games for adults and children, a live band and a DJ. One amateur chef per night will be selected to work alongside their team and offer their creations to visitors of the event. Street Food Market – Yas will take place from 5 – 13 May and will be open from 12pm – 12am.

Cucumbers to be used as currency in Dubai bars

Hendrick’s has partnered with bars across Dubai to accept a cucumber in exchange for a 14

Catering NEWS ME May 2017

G&T on 17 May. Participating outlets include Bridgewater Tavern, Copper Dog, Siddhartha, Rhodes W1, Geales, the Maine and Iris. The bars will accept cucumbers of any species as currency in exchange for a Hendrick’s & Tonic during the world’s first dedicated ‘cucumber hour’ – a twist on the usual cocktail hour. Duncan McRae, Hendrick’s global ambassador commented: “For many years now Hendrick’s has sought to elevate the many enigmatic qualities of the unassuming cucumber, due to the role it plays in our most unusual gin alongside the Bulgarian rose.”

Last Exit, the food truck concept by Meraas, has announced the opening of a third location at Al Khawaneej, Dubai. The new Last Exit, located next to Mirdiff, is part of an expansion plan announced in September 2016 that will see a total of 10 Last Exit destinations created across Dubai by 2018. Last Exit D89, as the Al Khawaneej destination will be known, features lawns, vintage pick-ups, farm animals and bird houses. F&B outlets represented at the food truck park include homegrown Indian street food concept, Jaldi Jaldi; fried chicken house, Hot Chix; and Poco Loco, which serves Latin American cuisine.

The destination will double up as a venue for community events, with facilities to be added in the coming months. There are also plans to add a homestead, a bakery, and indoor restaurants that will create a new centre for residents in the surrounding community. The other Last Exit venues open in the UAE are the auto-themed Last Exit E11 on Sheikh Zayed Road, and the equestrian-themed Last Exit D63 in Al Qudra. Meraas plans to create a further seven Last Exit destinations throughout Dubai over the next two years, each with its own identity and characteristics inspired by local neighbourhoods.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

Oman’s food and hospitality event to be held at new convention centre Exhibitions and conferences organiser Omanexpo has announced that the 12th edition of Food & Hospitality Oman will be held at the new Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC), which opened last September. Taking place from 16 – 18 October, Food & Hospitality Oman will showcase food and beverage technologies and services catering to the food and hospitality sector. Ammar Ahmad, exhibition director, said: “OCEC is now the country’s newest hub for business events. With business opportunities in the food and hospitality sector in Oman growing steadily in recent years, OCEC is just the best platform for this event, providing a total space area of more than 22,000m2 to accommodate leading companies and emerging business entities from Oman and around the region.” It will host over 500 local

and international brands looking to tap into the country’s growing food and hospitality markets, generate business leads, and learn more about the industry’s developments and trends. Alongside the food and hospitality exhibition is the Food Safety Oman Conference, which after its inaugural success last year, has inspired interest among food safety experts, policy makers and industry stakeholders. It will bring in experts from food and beverage manufacturers, importers, producers, retailers, catering and restaurant service providers, packaging and processing technology providers, vendors and government representatives and other food safety professionals. The latest policies, regulations, innovative approaches and technological advancements relating to food safety and quality in the Sultanate will be under the spotlight.

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May 2017 Catering NEWS ME



Stuart Gillies (left), chief executive officer of the Gordon Ramsay Group was a keynote speaker

Panel session on ‘Creating a Food Culture’

Global Restaurant Investment Forum 2017 Catering News Middle East reviews the highlights of GRIF 2017, which took place in April at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, with more than 300 industry professionals in attendance


he Global Restaurant Investment Forum 2017 (GRIF), the annual networking and intelligence event for the international restaurant and hospitality community, powered by Michelin, was hosted by AccorHotels at Fairmont, The Palm in Dubai from 10 – 12 April with over 300 senior industry professionals in attendance. GRIF 2017 featured a conference programme that provided a macroeconomic overview of the F&B industry and tackled issues such as concept development, finance and lending, investment feasibility and creating a food culture. Several key trends dominated the conversation over the three-day event, from key growth areas such as restaurant delivery, online ordering and digital technology to the need to invest in talent and focus F&B businesses around people, as highlighted by keynote speaker, Stuart Gillies, chief executive officer of the Gordon Ramsay Group. Looking at consumer trends, Rohin Thampi - regional director for the Middle East and Africa at Zomato, reported a 75% growth in the global online ordering segment in the last 12 months. In his outlook for 2017, Thampi expects to see further growth in online ordering with the emer16

Catering NEWS ME May 2017

Networking at GRIF gence of virtual restaurants and drone deliveries. In a session focused on this topic, Anis Harb, general manager GCC for Deliveroo, revealed that the company is planning to open 200 virtual kitchens this year, a new segment for its merchants. Rohit Sachdev, managing director of Soho Hospitality, talked about the big disrupters in the industry globally, which include the impact of the sharing economy on F&B and again, the huge growth in the food delivery segment, which was worth a staggering 83 billion euros in 2016.

Other expert speakers, including Nada Alameddine, partner business development at Hodema Consulting Services, highlighted an increase in use of restaurant technology and services including online reservations, table management, food delivery and mobile ordering. Simon Taylor, head of business development restaurants for Condé Nast International Restaurants, also recognised the value of technology and highlighted trends including the development of social spaces in restaurants and hotels, an increase in


collaborations and the development of shared spaces and pop-up restaurants. In keynote sessions at GRIF, industry experts advocated the responsibility of restaurateurs to prioritise their employees. Stuart Gillies, chief executive officer of the Gordon Ramsay Group, spoke about how his team turned the business around from a slowdown by expanding into casual dining and entering new markets. He said their model was excellent delivery with value for money and ensuring a great experience for the diner. Gillies advised accruing great people who could add value and be challenged to perform and grow, giving the most powerful management system possible. One of the most transforming changes the Gordon Ramsay Group made was the renaming of the head office to the support office, reflecting its true relationship to the outlets. In a one-to-one interview on stage Amir Nahai, chief executive officer group food & beverage for AccorHotels, spoke about the group’s global strategy and four strategic pillars: delivering excellence with simplicity and authenticity, developing F&B as entertainment and as a hub, listening to and serving guests, and inspiring and motivating employees. A full interview with Amir Nahai is on p28. Concluding, Jennifer Pettinger-Haines, managing director of Bench Events, organiser of GRIF said: “After a very successful fourth edition of GRIF, we look forward to continuing the conversation about the global trends, challenges and opportunities that impact the dynamic restaurant sector globally. In this content-rich forum, we benefited from some fascinating one-onone conversations with industry leaders and we will be sharing these and the conference sessions on our GRIF market intelligence page and social media platforms.”

TOP TAKEAWAYS GRIF MC, James Hacon, development, growth and brand strategist offers his insights on the most important takeaways from GRIF 2017 1. Delivery Dilemma – Get into bed with one of the big delivery players and you get the best percentage deal, share the love and you’ll probably drive more volume. Or, invest in your own peddle power, taking the risk, but perhaps reaping the rewards. 2. Brand Promiscuity – The number of brands customers visit is on the rise, with new launches and interesting products elsewhere turning their heads – but it’s your job to make sure they don’t steal the heart too. 3. Keep it Realistic – Brand owners are often overly ambitious in their business plans, with our investors only remembering one or two occasions when a company has overdelivered. Keep it realistic when planning your roll out 4. Know when to Walk Away – Closing a site is the hardest decision to make, but you’ve got to make it, and quickly, for the sake of your business and brand. 5. It’s all about the Chemistry – Make sure you’re upfront, clear in your expectations from the outset and share values. People do business with people, your books and brand could be amazing, but you or your leadership team could cost the transaction. 6. Poles Apart – when it comes to the latest food trends, it’s a mixed bag. Sweet and decedent is in but so is healthy and sugar-free. It’s all about the occasion. Plant-bias continues to rise, with vegan and vegetarianism becoming increasingly popular, as well as chefs experimenting more with creative vegetable dishes. 7. Instabragging Rights – Customers are no longer just keyboard critics, they’re photographers too. Make sure your proposition stands out from the crowd, but don’t over complicate things. When posting your own content, share a story, not just another food photo. 8. Crazy Levels of Competition – Expect a five-year return on investment, not the three many brands have come to expect and make sure you cut through the noise by building a multi-faceted lifestyle brand, driving greater awareness and loyalty. 9. Troublesome Travel Hubs – although attractive on paper with the massive footfall and big revenues, the commercials are difficult, operations challenging and deals often tied up as multi-site packages. Do your homework, take advice and consider a partnership. 10. Have Fun – it might look like all glitz and glam on the outside, but it’s hard work as you know. Remember to find the joy in what you do – have fun!

May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


The facts

New places

Date open ed: 23 March 20 17 Head chef : Udo Morea u


Restauran t manager : Kaska Cyn ar

Samir Kerchiched, managing partner of Ansonia Concepts introduces Molecule, a restaurant, lounge and art gallery located in Dubai Design District Please describe the concept of the venue?

Molecule is a restaurant, lounge and art gallery built upon the principles of ‘bistronomy’. Molecule has been designed to act as a cultural crossroads, which brings people together for the love of food and appreciation of art, design and sound.

What are the signature items on the menu?

Some of the signature menu items are the Molecule salad with carrots, celeriac, fennel, chicory, baby gem, hazelnut-almond dressing and tomato and oregano crisps; the lamb rack with roasted sage; and the Mysterious Arabica dessert, with confit pear, milk chocolate ganache and Arabica ice cream.


Le Cirque

The Restaurant at Address


Le Cirque Dubai, overseen by head chef Manuel Olveira Seller, has a garden, a semi-private dining area and a banquet table for up to 20 guests. Promising classic French fare with an Italian twist, the cuisine has taken influence from the original menu developed in New York, with signature dishes including lobster risotto and crème brulee. These sit alongside roasted lamb rack with seasonal vegetables and pommes puree; and homemade cappelletti stuffed with torteau crab and served with crab gratin.

Address Boulevard, the newly opened property under the Address Hotels + Resorts portfolio, has opened its all-day dining restaurant, which has a luxury residential apartment concept. ‘The Restaurant at Address’ is designed like a bourgeois Parisian apartment with a menu offering European and Mediterranean inspired cuisine and sharing dishes. The venue features a kitchen, lounge, living room, study room, dressing room, collection room, library, games room and music room as well as a secret private dining room.

Wild & The Moon, a sister company of Comptoir 102, has opened its doors in Dubai. The Wild Bar has an organic, plantbased, gluten-free ethos and offers all-day breakfast, gluten free focaccias, salads, cold pressed juices, nut mylks, smoothies and hot drinks. The interiors are pared back, with hanging plants and an on-site Wild Library. With two branches in Paris and a venue in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, Wild & The Moon was founded by a group of chefs, nutritionists, and naturopaths.

LOCATION: The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Dubai OPENING DATE: 12 April

LOCATION: Address Boulevard, Dubai OPENING DATE: April 2017

LOCATION: Robinsons, Dubai Festival City OPENING DATE: 2 April

Catering NEWS ME May 2017

N e w places

What is interesting about the beverage offer?

The signature house cocktails are the Molecule Martini and Passion Jack. We offer an extensive selection of grape, including the highly-coveted Pot Lyonnais (46cl), and there is also a daily menu of delicious, fresh and nutritious smoothies.

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

The concept and interior design of Molecule was handled by Ansonia Concepts. The vision for this incredibly unique outlet was to marry food, design and art within the realm of Dubai Design District, which has become a regional creative hub for fashion and design.

How will the venue compete on the Dubai market?

Molecule aims to create a casual dining hub with an exquisite fine dining menu with items available at very affordable prices. Furthermore, since the concept of Molecule is built upon the principles of ‘bistronomy’, it was essential to include dishes, which are created using a selection of seasonal ingre-

dients. We feel that this venue is unlike any other in the city and offers a truly unique experience for the senses. Every detail has

been meticulously planned with good food, great art and exceptional design at the core of every part of the brand.




Hala, Dubai’s new Lebanese organic café from Sunset Group, blends traditional and modern Levantine cuisine, pop culture artwork and retail. The retail section features organic, locally prepared products such as jams, olives, olive oil, honey, Lebanese zaatar and other fresh herbs. Open from 8am daily, the venue’s menu offers organic shakshuka, a variety of hummus fusions, mana’eesh, ‘mama’s kafta’, traditional Lebanese bread, ka’ak, and Maté tea.

Open for breakfast lunch and dinner, Gallery Café’s à la carte menu offers traditional breakfast dishes, sandwiches, salads and ‘flavours of the orient’ specialities in addition to pastries, tarts and gateaux. The café’s interiors draw influence from historical Europe with exposed brickwork, mosaic flooring and a 75-seat terrace. Gallery 21 is a 2,600m2 space, which houses Gallery Café, Asia de Cuba, and Genwa, a cigar lounge, and a rooftop bar.

Jumeirah Restaurant Group’s flagship restaurant chain The Noodle House, has launched a dedicated 80m2 delivery hub and industrial kitchen to supplement and expand the brand’s in-restaurant dining business, which currently comprises six Dubai outlets. The delivery hub increases The Noodle House’s geographical reach to 17 new locations in the UAE. The brand is targeting a 25% increase in online orders and is supported by its own fleet of drivers and third parties.

LOCATION: Dubai World Trade Centre OPENING DATE: 1 April

LOCATION: Gallery 21, Bahrain OPENING DATE: April 2017

LOCATION: Dubailand OPENING DATE: April 2017 May 2017 Catering NEWS ME



Miss Saigon Originally from Hanoi, Vietnam, Mai Phuong joined Lao at Waldorf Astoria on the pre-opening team in 2013 and has since helped to reposition the restaurant’s culinary offer, changing the menu from South East Asian fare to authentic Vietnamese cuisine

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

I started work in east Germany as a chef that cooks for the staff. At the very beginning, I was both afraid and excited to be working with strangers in a new place where I had nothing but my hands and a true passion for cooking. I even had to learn the language from scratch. It was a real milestone in my career which brought me experiences, new friends, and an even keener passion for cooking. This experience made it clear that I had found my vocation in life.

Who has inspired you most in your career?

Chef Didier Corlou, whom I worked under at Sofitel Metropole Hanoi in the early 1990s. He really inspired me and brought me into his culinary world. 20

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Work Experience Dec 2013 - present: Chef de cuisine, Lao, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah Aug 2009 - July 2012: Che f de cuisine, Saigon Bleu, Fairmont Nile City Aug 2008 - December 200 8: Vietnamese executive chef and consult ant, BamBou, Shanghai

How do you view the F&B scene in the Middle East?

I think the F&B scene in the region is very exciting; it is constantly evolving to suit the fast-changing trends and behaviours of the young market.

take the class on a culinary journey beginning with a tour of our very own organic garden at Waldorf Astoria to pick out ingredients, before moving to the Lao kitchen to create authentic Vietnamese dishes such as pho and grilled banana.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

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

What’s the best aspect of your role?

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

When working with a renowned brand, it can be challenging for a chef to stay true to who they are. I am very fortunate because I have very few restrictions on what I can do in the kitchen, I feel like I can still cook from my heart and stay true to myself every day.

It feels like I am creating art every day. We recently launched bespoke cooking classes, wherein I provide an interactive experience and share my passion with our guests. I

If I wasn’t at Lao, I would choose Masa restaurant in New York City to learn more about Japanese food. I also have not yet visited London or the wider UK and I would love to explore the Asian and Vietnamese culinary world there.

Be confident and bring your passion directly into the quality of your work.


Dubai’s Table 9 hires new chef Hilton Abu Dhabi appoints and restaurant manager executive chef

Hilton Dubai Creek’s Table 9 has appointed Enver Can Gümüs as head chef and Estelle Marcilly as restaurant manager to implement a new strategic direction for the restaurant in 2017. Marcilly, the new restaurant manager, previously worked at InterContinental Thalasso Resort in Bora Bora, where she managed the resort’s boutique gastronomic restaurant. Enver Can Gümüs’ previous experience includes positions in a fine dining oriental restaurant in Turkey, The Kempinski Hotel Yinchuan China and Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul. With more than six years’ culinary experience, chef Gümüs will oversee all gastronomic aspects of Table 9.

Walter Miculan has joined Hilton Abu Dhabi by the Corniche in the role of executive chef. With more than 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, four of which have been spent with Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Miculan is now responsible for managing the kitchen teams across Hilton Abu Dhabi. Born near Rome, Miculan studied at a hotel management college in the city of Spoleto in Italy for five years. He has worked with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and One & Only Resorts in London, Maldives, Hungary and Egypt. Prior to his current role, he was cluster executive chef at Hilton Hotels & Resorts in Alexandria, Egypt.

Sascha Triemer steps up as Atlantis The Palm VP of F&B

Atlantis, The Palm has appointed Sascha Triemer as the new vice president of food & beverage to lead new concept development, operations and innovation. Previously vice president of culinary, Triemer will now oversee the entire food & beverage operation at the hotel, comprising 1,200 colleagues and 23 food and beverage outlets, including celebrity chef outposts Nobu, Ronda Locatelli and Bread Street Kitchen & Bar by Gordon Ramsay. A German national, Triemer brings more than 26 years of worldwide hospitality experience to the role, the past nine years of which have been spent in the F&B department of Atlantis.

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May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


O pinion


HR strategies for growth of a restaurant start-up

Establishing a restaurant business from scratch is not easy, however the roadmap to success usually hinges on the people behind the business says Thomas Mielke, managing director, Aethos Consulting Group


estaurant entrepreneurs, when faced with the opportunity to expand, should ask themselves, ‘why do I want to grow in the first place?’ Growth for growth’s sake is never the right strategy. Before committing resources to expanding the business, entrepreneurs should reevaluate their plans to grow, understand the desired outcome, then define a business and HR strategy that suits their goals and develop a timeline to establish when each action is needed to execute this plan. Entrepreneurs must also consider what is needed to set up a brand, and who should drive the business going forward. At times, business founders can be clouded by their own ideas. While their initial involvement is often crucial to the success of the firm, it can subsequently – given lack of experience or a focus on tactics rather than strategies – become an obstacle to success. Entrepreneurs should therefore investigate their existing shortcomings and those of their teams. Recognising limitations and getting people on board who have complimentary skill-sets, is crucial. At times, thinking outside the box and securing a non-executive director during the early stages of the business, instead of a costly CEO, can help gain access to expertise while keeping costs down. Another crucial consideration is how to best structure the organisation. Getting it right from the start is a lot easier than having to rewire it later, and this is where start-ups have the edge over well-established players. Entrepreneurs would be wise to focus on the ‘trifactor’ of culture, rewards and development. The culture of a firm should guide and direct its talent strategy. Increasingly, focusing the selection process on character traits and emotional intelligence, and promoting 22

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About the author Thomas Mielke, managing director, Aethos Consulting Group A founding partner of Aethos Consulting Group, the world’s largest hospitality-focused executive search and advisory firm, Thomas Mielke has a track record in successfully placing senior executives at leading hospitality companies across the EMEA region. He is an AESC certified consultant and is working together with travel wholesalers, real estate development firms, investment companies and sovereign wealth funds as well as leading restaurant brands to identify key talent and has joined forces with clients in establishing compensation schemes as well as organisational structures and workflows. engagement and a flatter organisational structure that fosters empowerment, are safe ways of attracting and retaining talent. The culture should then filter down to the way entrepreneurs reward their staff. It’s important to think of both monetary and non-monetary rewards and to keep in mind the different stakeholders at both entry and mid management level as well as company leadership.

Often, start-ups cannot afford the big hitters from the corporate world, who are used to healthy, short-term and long-term incentive schemes. To overcome this, start-ups may want to consider shadow equity schemes or phantom share options, for example, which are tied to value creation and the execution of a specific long-term strategy. Having defined the culture, and put in place a rewards system to attract and retain individuals, entrepreneurs should then focus their attention on talent development and critical succession planning. Providing internal development opportunities and fostering cross-exposure will help keep turnover low and retain staff, while succession planning can lower replacement costs. Aethos’ engagement with restaurant startups often revolves around helping them attract and retain talent and business leaders, defining and building corporate cultures and devising sustainable strategies to scale up by ensuring alignment between business and people practices. Yes, it is true that when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, one might think that the bigger, more established restaurant chains have it easier. They have tried and tested systems and benefits schemes as well as talent management programmes in place that can help gain access to and keep talent. However, start-ups and smaller brands are often more appealing to the next generation of leaders, who want to avoid being a small cog in a big machine. Restaurant entrepreneurs should not forget this and should turn this perceived weakness of size into a strength. In a highly competitive market environment such as the Middle East – and in a people-driven industry – these steps can help pave the way to success.


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Categories Include: · Leading New Hotel · Leading Mid-Market Hotel · Leading Hotel F&B Outlet · Leading General Manager · Lifetime Achievement Award · Rising Star Award










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Catering NEWS ME May 2017

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After eight years in the making, the Galvin brothers are finally ready to electrify Dubai's F&B scene with two major restaurant openings


ven as they embark on their 11th opening for Galvin Restaurants, Chris and Jeff Galvin maintain they are “just two boys from Essex cooking French food”. While they have trained and worked at some of the best fivestar hotels and restaurants in London, including The Lanesborough, Conran Restaurants and The Ritz for Chris and The Savoy and Marco Pierre White’s Oak Room for Jeff, the brothers haven’t forgotten their humble beginnings as pot washers – a job their mother also did while they were growing up. The pair joined forces in 2005 opening a bistro “on a shoestring” and this gave way to Galvin at Windows on the 28th floor of Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, which gained a Michelin star four years later. In 2009, the chefs opened their first restaurants in the City of London, Galvin La Chapelle and Café à Vin, with La Chapelle gaining a Michelin star in 2011, while Café à Vin was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand. In 2012, the Galvin brothers marked their first openings outside of London with The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe in Edinburgh. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that they made the leap into the international restaurant scene with not one, but two projects on Dubai’s City Walk. The 6,039ft2 Demoiselle by Galvin, a two-floor restaurant with warm olive, airy interiors overlooking the pristine City Walk plaza opened its doors in early April, and just a stone’s throw away, Galvin Dubai – part of the four-restaurant complex

We looked and looked. Definitely there were four or five sites we could have gone to but the two of us are really old and you just learn to be a bit patient!” - Chris Galvin next to La Ville Hotel & Suites by Marriott – is set for a September debut. However, expanding to Dubai was by no means a brash move: the Galvin brothers had been eyeing the emirate for eight years. It was Chris, who turns 60 next year and opened his fair share of restaurants working under Terence Conran for a decade, who understood only too well that patience is a virtue.

“We looked and looked. Definitely there were four or five sites we could have gone to but the two of us are really old and you just learn to be a bit patient!” he says, explaining that finding the right partner was the priority. “In this job it’s really tough, so if you’re doing something you don’t like, it doesn’t work. We just thought we had the best opportunity with Meraas as a partner to do something properly, something our staff would enjoy. And the proof is in the pudding – they’ve done a great job.” The Demoiselle brand was first launched in Harrods, London as an in-store concept. The brothers took inspiration from an artdeco home they stumbled upon during a visit to a vineyard in France. The Dubai venue, which the brothers describe as the “bells and whistles” version, is a 210-seat continental style all-day café offering artisanal options for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, enhanced by a selection of artisanal bread and viennoiserie baked inhouse. When it comes to the menu, a few dishes have been “translated” from the London menu, such as lobster fishcakes. Jeff says: “It’s lots of light dishes, beautiful soups, light pasta dishes, really trying to keep a feminine feel to the food. We’re not a sharing restaurant but it’s the way people eat so we provide smaller plates so you can order quite a few of them.” On the other hand, Galvin Dubai, located in the square next to La Ville Hotel May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Demoiselle by Galvin

is licensed and the food offer will be much more in line with Galvin La Chappelle – fine dining but with a deformalised ambience, which Chris calls “fun dining”. “It will be sharp and clean with super flavours, but relaxed,” he adds. The restaurant will form one of four venues in that area, including Lima Dubai, and while each will be a restaurant offer on the ground floor, the top floors will be bar-focused and interlinked. “It will be distinctly different from Demoiselle,” says Jeff. “That’s why we love doing a range of concepts.” One item that is certain to appear on the menu is Jeff’s crab lasagna. “We’re like an old pop group – it’s like, ‘don’t make me cook that again!’” he laughs. And while the menus have been designed by the Galvin brothers, they will be led by protégé executive chef, Luigi Vespero, who worked under the wings of the chefs in 26

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Once we got our heads around Skype it became quite straightforward to meet with people, but to have people on the ground you know is important” - Jeff Galvin

London for three years and had the added advantage of knowing the Dubai market, having spent two years in the emirate previously, working for Jumeirah Group. Having support in Dubai from their existing staff was a prerequisite to the Galvin brothers’ decision to expand to the Middle East and they are delighted to have at least 14 team members from their UK restaurants working across the Dubai venues. “If we don’t have the people, we never do it; it’s all about our people,” says Chris. Jeff adds: “Once we got our heads around Skype it became quite straightforward to meet with people, but to have people on the ground you know is important. Luigi was desperate to come to Dubai and had worked here before so knows the market. I think that would have been our challenge otherwise – getting to know the local market. I don’t think you

can just step in from internationally and drop Galvin in here. You’ve got to know what the market wants.” Having the staff present is one thing, but training them up to ensure they create a service differential for Galvin Restaurants in Dubai is key for the brothers, who believe service is how they can set their offer apart on the market. “I think it goes right down the line,” Jeff comments. “The training they’ve been doing front of house has been incredible. It’s not just the food being great, it’s how people serve. Where we can make the biggest difference is our service in our restaurants because the standards of food in a lot of cities is amazing. “As you become a bit older you realise you have to give people what they want. You find out what they enjoy. Speaking to customers has been a great journey because you get to

understand them – it’s not a big mystery it’s just about listening to people,” Jeff continues. The chefs already have experience of competing on the London market and they are aware that Dubai is similarly tough, and now they have the added challenge of having to build their brand name in a completely new region. However, they believe competition is a good thing, which “roots out the bad”, and they are certain there is a place for Galvin in Dubai. Chris comments: “We’ve seen too many French chefs come to London, amazing chefs, the best in the world and they’ve gone bust within six months because they don’t understand the market. Londoners are too savvy and here in Dubai the food scene is super savvy too. We’ve been reading about it but you can’t expect to roll up and be busy. The location was critical and we’ve been really lucky. “Lots of restaurants go under and if you don’t keep that attention to detail you will go under, so it’s the law of life. We just have to make sure it’s not us! If we weren’t confident though, we wouldn’t be here. We just know we’ll have to work very hard.” May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

Redefining Accor’s F&B strategy Over the past few years, AccorHotels has moved in new strategic directions through high-profile deals and acquisitions, however this hasn’t been limited to rooms. In an exclusive interview with Crystal Chesters ahead of his session at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum in Dubai in April, Amir Nahai, chief executive officer food & beverage, revealed how he has overhauled the company’s strategy to create excellence, authenticity and simplicity across its 9,000-strong F&B portfolio


mir Nahai joined AccorHotels as chief executive officer F&B in 2015 when the company was undergoing a number of strategic changes. Over the past few years, the French hotel operator has ramped up its growth in the luxury hotel segment through the acquisition of FRHI Hotels & Resorts, entered the resort segment through strategic partnerships with Banyan Tree and Rixos Hotels, moved into the lifestyle arena with Mama Shelter, Jo&Joe and 25hours brands, and has also accelerated its position in the luxury homes rental market by acquiring onefinestay, Squarebreak and Travel Keys. And while the focus of these deals appears to be rooms, Nahai says F&B has been a core part of the company’s overall reinvention. In fact, he calls it “the biggest differentiator” for AccorHotels. “It’s easy to have a pretty good picture of what room occupancy is going to be. The biggest differentiator is how cool is the F&B? How good is the bar and restaurant? This is a huge chunk of our revenue,” say Nahai. Prior to joining AccorHotels, Nahai worked for management and consulting firm Bain & Company and spent the last eight years of his tenure focusing on tech media, hospitality and entertainment. AccorHotels – a client of Nahai’s at Bain – brought him on board to architect a new plan for the group’s F&B 28

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Food and beverage is complicated; it’s a really hard business and if you haven’t done everything you can to simplify it and remove unnecessary complexity, then honestly, you’re dead on arrival. Everything must contribute to the guest experience and enhance what they’re doing, what they’re eating and drinking, and the ambience” Amir Nahai, Ceo F&B, Accorhotels portfolio, which encompasses more than 9,000 venues worldwide. Nahai is clear that the strategy wasn’t about choosing any particular management model; he believes there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to this. “Whether you lease or don’t lease, it’s all appropriate but not all of the time. “It depends on the location and venue. We have some great examples of successful partners but I don’t think it’s right to have a blunt strategy and say, ‘we will outsource everywhere’. We look at it on a case by case basis.”

Instead, Nahai’s first objectives were to educate his teams on the importance of F&B to AccorHotels, and to achieve a shared view at a global level and utilise this to devise a clear roadmap for the future. “The first and simplest point is making F&B a priority,” Nahai comments. “It’s telling our teams that we’re not just a hotel company; we’re one of the biggest food and beverage companies in the world.” AccorHotels identified eight trends that define its view on F&B today. These weren’t cyclical trends that change from month to month, but rather long-term patterns that can be seen on a global scale. People being interested in and informed about F&B, the desire for health, the prevalence of social activity, and a lack of time are some of the ‘trends’ that were defined. “There’s a lot you can say about trends and how everything is changing every day and how the world is impossible. What we’ve done instead is say ‘hey, here are eight things that matter today’. The world isn’t changing every day; the things impacting us today have been around for a while and will continue for a while,” says Nahai. The next step was to create a set of actions – or pillars – that underpin Accor’s response to its view on F&B. The first, is that everything must be simple, excellent and authentic. Nahai comments: “Hotels forget to ask

The business

May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

themselves: ‘is the food and beverage I’m serving excellent? Is the product really good in terms of the music, the lighting, the ambience? Are the basics done in an incredibly solid way?’ People’s view on what is excellent has to do with simplicity. They want short menus, an uncomplicated experience and dishes that put the ingredients forward without too many frills. “Food and beverage is complicated; it’s a really hard business and if you haven’t done everything you can to simplify it and remove unnecessary complexity, then honestly, you’re dead on arrival. Everything must contribute to the guest experience and enhance what they’re doing, what they’re eating and drinking, and the ambience.” Other pillars are listening to guests, reading and responding to their feedback quickly and incorporating this into the development of the outlet; creating an excellent company culture and ensuring Accor is the best place for F&B talent to work; and encouraging and supporting local innovation. “It’s no longer about Paris and outward,” says Nahai explaining this last point. “I want our hotels to take charge of their own innovation and collaborate with each other – it shouldn’t be about what comes from the Accor headquarters. “Are we 100% of the way there? No. But I’d say 18 months in, most of our teams have internalised this and are starting to head in this direction,” he says. Examples of excellent, local F&B innovation are key to inspiring and educating Accor team members on what can be done, says Nahai. He cites the examples of Cubanolito at Ibis World Trade Centre in Dubai and Bokan at Canary Wharf, London, as some of the Accor venues he is most proud of. Explaining what sets Bokan apart, he says: “It screams I’m very local, I’m authentic – it’s not what you’d expect from a Novotel”. Fairmont Dubai – home to Bistrot Bagatelle, Catch and Cirque Le Soir among others – is another example that springs to Nahai’s mind. “Fairmont Dubai has a selection of the top restaurants in the world under its roof,” he says. With FRHI having long been a strong player in F&B in the region, Nahai admits the company – which specialises in the luxury segment – has taught Accor some lessons since the acquisition in July last year. 30

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One of Accor's pillars is that food must be simple, excellent and authentic

Cubanolito, Ibis World Trade Centre Dubai “A lot of new places have opened since the acquisition and what we’ve been trying to do is enhance and accelerate where possible. It isn’t about changing FRHI for the sake of it; in that segment, a lot of it has been learning from FRHI and ensuring we can help accelerate what they’re doing and apply it to AccorHotels where possible.” Nahai expects that AccorHotels’ view of F&B today will continue for the foreseeable future and his ultimate goal is to achieve tangible results, with F&B venues

that meet the criteria of the four pillars. “You’re already starting to see the impact as we open up a new generation of venues that are really cool and really relevant to local areas,” he says. “Our view is not something we intend to change in 12 months. It’s solid and we will continue the work with our teams and encourage and support them in developing concepts, experiences and venues that are relevant to their local communities and to our guests.”



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C hef F ocus

l a r u t l Cu xchange E

Award-winning chef Robert Nilsson brings a touch of Scandi-cool to his first UAE role as executive chef of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah


Catering NEWS ME May 2017


ransitioning from Sweden to the UAE came with its fair share of culture shocks for Robert Nilsson, executive chef at the newly opened Viceroy Palm Jumeirah – the first property in Dubai for the California hotel brand. The lack of farm-fresh produce, the hierarchical management systems in kitchens in the Middle East region, and visa issues causing delays for his staff, were just some of the cultural differences Nilsson had to adapt to when he joined the hotel’s preopening team just over a year ago. “Obviously, you wish staff could come on board a bit earlier so you can train them more and some staff get delayed due to visa issues,” he says. “But we’ve had a good three weeks of pre-opening trial runs and it’s been a great success so far with creating recipes and doing tastings of all the dishes. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of energy – it’s wonderful.” His current role with Viceroy Palm Jumeirah is Nilsson’s first UAE appointment, and having been in the country just a year,

C hef F ocus

I would say a lot of the gastronomy in hotels is created by hotel chefs so it’s a bit different and also I think if you’re a standalone restaurant you might be looking for a more hands-on chef. I was involved a lot in talking about what to do with the restaurants” - Robert Nilsson he is already enamoured with Dubai’s F&B landscape. “It’s like the New York of the Middle East. I never really realised the food scene was so vibrant and alive, and so up there – it’s fantastic!” While he had done pre-openings before for large restaurant operations, Viceroy Palm Jumeirah was his first international hotel brand pre-opening. Prior to arriving

in the Middle East, he opened his own boutique hotel and restaurant, Kattegat Gastronomi & Logi in Torekov in 1996. The restaurant quickly garnered nationwide acclaim, firmly establishing it as one of Sweden’s top five restaurants and a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux and Relais Gourmand. During this time, Nilsson received many awards and accolades, including Sweden’s Chef of the Year in 1998 and Nordic Chef of the Year in 2000. Since then he has been group food & beverage director for a collection of luxury boutique hotels, which had between 18 and 100 rooms each. He also oversaw the launch of three new Conran restaurants in Copenhagen, worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in France, and even assisted NASA on a project aimed at improving the eating habits for the International Space Station. “I have been mainly working within high-end restaurants and privately owned brands before, and parts of them were my own restaurants and hotels,” says Nilsson,

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May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C hef F ocus

explaining that his lifelong friend and general manager of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah, Mikael Svensson, wanted him to come on board for just this reason – because of his high-end, creative restaurant background. “I would say a lot of the gastronomy in hotels is created by hotel chefs so it’s a bit different and I think if you’re a standalone restaurant you might be looking for a more hands-on chef and that’s what he wanted. I was involved a lot in talking about what to do with the restaurants,” says Nilsson. There are three restaurants in the hotel: BLVD on One, an all-day dining venue, which offers global cuisine in a modern brasserie environment; Quattro Passi, a Michelinstarred concept from Italy offering the fresh flavours of the south of the country; and Maiden Shanghai, a contemporary Cantonese restaurant operated by the hotel owners. The Delisserie is a deli-meets-patisserie with tea and coffee, freshly baked bread, afternoon tea, open faced sandwiches and Swedish cookies; the Spa Café promotes wellbeing and has a calm, beachfront ambience; and Elevate, a hideaway grape bar on the 13th floor of the hotel offers tasters of each of the restaurant’s concepts. Nilsson also looks after the F&B for the 600m2 350-capacity Vista Ballroom, suspended on the 14th floor of the hotel with wraparound views over the sea and Dubai Marina and floor to ceiling windows. In addition to being executive chef of the hotel, Nilsson calls himself chef de cuisine for BLVD on One, a concept he is particularly proud of. “I have been looking around in various all-day dinings at hotels and usually they are predictable; you’ll always find the Caesar salad with shrimps or chicken; you’ll find pasta dishes, etcetera. “We turned that around completely. We’re doing a breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner is à la carte and it offers a mixture of cuisines and cultures, so we call it a world brasserie. For instance, many people haven’t tried a traditional Swedish dish so we inject some small flavours and all of a sudden you have a really interesting dish, which is very different. “I would say it is as far from a traditional all-day dining restaurant as you can get – it truly feels like a speciality restaurant. In order to honour all the work they put into the design, we really wanted to make it special, not just a buffet.” 34

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Quattro Passi

And it’s not that Nilsson is against buffets – he appreciates elegant buffet set-ups focused on meat or fish – but he is very environmentally and health conscious. “I have a hard time seeing all this food being thrown away – I’m trying to be very environmentally aware and make my staff aware of using the right ingredients. Whenever I sit down with a supplier I ask about the additives, I make them understand I care.” Sourcing ingredients is another of those issues that new chefs to Dubai have to get used to, and Nilsson was no different. “I can’t work as locally as I want to because there aren’t as many local farms. “I’m going to try to find good quality products, however. In terms of ingredients, there are plenty available but I’m basically used to driving through farms to my restaurants and hotels, knowing the farmers, knowing their values when it comes to getting really good products.” In addition to teaching his staff the importance of healthy, quality produce, Nils-

son is bringing to Dubai his leadership philosophy and has already told his team to stop addressing him as ‘Chef’. “I don’t want to offend anyone, but I was born Robert, not ‘Chef’. Respect doesn’t come with a title; it comes with actions,” he comments. “If I can get them inspired by the way I work and by my actions, then I’m on the right track. And we don’t need thousands of chefs to achieve our goals – we need good chefs to achieve the goals we’re focused on. Quality of profit comes from quality of food and staff.” Nilsson looks forward to making his mark on the F&B landscape in the region, and on Viceroy’s first property in the emirate, but he is also excited about learning new things. “Now that I work with Viceroy, it has a very different approach about how to work with guests and staff. The philosophy behind the company and the types of hotels we run – we are just a small group but we’re very talked about,” he says.


Dubai World Trade Centre 18 - 20 September 2017

O ut of this world

Out of this world



Chefs from the Middle East’s best-loved French restaurants explain how they achieve that ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that sets them apart from the competition

There are three branches of Couqley – one in Dubai and two in Lebanon


Catering NEWS ME May 2017

Out of this world

T h e Ch efs

Jonathan Vercoutere co-founder and patron, Bistro Des Arts and Publique

Brassiere Quartier, The St. Regis Dubai

Chez Charles Restaurant opened earlier this year in Dubai Design District (D3)

Fabien Gailly, head chef of Brasserie Quartier, Private Dining, Le Patio, Sidra & Champagne lounge – The St. Regis Dubai

Jeremy Degras, executive chef, Chez Charles How popular is French cuisine in Dubai and the Middle East? Jonathan Vercoutere: French cuisine in Dubai and in general in the Middle East was for a long time considered fine dining and therefore not as popular as some other European and international cuisines because it was for special occasions. People understand the quality and the finesse of French food but do not consider it as an everyday meal. More often, the region sticks to food with spices, but now we are seeing more casual French eateries appear-

ing, such as Bistro Des Arts and Publique, which provide value for money “terroir food”. This offers a more accessible approach to French food. Fabien Gailly: I believe that French cuisine is popular worldwide – cuisine is a French word after all! As for the Middle East, despite only moving to Dubai a couple of months ago, I have already noticed a great response from The St. Regis Dubai clientele to our offering at Brasserie Quartier. I think the people of Dubai are looking for high quality cuisine and a distinguished

Ziad Kamel, co-founder and managing director, Couqley

May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


O ut of this world

What is your hero dish?

Jonathan: At Bistro Des Arts, the hero dish is steak tartare. Ours is made the authentic way by cutting a tenderloin “au couteau”, which means good sized cubes of beef seasoned with shallots, onions, capers, mustard, parsley, egg yolk, tobasco and Worcestershire sauce. Tartare should always be served with a side salad and portion of French fries. For Publique, our hero dish is Raclette Savoyarde, which consists of a traditional piece of raclette cheese set up on a special grill that melts it. Once there is enough melted cheese, you scrape it out and pour it over boiled potatoes and cold cuts of meat. Fabien: My hero dish would be “After the Rain, the Snails”. Snails are a traditional French product and in this dish, they are cooked with classic snail butter out of their shells. The sautéed mushroom, green foam

(vegetal brioche) and crispy crouton flakes combine to signify a walk in a French countryside forest following rainfall. I like how this dish creates a modern sensorial experience while using classic ingredients. Jeremy: Burgundy Snails à la Provençale, a well-known French classic from Burgundy, is our hero dish. We wanted to create a classic dish but to approach it in a new way, so we reduce the snails over fat and allow the garlic and herb flavours to be enhanced, producing even more flavour. We serve nine snails with tomato concise, garlic, butter, herbs, and toasted bread on top. Ziad: Couqley’s hero dish is steak frites served in Couqley’s signature sauce. The dish consists of a tender beef fillet and delicious French fries. It’s simple, relatable, and evokes feelings of nostalgia and happiness. Oh, and it’s all about the sauce!

dining experience, and that’s what we strive to offer. Jeremy Degras: French Cuisine is highly admired wherever you go. It is a reference for great flavours and techniques. Dubai specifically is becoming a culinary destination for several cuisines and contemporary French food is going to become more and more popular. Ziad Kamel: As French cuisine becomes more accessible and democratised in its positioning, price, and cuisine offering, its popularity increases in Dubai, the wider Middle East and the world. Italian and Japanese cuisine went through similar transformations from inaccessible to highly popular in the 1980s and 1990s. In the next 10 to 20 years, I believe French cuisine will continue to grow in popularity.

How have you adapted French cuisine to suit local tastes? Jonathan: We have only adapted a couple of recipes, but our overall focus on tradition and authenticity has remained. Some examples of dishes we have modified include our pissaladiere (Mediterranean onion tart), which usually contains many more anchovies, but these are not generally liked by locals. Some other dishes that normally contain pork were reviewed and adapted with beef, veal or turkey bacon. Fabien: Pork is an important component of French dishes, but we have no issue in finding substitutes to please our customers while maintaining the French cuisine flavours. Jeremy: Contemporary French cuisine borrows flavours from around the world. Isn’t that what Dubai represents?


Catering NEWS ME May 2017

After the Rain, the Snails, Brasserie Quartier

Ziad: People in Dubai have a mature and well-travelled palate. Our customers are from all over the world and are spoilt for choice of cuisine in this wonderful culinary city. French cuisine is often perceived as expensive, made with complicated ingredients, unrecognisable, and highly priced with small, yet beautiful portions. However, Couqley’s French cuisine works perfectly with local tastes because our dishes are simple, of high quality, recognisable, affordable, and our portions are generous. Couqley’s French cuisine is democratised; it’s for everyone! What are the key trends emerging in French cuisine globally and in the Middle East? Jonathan: The key trend emerging in French cuisine globally and in the Middle

Out of this world

At Bistro Des Arts, the hero dish is steak tartare

Burgundy Snails à la Provençale, Chez Charles

steak frites served in Couqley’s signature sauce

East is ‘back to basics’, whereby tradition and authenticity are considered the source of a great F&B experience. The focus has shifted back to quality of produce, simple but tasty cooking, techniques, blends, original recipes and grandmother-style cooking. The concept of sharing great moments and reminding guests of great memories is what restaurateurs are now focusing on again. The time for molecular cuisine, fine dining and chemistry is soon to be over, or will become the exception. Fabien: The trend that I have noticed is not in the content of the plate but more in the meal proceedings. Guests are no longer into long, gastronomical dinners. They appreciate fine dining in a less formal way. Jeremy: Trends come and go; it is crucial not to become the victim of trends. We

follow what makes sense only and what is relevant to our method, techniques, ingredients and flavours. Ziad: I believe the key trends emerging in French cuisine revolve around making it more casual, accessible and widespread. This can be seen by the rising numbers of casual French offerings, such as bistros, cafes, and patisseries in the region and globally. Almost every metropolitan area features at least one or two casual French categories. On the flipside, fine dining French restaurants are stagnant or decreasing. Where do you source produce for your menu? Jonathan: Pretty much all of our produce is French. Thanks to the existence of multiple French suppliers here in Dubai, we are able

to use regional products from France made by artisans and people who are passionate about quality. Fabien: We mostly source our produce from local companies that supply quality French products. I use mainly local items for the basics. Jeremy: The ingredients used daily are handpicked from world-renowned markets and we select the finest. Ziad: As in almost every restaurant in Dubai, our produce is sourced from all over the world. Our succulent steaks are from France, USA and Australia. Our fruit and vegetables are sourced from Europe and the Middle East, including fresh produce from the UAE. We would like to see the UAE continue to increase its fresh produce offering so we can source more items locally. May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


O ut of this world

What products do you find challenging to source? Jonathan: To be honest, pretty much nothing. With the ease of transport and sourcing in Dubai, it is sometimes easier to get something here than in a remote village in France Fabien: Fresh products such as fish and meat can be difficult to source, particularly those that guarantee optimum freshness and meet our quality standards. Jeremy: Fruit and vegetables can be difficult to source. When they are in season in France, Italy or around the Mediterranean, we need them in the Middle East within hours of harvest, but that isn’t possible. Ziad: The most challenging product to source was our duck for our duck confit (leg), magret de canard (breast), and foie gras. Our duck is sourced from a fantastic duck farm, which raises its ducks in a real free-range environment. How do you see your menu evolving over the next 12 months? Jonathan: While the best-sellers will stay, we will make sure we refresh most of the offer regularly so that our guests feel like our product is changing. With so much competition, we need to make sure that our menus never stand still and that our offer keeps on exciting our regulars. The target is to create a strong base and not to rely on the market overall. Fabien: We will launch our new menu during May and will make any necessary adjustments to ensure consistency and satisfaction. Jeremy: It will be a surprise even to me and the team since the inspiration comes from the product I hold in my hand, the people around me and the moment I am in. Ziad: Although Couqley’s menu has its star dishes, it is continuously evolving. In each of the three Couqley branches, chalk-board specials are displayed featuring revolving new dishes. These could be seasonal items like oysters and fresh crab or specific cuts of steak like Wagyu, or they could be in the holiday spirit like oven roasted turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas, or they could be signature meals for Ramadan. There is always something new for your palate at Couqley. 40

Catering NEWS ME May 2017

Bistro Des Arts is located on Dubai Marina

Publique is Dubai’s first apres-ski chalet, and is located at Madinat Jumeirah

What is the future of French cuisine in the region? Jonathan: More and more casual and authentic restaurants will open with the objective of transporting their guests and reminding them what traditional French food is all about. Fabien: As I am still new to the region I would not be able to give my insight on the market just yet, but I believe that French cuisine has the potential to please everyone, everywhere in the world. Jeremy: In terms of flavours and tech-

niques, French cuisine has always been a reference globally and will always remain appreciated. More and more people are health conscious and French cuisine is created from fresh ingredients and is always balanced, making it an undeniable winner. Ziad: The future for French cuisine in the region is bright. More and more people are being exposed to French cuisine via casual eateries. In the next 10 years, I predict that the number of French concepts or French-inspired concepts will increase significantly to cover communities, malls, hotels, airports, and high streets.

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Movenpick Jeddah wins big at The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia’s first Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition took place in front of thousands of spectators at The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia last month


hefs from Jeddah’s Mövenpick Resort Al Nawras cooked up a storm to be crowned champion kitchen at Saudi Arabia’s first ever InterHotel Culinary Competition, which took place during The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia from 4 – 6 April 2017. Pitted off against 10 of the kingdom’s finest hotels, the Mövenpick team came out on top as the chefs’ quick-thinking, creative spark and cooking prowess were put to the test by the contest’s Mystery Box challenge. Each team was given three hours to whip up four courses using ingredients only revealed to them once they stepped inside the kitchen, with their efforts judged by four leading chefs from the Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association and the Saudi Arabian Chefs Table Circle. The competition played out in front of thousands of spectators at The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia. 42

Catering NEWS ME May 2017

Worldchefs, SARCA and SACTC representatives presenting gold medals and trophies to the team at Mövenpick Resort Al Nawras, Jeddah With almost 50 dishes served over the three-day Worldchefs-endorsed competition, it was eventually the Mövenpick’s “innovative and tasty menu” that saw the group’s fivestrong team take home the gold medal. Ali Salloum, executive chef at the Mövenpick Resort Al Nawras Jeddah, said: “This is the first time my kitchen has participated in such a competition. It has been amazing to be given such an opportunity, and I am very proud of our team for winning gold.” Chef Yasser Jad, founder and president of Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association (SARCA), and food and beverage manager at Saudi Airlines, chaired the jury – a line-up of expert international judges. Jad commented: “We would like to congratulate Mövenpick Resort Al Nawras Jeddah. They have done a marvellous job creating a simple, presentable and very tasty menu from some of the trickier ingredients in the mys-

tery box, including tuna for the starter, fresh vegetables for the soup, chicken for the main course, and the creation of a crème brulee for dessert. This team also stood out for its excellent presentation and perfect portion sizes.” Elaf Jeddah Hotel and Makarem Ajyad Makkah Hotel took the silver and bronze medals respectively, the latter being unique as it was the only team in the competition comprising all Saudi female chefs. Jad said: “We would like to thank all of the teams that took part in the competition for their outstanding efforts. “Through competitions such as this, Saudi Arabian Chefs’ Association aims to highlight the talent and skilled roles of chefs in the kingdom. There are excellent opportunities available in the food and beverage sector here, and we seek to assist the goals set by Saudi Vision 2030 in increasing the number of jobs occupied by Saudi nationals in hospitality.”

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Chef Yasser Jad, head of the judging panel, talks through a competition entry with spectators

Judge and master chef Adrian Meyer of Switzerland, added: “We witnessed very interesting combinations and innovations and our taste buds were put to the challenge. We certainly learned something, and we hope that the contestants did too. We were very happy to have them and we hope that they return for next time.� The Inter-Hotel Culinary Competition Mystery Box Challenge 2017 was sponsored by Chbib Kitchens Company Ltd., Rational, Alabna Est, and RAK Porcelain, and took place on the show floor at the fifth edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, an annual event that unites thousands of hotel and restaurant professionals for three days of business and networking. The competition will return next year at the sixth edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, taking place 10-12 April 2018, at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events.

The art of great cooking

MKN Middle East & Africa Phone: +97 150 5 58 74 77 E-Mail:

The german specialist in professional cooking technology

May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


Factory tour

Pulsar Foodstuff Trading As Pulsar Foodstuff Trading celebrates its 20th anniversary, Catering News pays a visit to the facility in Dubai’s Al Quoz to find out what sets the company’s in-room and minibar snack products apart There are 35 team members at Pulsar Foodstuff Trading


ulsar Foodstuff Trading was established in Karama, Dubai back in 1997 by Owen and Fionnuala Bennett from Ireland, who saw a gap in the market for a company that could supply fresh minibar and bar snack products to the hospitality industry. Today, Pulsar is run by Owen’s nephew, general manager Stephen Bennett, who moved to Dubai five years ago and today is based in the company’s headquarters in Al Quoz, where all of the company’s products – including nuts, chocolate, crisps and olives – are hand-packed, stored, labelled in the hotel client’s branding, and delivered. “Everything is hand-packed, meaning our products have secure packaging and brand recognition for the hotel. We have regular inspections and regular checks of the products too,” says Stephen Bennett during a factory tour of Pulsar Foodstuff Trading with Catering News. “Everything we do is packed fresh so customers are getting the freshest products possible. Staff work in small teams to ensure full traceability.” 44

Catering NEWS ME May 2017

The packing team Hand-cooked crisps being labelled

Factory tour

The Pulsar team in the warehouse

Clients can request bespoke nut mixes

Everything we do is packed fresh so customers are getting the freshest products possible. Staff work in small teams to ensure full traceability” - Stephen Bennett, General Manager The Pulsar facility also has warehousing for storage and every two days, the necessary stock is packed and delivered. The company carries a lot of stock to ensure that everything is readily available to their customers and each hotel company is allocated a specific space in the warehouse for their products. The service provided is as local and bespoke as possible, with customers able to choose their own nut mixes. And while the nuts come from India and the US, they are

locally roasted and the hand-cooked crisps are also processed in Dubai. Pulsar is looking to launch some new items to the market over the coming year, including more affordably packaged products for the mid-scale hotel segment. “Because mid-range hotels are more price conscious, they are looking for something more affordable for their guests. We’re looking at cheaper packaging options to keep the price down, rather than using glass jars,” Bennett comments. Another segment Pulsar is targeting is retail, with the company looking to create shelfready olives. “We’re looking at supermarkets and moving into e-commerce too,” says Bennett. “We want to have a deli option but we’re still at the discussion stage at the moment.” In addition to new products and services, Pulsar is looking to expand its geographical reach. Although it already supplies to several countries in the Middle East and beyond, including UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius, Bennett is keen to expand further, particularly in Oman and Qatar. “Export is always a target for us but we’re taking bigger strides this year to focus our efforts on Qatar and Oman and trying to get dedicated staff in those areas. We may also set up an office in Qatar. We’re looking to get as far as Kuwait and Jordan,” says Bennett. “We’ve got a strong distribution partner so we have a lot of the right people and tools in place and we just want to push it forward further.”

In Numbers

1997 35 2,000 300kg 150 company founded


products packed per day

packed per day

deliveries per week

May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


M arketplace

Keeping cool

Catering news speaks to the region’s leading refrigeration suppliers and manufacturers about the new products and trends on the market

WELBILT MIDDLE EAST Rakesh Tiwari, regional accounts & distribution manager UAE, Qatar & Oman, Welbilt Middle East introduces the Manitowoc Ice NEO What is your best-selling refrigeration product? Manitowoc Ice NEO offers an all-in-one solution to undercounter ice cube needs. NEO means new and is already ranking among the top sales of Welbilt and Manitowoc Ice. What is unique about it? NEO is establishing new standards in performance, intelligence and convenience, and overall what our customers love the most is our unique ease of cleaning, which is a big win in food safety. What is the most important feature of the perfect refrigeration equipment? With its small footprint and limited height, NEO fits anywhere you need it to be, making it the perfect unit for restaurants, bars, cafés, coffee shops and convenient stores. Not only it is the right size but its user interface is also very intuitive which enables easy access to advanced features such as our cleaning mode and our delay function. T: +971 4 326 3313 E: W: &


Catering NEWS ME May 2017



Mohammed Muwafi, regional sales manager lodging MENA presents Dometic’s new noiseless drawer minibar, DM50NTE

Shereef.K.M, area manager at Paramount explains what makes Foster its best-selling refrigerators.

What is your latest product launch? With 40 years of experience in the lodging industry, Dometic is the leading supplier of hospitality comfort products for hotels, resorts and cruise ships. The latest addition to our range is the completely noiseless 50 litre class drawer minibar DM50NTE.

What is unique about it? Foster is the first UK refrigeration manufacturer to obtain ISO 14001, the recognised international standard in environmental management systems. Foster sees environmental management as an integral component of overall business decision making and strives to achieve environmental best practice in all of its manufacturing and supply operations. They are committed to developing and marketing products that have excellent environmental characteristics and meet current best practice standards.

What makes it unique? Noiseless operation 0dB, low energy consumption, and convenient slide out access make the machine unique. The Dometic drawer minibar sets new standards in design and efficiency. DM20 and DM50 are the world’s first noiseless 20 litre and 50 litre class drawer minibars with an A++ energy rating. DM50 is an award-winning design, featuring an automatic slide-out tray for snacks and mini bottles and an adjustable spacious drawer for bottles and cans.

What is your bestselling refrigeration product? Our best-seller is the Foster brand from the UK.

Why should businesses purchase your product? Dometic’s drawer-style minibars are the most popular models used by hotels around the world, because of their unique design, great cooling performance, accessibility to guests and benefit to the hotel by being energy-efficient. Both DM50 and DM20 work on a thermo-electric cooling system.

What is the most important feature of the perfect refrigeration equipment? Foster’s award winning +stay clear condenser has revolutionised the efficiency of our refrigeration products. Fitted at no extra cost, the +stayclear condenser unit will reduce the amount of time you need to spend maintaining your fridge or freezer, and save you money by reducing the risk of it breaking down. Traditional fridge condensers get easily blocked with environmental contaminants, which without regular servicing from kitchen or service staff, will cause the fridge to need to work harder, with the likely eventual result of the refrigeration system failing.

T: +971 (4) 883 3858 E: W:

T: +971 0564645622 E: W:

M arketplace


The new Retro Refrigeration line is set to be a hit with bars and restaurants according to Nick Williams, managing director of Precision Refrigeration What is your best-selling refrigeration product? Our new Retro Refrigeration line, which we recently launched in the Middle East, has caused a huge amount of interest and we expect it to be our best seller in the region. What is unique about it? Precision’s Retro Refrigeration takes its inspiration from the fifties and adds the latest energy efficient components to produce a modern, high performance refrigerated cabinet that will be the focal point of any bar or kitchen. It makes a statement, with heavy-duty hinges and large handles adding to the retro feel. It’s a revolutionary concept in refrigeration.

There’s nothing else quite like it. High performance, zero ODP injected polyurethane insulation maintains 1 to 4ºC storage temperatures, while an electronic controller with touch sensitive screen and Hi/Lo temperature alarms ensures perfect temperature control. It can operate in high ambient temperatures up to 43ºC. What is the most important feature of the perfect refrigeration equipment? Accurate temperature control throughout the cabinet at all times is vital for food safety. Precision’s refrigeration equipment is designed to cope with high ambient temperatures. For example, our bottle tropical bottle coolers, designed specifically for the

Middle East market, can be used in ambient temperatures up to 43°C. These back-bar storage cabinets combine great looks with the equipment to perform in warmer environments, such as outside pool bars. These cabinets make a stylish addition to any bar concept with a number of optional exterior finishes to compliment any decor. 316 stainless steel is also available to prevent salt water corrosion in beach locations. T: +44 (0)1842 753 994. E: W:

May 2017 Catering NEWS ME



Cutting edge

Catering News spoons out the best and newest cutlery products available in the Middle East


Procurio The Ecoecho cutlery range

Duni’s latest cutlery launch is the Ecoecho range. It is made out of 100% renewable material and while having a simple and stylish design, it is very sturdy. It comes in bulk packaging as well as in a cutlery pack including fork, knife, spoon and a napkin. If your business provides take-away, the Ecoecho cutlery in combination with takeaway boxes made out of bagasse will help you stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, working with us will give you the confidence of working with a proven partner as well as superior quality, stylish products, which deliver top-tier safety, practicality and sustainability. These enable you to maximise the success of your business while minimising its impact on the environment. We are constantly improving our professional assortment and we have done a soft launch in the beginning of the year of our table cover material called Evolin®, which was launched five years ago in Europe and is now coming to the Middle East. It combines the beauty of linen with the convenience of single-use. E: W:


Catering NEWS ME May 2017

Villeroy & Boch La Classica range

Brantôme flatware from Ercuis Brantôme flatware is now available in stainless steel, as well as silverplated and sterling silver. This model presents the distinctive characteristics of 17th century flatware. The three-pronged fork and the spoon both feature the “rat-tail” pattern on the shaft and their ogive-shaped handles are strongly influenced by Gothic design. Brantôme flatware has become one of Ercuis’ great classics. It epitomises the strength of a style which draws on the history of French design while preserving the timelessness of a streamlined shape and gentle lines. Ercuis insists on a very high quality of silver plate, double guaranteed square grade 1 hallmark and a high degree of quality control in a certified laboratory. This plating allows flatware to keep its brilliance for a very long time. T: +971 43341040 E: W:

La Classica is Villeroy & Boch’s latest cutlery launch and is perfect for classically elegant table settings, and contemporary set-ups alike. Villeroy & Boch’s most successful line of cutlery comes in a silverplated version and is also available as a partially gold-plated line, providing a touch of extravagance and opulence. The La Classica cutlery displays straight contours and a deliberately minimalist design. The clear lines and simple geometry of the slender cutlery create an understated yet impactful impression. Tableware not only compliments food, but also enhances a customer’s overall experience, so managers should not economise on it. They should carefully choose the collection which contributes best to the optimum experience of their guests. The collection they choose should match the ambience and atmosphere of their restaurant or hotel. La Classica is not only made of the highest quality metal, but it is comfortable to hold with a pleasing weight which gives a premium feel, and is universally appealing thanks to its simplistic design. W:


The Aswan range

Ronai Llc The latest range to feature in our stock collection is Aswan. Manufactured from the highest quality 18/10 stainless steel, each piece maintains the reputation for high quality and reliability. The ‘Aswan’ design makes a true statement, distinguishable by its striped oxidised handles and smooth satin finished heads, Aswan offers a modern take on an antique emporium design. This range is anything but conventional offering a table setting that will last and truly reflect the ambience of your dining occasion. We have several cutlery lines available in stock at very competitive pricing, providing our customers with a high level of service and delivery. Our ‘Uniforms by Ronai’ catalogue continues to grow with a host of clothing lines suitable for the entire industry. In line with Gulf Hospitality Week in September the catalogue will feature a collection of new fabrics and enhancements to increase the range. T: 04 3414409 E: W:

1765 Gemini

The Hidcote range is one of 1765 Gemini’s latest launches

Some of 1765 Gemini’s latest cutlery launches are Kingham from Robert Welch, Bourton, Hidcote and Trattoria. The spoons and forks are made using the highest quality 18/10 stainless steel. The knife blades are made from specially hardened stainless steel to provide the finest possible cutting edge for your culinary experience. F&B businesses should purchase Robert Welch cutlery from us because it is the best of the best. The unique designs make the sets visually beautiful and comfortable to hold and use, making the culinary experience a 10 out of 10 every time you use them. At 1765 Gemini we have a lot going on throughout 2017, including a new showroom opening in a matter of weeks. T: +971 4 388 4773 W:

May 2017 Catering NEWS ME


S pill the beans

Russo’s New York Pizzeria Anthony Russo, founder and CEO of Russo's New York Pizzeria unveils the company’s aggressive multi-unit franchise growth strategy for the Middle East, to be rolled out over the next 10 years 100% mozzarella cheese from a Wisconsin dairy farm. It’s all about real ingredients with nothing packaged.

Anthony Russo

How successful is Russo’s in the UAE? Russo’s as a brand has a wide reach in the UAE as we currently have six outlets located in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, with more outlets in the pipeline. Please explain the new prototype, which has been designed exclusively for the Middle East? The new prototype is a casual dining concept built for dine-in, takeout and delivery service. You recently opened your first Russo’s in Riyadh. Why is Saudi Arabia an important market for the brand? Saudi Arabia is important to us because there’s no presence of quality, authentic, New York-style pizza available there.

Russo's New York Pizzeria Silicon Oasis Please tell me the history of Russo’s? I am the son of first-generation Italian immigrants and I grew up in a New Jersey home where the kitchen was the centre of family life. This experience stuck with me as I moved with my family to Texas in 1978. My father opened Russo’s Italian Restaurant, which quickly became a local favourite and I found a second home in the restaurant kitchen. By the age of 12, I was learning family recipes from relatives who flew in from Naples and Sicily each summer. Making pizza and scacciata (calzones) became a passion of mine. 50

Catering NEWS ME May 2017

What sets Russo’s apart from other pizza chains in the Middle East? Fresh, quality ingredients is what Russo’s has been about for more than 30 years. Our family recipes, which are over 100 years old, with their custom blend of spices and proprietary ingredients leave our competitors far behind. For instance, we make our pizza dough fresh daily; and to make a true New York-style crust, you need the right flour. Our pizza sauce is made fresh from our traditional family recipe formulated for Russo’s, with tomatoes grown in California, topped with

Why do Russo’s concepts appeal to franchisees in the Middle East? Russo’s New York Pizzeria is designed for the lunch guest on the go, with fastpaced counter service, where a slice and salad can be delivered in under seven minutes. The menu features our awardwinning pizza, with an ample selection of appetisers, salads, and pasta dishes for guests who prefer to dine-in. Our overall approach is reminiscent of some of the first authentic pizzerias where everything was made from scratch with hand-picked ingredients, in a traditional Italian style. What Middle East markets are you targeting for further growth? We are targeting Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon. In addition, we are aiming to open a seventh UAE outlet in the final quarter of this year.

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