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Nakheel reveals details of its renewed focus on F&B and ambitious growth plans


Günaydın co-founder on evolving a butcher shop into one of Turkey’s most respected restaurant brands

LEADERS IN F&B AWARDS Meet the judging panel and sponsors preparing to celebrate the best and brightest in the industry

Connecting F&B professionals with industry knowledge


Out the

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

How the introduction of value added tax in 2018 will impact the Middle East’s food and beverage industry

This is an almond. With Inspiration, Valrhona has revolutionized the use of fruit in pastries and chocolates, introducing fruit couvertures* which you can use like any other couverture chocolates, with an infinite variety of applications: molding, bars, coatings, mousses, cream mixes, ganaches, ice creams and sorbets..

At last, you can use fruit however you want… The only limit is your own imagination! *Specialty made from powdered almonds and cocoa butter.

Création : Insign

Inspiration is Valrhona’s first range of fruit couvertures* created with 100% natural ingredients. All Valrhona’s chocolate-making expertise has been put to use to develop this technical breakthrough, combining the unique texture of cocoa butter with the color and intense flavor of fruit.

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



What's Cooking?

New places

September 2017 // Issue #032

Contents 18 Talent

36 The business

10 //

WHAT’S COOKING? Speciality Food Festival expands due to high demand; The Noodle House undergoes brand relaunch; Host Milan to highlight crossover of pastry, gelato and coffee sectors

16 //

NEW PLACES Greta Canevese and Khulood Khoury, co-founders of Ravioli & Co, introduce Dubai’s first traditional Italian trattoria

18 //

TALENT Shammi De Costa, executive sous chef at Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, says starting from grassroots level is key for chefs.

30 //

COVER STORY How the introduction of value added tax in 2018 will impact the Middle East’s food and beverage industry

September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


September 2017 // Issue #032

Contents 36 //

THE BUSINESS IN WITH THE NEW Nakheel reveals details of its renewed focus on F&B and ambitious growth plans

40 //

CHEF FOCUS TURKISH DELIGHT Günaydın co-founder Cüneyt Asan on evolving a butcher shop into one of Turkey’s most respected restaurant brands

44 //

OUT OF THIS WORLD: ITALIAN Chefs from the region’s Italian restaurants share their insights on bestselling dishes, the latest trends and where to source ingredients

60 //

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL HOSPITALITY WEEK A preview of the first ever Dubai International Hospitality Week, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 18 – 20 September

70 //

MARKETPLACE Catering News showcases the beverage products making a splash



Managing Director Walid Zok Director Rabih Najm CEO Wissam Younane Group Commercial Director Fred Dubery Senior Sales Manager James Stead Group Editor, Hospitality Crystal Chesters Contributor

Marouane Al Mandri Art Director Aaron Sutton Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon Photographer

Hayder Al-Zuhairi


Out of this world

40 Chef Focus

Event preview

70 Marketplace

PO Box 502511 Dubai, United Arab Emirates P +971 4 4200 506 | F +971 4 4200 196

For all commercial enquiries related to Catering News ME contact T +971 50 55 97339 All rights reserved © 2014. Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors. Catering News ME and all subsidiary publications in the MENA region are officially licensed exclusively to BNC Publishing in the MENA region by Catering News ME. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Printed by Raidy Emirates Printing Group LLC


Catering NEWS ME September 2017

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E ditor's L etter



Crystal Chesters Editor


his month’s cover feature is all about how value added tax (VAT) is expected to impact the F&B industry when it is introduced on 1 January 2018 in the UAE, and then across the wider GCC by 1 January 2019. The issue was first debated back in 2015 and last year we received confirmation from the UAE government that the implementation of VAT would be necessary to ensure the country continues to compete on the international stage. For F&B businesses however, complying with the new regulations is likely to be a complex task, with many aspects of operations to consider, from staffing to IT systems and suppliers. The biggest concern among the industry is how a hike in the cost of living will impact consumer behaviour, including dining habits and tourism. Preparation is key, say the experts, who warn that businesses must act now to ensure a smooth transition, and to avoid the penalties that may be levied if they fail to get on board with the changes effectively – and on time. Also in this issue, we preview the inaugural edition of Dubai International Hospitality Week, set to take place this month. The three-day extravaganza incorporates six major hospitality and foodservice trade shows – the new GulfHost, owned and organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC); The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show, owned and organised by DMG Events; and The Speciality Food Festival (DWTC), Seafex Middle East (DWTC) and Yummex ME, jointly organised by DWTC and Kölnmesse.

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

The event will offer access to the world’s top hospitality brands on a scale not previously available in the region, with more than 2,000 exhibitors and 50,000 visitors expected, including buyers from the region’s leading hotel groups and restaurant brands. Our 10page preview offers an overview of the events, products and exhibitors, as well as top trends to spot, stands not to miss and insights from industry professionals who will be making a beeline for the show on the 18 – 20 of this month at DWTC – it’s one not to miss. Enjoy the issue! Kind regards, Crystal

Social Media /Cateringnewsme



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W hat's cooking?

W hat's cooking?

//p11: The Noodle House brand relaunch //p12: Rational founder dies aged 78 //p14: Yum by Mum launches meal plans for kids

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


Speciality Food Festival expands due to high demand The Speciality Food Festival has expanded this year in line with increased demand for gourmet, artisan, halal and organic products, according to organisers, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). Taking place from 18-20 September 2017 at DWTC, the show is the original speciality food event for the MENA region and this year will run alongside five other sectorspecific shows as part of the inaugural Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW). Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions & events management DWTC, commented: “The regional F&B sector is amongst the world’s most discerning, driving demand for speciality ingredients, new innovations and trend-spotting. “This is the role that The Speciality Food Festival plays for chefs and speciality food retailers across the region, bringing the latest and best products to Dubai, in one convenient place.” The three-day event will showcase a selection of fine foods, from artisanal olive oils, pickles and chutneys to speciality coffee and teas, 10

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

charcuterie, bakery and dairy, as well as some of the rarest ingredients sought by professional chefs in the region. The show continues to attract exhibitors from across the world, including for the first time, Cameroon, Netherlands, Taiwan and Thailand. It has also witnessed a 30% increase in French exhibitors this year. Incorporating the best of the region’s culinary masters, the ‘Chef’s Theater’ will see Michelin-starred and Dubai-based chefs host

six masterclasses per day, including demonstrations of cooking techniques for fine food, seafood, organic, artisan cheese and gluten-free dishes. The event also encompasses specialist pizza cooking, master coffee tasters and culinary competitions to find the best chefs in Dubai. With hundreds of new launches at the show, F&B professionals will be able to source up to 2,800 ingredients and foods that have previously not been available in the region.

Showcasing the growth of the speciality coffee scene across the Middle East, is the inaugural National Barista & Latte Art Championship, a competition that will crown the UAE’s top baristas. The winner of the National Barista & Latte Art Championship will represent the UAE at the World Barista & Latte Art Championships staged in Amsterdam in June 2018. The eighth edition of The Speciality Food Festival, powered by Gulfood, is colocated with five other shows under the roof of Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW) – an initiative endorsed by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The other five shows are DWTC’s new GulfHost 2017 (the first dedicated hospitality and food services expo in the Middle East); Yummex Middle East (jointly organised by DWTC and Kölnmesse) Seafex Middle East (organised by DWTC) and The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show (owned and organised by DMG Events). Read the full preview of Dubai International Hospitality Week on p58.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?


The Noodle House undergoes brand relaunch

Jumeirah Restaurant Group’s pan-Asian restaurant, The Noodle House, is undergoing its biggest brand relaunch since debuting in 2002. The rebrand is starting with a refreshed dining experience and menu at its flagship outlet in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, which reopened on 13 August. Emma Banks, general manager of Jumeirah Restaurant Group, said: “Of all the brands under the Jumeirah Restaurant Group umbrella, The Noodle House represents our most popular legacy brand. “It is well-known and universally loved across Dubai and beyond for premium yet affordable food served fast and casual – we are not changing that, it’s a key part of our 15-year story.” The Noodle House’s refreshed menu includes 50 new dishes that draw inspiration from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, while retaining favourites such as Singapore Noodles, Curry Laksa and Wasabi Prawns. The flagship outlet also features a new and exclusive cocktail menu. Banks added: “Our all-new The Noodle House at Souk Madinat Jumeirah boasts a completely remodelled restaurant experience that is comfortable for quick visits or dining with friends, as well an eclectic menu that zigzags

across Asia, reflecting the rich variety of eating habits. “This new concept is fast and fresh but leverages the roots that made the brand such a perennial favourite in the first place – it’s evolution not revolution.” The relaunch of the flagship outlet will see the introduction of three new varieties of noodles – knotted, udon and soba – in addition to a range of new noodle dishes such as caramelised beef ramen, pad see ew and beef soba. Crispy roasted duck will have its own place on the menu and is served Singaporestyle with steamed pancakes, cucumber, leeks and sweet hoisin sauce. A new selection of starters comprises soy crackers, tempura basket with lotus roots and pandan chicken dumpling, while new mains featured are soft shell crab steamed baos and a Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich, which can be eaten with the hands. The Noodle House is also introducing umami dishes such as miso salmon and orange glazed short ribs. Following the reopening of the Madinat Jumeirah branch, The Noodle House’s new menu will be introduced across its five other Dubai locations. The new menu is also available for home delivery. September 2017 Catering NEWS ME 11 ADV_HOST_CateringNewsMiddleEast_90x242mm_Luglio2017.indd 1 11/07/17 19:08

W hat's cooking?


Host Milan to highlight crossover of pastry, gelato and coffee sectors

Host Milan will highlight the hybridisation of gelato, pastry and coffee at this year’s show, taking place at FieraMilano on 20 – 24 October. In the gelato and pastry area, a coffee piazza will feature and similarly in the coffee space, a gelato piazza will showcase the latest trends in gelato and pastry. There will also be a physical bridge connecting the coffee and gelato/pastry areas to encourage visitors to explore the two sectors. The Experience Gallery, a new feature for the 40th edition of the show, highlights the crossover between the two complementary sectors of coffee and gelato/pastry. Host Milan, which celebrates all aspects of the hospitality industry, is set to create opportunities for B2B meetings, professional development and the discovery of new trends. Competitions include the Cake Designers World Championship 2017 (23 and 24 October), which will see eight contestants present a display cake brought from home to be 12

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

judged on appearance, and a smaller cake to be made on the spot using the same techniques and to be judged on flavour. The World Trophy of Pastry Ice Cream Chocolate (21 and 22 October) involves 10 teams of pastry chefs – each comprising three competitors and a coach – competing in disciplines such as chocolate and praline sculpture, sugar and contemporary cake sculpture, sugar paste sculpture and icecream single serving. To encourage professional development, marketing lecturer Franco Cesare Puglisi will host 11 short lessons at the Editrade stand, where he will demonstrate the latest techniques to effectively communicate the peculiarities of the artisan, gelato and pastry trades. In addition, Dolcinarte, the event organised by Chiriotti Editori with Pasticceria Internazionale and TuttoGelato, in synergy with Cookery Lab, will play on the fusion between the various sectors, showcasing a collection of pastries made with sugar, chocolate, sugar paste and royal icing.


Founder of oven company Rational dies aged 78 Siegfried Meister, founder, major shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of thermal food technology specialist Rational AG, has passed away at the age of 78. Supervisory board member, deputy chairman and Rational shareholder Walter Kurtz will assume temporary chairmanship of the supervisory board. A statement from the company said: “It is with great sadness that Rational AG announces the passing of Siegfried Meister on 28 July at the age of 78 years after a brief, serious illness. The supervisory board, management board and all employees mourn an exceptional entrepreneur, and will continue the company in the spirit of Mr. Siegfried Meister.” Meister started producing convection ovens in Landsberg over 40 years ago with the objective of making work easier for those who prepare hot food in professional kitchens. The combi-steamer was born

in 1976 when Meister and his team added steam to the hot, dry air in the oven, revolutionising the production processes, organisation and efficiency of commercial kitchens. From 1998, Meister had acted as the chairman of the supervisory board and in 2000 he floated Rational AG on the stock exchange. Dr Peter Stadelmann, chief executive officer of Rational AG, commented: “The wellbeing of the entrepreneurs in the company was very important to Mr Meister. This makes us all the more sad about our great loss, and we are committed to continuing his lifetime's work in his spirit.” Founded in 1973, Rational employs 900 staff in Germany and 1,800 worldwide. The company has been listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since its IPO in 2000, and is currently included in the MDAX.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

In a nutshell

Jacek Plewa, general manager of Global Food Industries introduces the company’s new aqua kale farm and products What products does GFI specialise in? We are a leading frozen value-added company operating in the UAE and we specialise in products that address the health and wellness needs of our target consumers. Al Areesh is our premium brand and includes Zing chicken products, beef and chicken burgers, kebabs, samosas, and our aqua kale portions. Meanwhile, the Artic Gold brand features halal meal solutions, including marinated chicken products, meatballs and frankfurters. Why did you develop an aqua farm to produce kale? We wanted to revolutionise the country's agricultural segment and address the dietary issues of people in the UAE with the development of a huge aqua farm to produce kale. Aquaponics is a combination

of aquaculture and hydroponic systems, which aims to encourage symbiotic partnerships that benefit the ecosystem and reduce the negative impact on the environment. As opposed to regular kale, aqua kale is produced using advanced technology, minimising energy and water usage per kilo of fresh produce. What is unique about the kale you produce? Aqua kale is made with certified organic nutrient supplements, the main one being the water that supports aquatic life, which is high in nutritional value for vegetables, especially leafy plants and herbs. The process is 100% organic-certified and the product is pesticide-free and has high nutritional properties as compared to kale grown in soil, which can contain microbes.

What are GFI’s plans for the future? We have successfully converted our kale into frozen portions and we are now supplying it across the horeca market. The product can be utilised in juices, salads and smoothies among other applications. We are also working on developing a new range of aqua kale products, including a healthy burger range in the chicken and beef categories.

+971 (0)4 554 3003

“Because we give a fork..!”

We are at The Hotel Show 18th - 20th September


Stand 3c119

W hat's cooking?



TT Capital Partners to launch eight F&B outlets in Dubai

Yum by Mum launches in Dubai offering meal plans for kids

TT Capital Partners has announced plans to introduce eight new restaurants and lounges in Dubai.The concepts are: Baraka Fish and Sea Food, Prosecco Lounge, Zahter Turkish Kebab, Shisha Lounge, Pasha Doner, Beer Hall, Juice Lab and Tencere Mom’s Food. Two of the venues, Juice Lab and Pasha Doner, are set to open in the third quarter of this year at Kite Beach, Dubai. Juice Lab’s interiors feature bright colours and the menu offers freshly-squeezed juice,

Yum by Mum, a new catering concept offering meal plans for babies and children, has launched in Dubai. Made from fresh ingredients, and prepared and packed fresh daily, the meals are not frozen and contain no added salt, sugar or preservatives. Baby meals include tomato, carrot and basil purée, while children’s options for age one year and above, include quinoa and zucchini meatballs with wholewheat pasta. The concept, created by full-time

Thai lettuce wraps, pesto avocado sandwiches and chipotle quinoa tacos among other options. Pasha Doner is a familyfriendly, casual restaurant serving kebab dishes.

For more informa�on please contact: For more information please contact:

1765 Gemini LLC 1765 Gemini P.O. Box 125434, Dubai,LLC UAE P.O. Box 125434, Dubai, Tel. +971 4 388UAE 4773 Tel. +971 4 388 4773 Fax. +971 4 388 4772 Fax. +971 4 388 4772 Email Website -


Catering NEWS ME September 2017

working mums, Carla Lewis and Antonia Ellis, is aimed at time-poor parents who find it challenging to prepare fresh, homemade food for their children.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?


Chef Middle East and Valrhona host pastry chef workshop in Dubai Chef Middle East hosted a workshop in partnership with Valrhona to encourage pastry chefs to exchange ideas on new techniques and discover new products and recipes. Taking place on 21 and 22 August at Inked Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, Dubai, the workshop was led by well-known Italian chocolatier and pastry consultant, Gianluca Fusto. A spokesperson from Chef Middle East, commented: “In partnership with Valrhona, we regularly organise workshops throughout the year, each time with a different theme, to extend our continuous support to our customers. “These workshops are held for pastry chefs loyal to the Valrhona brand, and are a great opportunity for them to exchange on new techniques, discover new products and recipes and be inspired by other chefs’ sense and perception of taste, shapes and colours. “The aim of Valrhona pastry chefs and instructors isn’t to ‘teach’ but rather to share their passion and experience.” Attendance was by invitation only and the August workshop was exclusive to members of Cercle V, Valrhona’s loyalty programme for culinary professionals. Chef Middle East is the sole distributor of Valrhona for the UAE, Qatar and Oman. To sign up for future workshops, contact Pooja Bhatt, pastry sales specialist at

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September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


New places

Ravioli & Co

Greta Canevese and Khulood Khoury, co-founders of Ravioli & Co, introduce Dubai’s first traditional Italian trattoria

Location: Burj Daman, Dubai Date opened: August Head chef: Eros Brambilla Restaurant manager: Rebecca Femino




Bahrain’s Blaze Burgers has opened its first venue in Dubai. The menu offers premium burger patties with vegetarian and low-carb lettuce wrap options, a selection of cheeses, sides and the dryshake – a shake made using ice cream instead of milk. Patties are ground just before grilling and kept for a maximum of two hours. The 400m2 Dubai outlet can seat up to 130 customers and features exposed natural materials, artwork and graffiti.

Buddha-Bar Beach is set to open later this year at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, bringing PanAsian cuisine to the capital. The dayto-night venue will be the fourth of its kind in the world and the first permanent destination for the brand. The Abu Dhabi venue will offer cocktails and cuisine with Japanese, Thai and other Asian flavours in addition to DJs and nightly entertainment.

Tortellini, a new Italian restaurant inspired by the city of Bologna – Italy’s gastronomic capital – has opened its doors in Dubai’s Business Bay. The concept is the creation of Amany and Khaled, a husbandand-wife team of interior designers who were inspired to launch the venue following a trip to Bologna. The casual dining restaurant offers traditional Italian appetisers, pizza, meat and seafood and is open daily from 11am-1am.

LOCATION: The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi OPENING DATE: 2017

LOCATION: Blue Bay Tower, Business Bay Dubai OPENING DATE: July 2017

LOCATION: The Walk at JBR, Dubai OPENING DATE: July 2017 16

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

N ew places

What is interesting about the beverage offer?

We really wanted to offer a unique selection of Italian grape, fizz and traditional Italian spirits.

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

Please describe the concept of the venue in your words?

Ravioli & Co is the first traditional trattoria – a small spot to enjoy simple food run by a family – in Dubai. We are authentic and traditional with a homely, casual vibe. We serve fresh Italian pasta prepared daily by our sfoglina (female pasta-making matriarch) and our dream is to bring back the memories of those who have had the chance to travel and experience local Italian food, and to offer an Italian experience for

those who haven’t. Ravioli & Co is a venue where people can come as they are to enjoy fresh products with friends – we want everyone to feel at home.

We did! We both worked in the interior designer and furniture sector before so each and every detail was designed and developed by us. It makes us very happy that we created the whole concept from the initial idea to the interior design. During our travels, we have collected many old items that you will find in our trattoria.

How will the venue compete on the Dubai market?

The chef and sfoglina work closely together. Their signature dishes are obviously the ravioli with various fillings and the eggplant gnocchi and our swordfish carpaccio with citrus fruit.

The food and our bread are made daily in-house with fresh produce. Our aim is to offer the right value for our food – we want to offer good quality using fine ingredients without asking diners to pay a fortune. We are creating a venue where people will feel at home because it will be casual and welcoming.




Meraas is has opened its fourth Last Exit food truck park featuring a post-apocalyptic theme with war rigs, monster trucks and abandoned cars. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Last Exit Mad X plays host to 11 food trucks offering cuisine ranging from burgers to bao buns, Thai and Indian street food and southern fried chicken. Most of the materials used to create the futuristic food truck park have been sourced from recycled wood and scrap metal.

Natasha Sideris, founder, managing executive and creative director of the Tashas café brand will open a new licensed concept, Flamingo Room by Tashas. The 200-seat café-style venue will be the largest Tashas concept to date. The menu will feature lobster benedict with toasted brioche and a saffron and lemon hollandaise; beetroot quinoa salad and rib-eye with coriander and herb butter. The interiors have been created by B&S Studio, with peach and pink tones taking inspiration from the flora and fauna of Africa.

Sesame Restaurant, which has a focus on health-conscious, clean and wholesome food, has opened its doors in Dubai. The homegrown concept has been created by Neha Jamani and Irina Sharma who devised the menu with help from Chef Gohei Kishi who previously worked as head of Asian concepts for Gordon Ramsay Group. The ‘world food’ menu won’t follow any specific cuisine but will use familiar ingredients in new ways, with bright flavours, homemade spices and sauces, and different textures.

LOCATION: Sheikh Zayed Road, UAE OPENING DATE: 10 August

LOCATION: Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, Dubai OPENING DATE: September 2017

LOCATION: Sunset Mall, Dubai OPENING DATE: August 2017

What are the signature items on the menu?

September 2017 Catering NEWS ME



Tools of the trade Shammi De Costa, executive sous chef at Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, says starting from grassroots level is the best way to build strong foundations as a chef

Work Experience Mar 2015 - May 2017: Exe cutive sous chef, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, Muscat, Oman Jun 2012 - Mar 2015: Exe cutive sous chef, Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, UAE Apr 2009 - May 2012: Che f de Shangri-La’s Villingili Res cuisine, ort and Spa, Addu, Maldives

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

I started off as a commis cook to the chef de partie at Café de Paris in Rome. As a commis, I was given tasks such as peeling artichokes and potatoes, which people may not like to do, however learning these core duties allowed me to then gain experience with more complex tasks such as manning the grill station and preparing pasta and pizza.

Who has inspired you most in your career?

My uncle, Chef Ananda Herath, who is a personal chef to Anna Fendi. I also consider my first executive chef, Nicola at Café de Paris as one of my role models.

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

Food and beverage is a major component for driving guests to the region. I believe it is now at its highest point with high 18

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

quality restaurants, novel concepts and worldwide talent performing at their best. However, the UAE could offer more by establishing itself as a hub of culinary studies, where amateurs from different parts of the world could come and learn skills in a hands-on environment.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

Competition in Abu Dhabi is very high, and finding skilled personnel to keep up with the trends can be challenging.

What is the best aspect of your role?

Being able to introduce new dishes and

concepts to our guests and receive their immediate feedback, which can help to develop the product.

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

I would work in El Celler de Can Roca in Spain.

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

Start from grassroots level and work your way up. This will make you strong as a professional and highly knowledgeable in many aspects of the business.


Palazzo Versace appoints Michelin-starred chef

Iran’s first Michelin-starred chef, Mansour Memarian, has been appointed executive chef at Palazzo Versace Dubai. Memarian has 21 years’ industry experience including appointments with Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri, Chedi Andermatt in Switzerland and Burj Al Arab’s signature restaurant, Al Mahara. He earned his first Michelin star in 2006 at Jagdhof Glashütte in Germany before moving to Austria to open Pavillon restaurant, where he gained a second Michelin star. In his new role, Memarian will oversee the hotel’s six restaurants, two bars and catering services.

New pastry chef joins Raffles Dubai Raffles Dubai has brought Wolfgang Wagenleiter on board as executive pastry chef. A pastry expert with over 25 years of culinary experience, Wagenleiter will be responsible for creative menu development and execution of pastry across the hotel’s food and beverage outlets, banqueting and in-room dining. He joins Raffles Dubai from The Meydan Hotel, where he was executive pastry chef from 2015. Prior to this, he held roles at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai; Ritz-Carlton Sharq Village & Spa, Qatar and The Romanos & Westin Costa Navarino, Greece.

Newly opened Via Veneto unveils head chef

Chef Maxime Le Van has joined newlyopened Italian restaurant, Via Veneto in Manzil Downtown. Previously executive chef at Boca Dubai, Le Van started his career in his native France before relocating to London where he worked as head chef of Michelin-starred restaurant, Club Gascon, and on the pre-opening team of its sister outlet, Cigalon. In Dubai, Le Van worked on the pre-opening team of Kitchen 45 and held a two-year tenure at Boca in DIFC.

Visit us at GulfHost in Dubai. 18 – 20 September 2017 Hall: ZH, Stand: S3-C20

September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


O p inion

Standing tall

Ahmed Al Alami, founder and chief executive officer of Pinnacle Group says identifying your brand’s USP is key to standing out from the crowd in a competitive F&B market


estaurant entrepreneurs in the Middle East face a challenging landscape in 2017. It has become more important than ever to understand the factors that contribute to success and growth. Remaining competitive in a crowded food and beverage sector is vital in order to increase and retain market share. Consumers are more than willing to pay premium prices to eat out, so fine dining has a huge hold on the market and creates challenges for restaurants that sit within the casual dining sphere. To compete, restaurants must focus on establishing a unique selling proposition to set themselves apart from others, instantly. By identifying a unique element and placing that at the core of promotional efforts, you are more likely to attract your desired market, even if the competition is tough. For example, although fine dining is successful, there is a lack of casual dining restaurants and so this USP can be a promotional focus. Pinnacle’s casual dining brand Kris Kros Lebanon has in recent years achieved increased market share and 20

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

sales, which has given us the opportunity to franchise the brand. Restaurateurs must also understand the importance of keeping a brand concept up-to-date and relevant – physical elements such as location, branding and décor should be considered. Different areas attract different demographics; therefore, the choice of location can affect how the brand is perceived and who dines there. At Pinnacle, we ensure each restaurant remains consistent with its brand image while appealing to changing consumer demands. For example, we recently updated the Leila image and décor to connect the traditional brand concept with contemporary design. The new look will be unveiled at Leila Mirdif City Centre in the first quarter of 2018. Despite these tough times the market is experiencing, restaurant entrepreneurs must always look to the future and set goals in order to grow and expand. Understanding the target market and identifying what makes the brand stand out from the crowd are the first steps towards doing this.

About the author Ahmed Al Alami, founder and chief executive officer of Pinnacle Group, manages the four brands that sit within Pinnacle’s portfolio: Leila Min Lebnen, Kris Kros, Kris Kros Lebanon and Classic Burger Joint. Ahmed successfully handles the operation of Pinnacle Group, with the restaurants catering to a different occasion, market, and cuisine – Lebanese, international, Lebanese street food and a burger brand.

O p inion

Food safety for small businesses Michel Bayoud, founder and CEO of Boecker World Holding explains how small and medium sized F&B businesses can achieve food safety accreditation without HACCP and ISO certificates

About the author


ood Safety management systems (FSMS) provide a pre-emptive approach for identifying, preventing and reducing foodborne hazards, thereby minimising the risk of food poisoning and making food safe for consumption. However, small and medium sized food establishments (SMFEs) face diverse and very complex challenges in adopting food safety management systems, often due to a lack of reliable resources and technical expertise, as well as cultural and language barriers among food handlers. Many small and medium sized food businesses are unable to implement food safety standards such as HACCP or the ISO 22000 because of their more complex specifications for buildings and premises, which are often not applicable to them. Moreover, in certain cases, part of the food establishment or organisation may be FSMS compliant while other branches have not implemented the correct systems (i.e. central kitchen and outlet). Nevertheless, SMFEs do need to prepare safe-to-consume food and cater to clients who are not only quality oriented, but also 22

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Michel Bayoud is the founder and CEO of Boecker World Holding, the mother company of Boecker group of companies across the Middle East. He is also an associate to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, UK and an advisory board member of the newly formed Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection (TiFSiP), UK. Bayoud has expanded Boecker from Lebanon, where it was launched in 1994, to Jordan, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, providing services in pest management, food safety and professional disinfecting.







Small and medium sized food establishments (SMFEs) face diverse and very complex challenges in adopting food safety management systems, often due to a lack of reliable resources and technical expertise, as well as cultural and language barriers among food handlers� Michael Bayoud aware of food safety risks. A well-designed FSMS with appropriate control measures assists food establishments in complying with food hygiene regulations and ensuring that food prepared for sale is germ-free and safe for consumers. One solution for small and medium sized businesses is Boecker’s Q-Platinum Award (QPA) for international food safety standards, which complies with local regu-

lations and has been approved by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) in the UK. The QPA has been tailored to SMFEs as a simple yet efficient food safety management system that monitors practices, from receiving raw materials to delivering end products. It provides valuable information that confirms to owners that hygiene policies, SOPs and best practices are being properly implemented. Covering year-round, regular audits to ensure and maintain the proper implementation of food safety, the QPA includes training for food handlers at all levels, regular management review meetings, mystery shopper audits, continuous supervision and intensive follow-up on improvements. Today, the Boecker QPA has more than 500 awarded establishments in the Middle East and is a widespread certification system designed for SMFEs that do not fall into the HACCP and ISO 22000 scope of work. It enables smaller businesses to cater with confidence and safeguards their growth and prosperity while allowing scalability.




Event details WHERE? Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina WHEN? Monday 30 October 2017, 8am- 2.30pm TO SPONSOR: / TO SPEAK: TO ATTEND:



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Catering News Middle East unveils the agenda topics up for discussion at the third edition of The Big F&B Forum and speaks to the sponsors about why they are supporting this year’s event, set to attract more than 250 F&B industry professionals on Monday 30 October



Stefan Hoonhoud, business development manager Why have you chosen to support BNC Publishing’s Big F&B Forum? Debic has chosen to partner with BNC Publishing’s Big F&B Forum because of their expertise and reputation in the market. It is the perfect platform to gain exposure to key decision makers in the industry. Debic wants to highlight the unique qualities of our Debic cream with live demos showing chefs how the product is best used and allowing them to experience the European quality and taste it brings to the plate.

What is your opinion of the Middle East’s F&B landscape? The UAE and wider region have plans to grow in the lead up to Expo 2020 and so it is a good time to enter the market. There are big plans for new hotels, resorts and quality restaurants and this is exactly the market we’re aiming for.

he third edition of The Big Food & Beverage Forum is set to take place on Monday 30 October at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina. Last year’s forum received unprecedented interest, with more than 250 F&B professionals from across the region in attendance, and the 2017 event looks set to achieve even greater success. Sponsoring The Big F&B Forum are some of the most prominent suppliers on the market, including Unilever, TSSC, Boecker Public Health, Pulsar Foodstuff Trading, Lavazza-Eurocoffee, Debic and Al Rawdah. The major trends, topics and challenges concerning the region’s vibrant and competitive food and beverage industry will be up for discussion, during a morning of panel debates, presentations and networking. With registration starting at 8am, the forum will officially kick off at 8.30am with an address from Catering News Middle East, followed by expert sessions on how regional governments are supporting the F&B industry in the run up to 2020, and how best to capitalise on the growth of the flourishing food delivery market. The first panel session of the day, ‘Necessity is the mother of innovation’, will explore the barriers to local F&B innovation, and how the government, landlords and educational institutions can better support entrepreneurs to elevate the standards of the Middle East’s F&B concepts. ‘Chewing the VAT’, an expert session on how the impending introduction of value added tax will impact the F&B industry will follow, before we move on to tackle the talent crisis in the region’s hospitality sector, with a panel entitled, ‘The Middle East has got talent – or does it?’ Taking a fresh approach to a long-debated issue, the panel will



What new products are you launching this year? Adding to the FrieslandCampina family, we are launching three Debic products. The first is Debic Stand and Overrun, the ideal modern pastry cream, which is a perfect marriage between high yield and excellent firmness. The second is Debic Culinary Cream, an all-round cooking cream that doesn’t curdle and resists heat treatments making it ideal for warm sauces, cold dressings and refining soups. Lastly, Debic Spraycan Sugared has an airy yet creamy taste and texture and will add the perfect blob to warm and cold dishes.

Why have you chosen to support BNC Publishing’s Leaders in F&B Awards and Big F&B Forum? We are a proud partner of BNC publishing as we strongly believe Abdulhadi Chalak, the Big F&B Forum is a great country manager platform to discuss ideas with our clients and industry peers, pay tribute to achievements, celebrate excellence and meet with some of the best in the business. What is your opinion of the Middle East’s F&B landscape? The F&B market in the region is facing challenges ranging from security of supply, to quality of produce and food safety and hygiene. Consumers are becoming more demanding in terms of quality, health and nutrition. In such a competitive market, F&B outlets have to stand out from the crowd by innovating and developing unique concepts and offerings. What new products are you launching this year? Boecker has always been a trendsetter in the public health industry and will be launching very soon in the UAE its own proprietary disinfectant, Microbecs, a professional disinfectant with a new patented technology that works against all types of microorganisms, including grampositive and gram-negative bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. Several formulations will be available ranging from ready to use, all purpose and food grade to specialised industrial ranges.

September 2017 Catering NEWS ME




Why have you chosen to support BNC Publishing’s Big F&B Forum? Stephen Bennett, It is very important for Pulsar general manager Foodstuff to continue to support events such as BNC Publishing’s Big F&B Forum as it allows us to stay in direct contact with our target clients. It is also important during difficult and testing times not to get dragged down with the negativity which can cause many companies to go backwards. We utilise such events to push forward. What is your opinion of the Middle East’s F&B landscape? It has always been strong and sturdy. F&B outlets are very creative with their offerings, and are not afraid to think outside the box with new ideas and attractions. The industry offers every conceivable dish within the Middle East, which grants customers an endless choice and a new destination every week. What new products are you launching this year? We have recently invested in a new range of low-cost packaging to meet the needs of a changing market, which is seeing more mid-range hotels enter the Emirates. As the leading supplier of in-room snacks to the hotel industry, we want to ensure that all hotels have the opportunity to increase their brand value and enhance the customer experience.

Paul Farhat, head of food service Why have you chosen to support BNC Publishing’s Big F&B Forum? The Big F&B Forum is a great way for us, a relatively new player in the foodservice sector, to broaden our competitive edge by making the Al Rawdah foodservice image resonate with our target market. It’s also important for us to improve our credibility by supporting events that our target market find attractive.


What is your opinion of the Middle East’s F&B landscape? I am excited about the Al Rawdah foodservice potential for the coming years, and thrilled with the growth rate the local and regional market is anticipated to achieve as this will reflect growth in top-line figures. It’s all about innovation and finding ways to be different, especially as we head towards 2020. Until then I believe it’s going to be a survival of the fittest, where creativity and market awareness will play a big role. What is your company news this year? Al Rawdah is the first poultry producer awarded the official UAE Halal seal by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA). We have recently installed solar power panels that will further contribute to our sustainability. We are also expanding our processing facility and commissioning and finalising the installation of new machinery that will allow us to launch new products in the coming year.


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explore how the UAE compares to other regional countries when it comes to service; if the introduction of the Michelin Guide could attract better talent to the region; and whether we’re bringing up a work-shy generation of millennials. The final panel of the day, ‘Producing the goods’, will discuss the pros and cons of local produce, how suppliers can work better with businesses to offer quality, value and traceability and why we must act now to increase our sustainable credentials with regards to produce, packaging and materials. Last year’s Big F&B Forum culminated in a VIP interview with British chef, restaurateur and author Gary Rhodes OBE, and this year Catering News looks forward to shining the spotlight on another wellknown industry VIP, with more details to follow shortly. A networking lunch with interactive workshops will take place from 12.50pm, allowing attendees the opportunity to meet with peers and learn more about the latest products on the market.


Why have you chosen to support BNC Publishing’s Big F&B Forum? Following the feedback and interest we received from participating in the GM Leaders Conference, we believe the forum offers a great opportunity to meet and discuss the current challenges in the industry and form stronger relationships with our customer base.


Kevin Hibbett, coffee solutions architect

What is your opinion of the Middle East’s F&B landscape? The landscape is increasingly complex with growing competition fighting for market share, prime locations, talent and ultimately revenue. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Diarmuid O'Malley: or Fred Dubery: Fred@ For speaking opportunities, contact Crystal Chesters: Crystal@ and to register your interest in attending the event, email Mark Anthony Monzon: Access the full agenda at

What new products are you launching this year? We have launched several new products this year already: Prontissimo, our soluble solution; Tierra, our Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans and capsules; and several new equipment models from Necta, Wega and Fracino. There is still more to come, with the new LB2600 from Lavazza to be launched before the end of the year – we are eagerly awaiting the dispatch from the factory.

September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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How the introduction of value added tax (VAT) in 2018 will impact the Middle East’s food and beverage industry


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Businesses must ensure staff are properly trained to understand VAT


n February 2016, it was announced that the UAE will implement value added tax (VAT) at a rate of 5% on 1 January 2018, ending speculation on whether it would go ahead. Meanwhile, other GCC countries will introduce VAT by 1 January 2019 at the latest, and all GCC states are in the process of approving the common framework for its introduction. The announcement followed a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), advising that ‘expenditure-containing measures and revenue-raising options needed to be considered to reduce fiscal vulnerabilities in the country and ensure intergenerational equity’. A key benefit of the introduction of VAT, according to a statement from PwC, is that it will help governments to deliver on longstanding plans for economic diversification away from oil, while still being able to deliver social and economic programmes. Some F&B businesses – although apprehensive about the move – have welcomed it as a necessary evil as the UAE continues to develop. Markus Thesleff, co-founder Whissle Group, which counts Okku among its concepts, said: “Every developing economy requires funding to grow, therefore a tax base such as VAT is a natural direction. “It does put Dubai in a tricky situation in the short-term because what makes

Businesses will need to reassess their supplier base, including providing support to suppliers regarding VAT processes. In the case of foreign supply companies, businesses will need to improve communication regarding VAT” -Rabia Yasmeen, Euromonitor Dubai so attractive to expats is being a tax-free environment, however people will come to terms with it and the benefits it will have to the UAE, including the improved standard of living.” Sacha Daniel, operations director of Solutions Leisure Group, added: “The intro-

duction of VAT in Dubai is a clear sign the whole country is changing and adapting to a new economic climate. The country is getting older and is doing its best to be a society that has a clear system in place with some sort of taxation – this is the first step in my opinion.” However, there are a number of concerns around the negative impacts VAT will have on businesses, a major one being that it is likely to increase the cost of living across the board in an already relatively expensive market, which could deter visitors and expats alike. Naim Maadad, chief executive of Gates Hospitality, the company behind brands such as Reform Social and Grill and Bistro Des Arts, said: “I am 100% certain that VAT will negatively impact the food and beverage and hospitality industries. I believe it will lead to an increase in the cost of living, which will be a huge concern for society at large. “Dubai has been promoted as a tax-free haven for businesses, and brands have done well despite the already-existing tax structure. It would be interesting to see how the additional VAT proposed affects the viability of the hospitality industry. Tourists will weigh up the pros and cons of the additional burden before deciding on the destination they travel to.” Suzi Croft, managing partner at Appetite Catering, added: “We know that VAT is esSeptember 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Early preparation can help avoid fines once VAT is implemented in January 2018

The country is getting older and is doing its best to be a society that has a clear system in place with some sort of taxation – this is the first step in my opinion” - Sacha Daniel, Solutions Leisure Group

Change management is required. As businesses are responsible for collecting the correct taxes and paying them to the government at every step of supply, they should ensure they have well-trained staff with knowledge of VAT” - Guilherme Pinho, TMF Group 32

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sential to support government growth and maintenance of infrastructure, however we will always bear a risk when there is a potential to decrease disposable income for buying goods and services.” For F&B businesses specifically, a price hike in restaurants could, of course, decrease the frequency of consumers dining out, or result in them choosing low-cost options, if anything. Euromonitor International research analyst Rabia Yasmeen, said: “It could result in inter-segment competition in the food and beverage industry, with the biggest impact felt by fine dining restaurants, resulting in a greater shift toward economic food service models, such as fast food and home delivery.” Perhaps more worryingly, TMF UAE’s director of client services, Guilherme Pinho believes the introduction of VAT could alter the F&B landscape in more long-term ways, particularly if you consider the Federal Tax Authority’s plans to introduce a selective tax of 100% on tobacco and energy drinks, and 50% on carbonated beverages in the fourth quarter of 2017. “Reduced demand for products may impact companies in the long-term against forecasted market capture,” he states, adding that the taxes on tobacco and drinks “will impact the market size for such com-

panies and it will be a challenge for them to sustain and earn high profits”. And it’s not only the tobacco and fizzy drinks sales that could suffer. Businesses are concerned about how VAT could impact alcohol costs, with operators already paying supplier’s tax at 30%, handling fees of between 10% and 16.5% and a 10% municipality tax, according to Daniel of Solutions Leisure. With VAT on top of this, bars and nightlife venues in particular may struggle to make good returns. Daniel comments: “My biggest concern is the fact that our guests will see another 5% increase on the bill and alcohol will be even more expensive. Currently, our biggest negative comments are from tourists saying the alcohol is expensive in our venues and they wouldn’t return because of that. “You still have to make your margins at the end of the day and between high rents, visa costs and the rest, it’s getting harder to do the EBITDA you need to further develop the business.” The existing margins are a good indicator of the impact VAT will make on an F&B business. Johannes Laxafoss, global head of tax at TMF Group, explains: “In the long-term, it depends on how strict the competition is already and what the

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•• Assess capability of your existing systems •• Identify VAT implementation strategy •• Determine contracts that need a VAT action •• Identify intercompany transactions •• Undertake staff training

Courtesy of PwC


margins are. If companies are selling food and beverages at nearmarginal costs, it’s our view that all of the VAT costs will be passed onto the consumer.” Unfortunately for Thesleff, this is the case for Whissle Group. He comments: “Due to our existing cost structure, we will be forced to pass the VAT expense to our guests. It will increase selling prices, which will reduce the customer’s disposable cash spend and ultimately affect total income for us all by 5%.” In addition to the impact on customer spend, F&B professionals are concerned about other aspects of the business that will be affected. Yasmeen of Euromonitor highlights a hike in real estate prices, compliance costs and contracts with suppliers – which may have to be renegotiated if trade is conducted outside of the GCC – as just some of the small print businesses should be aware of. She suggests that companies may look to revise their supplier base, sourcing some products locally or regionally to reduce import costs and claim tax returns. And while multinational companies with global audit partners, a global supplier base and international experience of handling VAT may be better placed to deal with the changes, local businesses will have to establish a centralised tax reporting unit, which could require additional staffing and systems. “Businesses will need to reassess their supplier base, including providing support to suppliers regarding VAT processes, such as getting them registered as VAT entities (in the case of them being regional or local). In the case of foreign supply companies, businesses will need to improve communication regarding VAT and develop reverse charge mechanisms,” Yasmeen comments. And while these processes may seem complex and costly, failing to implement them correctly could result in hefty fines and endangering the future of your business, says Laxafoss of TMF

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September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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The F&B industry is concerned about how the introduction of VAT will impact disposable income for consumers

It’s a misconception that being prepared for VAT will be a quick process – it encompasses every part of a business, not just the tax department, so starting preparations as soon as possible is highly recommended” - Johannes Laxafoss, TMF Group

Every developing economy requires funding to grow, therefore a tax base such as VAT is a natural direction… People will come to terms with it and the benefits it will have to the UAE, including the improved standard of living” -Markus Thesleff, Whissle Group 34

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Group. He warns that although the introduction of VAT in the UAE starts at a low rate of 5%, it should be remembered that this is “equal to 5% of a company’s total sales and purchases or more, since it is calculated per transaction”. He says: “VAT by its nature is a turnover tax that is payable in every single transaction, so it is able to build up huge liabilities or loss if deduction of your tax determination or reporting processes are wrong. “Penalties for non-compliance are up to 500%, so getting it wrong and not paying VAT where you should may have a large financial impact on your business. Likewise, not deducting the VAT on your purchases is equally important.” Ultimately, preparation will be key to the successful implementation of VAT and avoidance of penalties, say the experts. And crucially, this should be done sooner rather than later. Laxafoss says: “It’s a misconception that being prepared for VAT will be a quick process – it encompasses every part of a business, not just the tax department, so starting preparations as soon as possible is highly recommended.” TMF Group’s Pinho, adds: “Change management is required. As businesses are responsible for collecting the correct taxes and paying them to the government at every step of supply, they should ensure they have well-trained staff with knowledge of VAT. “This includes the ability to accurately

determine and report on VAT, and to the largest extent possible, businesses should be automating the new process, both on the sales and the purchase side. This may include hiring or recruiting VAT experts, deploying ERP software that can produce VAT reports, and issuing invoices.” Many F&B businesses in the UAE are already working full steam ahead to plan and prepare for January 2018. Croft of Appetite Catering, comments: “We are in the process of finding a company that will help us be ready and fully integrated.” Meanwhile, at Solutions Leisure Group, the team is preparing the back-office staff for the change and is working with external suppliers on how to consolidate figures, reconfigure the POS system and understand the legal obligations involved. Daniel comments: “We, as a group, have to be ready to go live on 1 January 2018, and we will be ready. We have to abide by any new regulations introduced and the current mindset is to be prepared way before launch date. Not being ready and making mistakes will only generate fines that impact your business.” Overall, the industry is well aware of the upcoming changes and is putting plans in place, says Maadad of Gates Hospitality. However, he believes in the aftermath of the VAT introduction, there will be several months of uncertainty before people adjust. “I believe it will lead to a downward trend for a period of around six months

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from it being implemented, wherein those impacted will understandably feel angry. It will most likely remain a topic of debate for around a year, by which point people will get used to it,” he comments. “The industry as a whole is engaging with specialists and trying to get a firm understanding of what level the compliance impact will be. We will work toward a smooth transition and ensure we are fully prepared when it is formally implemented.” On 31 July, the president of the UAE issued Federal Law No. (7) of 2017 for Tax procedures, which sets the foundation for the planned UAE tax system, including VAT and excise tax laws, and outlines the rights of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) and the taxpayer. The formal tax document and executive regulations confirming what will be taxable and exempt, is expected to be published the coming Halfin Page Artwork 3.1.pdfmonths. 1 24-Aug-17 10:16:31 AM

We will work toward a smooth transition and ensure we are fully prepared when [VAT] is formally implemented” - Naim Maadad, Gates Hospitality

We are in the process of finding a company that will help us be ready and fully integrated” -Suzi Croft, Appetite Catering

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the new Catering News speaks to Thorsten Ries, managing director of Nakheel’s hospitality division, about the master developer’s renewed focus on F&B and ambitious growth plans for the future


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The b usiness

A rendering of the new clubhouse at Jebel Ali Club

Thorsten Ries, managing director of Nakheel’s hospitality division


our years ago, Dubai-based developer Nakheel decided to put more emphasis on growing its hospitality portfolio. Thorsten Ries, who had previously worked for Italthai Group in Bangkok, overseeing a portfolio of 36 hotels, was brought in to head up the strategy for the roll-out of hotels, clubhouses and food and beverage outlets. “They called me and said, ‘We’re going into hospitality – we’re looking at hotels, at food and beverage and malls and we need the expertise’” Ries tells Catering News during an interview at Nakheel’s Breeze Beach Grill, part of its Club Vista Mare development, which houses six other third-party operated restaurants and bars.

Once we have those 10-plus restaurants operating, we will need to restructure and source additional expertise” The beauty of Nakheel’s F&B venues is that they benefit from prime locations – either in malls or with a coveted sea view. “What we have are locations – that’s our gift,” states Ries, adding that this is paramount to the success of any F&B venue. “The first thing is location – if you don’t have this it’s a hurdle. We have the perfect locations and the best views.” Breeze, situated at the end point of Club Vista Mare with expansive views over the sea, opened in 2016 and was followed quickly by Il Faro earlier this year. An Italian restaurant, located at Nakheel’s Azure Residences, Il Faro encompasses an indoor trattoria and an outdoor pizzeria with 360-degree views over the Arabian Gulf.

These, in addition to Barrel 12 and Sun& on Palm Jumeirah, take Nakheel’s current operating F&B portfolio to four restaurants, and there are exciting plans in the pipeline for more. An Asian concept is under development at Azure Residences on Palm Jumeirah, a residential beachside apartment complex with retail and F&B outlets underneath. Meanwhile a seafood restaurant is being planned for The Pointe, a waterfront dining and entertainment destination located at the tip of Palm Jumeirah, across the bay from Atlantis The Palm, which will have more than 200 outlets in total when it opens. These are in addition to a seafood restaurant and clubhouse at the new and improved Jebel Ali Club, expected to open before the end of 2017. A Dubai institution since it was founded 40 years ago, the Jebel Ali Club had outgrown its current facility and Nakheel wanted to update it with a more family-friendly feel and a larger variety of F&B options. Ries explains: “The community has grown; the villa owners are mainly families. We needed to cater more to the new tenants and the Jebel Ali community by offering more on the family side – with childfriendly aspects and more live entertainment. Also, the question came up, ‘Why no Asian food? Why no specialised seafood?’ – it was a good time to increase the space. We’re going to have midscale, casual family dining.” However, it wasn’t just a case of demolishing the existing facility and starting again – an important consideration was the strong following at the clubhouse, which enjoys 80% repeat visitors. It was decided that the pool, gym, squash courts and tennis courts would remain and be upgraded and a new facility would be built next to the old one, housing seven outlets including a dine-in cinema concept and two restaurants operated by Nakheel – a seafood restaurant and a new clubhouse. Only once this is completed will the original clubhouse be knocked down. “When I first started four years ago, I went to the club and quickly understood how important it was for those people – it’s like their home,” comments Ries. “When we told the guests we were going to have a new one on the hill, you can imagine their reaction – they were worried we would September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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come up with something new and modern that wasn’t their home.” Instead, Nakheel devised a clever plan to ensure the Jebel Ali Club-goers would feel just as at home in the new facility, Ries explains. “We took about 50% of it and copied the old one and created a back entrance like a VIP entrance. You open the door and have the same carpet, the same ceiling lights, the same décor, the same overall look and feel – we even took the artefacts from the wall, such as the ship wheel. We wanted to keep those guests and they are happy we honoured their request not to change it too much,” he says. Nakheel’s outlets will be the first to open at Jebel Ali Club, starting with the seafood concept and then the new clubhouse, which are expected to be operational by the end of this month. The third-party operated Spanish and Italian restaurants are also in advanced stages, so at least four new outlets are anticipated to be up and running in Q4 2017. In addition to Jebel Ali Club and Nakheel’s existing Jumeirah Islands Club – home to a second Barrel 12 – several other clubs are under development. One is being created at Al Furjan, a 560-hectare community located near Ibn Battuta Mall, which will also feature a range of cafes and restaurants. “It will be a typical clubhouse concept with international food to cater to every nationality,” explains Ries. There are also clubhouses coming up at the gated community of Warsan Village, Nad Al Sheba and on the roof of Jumeirah Village Circle Mall. All in, Nakheel is preparing to open five restaurants and two clubhouses in just 12 months – impressive growth for a company that only started to seriously focus on ramping up its hospitality portfolio four years ago. “We’re growing a lot in a very short timeframe,” explains Ries. “It’s massive for such a small team if you consider the lead time – creating the concept, doing feasibility studies, etcetera.” Ries explains that having the right people on board is what has allowed Nakheel to expand its F&B offer so quickly over a short period. “It’s important you hire the right people – the most challenging thing is hiring the right chef for the food concept and sometimes it can take up to six months. Our chef hiring process naturally involves many 38

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A birds-eye view of the new Jebel Ali Club

Breeze Beach Grill, part of the Club Vista Mare development

Italian restaurant Il Faro features a pizzeria with 360-degree views over the Gulf

rounds of food tasting using testers from several nationalities and cultures and in terms of staffing we go for personality over F&B service-trained staff,” he comments. However, Ries admits that as the portfolio ramps up considerably in the coming years, he will need to boost his F&B division. “If

we’re going to triple the size we have now, plus new developments, then I’ll need more help. Once we have those 10-plus restaurants operating, we will need to restructure and source additional expertise,” he comments. “Since we’re expanding so rapidly, this might happen sooner rather than later.”


Dubai World Trade Centre 18 - 20 September 2017

C hef focus

Turkish delight Cüneyt Asan, the larger-than-life co-founder of Günaydın speaks to Catering News about how he developed a small butcher shop into one of Turkey’s most respected restaurant brands and his plans for the three upcoming Günaydıns in Dubai

We’ve never changed our taste or our quality, and we always follow this way. We believe people understand what’s different about Günaydın restaurants”


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atering News caught up with the eccentric Cüneyt Asan, co-founder of Turkish chain of restaurants, Günaydin, during his recent visit to the Souk Al Bahar venue in Dubai. The brand, founded in 1965, now has 41 outlets in Turkey, one in Dubai and one in Azerbaijan, and there are big plans for its expansion internationally. Part of Turkey’s D.ream Group – which also counts Nusret, Coya, La Petite Maison and Zuma under its umbrella – Günaydın has four sub-brands, all of which are represented at the Souk Al Bahar venue. These are: Günaydın Kasap/Steakhouse, Günaydın Et (Günaydın Kebap), Günaydın Köfte & Döner and Günaydın’s butchery shop. “Here we did it altogether in one branch and that’s the difference from our other restaurants. In Turkey, we only have the Steakhouse brand or the Döner brand,” explains Asan. Three more Günaydın restaurants are signed and in the pipeline for Dubai: one at Mall of the Emirates, which will also incorporate the sub-brands; another at Bluewaters Island, to encompass the Steakhouse and Kebap brands with “a perfect bar”; and a Steakhouse, set to open at the upcoming Mandarin Oriental hotel in Dubai. In addition to this, Jeddah, Makkah and Riyadh have been earmarked for Günaydın restaurants, and the team is setting its sights further afield to London and New York. “We have to think about what kind of people will go there and what sort of atmosphere there will be – then we’ll design the restaurants based on this,” says Asan. Coming from a strong background in meat preparation, Asan started out working in a small butcher shop in İstanbul’s Bostanci neighbourhood as a child to make extra money for the family. “I learned everything about how to cut the meat. To do the best job you can, you have to understand the meat from the beginning, from the farmers. It was a great experience and I learned the real fundamentals,” he comments. When he returned to his home town after military service, Asan joined the butcher shop’s owners – two brothers called Nimet and İsmet Yalçın – as a partner. The shop evolved into the first Günaydın restaurant. “I wanted to open a restaurant to teach people about meat preparation. I wanted to share my knowledge with others and to make my job bigger and better,” he says, explaining that the concept began as an American bar and library. “All the newspapers were featuring me and I was very popular at that time – I made butchery popular in the country.” Günaydın expanded quickly throughout Turkey, however its roots remained firmly steeped in tradition, underlined by Asan’s deep understanding of, and passion for meat. One of the brand USPs of Günaydın, is that the restaurants utilise traditional preparation methods rather than modern equipment. For example, in the Dubai restaurant the chef who makes katmer – a sweet pastry from eastern Turkey filled with clotted cream and pistachios – has been doing so using the traditional

Alinazik Kebap

Günaydın Dubai has views over The Dubai Fountain

September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C hef focus

Dry-aged beef is one of the specialities in the Dubai outlet

Günaydın Dubai features an open kitchen

Using traditional methods makes the food more delicious and people can understand when they taste it that it has the real flavours, which are lost if you use a machine” method for 28 years, and creates the dish in front of customers at an open station. Meanwhile, the mincemeat for kebabs isn’t ground using a mincing machine – instead it is hand-sliced with a knife to retain the flavour and moisture. “Using traditional methods makes the food more delicious and people can understand when they taste it that it has the real flavours, which are lost if you use a machine,” comments Asan. Another important aspect of the brand is using the most authentic ingredients, with everything from the butter to the pistachios and lamb sourced from Turkey. Günaydın also has a meat production farm in Malkara-Tekirdağ with more than 10,000 calves and 5,000 lambs, and this is where much of the meat for the restaurants comes from. “We get quality meat because the animals are very happy; maybe in other places if the animal isn’t ok, the meat would be 42

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

The terrace of Günaydın Dubai

C hef f oc u s

Adana Kebap


tough,” explains Asan, who says some meat also comes from Australia, particularly the dry-aged beef, which hangs in glass cabinets in the restaurant. Another factor that adds to the Dubai restaurant’s authenticity is that the kitchen team is predominantly made up of Turkish chefs. Only two of the chefs are not Turkish, and some of them have been working with the Günaydın brand for up to 24 years. “We’ve never changed our taste or our quality, and we always follow this way. We believe people understand what’s different about Günaydın restaurants,” says Asan. “In Anatolia, there are many different types of chef and they teach each other things from thousands of years ago, so in Turkey we have a very historical culture from that. It’s very rich and we want to show this and explain this with Günaydın."

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20.08.17 10:31

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Italian As the popularity of Italian cuisine continues to grow in the Middle East, chefs from the region’s Italian restaurants share their insights on best-selling dishes, the latest trends and where to source the most authentic ingredients Villa Toscana, St. Regis Abu Dhabi


Catering NEWS ME September 2017

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Bice Ristorante, Dubai

The Chefs

Bussola, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi

Marco Boito, regional general manager, Cipriani

Davide Gardini, head chef, Bice Ristorante, Dubai

How popular is Italian cuisine in the Middle East? Davide Gardini: Italian cuisine has become really popular in the Middle East. At the beginning, it was all about pizza and pasta, but now diners have a wider knowledge of the cuisine and the produce. In the Middle East, Italians and locals share the same love of family meals. Joe Diaz: Italian cuisine is very popular and always has been. It’s just simple, hearty, good food and I think that’s why people are drawn to it so much.

Maurizio Lazzarin: It is undoubtedly one of the most popular cuisines – every new hotel opening has an Italian restaurant and in the past five years, Italian has been a trend among standalone outlets too. Twenty-four years ago when we opened Casa Mia, it was different – there were only a few Italian restaurants so plenty of opportunities. Today, the region is very multicultural and Italian cuisine is loved by almost everyone. Marco Boito: The demand for Italian cuisine and particularly Italian fine dining has increased in recent years across the Middle

Joe Diaz, director of culinary, Mina Seyahi Complex, Dubai (Bussola)

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What is your hero dish?

Davide: Tortelli stuffed with ricotta and spinach in a fresh cherry tomato sauce, topped with burrata cheese.

Tagliolini allo scoglio at Bussola

Joe: The tagliolini allo scoglio – homemade tagliolini pasta with cuttlefish, baby squid, tiger prawns, mussels, clams, thyme and fresh tomato. Maurizio: It has to be the ravioli di caciotta, which I first introduced to the menu 24 years ago. It is a very simple homemade ravioli and the stuffing is made exclusively from cheese. We serve it with fresh tomato sauce and basil. Marco: Our vanilla meringue is the restaurant’s best-seller. Stefano: I love to cook and to eat fresh homemade pasta dishes – the key for me is in the simplicity coupled

East, especially here in Abu Dhabi where we have opened Cipriani Yas Island. The Abu Dhabi consumer is very well travelled and Italy is a popular destination so they are used to experiencing authentic Italian cuisine, served in a simple, traditional way. Our gastronomy style here at Cipriani Yas Island feeds this demand, with simplicity, and clean and flavourful ingredients. Stefano Viola: Italian cuisine is very popular in the Middle East and particularly the UAE due to the appealing nature of the Italian lifestyle and the ‘dolce vita’, with both locals and expats. My Emirati guests love to travel and have often visited Italy, so are interested in the food and being able to taste authentic flavours and recipes here in Abu Dhabi. There is an abundance of Italian restaurants here, however our focus is on ensuring quality – Italian food is history, tradition, love, culture and passion, so it is our aim to transfer this to the experience of our Villa Toscana guests. Maxime Le Van: There is a flourishing of46

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

Bice's tortelli

fer of Italian restaurants in Dubai and the region. However, part of the offer doesn’t reflect the traditional Italian gastronomy and focuses more on the Italo-American classics. I’m inclined to say that despite the high number of establishments – and with a few admirable exceptions – Italian cuisine is yet to be discovered in its true beauty in the Middle East. Have you adapted your menu to suit local tastes? Davide: I haven’t yet seen the need to adjust the menu and recipes. In the region, Italian cuisine is appreciated for its authenticity and simplicity. At Bice, we aim to bring the real taste of Italian cuisine to our guests and give them a true Italian experience. Joe: We use locally-sourced ingredients as much as we can, however we haven’t adapted the recipes. Bussola’s cuisine is traditional Italian and I think that’s why people love it so much. You eat here exactly as you would in Italy!

Maurizio: The thing about Italian cuisine is there should be no compromise. It has to be served with real Italian flavour and quality from the dishes to the glasses. However, if our guests want a dish a certain way, we are very happy to twist it around. Marco: We believe we appeal to many tastes by using real flavours that are not complicated by too many sauces and ingredients. We have made sure to offer only the very best halal meat, which is very important for the local market. Our culinary offer is a combination of authentic, traditional food, including many Venetian dishes with other Italian classics that celebrate the richness and history of cuisine. Stefano: I maintain the traditional and typical recipes with original products and take the time to educate our guests to understand and love real Italian flavours. Many Italian customers tell me that they find more original flavours in my Villa Toscana dishes than in Italy! Maxime: Local guests are obviously a key

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Via Veneto's La Gina pizza

Villa Toscana: spaghetti al pomodoro e basilica

Casa Mia: ravioli di caciotta

with high quality ingredients. A beautiful spaghetti al pomodoro e basilica (spaghetti with tomato sauce and basil) has flavour that leaps off the plate. The vanilla meringue at Cipriani Yas Island

target market for us. We have a variety of dishes for all tastes, including for the diners that grew up loving the not-so-Italian classics, but always respecting the authentic Italian identity of Via Veneto. Our fettuccine carbonara can be served with extra cream; we offer chicken caesar salad and prawn salad and we will soon add spaghetti and meatballs to the menu. We are happy to accommodate any special request and prepare dishes à la minute with care, using the best quality ingredients available on the market. What are the key trends emerging in Italian food? Davide: The trends in Italian food are shifting towards simplicity. For us Italians, food is directly linked to our roots and we are very proud of it. The cuisine is known for its simplicity and that's the way we should be going. Joe: We’re seeing a back-to-basics trend with dishes becoming simpler and less fussy. We’re aiming to create traditional

Maxime: The hero dish at Via Veneto is the La Gina pizza. The result of a

dishes and recipes that evoke childhood memories and home cooking. Maurizio: Italian cuisine is all about respecting the ingredients and cooking simply as it would be cooked by your mother, so in terms of trends I think this is how it will be. However, now there are different techniques to help us reach different standards in cooking, and beautiful presentation is very important. Marco: We don't spend much time looking at trends. We have been serving simple, great dishes you can find in many homes for four generations. We are not looking to provide a one-of-a-kind experience, but to offer flavourful tastes that you can come back and experience day after day. Stefano: In the Middle East, the latest trend is to focus on a specific regional Italian cuisine rather than general Italian food – Italy is a diverse country from north to south. The culture of family restaurants serving homemade Italian cuisine is what is missing here. In Villa Toscana, I love to share the

team effort, it is named after our lovely pizza master, Gina, and is made from 72-hour fermented dough, pomodoro, mozzarella, figs, stracchino cheese, beef bresaola and grilled artichokes. It is one of our best-sellers, and we are very proud of this fragrant, tasty, mouth-watering creation.

story of each of our dishes, explaining the ingredients and their combination. Maxime: The ‘from the past with love’ movement is a trend – we are revamping the ancient techniques, forgotten ingredients and lost traditions, such as homemade regional pasta, Sicilian rice arancini, house made cheeses, charcuterie from scratch, and more. Also, the ‘zero km’ philosophy is growing, and it’s not unusual to dine where the use of the ingredients is restricted exclusively to the same region of the restaurant. We are increasingly careful to choose seasonal products and pay attention to where they come from. Where do you source produce for your menu? Davide: We try to source locally as much as possible without compromising our quality, but we do have some of the key items imported from Italy. Joe: Products are sourced directly from various regions of Italy, where the best products September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Cipriani Yas Island

Maurizio Lazzarin, head chef, Casa Mia, Dubai

T he Che fs

Stefano Viola, executive chef, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi (Villa Toscana)


Maxime Le Van, head chef, Via Veneto

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

Via Veneto opened recently in Downtown Dubai

Casa Mia at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre of each category are produced. We also use locally grown produce when we can. Maurizio: Almost all of it comes from different parts of Italy. Marco: Our pasta and celebrated dishes, including desserts, are made fresh in the kitchen with all our key ingredients and products imported directly from Italy. Where possible we also source high quality local produce like milk, eggs, cream and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Stefano: We rely on Italian ingredients to ensure the traditional flavour of the cuisine in Villa Toscana. Many of our ingredients are imported from Europe and we often visit the local market for fresh, local produce, such as vegetables, lemons and chilies. Maxime: Part of our menu requires supplies to be imported, while the majority I source from local markets. The new Deira market, now protected from the heat, is one of the best places to find local fish and regional fruit and veg. How do you see your menu evolving over the next 12 months? Davide: I will be continuing with the simplicity in dishes and taking the menu back to the roots. The idea is authentic Italian cuisine with a modern twist and attention to detail. Joe: Bussola’s menu changes seasonally according to the products available, following Italian seasonality.

Maurizio: I recently changed the menu after a very long time, so the next few months will be about rediscovering old recipes. Even the new dishes are ones that we rediscovered from some of our traditional dishes. Marco: Our cuisine encompasses a mix of traditional Venetian dishes like baccalà mantecato (calves liver alla Veneziana) and signature dishes from the original Harry's Bar, like baked tagliolini, risotto primavera and carpaccio alla Cipriani, invented by Giuseppe Cipriani in Venice in 1950. At Cipriani Yas Island, we offer seasonal products and will introduce the highly anticipated and popular white truffle menu in November, when it’s fully harvested. Stefano: We will offer a new regional festival every month so that guests learn about typical dishes, ingredients and recipes. The festivals are part of an ongoing commitment to bringing the most authentic Italian experience and truly traditional tastes to the capital. In Italy most towns and villages have regular festivities revolving around the love of food and grape, so it is exciting to bring elements of this spirit to Abu Dhabi. Maxime: Our goal is to reach our guests with honest, authentic, heart-warming food, bringing the undiscovered Italian classics to the market. The next step will be launching a series of tasting menus, each inspired by one of the many regions of Italy. This will allow Dubai diners to discover a variety of specialities, tastes and ingredients in a modern and approachable format.

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Catering News Middle East highlights the categories, judges and sponsors of the second edition of the Leaders in F&B Awards, set to take place next month in celebration of the best and brightest in the region’s food and beverage industry

WHERE? The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina WHEN: Monday 30 October, 7pm - late NOMINATIONS DEADLINE: Sunday 10 September 2017 TO NOMINATE: TO SPONSOR: / TABLE BOOKINGS: MORE INFO:


delighted to be hosting our second ever Leaders in F&B Awards in October, following a hugely successful launch event in 2016, attended by more than 400 F&B professionals. “This year we look forward to putting on an even bigger

celebration of the best and brightest on the Middle East’s vibrant food and beverage scene.” The judging panel for the awards is comprised of eight leading food and beverage industry experts who combine


ollowing the phenomenal success of the inaugural event last year, the Leaders in Food & Beverage Awards is back for a second edition on Monday 30 October 2017 at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina. The Leaders in F&B Awards, hosted by Catering News Middle East, a BNC Publishing title, celebrates excellence and innovation in the region’s food and beverage industry. Nominations are now open for entries across 18 categories, divided into nine restaurant awards and nine people awards. Crystal Chesters, group editor of BNC Publishing’s hospitality portfolio, commented: “We are

Now quality has a number.


Catering NEWS ME September 2017

years of experience across various aspects of the industry. One of the judges is Helen Morris executive chef / senior lecturer, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. She commented: “To be a judge on the Leaders in F&B Awards means I get to be part of recognising and acknowledging some of the outstanding F&B leaders in the Middle East – I feel privileged to be on the judging panel. “I’m looking for talent in the industry that makes a difference in the job that they do – someone who shows creativity, flair and a passion for the industry. I’m looking for an individual who is an example,

Event preview

RESTAURANTS: • • • • • • • • •

Sustainable Restaurant Award Healthy Restaurant Award Leading Homegrown Restaurant Brand Disruptor of the Year Best Newcomer Best Interior Leading Casual Dining Restaurant Leading Fine Dining Restaurant Leading Nightlife Venue

PEOPLE: • • • • • • • • •

not only to themselves, but to the team they work in, and someone who makes a difference in their daily role.” The individual categories include ‘Young F&B Leader’, ‘Leading F&B Investor’ and ‘Leading F&B Director’, while restaurant awards include ‘Disruptor of the Year’, ‘Leading Homegrown Restaurant Brand’ and ‘Newcomer of the Year’. Sunjeh Raja, director and CEO of International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai (ICCA), is another member of the prestigious judging line-up. He commented: “The awards are about the leaders in the F&B industry and the categories are all well-thought-out and interesting, encouraging and supporting the industry. “I will primarily focus on initiatives to improve the offering, quality and consistency, customer experience and satisfaction, innovation and sustainability and on people and concepts that are unique and different.”

Leading F&B Director Chef of the Year Pastry Chef of the Year Leading F&B Investor Young F&B Leader F&B Heavyweight Leading Restaurateur Bartender of the Year Best Service Team

The deadline for nominations is Sunday 10 September 2017. To request a nomination form and find out more about entry requirements and categories, contact catering@ or go to www. Sponsoring the event are some of the best-known and most prominent suppliers serving the Middle East’s hospitality industry, including Presenting Sponsor Du, TSSC, Al Rawdah, 1765 Gemini and Boecker Public Health. Commenting on why his company is sponsoring the awards, Glenn Ewart, commercial director of 1765 Gemini, said: “At 1765 Gemini we have an ethos of supporting the industry from grassroots level upwards and this is a great way to show our ongoing support of such a great industry at this premier event.” Further partnership opportunities are available. To discuss packages, contact or September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Helen Morris executive chef / senior lecturer, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management Helen began her F&B career in the UK working for Small Luxury Hotels Group as a chef, and this was followed with chef roles in four- and five-star hotels and leading restaurants in the UK and Australia. She began her teaching career at Butlers Wharf Chef School in London, and this was followed by a head of department role at a further education institute at the College of North West London. Teaching provided a new dimension to Morris’s career and she became well-known in the UK’s culinary education system. Her expertise lies in kitchen management, event catering, food safety and hygiene, restaurant revenue management and menu analysis.


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Sunjeh Raja, director & CEO, International Center for Culinary Arts (ICCA Dubai). Raha sprearheads the market penetration and engagement of the ICCA’s vocational education training programmes in the international arena. His vision is to establish ICCA Dubai as a centre of excellence, offering worldclass culinary education. Raja also runs the Fatafeat ICCA Academy Online in collaboration with food channel, Fatafeat, which offers a new way of learning about food and is accredited by City & Guilds London. Raja specialises in concept, product and business development with a strong foundation in the corporate and finance sectors, showing a flair for entrepreneurship.




The judging panel comprises some of the region’s key F&B industry experts with extensive knowledge of the trends, opportunities and challenges associated with the business. Our judges have varied and wideranging experience spanning operations, technology, investment, brand development, education, hotel F&B, marketing, business development and consumer trends.

Sarah Hawilo, chief executive officer, SerVme Sarah is the co-founder and CEO of serVme, a data focused CRM platform that improves restaurant operations and delivers superior guest experience. The platform integrates with key systems and aggregates real-time analytics to provide restaurateurs with greater insights to optimise operations and identify guest habits and preferences. SerVme’s focus is to measurably drive increased average spend and footfall, while reducing operational inefficiencies. Prior to launching serVme in 2015, Sarah spent five years working at Strategy& on several digital and IT projects related to business intelligence, big data, and analytics. She collaborates with organisations in Dubai and Beirut to support female entrepreneurs, especially in the tech industry.


Sarah-Jane Grant director, LXA Sarah-Jane started her career with Virgin Wines as an analyst before moving to The Alpha Group managing marketing and revenues strategies for the company’s stores and restaurants. She then relocated to Dubai and joined Luxe Interiors in 2010 in a part-time strategic and business development role. She was quickly promoted in 2011 due to her success in driving the commercial side of the business, and raising Luxe’s profile in the region, a process enhanced further by the company’s rebrand to LXA in 2016. Sarah-Jane takes a hands-on approach to client relations and has been integral in securing new accounts and developing strategic partnerships throughout the region and internationally.

Ralph Homer, CEO, Restaurant Secrets Ralph has spent most of his adult life in the UAE in F&B, as an operator, trainer, consultant and business leader. He has more than 20 years of F&B leadership experience and a master’s in Business from the University of Hartford, USA. A family man at heart, Ralph leads Restaurant Secrets with a passion for excellence, serving all clients on their journey to success. His leadership style is marked with a sense of humour, a genuine desire to serve all stakeholders, and a deep thirst for knowledge. It is his vision to make an impact on and improve the business and social communities of the region.




Event preview

September 2017 Catering NEWS ME



Catering NEWS ME September 2017


Chef Uwe Micheel, director of kitchens, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek and president, Emirates Culinary Guild Chef Uwe was born in Germany where he carried out his apprenticeship as restaurant chef at Celler Hof boutique hotel. He worked with InterContinental Hotels Group in Germany, Korea and Japan before relocating to Dubai in 1993, taking on the role of director of kitchens at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, a position he continues to hold today. He also joined the Emirates Culinary Guild the following year and has been president since 1999. With more than 38 years’ experience cooking, Chef Uwe is involved in a number of Dubai Tourism initiatives and has published his own cookbooks.

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Daniel During, owner, Thomas Klein International Daniel G. During, was born in Argentina and previously worked for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts for 10 years, holding key management positions including EAM food and beverage at the Hyatt La Manga Club Resort in Spain. He moved to the UAE in 1997 and took on the role of GM of Wafi’s owning company’s F&B interests, where he developed a number of Wafi’s F&B concepts. In 2001, he launched Thomas Klein International, which provides hospitality consultancy services, with a strong emphasis on F&B. TKI has offices in Dubai, Chicago, Buenos Aires and Madrid. The company’s strength lies in creating highly profitable and unique concepts and ideas.




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Anis Harb, regional GM, Deliveroo Anis Harb is general manager of Deliveroo GCC. Since the company’s launch in 2005, Harb has supported the brand’s rapid regional growth by securing new and exclusive restaurant partners, strengthening the brand’s quality food offering, and improving the reliability and speed of its now popular delivery service. Prior to his role with Deliveroo, Anis spent over five years working in B2C technology businesses. Most recently, he served as category manager at Amazon UK, where he drove growth via improved product selection, pricing structures, customer experience and operational efficiency. Previously, he was an investment banker with J.P. Morgan in New York, where he acquired his business acumen and market know-how.

Case Study

What’s Quooking? Paul Frangie, chef & founder of Hapi in Al Quoz implemented a Quooker system to cater for all of the restaurant’s water needs – from boiling to chilled, sparkling and still. Catering News investigates


hen Paul Frangie, chef & founder of Hapi in Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, decided he needed a water system that would cater for all of the restaurant’s needs in one, he looked no further than Quooker, an innovative kitchen appliance that dispenses boiling, chilled, still or sparkling filtered water, all from one tap. The system, invented and manufactured in the Netherlands, conveniently eases routine tasks such as making tea and coffee and cleaning the dishes. “I was looking for a system for cold, filtered, still and sparkling water and boiling water for tea and filter coffee for our house beverage menu, and also water for cooking,” says Frangie. “Quooker installed the boiling water tap complete with two filtration systems, a chiller and a CO2 tank. This supplies our room temperature and chilled water as well 56

Catering NEWS ME September 2017

Paul is extremely oriented toward organic and sustainable operations and our products are therefore perfect for Hapi” Jakob Johannsen, Managing Partner, Quooker Emirates LLC

as sparkling water. Quooker also connected the system to our coffee machine and helped to install our front-of-house taps.” The system is connected to a compact tank to provide boiling filtered water directly from the kitchen tap. The water in the tank is kept permanently at 110 degrees Celsius, with high-vacuum insulation making the system energy efficient – a key benefit of the Quooker. It allows the user to heat up no more water than is necessary, and it avoids the use of plastic water dispensers, which are harmful to the environment and can contain toxins. Jakob Johannsen, managing partner of Quooker Emirates LLC, says: “Paul is extremely oriented toward organic and sustainable operations and our products are therefore perfect for Hapi. “He heard about us through another restaurant we supplied with the Quooker system and we quickly found out

his requirements in order to provide a suitable solution.” Frangie and the team at Hapi are so pleased with the Quooker that they are considering installing a second system. Frangie comments: “It’s easy to use and convenient and covers all of our needs, both front-of-house and back-of-house. We are planning on adding another Quooker system for kitchen use only and we’re developing a new product to use with the boiling water tap for quick and convenient serving purposes. “Quooker offers an extremely high-quality product for commercial and residential use and they provide excellent, one-ofa-kind customer service and very fast response times.” Over 500,000 kitchens in Europe are already using the Quooker system and the product is now available in the UAE through Quooker Emirates LLC, which is owned by the Netherlands-based company.

It’s easy to use and convenient and covers all of our needs, both frontof-house and back-of-house. We are planning on adding another Quooker system for kitchen use only” Paul Frangie, Chef & Founder, Hapi

Quooker has its own installations and service team and can fit the system in offices, restaurants, cafes and hotels, helping to save time, water and energy and reduce waste. “The Quooker helps the environment by reducing plastic waste and carbon footprint. Users also save money and can provide better quality water to their customers,” concludes Johannsen.


Quooker Emirates LLC, Al Bateen, C2 Tower (10th floor) PO Box 5100939 Abu Dhabi, UAE T: 800 Quooker (7866537) E: W:

September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Catering News previews the first ever Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW), taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 18 – 20 September with more than 50,000 visitors expected to attend. The mega-event will consolidate key trade shows catering to the hotel and foodservices sectors – GulfHost, The Hotel Show, The Leisure Show, the Speciality Food Festival, Seafex Middle East and Yummex ME


s markets across the Middle East look to diversify their economies, the launch of Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW) this month is recognition of the hospitality sector as a key driver of GDP growth in the region. Endorsed by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), what will be the largest hotel and foodservice expo in the Middle East takes place from 18-20 September and includes six co-located trade shows: GulfHost, owned and organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC); The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show, owned and organised by DMG Events; and The Speciality Food Festival (DWTC), Seafex Middle East (DWTC) and Yummex ME, jointly organised by DWTC and Kölnmesse. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “The hospitality sector has long been a key pillar of Dubai’s tourism industry and the emirate’s wider economy. The dramatic growth we’ve seen in the sector over the years is testament to the attractiveness of Dubai as 60

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an investment prospect and a destination that prides itself in offering an environment that facilitates and supports business success. “We are therefore very pleased to launch Dubai International Hospitality Week as a platform enabling the region’s hospitality players to come together, exchange knowledge and learnings, and create valuable opportunities for future growth.” The scale of DIHW is unprecedented for the global hospitality sector, bringing together more than 2,000 of the world’s top hospitality brands from across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. More than 50,000 visitors, including buyers from top hotel groups will be making key purchasing decisions during the show, ahead of the sector’s high season. Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions & events management (DWTC), commented: “From major international hotel chains and restaurants to top celebrity chefs, and from world class tourist attractions to the widest range of global cuisines, Dubai provides a reference point for even the most established of markets.

“With world leading trade events such as Gulfood playing a key role in bringing more suppliers and visitors to Dubai every year than any other annual food trade show in the world, Dubai truly is on the hospitality and F&B map. Hosting Dubai International Hospitality Week and co-locating six complementary shows adds yet another dimension of excellence.” There are currently more than 800 hotels under construction in the Middle East and Africa, equating to over 200,000 rooms according to STR, with an urgent requirement for furnishings, equipment, technology and hardware to enable completion as quickly as possible. Equally, the foodservice sector continues to grow with a current CAGR of 7.6%, and is expected to reach a value of $58.7 billion (AED215 billion) by 2021. Andy Stuart, vice president of the DMG Events Middle East, Asia & Africa Hospitality Portfolio including The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show, commented: “Already home to the world’s biggest hotel and restaurant brands, including regional developers that

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Why I’m attending Dubai International Hospitality Week

The hospitality sector has long been a key pillar of Dubai’s tourism industry and the emirate’s wider economy. The dramatic growth we’ve seen in the sector over the years is testament to the attractiveness of Dubai as an investment prospect” Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing are leading global trends, the hospitality landscape in Dubai is one of the most impressive and innovative in the world. “The Hotel Show Dubai, now in its 18th year, has evolved with the market, facilitating industry growth with thousands of international visitors annually. Being centrally located within Dubai International Hospitality Week reflects the progression and increasing global appeal of our Dubai-based hospitality event. In this brand new co-location we are providing the ultimate platform to source everything required to effectively develop or maintain a hotel or foodservice establishment in this central global market.” GulfHost 2017 boasts a dedicated portfolio of hospitality and catering equipment solutions for both front and back of house, while The Hotel Show showcases products and services for every aspect of hotel development, from build to technology. The Leisure Show has a focus on the leisure aspects of a hotel or resort including pool and spa, and sports and fitness. The Speciality Food Events by Gulfood include The Speciality Food Festival for gourmet, artisan, organic and halal foods; Seafex Middle East for seafood; and Yummex ME for global snacks and confectionery.

Sergio Lopez, co-founder & board member, Bull & Roo Hospitality and Investments “Dubai International Hospitality Week is a great step forward for the industry, helping the ever-changing hospitality market to become more established, like in other more mature countries. This is a great initiative for hospitality professionals to engage and interact and for budding entrepreneurs to meet one another and grow the industry further. This event can be considered a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all hospitality needs including meeting service providers and connecting with like-minded hospitality professionals.” Alexander Schneider, general manager, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai “Our team will be attending Dubai International Hospitality Week to witness first-hand the latest industry trends and innovations that can support our ultimate goal of creating memorable guest experiences. I think the topics look really intriguing at The Hotel Show’s ‘The Middle East Hospitality Leadership Forum’, which I will be attending and speaking at as part of a panel, considering the overall demand of the destination Dubai.” Sunjeh Raja, CEO, International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai “Dubai International Hospitality Week is a great opportunity for exposure and learning for every professional in the regional hospitality industry. It is a week that will showcase the A-Z of hospitality solutions for the first time ever at a time when the industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and challenges across the region.The GulfHost Restaurant Development Conference will offer practical, topical and invaluable insights from entering new markets and establishing your brand to identifying what makes a good menu and finding ways to build and retain a successful team.” Stephen Meredith, general manager, Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay “I plan to make it to Dubai International Hospitality Week for at least two days and will also be bringing the Excom team along so we can discuss potential opportunities live at the site. We will be on the hunt for innovations that make it easier to connect with our guests, and I am still very much an F&B guy at heart, so I will be looking closely at the stands for some new toys! I am also looking out for a long-term solution for our spa at The Leisure Show, and it would be a great opportunity to engage with a potential new operator.”

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More than 2,000 exhibitors are expected to take part in the first-ever GulfHost event in Dubai, to be held alongside The Hotel Show, The Leisure Show, the Speciality Food Festival, Seafex Middle East and Yummex ME


aunching during Dubai International Hospitality Week, GulfHost 2017 is the first dedicated hospitality and food services expo in the Middle East. Organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), which also owns and organises the world’s largest annual food trade show, Gulfood, the new exhibition takes place from 18-20 September 2017 and is co-located with The Speciality Food Festival, Seafex Middle East and Yummex ME, and The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show, organised by DMG Events, to enable the full spectrum of sourcing for one of the fastest growing hotel, F&B and tourism markets in the world. Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions & events management (DWTC), said: “GulfHost will enable buyers to connect with suppliers, gain the latest knowledge and source from a range of hospitality and food service equipment, all within the most convenient, organised and dedicated arena, and service their additional needs at the other colocated shows.” A first for the region, GulfHost showcases the A-Z of hospitality, including front-ofhouse elements to deliver excellent dining 62

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experiences; back-of-house solutions such as ovens, culinary equipment and utensils; and the latest café and bar products to serve the growing coffee culture in the region. More than 2,000 exhibitors will participate across DIHW, with GulfHost alone hosting 16 country pavilions and demonstrating the global importance of serving the region. Major countries include Italy, Spain, UK, France, Germany, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Lebanon, Australia, Netherlands and Egypt. Key exhibitors at GulfHost include A. Ronai, Ali Group, Alto-Shaam, Cimbali, Falcon Kitchen, Henny Penny, La Marquise, The Middleby Corporation and RAK Porcelain, among many others. The importance of GulfHost is demonstrated by the strategic partnerships cemented with key industry associations in Europe, including Organizzazione Vittorio Caselli (Italy), HKI Hospitality Association (Germany), CESA Hospitality Association (UK) and AFEHC Hospitality Association (Spain). All shows are open from 18-20 September 2017 and are for trade and business professionals only.

GULFHOST HIGHLIGHTS Innovation Corner: A dedicated area showcasing the latest technology being introduced to elevate commercial kitchen performance. GulfHost Innovation Awards: An awards ceremony to recognise the innovators and disruptors championing new techniques, products and technologies in the hospitality industry. The Middle East Food Forum: Taking place in partnership with the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai, the threeday conference will enable F&B professionals to gain insights into the opportunities, challenges and innovations of their trade. Sessions include franchising, business set-up, talent management and regional F&B regulations and policies. A ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition will offer F&B entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their ideas to potential investors face to face.

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s demand for seafood grows in the Middle East, the sixth edition of Seafex returns, providing a platform for regional suppliers to source seafood from around the world. The three-day event will showcase the catch of the day from international names in seafood, including Ablona by GMA, Cederberg Fishing, Fortuna Seafoods BV, Gourmet House, ITC, Ministry of Marine Affairs & Fisheries Indonesia, Norwegian Seafood Council, Ocean Supreme, Taiwan Frozen Seafood Industries Association, Vega Salmon and Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers (VASEP).

he Speciality Food Festival will showcase a selection of fine foods, from artisanal olive oils, pickles and chutneys to speciality coffee and teas, charcuterie, bakery and dairy, as well as some of the rarest ingredients sought by professional chefs in the region. With hundreds of new launches at the show, F&B professionals will be able to source up to 2,800 ingredients and foods that have previously not been available in the region. It will incorporate events, including the Chef’s Theater, with top chefs hosting masterclasses on cooking techniques for fine food, seafood, organic, artisan cheese and gluten-free dishes; the first ever National Barista & Latte Art Championship; and specialist pizza cooking, master coffee tasters and culinary competitions.


ummex, organised by DWTC in partnership with Koelnmesse GmbH, is the region’s largest trade exhibition for producers and manufacturers of sweets, confectionery and snacks. The 11th edition of the show has seen a 5% growth in exhibition space, bringing together more than 370 companies from over 40 countries representing chocolate, sweets, ice cream, bakers’ confectionery and savoury snacks. This year, exhibiting at the show are companies such as Chocofino, Colombina, Del Conte, Destrooper-Olivier, Especialidades Vira, Jelly Belly, Katjes, Original Gourmet Food Company, Ragolds, Torrons Vicens and Y3K.

5 trends to spot at gulfhost Attractive fittings: The trend for food transparency has resulted in more open kitchens, creating a need for kitchen fittings to be aesthetically pleasing as well as practical. Energy-efficient systems: Energy-efficient equipment can save restaurants a significant amount of money. Multi-functional equipment: Restaurants are opting for multi-functional equipment to save space in the kitchen, and reduce time spent on manual labour. Innovative tableware: Food presentation has changed in line with modern lifestyles. Small plate menus let diners share food and try new things, while eating from bowls is becoming more popular, reflecting more casual lifestyles and the need for instagrammable food. Long-lasting tableware: Well-designed, quality tableware complements décor and enhances customer experience, while adding longer-term savings.

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STANDS NOT TO MISS at Küppersbusch Sheikh Saeed Hall 2, S2 – C2 Bernd Geiger, business development manager Middle East at Küppersbusch introduces a solution for steak restaurants Why are you exhibiting at GulfHost? The market in the UAE is growing steadily and has immense potential so it’s a very important market for Küppersbusch Food Service Equipment as a full provider and manufacturer of foodservice equipment. An international trade fair like GulfHost is the best opportunity to showcase our large-scale kitchen devices to the expert audience so they can touch and feel the quality of our products directly. What products are you showcasing? We’ll be showcasing our new multifunctional tilting bratt pan FEP 950 from our product line PremiumLine 850. We’ll also highlight a solution for steak restaurants – an individual Palmarium cooking suite with a continuous worktop and an integrated BeefCraft 800°C steak grill. We’ll also bring to Dubai our small ConvectAirS combi steamer, which has a footprint of only 0.32 m². GulfHost Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall 2, S2 – C2 T: +971 (56) 454 8211 E: W:

LA MARQUISE Sheikh Saeed Hall 1, S1-A1, S1-A3 Olga Cassidy, marketing manager of La Marquise says the company will launch the Gelato PopApp, a compact workstation for the production of artisan gelato Why are you exhibiting at GulfHost? GulfHost is the new home for hospitality equipment, with Gulfood now focused on food and beverage products. La Marquise has a vast portfolio of professional kitchen and front-ofhouse equipment so we couldn’t miss GulfHost! What products are you showcasing? In addition to cocktail machines, tempering machines for chocolate and 3D moulds, we will introduce our new out-of-thebox solutions for gelato shops and kiosks – a latte art printer that will help our clients to create a real wow factor for their customers. What is your latest product launch? During GulfHost we will be launching Gelato PopApp, a compact workstation that encompasses spaces for the production of artisan gelato, its preservation, display and sale in a single environment. Smart and accessible like an app, it can be opened with a simple movement changing its size from 3.6m2 closed to 5.2m2 open. Versatile and adaptable like a pop-up store, it can be easily assembled and disassembled if required. GulfHost Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall 1, S1-A1, S1-A3 T: +971 43433478 E: W:


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MKN Sheikh Saeed Hall, S3 – B25 MKN will highlight its combi steamer FlexiCombi Team at GulfHost, says Elias Rached, regional director sales, MENA Why are you exhibiting at GulfHost? GulfHost gives MKN a great platform to meet many high-level professionals from our branch and to present our products to this important region. What products are you showcasing? As a specialist of professional cooking technology, we will showcase our comprehensive product range, including the multifunctional appliances, FlexiChef and FlexiCombi, as well as their Team solutions. What is your latest product launch? The latest MKN product launch is the combi steamer FlexiCombi Team, which is one appliance equipped with two cooking chambers meaning the user can work in an extremely flexible way with two cooking modes simultaneously. The appliance is operated using the intuitive MagicPilot touch control and the touch screens for both cooking chambers are situated at eye level in the upper part of the appliance. The comfortable height ensures particularly ergonomic operation of the FlexiCombi Team and the lower door handle is turned 180° for convenience. GulfHost Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall, S3 – B25 T: +971 72041336 E: W:

INSINKERATOR Sheikh Saeed Hall, S1-105 Mohamed Karam, senior business development manager introduces the NeoTank, Insinkerator’s latest instant hot water boiler tank Why are you exhibiting at GulfHost? As one of the leading equipment manufacturers and solution providers for the foodservice industry, we were looking for a dedicated trade show for hospitality and the foodservices sector, to exhibit and introduce our products and solutions for the Middle East. We think GulfHost will help us to achieve that. What products are you showcasing? Insinkerator is a business unit of Emerson Electric Co. and the inventor and world’s largest manufacturer of food waste disposers and steaming hot water taps for home and commercial use. Our diverse portfolio of products includes basic disposer units, instant hot water dispensers and food waste pulper systems. What is your latest product launch? The NeoTank, which features an adjustable touch-panel thermostat display, allowing the user to set their desired water temperature between 88°C and 98°C. With an Insinkerator water boiler, the water you want is available on demand, and no unheated water is wasted, offering energy-saving benefits to the consumer. Cooking utensils can be cleaned more efficiently and quickly than usual and instant foods and other products needing hot water can be prepared in seconds. GulfHost Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall, S1-105 E: T: +971 4 811 8282 W: September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Rational Sheikh Saeed Hall 3, S3-C20 Rational has a raft of new products to showcase at GulfHost, explains managing director Simon Parke-Davis Why are you exhibiting at GulfHost? We have exhibited at Gulfood since 2006 as a stand-alone entity and since GulfHost is powered by Gulfood it is a logical progression. GulfHost is the perfect interface for us to meet with existing and new customers. What products are you showcasing? This year we have four new products to showcase: the SelfCooking Center line up with the 2/3GN XS unit; the CombiMaster Plus line up with a 2/3GN XS; and the VarioCooking Center, offering the right solution for every chef, whether they're cooking 30 or 1,000 meals. What is your latest product launch? We just recently launched our new SelfCookingCenter range, which includes a true professional 2/3GN called the

SelfCookingCenter XS. Last year we launched the full VarioCooking Center range in the Middle East, which also has a 112T table top unit. This allows us to supply 100% of the cuisines globally with only two pieces of equipment, saving time, labour, space and energy. We also launched our latest CombiMaster Plus range with a 2/3GN called the CombiMaster Plus XS, delivering the same Rational performance and reliability with manual settings and automatic cleaning as standard. GulfHost Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall 3, S3-C20 T: +971 4 338 6615 E: W:

PRECISION REFRIGERATION Sheikh Saeed Hall 2, S2-101 Managing director Nick Williams says GulfHost is a key aspect of Precision Refrigeration’s development plans Why are you exhibiting at GulfHost? GulfHost 2017 promises to be the biggest and best industry show in the Middle East region. We are growing rapidly in this market so we see this show as a key element to our development plans. What products are you showcasing? We are showcasing Precision’s new Retro Refrigeration Cabinet, which takes inspiration from the 1950s and adds the latest energy efficient components; Precision’s bottle coolers, which feature robust 43°C ambient refrigeration systems; and our new front-of-house counter, which is perfect for all-day dining applications when a clean, minimalist look is required. GulfHost stand number: Sheikh Saeed Hall 2, S2-101 T: +44 1842 753 994 E: W:


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A RONAI LLC Sheikh Saeed Hall 3, S3-C1 Ronai managing director Gavin Dodd will be highlighting tableware items and the new Uniforms by Ronai catalogue at GulfHost Why are you exhibiting at GulfHost? As the Middle East distributor of some of the world’s most prestigious brands in hospitality, it’s important for us to showcase our range at the first GulfHost exhibition. The event is expected to attract some of the industry’s top decision makers and with the principles of all our major product lines on hand throughout the duration of the show, visitors can benefit from vast industry knowledge and meet the Ronai team. What products are you showcasing? We will showcase our complete range on the stand and will highlight new products launched in 2017. These include a variety of tableware and buffetware items and our new Uniforms by Ronai catalogue. What is your latest product launch? We have recently partnered with Skyra, a new brand for the Ronai portfolio. The range includes a host of buffet and catering items in stainless steel, titanium and copper, which are perfect for meeting rooms, banqueting and brunch buffets. GulfHost Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall 3, S3-C1 E: T: +971 4 3414409 W:

WELBILT Sheikh Saeed Hall, S1-A10 Leonard Parot, regional sales manager says the Convotherm 4 combi oven and the Merrychef e2S speed oven will come under the spotlight at GulfHost Why are you exhibiting at GulfHost? Welbilt is looking forward to interacting with foodservice operators and demonstrating the many benefits our equipment can bring to operations while improving the bottom line. GulfHost is also a platform for us to meet with our distribution and service partners. What products are you showcasing? Our live cooking stations featuring Convotherm 4 combi ovens and Merrychef e2S speed ovens are a large focus. Convotherm 4 brings new standards in cooking, cleaning and operating costs in the combi category, while Merrychef e2S is the smallest highspeed oven with the biggest performance. By seeing the ease of operations and the quality of the food they deliver, operators discover how relevant our equipment is for their business. What is your latest product launch? GulfHost will also mark the regional launch of our Garland Xpress grill. Using a clamshell allows cooking time to be reduced by up to 50% and it is particularly suited to quick-service restaurants. The precise temperature controls ensure food is cooked to the appropriate core temperature to offer consistent quality and food safety. GulfHost Stand Number: Sheikh Saeed Hall, S1-A10 T: +971 4 326 3313 E: W: September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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THE HOTEL SHOW DUBAI 2017 Gary Williams, event director, The Hotel Show offers a preview of The Hotel Show Dubai, taking place this year as part of Dubai International Hospitality Week at Dubai World Trade Centre from 18 – 20 September


ow in its 18th year, The Hotel Show Dubai continues to align with the global hospitality industry to ensure the most comprehensive showcase of international products, innovations, developments and trends that cover everything from hotel design and build to in-room technologies across its distinct sectors – all in one place. Our show sectors are covering some new areas this year: ‘Hospitality Franchise’, in association with the World Franchise Associates, is catering to the unique franchising opportunity that hotels, restaurants and bars offer within their estates in the Middle East. Sectors returning for 2017 include: Interiors, Lighting and Design; Technology and Security; and Operating Equipment, Horeca and Food Service. We aim to help your hotel or restaurant business grow in any way it needs. The Hotel Show will be taking up Halls 1-6 of the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), with our co-located event The Leisure Show based in Halls 7-8. The 5th edition of The Leisure Show is set to be its biggest yet, showcasing the latest in Outdoor Furnishing, Design and Lighting; Sports and Fitness; and Pool and Spa – with some of the world’s 68

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Gary Williams, event director, The Hotel Show biggest names in these areas set to feature including Les Mills, Technogym, Matrix, SportsArt, Trinity Hammocks, Belhasa, and Fluidra. Exciting for 2017 is our co-location for the first time with an additional four trade shows under the umbrella of Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW). With DWTC’s GulfHost, The Speciality Food Festival, Seafex Middle East and Yummex ME (jointly organised by DWTC and Kölnmesse) – we are set to unite more than

2,000 international brands in hospitality and foodservice. At The Hotel Show, new features will be unveiled, some of which are a first for the region. Meanwhile our new conference platform, The Middle East Hospitality Leadership Forum, will see experts from across the industry forecasting and dissecting its latest trends. Our growing international pool of exhibitors are launching new products to the market that have the potential to revolutionise the industry here. From ‘the world’s most comfortable hotel bed’ to the ‘world’s biggest giant clam shell’ (an 180,000-yearold fossil remodeled as a sink!), to some of the latest innovations in hospitality technology from the likes of HP, Honeywell, Onity, and more, it’s a chance to witness the latest and in some cases, game-changing, products and services designed for hoteliers and restaurateurs. As the annual get-together for the region’s hospitality industry, our aim is to aid in its growth, and support its people in helping maintain the position of Dubai as one of the most impressive, exciting and fast-growing markets for hospitality in the world. We look forward to seeing you there!”

NOT TO BE MISSED IN 2017 The Middle East Housekeepers League of Champions

The highly-anticipated new competition is a chance for the housekeeping departments of some of the region’s top hotels to demonstrate the latest cleaning techniques, which experts say have reduced the time it takes to clean a room from one hour to just 20 minutes! The Middle East Hospitality Leadership Forum

A central feature of this year’s Hotel Show, this new conference platform will host a series of spontaneous and forthright panel discussions on the key strategic opportunities and challenges shaping the regional sector at this time of accelerated expansion and change. The talks will take place within a purpose-built conference theatre in one of the main exhibition halls, and will be free to attend for all visitors to the event. It is expected there will be standing room only, so we advise you to plan your visit and arrive early. The Runway

Let’s celebrate just how important hospitality workwear is in making a great impression on our guests. Working together with bespoke uniform designers including A. Ronai, The Hotel Show Dubai will play host to The Runway, a catwalk event that will see multiple hospitality groups showcase their latest uniform ranges. Hospitality Franchise

An in-depth focus on the next wave of hospitality franchising, licensing, technology, and the ever-important engagement between the industry and estate owners and property managers. The Fit Hub

A central feature to The Leisure Show, The Fit Hub returns this year as the trusted source for industry professionals to gain essential knowledge on the sports industry and discover new and disruptive technology that is reshaping the sports and fitness industry. Hosted by experts from government bodies and private sector establishments including Dubai Sports Council, Matrix Fitness, Technogym, Les Mills, and Easy Motion Skin®, the FitHub will provide an insight into the rapidly changing future of fitness along with the new legislative framework for sporting events in UAE. Middle East Hospitality Awards (MEHA)

Taking place on the second evening of The Hotel Show (19 September 2017) at the Palazzo Versace Dubai, the leading facilities and professionals providing the Middle East’s ultimate guest experiences are to be celebrated across 17 different award categories, at a glittering ceremony with over 400 hoteliers. Shortlisted hotels include some of the most impressive, innovative, luxurious and renowned in the Middle East: Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort Oman; Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa; Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai; Rove Downtown; Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca; Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa Kuwait, and many more. Roundtable Discussions

Zumtobel Group, MEHA 2017 sponsors, will be hosting roundtable discussions for industry experts on the final days of The Hotel Show (19 and 20 September 2017) at the DWTC. Topics include: ‘The future of high-end hospitality in the Middle East’; ‘The challenges of high-end hotel refurbishment in the Middle East’; and ‘2020 and its focus on midscale and budget accommodation’. To find out more, contact:

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Discover the French offer at GulfHost and the Speciality Food Festival 18 – 20 September, Dubai World Trade Centre Sheikh Saeed Hall 1, stand S1-D63 • Two French pavilions including new companies attending • Showcase of latest French innovation over 520m2 • Winning prizes each day on Business France stand


usiness France, the National Agency supporting the international development of the French economy will host two French pavilions at GulfHost and the Speciality Food Festival, taking place on 18 – 20 September at Dubai World Trade Centre. The French offer will consist of kitchen equipment and gourmet products from over 50 French firms, each displaying premium products and know-how. This year, the French pavilions have numerous new launches to showcase. The Business France export team will also be attending to

boost business opportunities in the region, focusing on all buyer nationalities together with the most promising ones, namely: UAE, Lebanon, Egypt, KSA and Sri Lanka. The UAE imports 85% of its agri-food products, with France ranking 11th among its importers list, and the second most important European importer (3% market share in 2016). French agri-food products and equipment proudly fulfil the quality and excellence demanded by consumers in the Gulf. Despite fierce competition, good prospects of growth are expected in trade relations between France and the Gulf.

About Business France Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy and is responsible for fostering the export growth of French businesses and promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It promotes France’s companies, business image and nationwide attractiveness as an investment location, and runs the VIE international internship programme. Business France launched an international campaign called Creative France to promote France’s economic attractiveness, strengthen perceptions of the country’s image and create positive conditions for French economic development. CONTACT: Miryem Oukas Messidi Head of Communications – Middle East Mobile: +971 (0)55 478 32 15 Mail: miryem.oukasmessidi@ Twitter : @BF_MiddleEast

French presence at GulfHost

French offer at Speciality Food Festival This year, the French pavilion is stronger than ever with 22 brands exhibiting their latest products and creations over an area of 114m² in Za’abeel hall. It will be the location to enjoy and relish the display of generous and refined French gourmet sweets. Local consumption of French confectionery, from jam and ‘dragées’ to chocolate truffles, has been increasing lately, making it a strong point of attraction at the festival. Other food industries shall be present, ranging from dairy products, to beverages and specific industries such as oyster production. Visitors will be able to discover specific and diverse French products. Exhibitors at the festival are selected among excellent French manufacturers offering quality products, especially suited to Emirati consumers. French firms have the expertise, technological abilities and strong innovation skills required to enable French agri-food businesses to be ranked among the top European exporters and gain worldwide renown. Participating for the first time at SFF this year are: • Horizon International: the promotional organisation of the French region, NouvelleAquitaine. • Friaa Paca: regional agri-food industry federation from the south of France. • Le monde de l’Epicerie Fine: a reference magazine on market trends of gourmet products and a strong partner of firms working in this field. The magazine will be on display at the French Pavilion. Long standing French partners such as Evian, Badoit and Cafes Richard will also attend.


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Do not miss the showcase of the latest French innovations over a 520m² area in Sheikh Saeed Hall. Participating at GulfHost this year: • Dev’up: the promotional organisation of the French region, Centre-Val de Loire. • Syneg: the French organisation of professional kitchen equipment manufacturers partners with 30 leading firms exhibiting at the French pavilion. As the prime partner of French SMEs, manufacturers and subsidiaries of international brands, Syneg covers 75% of the market of professional kitchen equipment in France ( Visitors to the French pavilion can also take part in the Syneg and Equiphotel prize draw by dropping a business card to win a touch tablet. Two winners will be selected each day from 18-20 September.



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DUBAI SERVES A W O R L D O F H O S P I TA L I T Y Reflecting the soaring demand for new, adventurous leisure and dining experiences, GulfHost will redefine your performance in the fast-moving hospitality arena. Discover the A - Z of restaurant, bar and cafĂŠ solutions at the global melting point for multicultural cuisine

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Shaken not stirred

Catering News showcases the beverage products making a splash in the Middle East


Gabriela Cury, brand development executive at Boncafe Middle East presents Segafredo Zanetti Extra Strong Roasted Coffee Beans


Arnd Springer, managing partner, Jackson Trading Co. LLC explains why the Dallmayr cappucino from its automatic machine is a best-seller

What is your best-selling beverage product? Our best-seller is Segafredo Zanetti Extra Strong Roasted Coffee Beans.

What is your best-selling beverage product? Our best-selling product is the Dallmayr cappuccino from our automatic machine, which is available in airports and other facilities.

What is unique about it? This premium blend is roasted to perfection by our master roasters. We select only the best quality beans from some of the best coffee growing regions around the world. Extra Strong is a fullbodied coffee with a smooth, strong, unique taste, characterised by a dense structure and intense shades, with fragrant toastedbread and chocolate features. Segafredo’s Extra Strong blend contains a high percentage of high altitude Arabica varieties with well-balanced acidity.

What is unique about it? Even though our cappuccino is prepared using Dallmayr Topping Vending Milk Powder, our customers don't notice the difference. The Dallmayr cappuccino is intense and aromatic due to its high coffee content, and it features a creamy, milky note and pleasant sweetness similar in standard to cappuccinos prepared using fresh milk.

What is the most important feature of the perfect beverage product? There are many characteristics for a perfect espresso, but the most important features are the quality of the beans pertaining to the ‘bean-to-cup’ process, carefully selected with high quality control production and roasting method. What are the latest trends in beverages? One trend we have spotted is the Puqpress precision coffee tamper – an automatic tamper that can make the barista’s life much easier with consistent pressure that can be regulated from 15 – 30kg. It offers a faster and more efficient method for tamping, particularly when you’re making 200 – 300 cups per day. T: +971 4 282 8742 E: W:


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What is the most important feature of the perfect beverage product? The most important features of the perfect beverage are quality and taste. Preparation process, temperature and dosage should also be considered. What are the latest trends in beverages? The latest trends we are noticing are speciality and single origin coffees. T: +971 4 297 7888 E: W:

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Lavazza Karim Merhi, MENA marketing manager, Lavazza says the company’s 100% Arabica beans are its best-seller What is your best-selling beverage product? Our taste-discerning customers who enjoy quality blends are increasingly turning to our ¡Tierra! range. Launched last year, ‘¡Tierra!’ is a high quality coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms made from a premium selection of 100% Arabica beans from Central and South America. What is unique about it? Apart from its unique fruity aroma, floral notes and the distinctive finish of bittersweet dark chocolate, ¡Tierra! is part of our social responsibility project to improve the social and environmental conditions of a small community of coffee growers. In 12 years, the project has involved more than 3,000 growers across eight countries. What is the most important feature of the perfect beverage product? The main goal of any beverage should be to provide consumers with an all-encompassing and pleasurable experience. Our goal

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is to provide coffee drinkers with a consistently unique sensory experience with each sip. To do this, we select the best coffees from all over the world to create our specialised blends. What are the latest trends in beverages? In the coffee industry, consumers are becoming more adventurous and keen to try new experiences, however, they are also more appreciative of high quality coffee than ever before. This is also being observed in the home consumption of coffee, where in recent years customers are increasingly demanding more quality, convenience and customisable options. T: +971 52 909 1389 E: W:

We Offer A Wide Range Of High Quality Personalised Products To Meet Your Minibar needs.

Luxury Gourmet Olives From Around the World. Distributed by:

Tel. no.: +971 4 348 8308 #thegourmetolivemarket @tgom_me

• Personalised Minibar Snacks • Gourmet Snack Foods • Fresh Olives • Airlines Snacks • Hotel Amenities • Corporate Gifts

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Tel. no. : +971 4 348 8308 • Mobile: + 971 50 476 0068 • Email: • P.O. Box: 450258 - Dubai- U.A.E

September 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Andrea Fidora, beverage innovation director, Monin Middle East, India, Africa showcases the company’s syrup range

What is your best-selling beverage product? Monin is recognised all over the world for its extensive range of flavoured syrups, from the classic ones such as Caramel, Vanilla, Strawberry or Grenadine to the unique, such as Lemongrass, Popcorn and Donut. We also see very positive market feedback for our range of Le Fruit de Monin, which we keep building on thanks to our R&D team. This year for example, we launched Le Fruit de Monin Pineapple. What is the most important feature of the perfect beverage product? The perfect beverage would generate profit to our partners and customers. Today, we do not sell products, we provide solutions. Thanks to our team of beverage innovation directors and brand ambassadors, we are able to work with customers to provide the most suitable solution for them. We provide trend reports, product development, training and quality checking. What are the latest trends in beverages? One of the latest trends popping up around the world and in Dubai especially is the Freakshake, which is the ultimate treat. Large, overflowing and colourful garnishes play with mind and soul, bringing out the child that never stops craving sweets. T: +971 4 452 0600 W:

SAVA BRANDS Tariq Al-Aruri, co-founder and managing director, Sava Brands, says the Arura Eco Teas range help boost an outlet’s sustainable credentials What is your latest beverage product launch? Our latest launch is Arura Eco Teas. What makes it unique? Arura Eco Teas is the first eco-friendly line of tea that helps promote a green environment through sustainable packaging while offering the purest 100% biodegradable full leaf tea at cost-efficient prices. With our advanced facilities, we are still able to maintain the tea’s natural flavour and aroma without compromising the quality of our tea products. Many hotels are becoming more committed to operating eco-friendly businesses and we believe it is beneficial for them to raise awareness of green initiatives through their product offerings.

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T: +971 4 453 1776 E: W:

What is the most important feature of the perfect beverage product? The perfect beverage product is the one that responds to an intrinsic need of the consumer, through taste, price, availability and packaging.

TEA TRADING INTERNATIONAL Richard Smyth, managing director, Tea Trading International introduces the Vertea range of teas from around the world What is your best-selling beverage product? Our best-selling teas in the Vertea range are English Breakfast, Moroccan Mint, Chamomile and the recently launched Chai Masala. What is unique about them? Although we are sourcing globally, we are blending and packing locally, which provides obvious benefits to the trade and consumer. Lead times are considerably shorter, the tea is fresher, and we can offer the full range of products very competitively. What are the latest trends in beverages? What we are seeing with our GCC custom-


What are the latest trends in beverages? With regards to tea specifically, we are noticing people are going back to the natural, and single origin teas, without the addition of flavours. These are the same people who don’t mind spending time preparing their perfect brew, and who understand the importance of quality.

ers is an increased desire to source their tea from a local provider – one who can guarantee good value product ranges that still deliver outstanding quality and an efficient, high level of service. T: +971 4 880 7278 E: W:

Distributed by HORECA Trade LLC | T: 04 805 2000 | E: | W:


Squeaky Clean The sanitation products cleaning up F&B outlets in the Middle East

Arpal The Arpax A7 SC is Arpal’s latest product launch. A super-concentrated bactericidal degreaser, it cleans and disinfects food contact surfaces, including chopping boards, food processing equipment and utensils. To ensure the product is recognised in the kitchen, the Arpax A7 SC label and solution is yellow. It can be used in the first, second or at both stages of a two-stage cleaning and disinfection process, and meets BSEN standards. One case of 2x2l of this super concentrated product will produce 400l of ready-to-use surface sanitising solution. By combining safety, environmental and commercial benefits together in one system, Arpal has strived to put as much in the bottle as possible, so that the positive environmental profile is maximised, while making it as safe as possible for the user. Although super concentrates are hazardous, all ready-touse solutions are classified as non-hazardous in use. T: +971 4 880 3220 E: W:

Ecolab Ecolab’s latest launch is the KitchenPro product range, which provides a complete kitchen hygiene solution in 2x2l pack sizes with small dispensers, ideal for small and medium sized restaurants. The high-performing concentrates provide the best results while maintaining the best use cost. The closed-loop system makes KitchenPro a safe choice and ensures accurate dosage every time. The range includes floor cleaner, disinfectant, all-purpose cleaner, a manual pot and pan cleaner and a degreaser. The user has no contact with the concentrates and benefits from a significant reduction in packaging waste compared to traditional pack sizes. One of Ecolab’s next innovations is the Nexa, a concentrate dispenser that dilutes its soaps and sanitisers, reducing waste and shipping while delivering the best results. T: +971 4 801 4444 W:


Catering NEWS ME September 2017

HELLO QUOOKER, BYE BYE BOTTLES The world’s first 100ºC boiling-water tap with boiling, hot and filtered cold drinking water. No need to buy and dispose plastic bottles any more. Interested? For more information or an introductory offer go to or call 800-Quooker (7866537).


Ranjan Salis, owner and CEO of Renarte LLC introduces two exciting and affordable new brands the company has just added to its range

What is your latest launch? We have just added two new brands to our existing portfolio – Front of the House and Room 360. Front of the House manufactures distinctive tableware and servingware for the hospitality industry. The designs are modern and elegant, which adds contemporary styling to everyday needs. The unique products explore the intersection of colours, textures and bold shapes. These eclectic collections are created from a wide range of materials such as: porcelain, blown glass, toughened glass, stainless steel, rattan, BPA-free polycarbonate and a variety of natural woods. For more details, go to: www. Room 360 designs and manufactures hip accessory solutions for guestrooms and bathrooms. These are elegantly crafted accessories yet affordably priced, offering the hospitality industry the option to stand out by creating their own brand identity and unique customer experience. To find out more, visit: www. What makes these new brands unique on the market? The multifarious usage of materials combined with diverse designs makes these two brands extremely unique to the industry. The fast-paced hospitality industry is all about realising concepts and ideas and we are offering a solution to follow through these ideas and expose them to their fullest potential. Standing out from the competition has become a mandate, however the trends seem to have taken a back seat and being distinctive has become synonymous with high costs. These brands have over 2,000 designs to choose from and with affordable pricing, the industry now has an option to create their own unique identity which makes the introduction of these brands essential. 78

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Artefact by Front of the House









Why should businesses purchase your products? Renarte has been at the forefront of exceeding expectations for over a decade and these brands have been strategically introduced in this market to satisfy the design element, which seems to be restrictive due to the overpriced and monotonous options available. These brands have a vast variety of designs and products, which balance the common denominator of affordability and that is their unique selling point. What’s next for your company in 2017 and onwards? Renarte has been expanding its footprint globally, with Renarte Canada seeding its

presence to tackle the North American market. We are all very happy about the company’s global expansion and are looking forward to some exciting times ahead. The team in Dubai keeps on growing and we strive to offer the best possible customer satisfaction to our clients – both existing and new. The hospitality industry is changing quickly and new trends are emerging so we must keep up with our clients’ expectations and we strive to constantly exceed these. T: + 971 4 435 6994 E: W: / /



Debic, the premium cream brand (for professionals) of Royal FrieslandCampina is launching in the UAE this year, three creams, covering a wide variety of cooking applications, says marketing manager Adil Ehsan

When was your company established? FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy companies and has a cooperative tradition stretching back more than 140 years. There are 19,000 member farmers who are the owners of Royal FrieslandCampina and the heart of the company. What’s the company’s vision and values? FrieslandCampina Foodservice creates joy in life for consumers and operators by providing convenient fun-to-use foodservice solutions with the goodness of dairy. Together with the cooperative’s member dairy farmers, FrieslandCampina commands and controls the entire milk production chain from milk to end product – from grass to glass. This guarantees the quality, safety and sustainability of the products What are your core products/ services for the hospitality sector? Debic’s range of creams assist food professionals in order to push their everyday boundaries. What new products have you launched in 2017? In October 2017, we will launch our top selling cream products into the UAE market: Debic Culinaire Original, Debic Dairy Cream with Sugar (spray) and Debic Stand & Overrun: • Debic Culinaire Original: This sets the standard for cooking cream, living up to the highest standards of texture and taste. It is the best cooking cream for the professional market with a rich and creamy taste and unrivalled cooking functionalities, such as no curdling, no separation, fast thickening speed and the perfect freeze-thaw resistance. 80

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(L-R)Debic Culinaire Original, Debic Dairy Cream with Sugar (spray), Debic Stand & Overrun

• Debic Dairy Cream with Sugar (spray): Debic’s sweetened spray cream gives you the perfect cream blob in the wink of an eye. It can be used for both

CONTACT: Adil Ehsan, marketing manager Stefan Hoonhoud, business development manager, B2B and foodservice T: + 4 455 51826/51831 E: adil.ehsan@frieslandcampina. com / Stefan.Hoonhoud@ W:

hot and cold applications with a real cream taste. It has a unique spout and a practical siphon-like handle for a precise and easily controllable dosage with quick and easy cleaning. • Debic Stand & Overrun: A modern pastry cream with 35% fat for the perfect marriage between high yield and excellent firmness, Debic Stand & Overrun has been especially developed for pastry creations. Its good stand makes it perfect for decorating and this combined with its high yield makes it an excellent cream for filling purposes and the preparation of bavarois, mousses and ice cream.


© MONIN - February 2017 - Serving suggestion

Sweet and tangy with a hint of acidity, Le Fruit de MONIN Pineapple perfectly captures this vÀՈ̽à Ìi˜`iÀ yiÅ° Ƃ`` > ë>Å œv Ã՘ň˜i >˜` exoticism to a daïquiri or a lemonade with this ۈLÀ>˜Ì>˜`ÛiÀÃ>̈iy>ۜÕÀ° "   V>«ÌÕÀià >˜` i˜ˆÛi˜Ã ̅i y>ۜÕÀà ̜ ˆ˜Ã«ˆÀiiÛiÀÞVÀi>̈Ûi«ÀœviÃȜ˜>°

Not content with 18 outlets in two countries, Natasha Sideris, founder, managing executive and creative director of Tashas is preparing to launch her latest concept inspired by African glamour and retro Las Vegas – Flamingo Room by Tashas at Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, Dubai

What inspired you to launch Tashas restaurants? At first, I intended to only have one Tashas. I wanted to create a beautiful space with food made fresh to order and the best possible service. It’s amazing to think we now have 18 shops in two countries. What differentiates the Tashas brand? I think that our true differentiator is that no two Tashas are the same. We use our winning formula of ‘Beautiful food. Stunning environments. Engagingly delivered’ – but every Tashas is a little bit different. Each store has a different inspiration that creates a unique environment and menu. Please describe the concept of Flamingo Room by Tashas? Flamingo Room by Tashas is inspired by African glamour. It is where African opulence meets the sophisticated dining landscape of Dubai but with the casual comfort and homely ambience the Tashas brand is renowned for. Embellished references to the African sky with hints of playfulness are delicately interwoven with modern, unique and classic elements, encouraging a lively interplay between the bars, lounge, casual dining restaurant and terrace areas. How does the design reflect the concept? The design is reminiscent of retro Las Vegas hotels with an African twist. Of course, the colour pink is prominent in the design. There is a giant installation inspired by the Baobab tree, brass banana leaves surrounding the bar and bronze sculptures of giraffes, meerkats and crocodiles. How was the menu created and what does it feature? The menu was created in collaboration with 82

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my two executive chefs, Jill Okkers and Elze Roome. An uncomplicated and clean menu reflects a commitment to quality ingredients and showcases an impressive variety of revamped classics and simply glamourous dishes with stunning flavours. Highlights include: lobster benedict with toasted brioche and a saffron and lemon hollandaise; white fish with sauce vierge and artichoke; beetroot quinoa salad; rib-eye with coriander and herb butter, and seafood pasta. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, easing into a chic, relaxed evening environment for dinner and drinks. You’ve collaborated with retail brand, Collective by Charles Greig – how did this come about? Our collaboration with Collective by Charles Greig reinforces the ode to African heritage and showcases the glamour of the

continent in a unique and contemporary form that comfortably sits within the international retail scene. Their hand curated objects, art, gifts, leather goods, jewellery and curios show the best of the continent and complement our African glamour concept. We feel it is a unique concept that reinforces the lifestyle concept of Flamingo Room by Tashas. You have 16 Tashas in South Africa and two in the UAE – what markets would you like to enter next? Our eyes are on London, Los Angeles and Sydney when the time is right. What personal ambitions would you still like to fulfil? Balance. Finding a way to build the Tashas brand, keep our guests happy and not work 24 hours a day.

Catering News ME - September 2017  
Catering News ME - September 2017