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LATIN SPIRIT IN ABU DHABI Global executive chef of Coya, Sanjay Dwivedi, offers the low-down on the new venue in the UAE capital

BRIGHT YOUNG THING Luke Thomas, ‘the world’s youngest head chef’ is all grown up and has his sights set on London

COFFEE SPECIAL Catering News spills the beans on the latest coffee trends, machines and products on the market

Connecting F&B professionals with industry knowledge

JUNE 2017

Out the

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

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

10 What's Cooking?

June 2017 // Issue #029


16 New places

18 Talent

28 The business

10 //

WHAT’S COOKING? Chef Middle East inaugurates AED75 million distribution centre; International F&B brands to debut at new Sharjah development; Home services platform ServiceMarket expands into catering

16 //

NEW PLACES SKAI Holdings discusses the company’s first F&B venture, the newly opened Maiden Shanghai

18 //

TALENT Catering News catches up with Tim Smith, general manager at Marina Social

22 //

COVER STORY Naim Maadad, CEO of Gates Hospitality is ready to take London by storm with the company’s first international venture

28 //

THE BUSINESS LATIN SPIRIT IN ABU DHABI Global executive chef of Coya, Sanjay Dwivedi, offers the lowdown on the new venue in the UAE capital

June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


June 2017 // Issue #029

Contents 32 //

CHEF FOCUS BRIGHT YOUNG THING Luke Thomas, ‘the world’s youngest head chef’ is all grown up and has his sights set on London

Managing Director Walid Zok Director Rabih Najm

A TASTE FOR ADVENTURE Dennis Kammerzell on his new role as executive chef of Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara

CEO Wissam Younane

38 //

THE HOTEL SHOW The Hotel Show gears up for the inaugural Philippines event

Group Publishing Director Diarmuid O'Malley

40 //

FARMING FOR THE FUTURE John Griffiths, CEO of Technopodia explains why aeroponics is the solution to the Middle East’s food security concerns

43 //

COFFEE SPECIAL Catering News spills the beans on the latest coffee trends, machines and products on the market

Group Commercial Director Fred Dubery Group Editor, Hospitality Crystal Chesters Contributor

Marouane Al Mandri Art Director Aaron Sutton


Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon Photographer

Hayder Al-Zuhairi

38 Chef Focus

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43 Coffee Special

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 June 2017


18 - 20 SEP 2017 D U B A I WO R L D T R A D E C E N T R E

D U B A I S E R V E S A WO R L D O F H O S P I TA L I T Y Discover the A - Z of restaurant, bar and cafĂŠ solutions at the global center of multicultural cuisine

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his month’s cover features Naim Maadad, one of the most successful restaurant investors in the region, and an individual whose story Catering News has followed closely over the past year. In February, we featured Publique, the company’s new apres-ski venue which opened in partnership with French restaurateurs, Julien Pilard and Jonathan Vercoutere – the same duo Naim worked with on popular Dubai Marina eatery, Bistro Des Arts, the location of this month’s cover shoot. Gates’ investments also include Folly by Nick & Scott – a partnership with renowned Dubai chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price – as well as Reform Social & Grill, The Black Lion and Six Senses Zighy Bay. By the end of this year, Gates will have 10 operating units. Naim continues to pride himself – as he quite rightly should – on a knack for matching the right concept to the right location. Not wanting to rest on his laurels after the openings of Publique and Folly earlier this year, he reveals plans during our exclusive interview, to launch a new Italian venue in Downtown Dubai and even more exciting, his first international location in London – RedFarm. A modern Chinese concept developed in New York by dim sum master, chef Joe Ng, and Chinese food expert, Ed Schoenfeld, RedFarm will open in a four-storey building in Covent Garden later this year.

And Naim isn’t the only one to set his sights on The Big Smoke. Luke Thomas, first hailed as the UK’s youngest head chef back in 2012 when he was 18, spoke to Catering News during a visit to Dubai to check up on his restaurant, Retro Feasts at The Beach at JBR. He told us he is bowing out of his restaurant in Chester to focus on his ultimate ambition – to open an outlet in London’s Shoreditch. For someone just 23 years of age, Luke is wise and humble and thankfully bears absolutely no resemblance – at least in terms of his personality – to Justin Bieber, who he has been compared to before in the press. With no interest in gaining a Michelin star, and a passion for doing things his own way, it will be really interesting to see what Luke comes up with next, and I thoroughly believe he has a bright future ahead of him. In this same issue, we also feature an interview with Sanjay Dwivedi, global executive chef of London-founded Peruvian brand, Coya. Dwivedi was in Abu Dhabi to open Coya in the capital as part of the new Dining Collection, which will also see the launch of Coya's sister restaurant, La Petite Maison, later this year. As the F&B landscape continues to ramp up in Abu Dhabi, it could be a tale of two cities indeed. Enjoy the issue, Crystal

Cover Shoot

The cover shoot with Naim Maadad, CEO, Gates Hospitality, was shot on location at Bistro Des Arts, the investor's French brasserie on Dubai Marina

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Catering NEWS ME June 2017

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W hat's cooking?

W hat's cooking?

P11: International brands to debut in Sharjah // P12: TSSC behind UAE's first milk taps // P14: Barilla partners with Roger Federer //

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


Chef Middle East inaugurates AED75 million distribution centre


hef Middle East, a regional supplier of quality foods to the hotel, dining and airline industries, has inaugurated its AED75 million distribution centre at Dubai Investments Park (DIP). Omar Al Mesmar, general manager of DIP, attended the grand opening and cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the 10,000m2 facility. He said: “The substantial investment by Chef Middle East in this outstanding, state-ofthe-art facility is a good example of one of the region’s respected companies investing in Dubai Investments Park and reaffirms the status of DIP as one of the leading and most sought after business parks in the Middle East. “This new distribution centre is a perfect example of the world-class facilities and services that Dubai has to offer and raises the bar for food sector logistics in the region. It will help redefine the regional food distribution services, with a world-class platform and a dedicated team within DIP.” The purpose-built distribution hub offers a fully inte10

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

grated, technology enabled logistics centre, allowing Chef Middle East to offer an end-toend cold chain solution. The current distribution centre is triple the size of its predecessor and includes over 7,000m2 of temperaturecontrolled storage areas that can accommodate up to 8,000 pallets of chilled, frozen, and ambient food and food related products. Chef Middle East offers over 4,000 global food products with a combination of premi-

um quality ingredients for its regional client base. The company operates a fleet of 50 multi-temperature distribution vehicles. Steve Pyle, chief executive officer, Chef Middle East commented: “This ground-breaking facility is custom-designed by foodservice distribution professionals and incorporates design and technology which will enable us to provide exceptional services and a better customer experience across our value chain. It will opti-

mise our operational efficiency and enable us to offer our discerning customers the freshest, top quality ingredients.” The new distribution centre features modern technology in its warehouse and fleet management systems, voice-pick technology, fleet GPS and a culinary innovation centre. It also houses an open plan development kitchen stocked with equipment suitable for introducing and designing new food concepts under the supervision of a culinary chef. The centre’s multi-temperature storage and range of product availability make it suited to leveraging the company's scale and its upgraded supply chain operations. Pyle added: “I would like to thank the DIP team for all the support they have extended to Chef Middle East throughout the development of this project. DIP has established itself as a preferred destination for businesses which operate cross-country and cross-border activities, offering some of the world's most advanced infrastructure and outstanding facilities tailored to suit the requirements of modern industries.”

Wh at' s c ook i n g?


International F&B brands to debut at new Sharjah development


egional and international F&B brands are set to debut in Sharjah at Zero 6, an upcoming 37,000m2 retail destination in Al Juraina, conceptualised and developed by Alef Group and set to open in Q4. The F&B offer will include Sapori di Bice, a casual chic Italian family dining concept, Burger Boutique, an organic burger outlet and Azkadenya, an Amman-based concept that serves authentic Jordanian and Middle Eastern dishes. Also gearing up to make Zero 6 their first home in Sharjah are chocolatiers, Godiva, and Angelina, a Parisian patisserie. Issa Attaya, managing director, Alef Group, said: “We wanted to bring in unique and reputed brands whose service offering aligns with the needs of our target audience. “This destination’s impressive mix of dining brands will provide visitors a more upscale and diversified F&B offering than is currently available, and this fits in with our strategy of

moving beyond traditional retail concepts to offer visitors a holistic lifestyle experience.” Anchor stores at Zero 6 will include a 7-screen Cineplex built by Cinema City featuring the largest IMAX screen in the UAE, Spinneys, Fun City and Fitness First Platinum, and retail stores include Zeiss Optics and Urban Male Lounge, a barber shop and day spa. “We have been experiencing high demand for retail leasing space at Zero 6 and, as we continue to add to our roster by bringing new and exciting brands on board, we look forward to providing visitors a complete, all-under-one-roof family experience when we open later this year,” Attaya added. Inspired by Sharjah’s telephone code, Zero 6 features a striking design that is sophisticated and contemporary. Located close to prominent landmarks and high-end residential areas, the retail and dining offerings are complemented by a range of leisure and entertainment attractions.

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June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


W hat's cooking?


TSSC behind UAE’s first milk taps

Foodservice equipment provider TSSC, installed the UAE’s first milk taps at Flow, a new initiative conceptualised by Emirates Youth Council and developed by Jumeirah Restaurant Group. It also implemented its very first cold brew coffee tap at the venue, offering the option for nitro coffee to be available at the coffee bar area. The company was appointed by project manager, Compass Project Management, alongside BW Interiors, to install and commission the kitchen and coffee bar for the venue. Rashid Bahar, business development manager at TSSC explains that the successful implementation of the milk tap and brew systems came from a research trip to the US. He told Catering News: “I took a special trip to California last October with the mission to study the trends that have US coffee lovers buzzing. We made it happen in Dubai in a short timeframe by partnering with an experienced supplier 12

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

for the system in the US.” The milk taps allow customers the ability to dispense milk of their choice – including almond, rice, soya, coconut or cow’s milk – for their dishes or drinks. The cold brew tap offers nitro coffee, a cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen. Nitrogen does not easily dissolve in water, making the beverage creamier and richer than hot coffee. According to Bahar, TSSC was brought on board for the project due to the tight completion date. “TSSC is known for providing quick turnaround on projects in the market, provided all the approvals and commercial terms have been met by the client. We were awarded the project in December 2016 and handed over by March 2017,” he said. Flow is a healthy eating and creative hub aimed at inspiring Dubai’s tomorrow through stimulating design, conversation and energising, nourishing food.

Image courtesy of Tub of Butter


Home services platform ServiceMarket expands into catering ServiceMarket, an online platform for home services in the UAE has added catering to its services. ServiceMarket allows customers to request free quotes from different caterers at the click of a button, so they can choose which is best suited to their event and budget. Bana Shomali, co-founder of ServiceMarket, said: “With one click you get connected with licensed, professional catering companies across the city. “You can compare their reviews, browse their menus and get quotes for whatever party you are throwing. You no longer have to go through the hassle of searching for the best

solution for catering needs.” Among the caterers ServiceMarket has partnered with are Wafi Gourmet, Circle Café, Dish Catering, and Galeries Lafayette. ServiceMarket is a Dubaibased online marketplace that provides quotes and online bookings for moving, home services, and home and car insurance services in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE, through a network of more than 300 partners. Founded in 2013, has since grown to four cities in the Middle East, with plans to expand in the MENA region and beyond.

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

In a nutshell: Chez Sushi

Chez Sushi celebrates its fourth anniversary this month. With seven outlets open across the GCC, cofounder Hiba Kosta reveals how the homegrown brand has continued to expand and stay relevant What sets Chez Sushi apart from other sushi restaurants in Dubai? You can either take pre-prepared dishes from the belt or order set items from the menu, with Chez Sushi’s bespoke ‘design your own’ offering. While we do have an extensive menu with some of our most loved and signature dishes, we give customers a unique experience with our ‘Let’s Roll’ option. It allows them the freedom to custom build their rolls and choose exactly what they want their sushi to taste like, and exactly how it should look. What are some of your hero dishes on the menu? The hero of the moment is definitely the new noodle dishes. There are five varieties available and we’ve incorporated the customise option so our diners can create their own noodle masterpieces, with different soup bases, proteins and noodle types

including a healthier buckwheat noodle option. Some of Chez Sushi’s favourites are the tempura rock shrimp, our Bento Boxes and maki rolls. Lately our riceless sushi – the tuna wrap and salmon wrap – are extremely popular. It is the perfect option for those who are more carb-conscious and want to avoid the traditional rice rolls. What is your advice for other homegrown F&B brands? The fast-casual market is one of the fastest

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 -

growing sectors in the UAE restaurant industry. This means that you always need to keep up with new developments, be ahead of the trends and offer customers something unique and exciting. An important tip for doing this is to consistently grow and evolve your menu with new dishes. Location also plays a key part – if you’re not in the right place you won’t attract the right clients for your brand. What are your future plans for Chez Sushi? The past four years have been a whirlwind for us, and we are extremely proud of how far we’ve come in such a short space of time – opening nearly two outlets per year. Our most recent branch opened its doors just short of a year ago, so our focus now is on growing our existing locations even further, with plans for opening more branches in the GCC in the near future.

W hat's cooking?

UAE finalist announced for Chaine des Rotisseurs chef competition The UAE heats for the third edition of the Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Chefs Competition 2017 took place on Thursday 27 April at ICCA with 13 chefs from the country competing to go to the final. The competition was headed up by Chef Daniel Hiltbrunner CMC, conseiller culinaire honoraire who unveiled a mystery box for the chefs to cook with. The judges were monitoring the chefs’ cooking skills, product usage, wastage, hygiene and work flow, and following a

tasting session, they scored each dish on presentation, flavour and taste. The winner of the competition was Malimage Ishra Chamika Perera from Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek who will represent the UAE at the international competition in Germany in September.

World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 to take place in Basque region of Spain

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has announced that its 2018 awards and event programme will take place in the Basque region of Spain, with its flagship ceremony hosted

True and genuine French excellence in bakery

in the city of Bilbao. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is working in partnership with the Government of Biscay to bring its events to a region of Spain celebrated for its outstanding gastronomy. The 2018 location marks a return to Europe for the event, after editions in Australia this year and in New York in 2016. The move to Spain is part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ global tour, which kicked off in 2016 following 13 years of the awards being held in the UK.

Barilla partners with tennis player Roger Federer The Barilla Group has reached a long-term agreement with tennis player Roger Federer for the promotion of its pasta and sauce products around the world. Federer has won numerous titles and achieved many records: he holds the record for number of weeks as the world’s no. 1 ten14

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

nis player (302) and he has won 91 singles titles, including a record 18 Grand Slam titles. The Barilla Group has often worked with leading figures from the world of sport, including Alberto Tomba in skiing, tennis players Steffi Graf and Stefan Edberg and cyclist Francesco Moser.

r m o ra i s @ g ro u p e l e d u ff. c o m

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

Winners crowned at Leaders in Hospitality Awards 2017

The biggest hospitality show in the world

The winners of the Leaders in Hospitality Awards 2017, presented by Rikan were announced on Wednesday 17 May at a gala ceremony at The St. Regis Dubai. The awards were organised by Hotel News Middle East, the sister publication of Catering News Middle East. Sixteen winners took home awards including Leading New Hotel, Leading General Manager and the Lifetime Achievement Award. Praising the high standards set by this year's winners, as well as the shortlisted entries, BNC Publishing CEO Wissam Younane said: "For an event centered on recognising the MENA region's Leaders in Hospitality, it was an honour for us at Hotel News Middle East to be able to host some of the finest names in this industry at The St. Regis Dubai. "With more than 300 people in attendance, this year's Leaders in Hospitality Awards was a celebration of the excellent work being done in this sector, and we consider it a privilege to be able to laud the people and companies that are driving this dynamic industry forward." The event was presented by Rikan, with Platinum Sponsor Du; Hotel of Choice, The St.Regis Dubai; Luxury Fleet Partner, Cadillac, and category sponsors, 1765 Gemini and Pulsar Foodstuff Trading and The Gourmet Olive Market.

Winners: Leaders in Hospitality Awards 2017 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Leading General Manager - Stephen Meredith, Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay Leading Hotel Team - Media One Hotel, Dubai Leading Executive Housekeeper - Helga Fischer, W Doha Hotel & Residences Leading Procurement Manager - Arun Kumar, Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort Fujairah & Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa Leading IT Manager - Rushdy Mubarak, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront Leading F&B Manager - Sarin Monish, Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai Leading Hotel Chef - Sudqi Naddaf, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Rising Star Award - Sarah Noury, Media One Hotel Lifetime Achievement Award - Andy Cuthbert, Mina A Salam Hotel & C & I, Jumeirah Hospitality at Madinat Jumeirah Leading New Hotel - Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort Leading Serviced Apartment - Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha Leading Luxury Hotel - The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Leading Mid-Market Hotel - Dusit D2 Kenz Hotel, Dubai Leading Hotel F&B Outlet - Aseelah, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek Leading Hotel Spa - Palazzo Versace Dubai Sustainable Hotel Award - Park Inn by Radisson Muscat

June 2017 Catering NEWS ME

ADV_HOST_CateringNewsMiddleEast_90x242mm_Gennaio2017.indd 1


19/01/17 15:15

New places

Maiden Shanghai

Aloki Batra, managing director of SKAI Holdings discusses the company’s first F&B venture, the newly opened Maiden Shanghai at Viceroy Palm Jumeirah

Please describe the concept of the venue?

Maiden Shanghai is a new exploration of authentic Chinese cooking in a spectacular three-storey setting at the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai. The space features floorto-ceiling windows, a rooftop lounge and intimate private dining areas, all of which offer breathtaking views for an unforgettable experience.

What are the signature items on the menu?

The menu presents a blend of traditional dishes with a creative twist, inspired by flavours from four different types of Chinese cuisine – Cantonese, Sichuan, Shanghai and Beijing. The signature dishes include Pickled Salmon, Bing’s Peking Duck, Kung




Megamix has launched Omni Dubai, a new nightlife space located at Wafi Complex. The inaugural weekend on 4-5 May featured live performances from DJs Hatem Al Iraqi and Maya Diab. The newly redeveloped 20,000ft2 venue features a main club, balcony level and bar area and will have light shows with moving heads and LED effects. The DJ booth is located among the VIP tables and the mezzanine level offers more VIP seating in an intimate setting, with views over the main floor.

Abu Dhabi-based Royal Catering has introduced Delecto, a boutique retail and gourmet dining concept. The space features a showroom with eight themed culinary corners and an open kitchen. The retail area offers Royal Catering’s signature sweet and savoury creations, gifts and hampers. The culinary corners are an Arabic sweet counter, chocolate section, pastry and bakery, grill, sushi counter, salad bar, pizza and pasta station and a Mediterranean section. The venue offers bespoke corporate-branded boxes and is available for private functions. LOCATION: CI Tower, Abu Dhabi OPENING DATE: 11 May

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, which opened in December, is set to launch new destination restaurant, Key West, which feature flavours from the Caribbean region and Florida. The brand pays homage to Nikki Beach’s roots in Florida and is the final restaurant to open at the resort. The menu has been created by chef de cuisine, Olivier Hilton from the Caribbean, and focuses on healthy and comfortable fine dining with high quality ingredients and dishes that maintain the authenticity of Caribbean cuisine.

LOCATION: Wafi Complex, Dubai OPENING DATE: 4 May 16

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LOCATION: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai OPENING DATE: Summer 2017

N e w places

Pao Lobster, Chilean Seabass and Boom Boom Chicken. For lighter bites, diners can enjoy a special dim sum bar selection.

What is interesting about the beverage offer?

Classic cocktails have contemporary twists, while the signature cocktails are perfectly blended and delicious with subtle undertones of classic Chinese fruit flavours. Maiden Shanghai’s signature cocktails all have a unique story based on some of China’s most historic moments.

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

SKAI Holdings, the brand behind Maiden Shanghai, wanted the interior to reflect Chinese history throughout the ages. The décor features a carefully curated collection of antique chandeliers, lanterns and other decorative features sourced from vintage stores across the world. The artwork on the walls was designed by Joe Joe Ngai to showcase some of China’s iconic figures, including Sun Yat-sen, the first president and the founding father of the Republic of China.

How will the venue compete on the Dubai market?




Pan-Asian restaurant and bar, Novikov has launched Novikov Lounge, which offers drinks, pan-Asian bites and a line-up of guest DJs and artists. Connected to the restaurant, the lounge offers a relaxed and casual setting to enjoy a selection of Novikov specialities, including sashimi, sushi, dim sum and chargrilled options. Novikov is a concept from Dubai-based Bulldozer Group, the investment and brand management hospitality company behind Movida, VIP Room, The Hobo Club, Downtown Toko, Sass Café, Cipriani, Socialista Lounge, and Eshak.

Thanani offers lounge-style seating and views over Al Zorah’s 18-hole golf course and Al Zorah Creek, which has flamingos and a natural mangrove forest. The restaurant offers sharing dishes created by head chef Ricardo Menta. Dishes include a burrata trolley with smoked and flavoured burrata from Puglia, Italy; Loch Duart salmon; Kataifi prawns marinated in garlic olive oil and parsley with a sweet and sour apricot puree; and flavoured brioche and focaccia sliders with slow braised wagyu beef cheeks in a tarragon sauce.

Known for its signature Italian pizza, dough balls and pasta, PizzaExpress is open from lunch through to dinner at Al Reem Island, its second Abu Dhabi branch. There are currently nine of the brand’s restaurants in the UAE, including two Jazz@PizzaExpress restaurants. Established in 1965 in London, PizzaExpress is a part of Hony Capital and has more than 474 managed restaurants in the UK and over 120 franchised restaurants internationally in 14 countries.

LOCATION: Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai OPENING DATE: 8 May

LOCATION: Al Zorah Pavilion, Ajman OPENING DATE: 16 April

Located in the hottest new hotel on Palm Jumeirah, with unobscured panoramic views of the Dubai skyline paired with delicious food, Maiden Shanghai features skillfully blended drinks and a vibrant energy in a stylish setting to be enjoyed by locals and guests alike. A special lunch will also be available to cater for diners from the surrounding areas to attract daytime clientele.

The Facts Venue Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai Opening date 4 May 2017 Head chef Luo Bing Restaurant manager Bryan Van Den Berg

LOCATION: The Arc Tower, Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi OPENING DATE: 15 April June 2017 Catering NEWS ME



The socialite

Tim Smith, general manager at Marina Social says that the best part of working in hospitality is well... being social

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

I began by washing pots at the local pub at the age of 14; that’s when I really got the buzz for food and service. I got yelled at for not scrubbing quickly enough, but you finish the shift and you see that people loved the food and service – that’s the reward I got.

Who has inspired you most in your career?

I wouldn’t say I have had only one person that has inspired me. Many have in small ways and I always try to take on board the valuable feedback they have for me.

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

Dubai is ever-changing and is a very competitive market. What I like about the 18

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Dubai F&B scene is that there is always somewhere new to try, and the businesses are always learning to accommodate this vastly different cultured city.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

Ensuring that the guest’s expectations are always met is my biggest challenge. Guests don’t just come to a restaurant now for the food, they come for the show. They want something new to tell their family and friends about. This is fun for me, as I am always having to keep on my toes to come up with new ideas to make the guest feel wowed.

What’s the best aspect of your role?

Hearing and telling stories. In this industry, we are very fortunate that we can travel

Work Experience Aug 2015 - Jan 2017: Gen eral manager, Cocktail Kitchen Dubai May 2014 - Aug 2015: Assi stant general manager, Frioul Dubai Oct 2012 - May 2014: Rest aurant manager, Connaught Hotel, London, UK

and always have new and exciting stories about food and beverage. Yes, work hours are unsociable but it is a very sociable role.

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

Currently it would be Noma in Mexico. The Noma we all know has now opened up a seasonal outdoor restaurant and is using fresh ingredients from the local area; the whole experience is very new.

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

Ensure that you have learnt everything you can from your current employer. Don’t jump from job to job chasing the promotion. Knowledge and loyalty are key in the hospitality industry.


Bushman’s Restaurant and Bar hires new manager

Youssif Ftouni has joined Bushman’s Restaurant and Bar at Anantara The Palm, Dubai as its new restaurant manager. Ftouni has been working at the hotel since the pre-opening in 2013, at all-day dining restaurant, Crescendo. He developed his management skills and team supervision expertise with brands including Golden Tulip, and other outlets in Beirut and the UAE. Moving into his new role as restaurant manager at Bushman’s, Ftouni will be responsible for overseeing restaurant operations across the bar and terrace areas in the venue.

Trattoria Toscana makes two key appointments Trattoria Toscana at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, has appointed Italian-born Antonio Lacovelli as head chef and Giuseppe Di Martino as GM. Most recently chef de cuisine at Il Capo Restaurant, The Westin Al Habtoor City and Level 7 at W Hotel Al Habtoor City, Lacovelli was part of the launch team across both venues. Giuseppe Di Martino joins from Pierchic, also part of Jumeirah Restaurant Group, where he served as restaurant manager.

Francesco Di Noia joins Segreto as head chef

Segreto at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai has appointed executive head chef Francesco Di Noia. Following 10 years building his career across four-star properties in Italy, Di Noia spent a year at the Emporio Armani Café, Paris before working for eight years in London. Joining Jumeirah Group in 2015 as chef de cuisine at Alta Badia, Emirates Towers, Di Noia specialises in traditional Italian fine dining and the creative development of recipes and menus.

June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


O pinion

How to ensure your F&B outlet thrives during Ramadan Ramadan has traditionally been a challenging time of the year for F&B outlets, however, adapting your strategy can help your business to thrive, says Abdul Kader Saadi, managing director and owner of Glee Hospitality Solutions


reparation is key to food and beverage outlets having a healthy revenue during Ramadan. Outlets must begin preparations around three months ahead of the holy month and start communicating plans with suppliers early on since they could also be fasting and working reduced hours. Getting stock confirmed in advance is vital for smooth operations. Many outlets offer traditional buffets with masses of choice so there is a lot of pressure to ensure your offering stands out from the crowd. Although it’s important to introduce new and relevant menus, it is equally vital an outlet stays true to its identity even while adapting to Ramadan requirements. Always play to your strengths and don't try to be everything to everyone. For example, try look20

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

ing at the most popular items on your menu and give them a twist. Ramadan is a key month for socialising. Family and friends meet for iftars and are invited to each other's homes, so if an outlet can adapt a dessert offering to make it suitable for takeaway and offer gift packaging, this can be a hit. It’s a good idea to utilise this quieter period to encourage staff vacations since working hours are shorter and can be managed by single shift staff. Also, ensure your outlet is licensed for deliveries during fasting hours and is open for delivery and takeaway. During this challenging time of year, adapting your business is key to ensuring it continues to be successful.

About the author

Abdul Kader Saadi is managing director of Glee Hospitality Solutions, a Dubai-based collaboration of industry experts with broad knowledge and expertise in developing, opening and managing restaurants. Made up of a team of consultants, operators and equity holders of various food and beverage outlets spread across the region, Glee has a deep understanding of the global marketplace and boasts more than 30 years of experience in the business of hospitality. Now in its seventh year of operations, Glee Hospitality has launched over 20 concepts, 40 outlets and manages a team of nearly 400 employees with various concepts in their development phase.

Under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority

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C ov er Story

Out the


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. Crystal Chesters investigates


Catering NEWS ME June 2017

C over Story

RedFarm is a brand founded in New York


ubai-based investment company Gates Hospitality, headed up by chief executive Naim Maadad, has been ramping up its portfolio at an impressive rate since it was first established in 2011, but 2017 marks a milestone year with the company signing its first international project in London. In addition to this, a new Italian concept has been confirmed for Downtown Dubai and Maadad has announced plans for a third Ultra Brasserie to open in Sharjah. All this and the dust has only begun to settle on two highly-anticipated outlets that opened at Madinat Jumeirah earlier this year – Folly by Nick & Scott in partnership with well-known Dubai-based chef duo Nick Alvis and Scott Price, and French apres-ski venue Publique, the investor’s second venture with Julien Pilard and Jonathan Vercoutere following Bistro Des Arts. By the end of this year, the company will have 10 operating units in total. Underlining Gates’ expansion strategy is Maadad’s philosophy of plugging the right solutions in the right locations rather

than the other way around. “Unlike other operators, I’m not selling any brands; I’m not knocking on the door of a hotel saying, ‘I have this brand’. I’m looking at a site and thinking, what would fit with this site? What’s missing in the neighbourhood? What is the potential?” says Maadad during an interview with Catering News at one of the company’s venues, Reform Social & Grill. “We find a vacuum and we find a solution for that vacuum and we plug it in.” The model for Via Veneto, located in the space previously occupied by Fume Downtown Dubai on Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard, is “simple”, according to Maadad. With 226 covers in total, downstairs will be a casual café concept offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with pizza, ciabattas, paninis and focaccias on the menu, while upstairs will be a dining room/ bar area, with a full à la carte menu. Explaining why he felt Italian was the right fit for this location, Maadad says: “The boulevard is very Italian but there’s no Italian restaurant. Everyone eats pizza and pasta, so from an audience perspective we’re closing that

gap. Foodies can go upstairs and have alcohol and more sophisticated food, whereas downstairs it’s equally healthy, fresh and tasty but more comfort food-focused. I’m making sure that I complement the offer [on the boulevard] rather than competing. Italian makes a lot of sense”. The concept has been 18 months in the making and the team is moving fast to get it open and operating this summer. At the helm of the kitchen is Maxime Le Van, the previous executive chef of Boca Dubai and head chef of Grosvenor House Dubai, with the menu featuring modern presentations of traditional Italian recipes and a focus on quality, freshness and textures. Developing talent is another important aspect of Gates Hospitality's philosophy and Maadad is confident that Le Van is the right chef to take the concept forward. “I believe in Maxime as a chef,” comments Maadad. “I often refer to Nick and Scott as having changed the food scene in Dubai and I think Maxime is one of these guys too – focusing on quality and the fundamentals.” The design is an important aspect of June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C ov er Story

Unlike other operators, I’m not selling any brands; I’m not knocking on the door of a hotel saying, ‘I have this brand’. I’m looking at a site and thinking, what would fit with this site? What’s missing in the neighbourhood? What is the potential?”

the concept, with a striking façade, black and white design motif, and an accessible, rustic-chic ambience. “We’re turning the façade of the building into a design element so when people stop at the traffic lights, they’ll look up. The whole building will be head-turning, it will stand out like an icon,” Maadad adds. And if a 226-pax Downtown Dubai venue wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Maadad is ready to move into the international arena this year with an opening in London’s Covent Garden. The venture also marks the international debut for the US-founded modern Chinese concept, RedFarm, which was developed by dim sum master, chef Joe Ng and Chinese food expert Ed Schoenfeld, and brings a greenmarket sensibility to modern, inventive Chinese food with rustic décor. Maadad comments: “Covent Garden is an area that caters for the local people 24

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

and tourists. It has been restored without losing its authenticity, and it’s now more affordable and accessible to many people. “The business model is very simple and similar to what we’re doing in the UAE. It’s very good food in a modern environment without the price tag or the formalities and I think that’s a global trend. People want good, honest food; they want to see and be seen without having to spend a lot of money. Chinese is a cuisine we like but because of the unhealthy associations, many people shy away from it, so the menu at RedFarm is very healthy and modern.” The venue is set across four floors, and there are plans for a speakeasy bar on the underground level, with the other three floors dedicated to dining. There are already two RedFarm restaurants operating in New York – in Upper West Side and West Village – and the London venue will

mainly feature the same menu as these locations, with grilled jumbo shrimp, vegetables and red curry; sautéed diced lamb with Chinese broccoli and pickled shallot; and seared live sea scallop, scallop dumpling, watercress and corn sauce just some of the items on offer, in addition to a wide range of dim sum and dumplings, including ‘Pac Man’ shrimp dumplings; crispy duck and crab dumplings; and pan-fried lamb dumpling shooters. With his workload getting ever heavier, Maadad has appointed Patrick White as his number two. Previously food and beverage operation manager at Habtoor Hospitality, where he worked across five venues, in his new role White will be involved in Ultra Brasserie, Folly by Nick & Scott and Via Veneto initially before expanding his remit to take in the full portfolio. In addition to ensuring the new projects

C over Story

A rendering of the interior of Via Veneto

go well, Maadad is keen to revisit his existing brands to see where improvements can be made. For example, following the recent departure of Chef Ryan Waddell from Reform Social & Grill, the menu has been relaunched with Waddell’s previous number two, Stuart Cuddy, at the helm. Maadad refers to this as “another exciting chapter” for the gastropub. “We’re calling it the ‘rebirth of the classics’. If we can match the service with the food the chef is putting out then that will be great. It’s very classical and there’s a large pork section, which is a USP of this restaurant – not many others offer that.” The business model for Ultra Brasserie is also being revisited and a third location will be rolled out this year at Sharjah University. “I’m looking at the Ultra business model and that will be revived so we’ll be pushing more on the organic, healthy component. In the Sharjah business model, this is an untapped market; it’s a huge population of students that have lunch, cake in the morning or afternoon, coffee – so we need to adapt our menu to suit that. Ultra has legs. Sadly, I haven’t been able to push

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June 2017 Catering NEWS ME

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22.05.2017 16:54:53


C ov er Story

A rendering of the exterior of Via Veneto

hard the locations in Dubai because they are difficult to access, but with the new location in Sharjah, we’ll put a lot more emphasis on the brand.” Maadad has pinpointed London and Australia as the key markets for further international expansion, and he doesn’t rule out bringing the RedFarm brand to the UAE or taking his UAE brands to London or Australia – particularly Folly. “In 2018, we’ll diversify a lot out of the UAE market; I think Australia and London will be key areas for Gates. We have the know-how, we have the capital, we have the audience and I think these are markets that are very solid from a food perspective and they are advanced and could add value to our business as well. Internationally, Folly has legs. It wouldn’t necessarily be called Folly elsewhere, but I think that brand would work from day one rather than having too many risks.” For Maadad, ensuring each one of his venues can stand on its own two feet is key and in order to ensure this, he knows he has to pace himself. “I’m looking to do a lot more but it’s baby steps. Everyone in the business needs to be self-sufficient and delivering a strong PnL – otherwise it’s not a business, it’s a headache,” he comments. “There will be no more this year [after Via Veneto and RedFarm] because I want control – not because I’m a control freak but because I want to deliver. There’s so much happening on the market, it’s dangerous. The business is there but it’s making sure we tap into the markets and understand what we offer.” 26

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

Publique has an 'apresski' theme

In 2018, we’ll diversify a lot out of the UAE market; I think Australia and London will be key areas for Gates. We have the know-how, we have the capital, we have the audience and I think these are markets that are very solid from a food perspective and they are advanced and could add value to our business as well” Folly by Nick & Scott


Dubai World Trade Centre 18 - 20 September 2017

W hat's cooking?

Latin Spirit I n A bu D habi

Following the launch of the second Coya in the UAE, the brand’s global executive chef, Sanjay Dwivedi, speaks to Catering News about how the venue in the capital compares to its big brother in Dubai


Catering NEWS ME June 2017

The business

Beetroot Causa


he second UAE Coya opened its doors in March at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi as part of The Dining Collection, a group of chef- and restaurateur-led concepts with existing regional credentials, such as Nusr-Et, Loca, Roberto’s, Bentley Bistro and Bar, Nolu’s, Almaz by Momo, Emporio Armani Caffe and Coya’s sister brands, La Petite Maison and Zuma. According to Coya global executive chef, Sanjay Dwivedi, opening the Peruvian restaurant and pisco bar in Abu Dhabi was a smoother process than launching the Middle East’s debut Coya at Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach in late 2014. “We started the Abu Dhabi project early last year and opened in March to the public for the first time with amazing success. The guys have done an amazing job and it makes my job look even easier. It’s easier

When you do openings it’s not about what the food is going to taste like. It’s about feeling the energy of the room and the kitchen and how the kitchen is going to work, and how the front of house is going to work, and then how everything is going to come together and ensuring we deliver at the same time.” - Sanjay Dwlvedi June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T he Business

anyway to open the second restaurant I think,” Dwivedi tells Catering News during a visit to the Abu Dhabi venue. Even though his role is very much focused on developing the menus for the five Coyas around the world – two in the UAE, two in London and one in Miami – Dwivedi believes that at early stages of opening, it’s equally important to ensure the “energy” is correct. “I’m sitting at the restaurant now and any time I go to a restaurant anywhere I open, I always sit at different tables just to feel the energy of the table; you see different things from different tables. “When you do these openings, it’s not about what the food is going to taste like. It’s about feeling the energy of the room and the kitchen and how the kitchen is going to work, and how the front of house is going to work, and then how everything is going to come together and ensuring we deliver at the same time.” Another element that has made the opening flow well, has been the staff, who have been trained intensively in Dubai. “The staff in Abu Dhabi were trained in Coya Dubai, both front of house and back of house, so they know the product. The training has been intense and some of the staff have been promoted – those who have been with us for a while. The head chef of Coya Abu Dhabi was previously sous chef at Coya Dubai and he’s been with us for the past three years and knows Coya inside out. There are also some sous chefs who have been promoted within the company – the guys have done an amazing job.” With just 80 seats inside, 25 on the terrace and 12 in the private dining room, the Abu Dhabi restaurant is smaller than the Dubai venue, however according to Dwivedi it also boasts the best views of any Coya in the world, overlooking the waterfront promenade. “In terms of décor, they are quite similar but the Dubai property is huge, whereas this one is much cosier,” says Dwivedi. “When you walk into Coya Dubai you think ‘wow’ whereas with Coya Abu Dhabi, you’ll be intrigued and you’ll either take the lift or stairs to come down to it and you’ll see the whole restaurant – it’s very different.” The menu has also been reduced in size and adapted slightly to suit a more business-centric location – compared to the 30

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

Amberjack tiradito

resort location of Coya Dubai. “We’re really focusing on Coya Abu Dhabi for lunch because it’s in the business area, so it’s fast, it’s healthy and it’s quick – that’s the message we’re trying to tell everyone,” says Dwivedi. Adapting dishes to the local market is also key. Given that the original Coya menu had already been tweaked to cater to the Dubai clientele, this aspect of opening

in the capital was again, easier. “When I’m in Miami or Dubai, I’m a guest in your country. I have to respect the culture, the eating and drinking habits and so forth. The menus are the same all over Coya, but we’ll try to adapt 20 – 25% to the country. For example, in the UAE people love meat but in London they prefer the fish dishes. There’s fish

available in both locations, but that extra 20% is probably an extra meat dish on the menu here.” Dishes on the menu in the Abu Dhabi restaurant include the ‘Tiradito de Serviola’, a Peruvian raw fish classic, mixed with truffle oil and chives; Chilean seabass cooked in a brassa (an open charcoal grill); in addition to ceviche, anticuchos (marinated skewers fired on a charcoal grill), and a number of meat and poultry dishes. And while having the likes of Zuma and La Petite Maison next door could prove challenging, Dwivedi believes that The Dining Collection will help to solidify the eating-out culture in Abu Dhabi, and collectively the restaurants may help the capital compete better with Dubai’s thriving F&B scene. “I think Abu Dhabi is growing and changing – even since we first saw the site just over a year ago. A lot of people were going first to Dubai to eat and now they are thinking ‘why not just stay in Abu Dhabi?’” Dwivedi comments. “It’s great to have competition around you because it raises your game. In the end, the tough survive and the customer

gets the best and that’s what we’re all striving to achieve.” In addition to the newly opened Abu Dhabi venue, Coya Angel Court has just opened, marking the brand’s second London venue. Juggling two new restaurants in addition to the already-established three, Dwivedi is keen to consolidate before mov-

ing on to any other new projects. “We take it as it comes but my future plan is to settle this little baby,” he says, referring to the Abu Dhabi Coya. “You have to be careful not to outgrow yourself. I’ll make sure that both my new Coyas are performing the way we want them to, and then we’ll see.”

June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C hef focus

Luke Thomas first made a name for himself as the world’s youngest head chef in 2012. Five years on, the 23-year-old is all grown up and is turning his back on Chester and setting his sights firmly on London and beyond. Crystal Chesters reports uke Thomas was best known as the world’s youngest head chef when he joined Sanctum on the Green in Berkshire, England at the age of 18, which later became Luke's Dining Room at Sanctum on the Green. Catering News Middle East met with the Welsh chef at Retro Feasts Dubai – first seen in London’s Mayfair as a pop-up and launched on The Beach at JBR in 2015 – to find out who he is today, five years on. While he is wise beyond his years, Thomas retains a reassuring youthful sparkle in his eye, and an open-mindedness and thirst for adventure that reminds you that he really is just 23. In the surroundings of his restaurant at The Beach, Thomas basks in the mid-morning sunshine, which to him 32

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

is a novelty, being based in Chester most of the time. “I think over the past few years, Dubai has really rocketed in terms of its offering and now it’s a melting pot of global flavours,” he enthuses. “Even just this strip from the Hilton to Retro Feasts, you’ve got Greek, Mexican, Spanish, English – everything! And I think there are a lot of very credible brands here so being surrounded by those people and names is great.” Global flavours are something that Thomas is keen to cultivate further into his menus and concepts. Travelling once or twice a week, he enjoys exploring the world via food and believes this is his primary inspiration as a chef. “I was in the Caribbean last week and on a Friday night all the locals come together and drink rum and cook the local fish. It’s super casual,

it’s about getting together and eating super fresh, super cheap, delicious food and having a good time.” However, he wasn’t always so footloose, admitting he was once “a bit afraid of travelling”. Having grown up in a single-parent household, he didn’t like school and cooking provided an outlet for his creativity. He started cooking at the age of 12, balancing school with evening jobs in kitchens, and learning the basics. “The first restaurant I worked in when I was 12, I learned classic bistro food and learned how to make all the classic sauces, beautiful mashed potatoes, I learned how to cook vegetables really well and get flavours into them, I learned how to marinate, to cook fish and meat brilliantly – I started to understand the flavours.” He then went on to work in a Michelin-

Wh at' s c ook i n g?

It was a kind of pressure that I never knew existed. My parents weren’t career people and there were moments when I didn’t know who to ring for advice – I didn’t know these things happened in life, both good and bad” - Luke Thomas

June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C hef focus

starred restaurant where he came to understand the “finesse” of food, however he admits that earning a Michelin star is not one of his goals. “I enjoy cooking in a different way – I get more of a buzz out of people eating really good, simple food and it being more about an experience. I think people chase experience now, which is all about the food, the environment, the location, who they’re with and what it looks like on social media.” The biggest achievement of his career to date has not been winning any prizes or becoming a celebrity chef at a young age (Thomas was catapulted into the spotlight by the BBC Three documentary series Britain's Youngest Chef when he was working at Sanctum). What he is most proud of, is having taken a risk at a crucial crossroads in his life. “At the age of 17, I was in a tricky position over which way I should go. I’d cooked a lot in different restaurants and I knew I wanted to spend a lifetime with food but when you’re young, lots of people give you advice and it’s hard to know what’s the right advice. “I got a really amazing offer to take over a restaurant in the south as head chef and honestly, I wasn’t equipped to do it at the time but I thought I’d say yes and figure it out later. Everyone was saying ‘you’re too young, don’t do it, go and travel and learn about food and come back in 10 years and do it’. But I took the gamble knowing some things would go well and some things could go really badly wrong.” The opportunity came at a time when casual dining and street food was becoming very popular in London, and Thomas was at the forefront of this movement. However, it wasn’t easy. Being in the public spotlight only increased the pressure on him to succeed as a teenage head chef. “It was a kind of pressure that I never knew existed. My parents weren’t career people and there were moments when I didn’t know who to ring for advice – I didn’t know these things happened in life, both good and bad.” Managing a team of staff who were older than him was tough, and Thomas admits he got carried away with his success. “You can imagine at 18, the guys that work for you don’t want to see you succeed. There were a few after a while that started to believe in me and understand what I was trying to achieve. “I was way too ambitious at the start and when I took a step back I saw it for what it 34

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

Retro Feasts, The Beach, JBR

was and started to take the food seriously and forget about all the noise. It’s hard when you’re a teenager with this huge responsibility – it’s hard to know what to do, you don’t know how to delegate,” he comments. Despite the challenges he faced at the time, Thomas doesn’t regret his decision and doesn’t think he missed out on any of the things other 23-year-olds have done. In addition to travelling the world, he has already learned a lot from mistakes that he may not have made until much later in his career. For example, having faced difficulties managing and delegating at 18, he now believes that creating a positive work environment is key to his success. “It’s now my

focus to have the best culture in my restaurants. If you treat your people right, the rest just flows – the customers feel it, the suppliers, everyone feels it.” He is also now in a great position to inspire other young people – chefs in particular. “I think young people are put into this situation where you either go to university or you get a job but there are a tonne of opportunities out there,” he says. “For young chefs I’d say, learn your craft, work with as many people as possible, take advice, listen, absorb everything, go and eat, try new things, go and see different cultures – travel is the most inspiring thing you can do. Don’t just see the big cities but the places less

C hef F ocus

talked about that have a really homely, specific food culture – that can change the way you think, cook and live your life for the better.” Continuing to travel is one of Thomas’ big ambitions, alongside opening a restaurant in London. He has just pulled out of Gin Rickey's and Luke's Eating House in Chester, a venture he went into with Odysian Ltd, which sold the lease to The Alchemist. He comments: “In April, myself and Odysian Holdings sold the lease on our Chester City Centre location. It was a great two years, especially being close to home and I can't thank everyone enough who supported us during our time in Chester. However, The Alchemist have now bought

the site and will re-launch this summer, which will be a great addition to the city.” He describes the upcoming restaurant in Shoreditch, set to open this year, as his “first own restaurant” given that his Dubai and Chester outlets have been operated through partnership agreements. “The restaurant in London is a big goal, something I’ve always wanted to do. When you’re young with no real backing, it’s quite hard to open a restaurant – you need money, you need people and all those things. “This time it’s taken a few years to pull together because getting people to come on board and start believing what you’re about takes time, and it’s only happened through

spending time with people and travelling...” Thomas’ passion for travel is something that will permeate the concept of his new restaurant; he wants to bring different food traditions from around the world under one roof. “You might be next to someone who lives next door or someone who has travelled 3,000 miles; that sort of thing for me is so important. “It’s experience, experience, experience and being accessible – whether you’re the guy who has nothing or the guy that has everything. If you can have an environment where you bring people together and on the back of that, help other people achieve their dreams, then that’s a special thing. “That’s my ambition.” June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


C hef F ocus

A taste for

A dventure

Creating new F&B outlets is like going on an adventure vacation according to Dennis Kammerzell, the recently appointed executive chef at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara

to ‘the port’ in Arabic and features Mediterranean flavours with Lebanese, Italian, Greek, Turkish and Spanish using seasonal ingredients and seafood caught daily. Dining by Design is a private dining experience for two guests, hosted in a beach or garden setting with a connoisseur menu served by a personal chef and villa host, and lastly the Spice Spoons experience is a specialised cooking course for Omani or Thai cuisine, hosted by myself.

What’s your career background?

I was previously executive sous chef for Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, where I oversaw the operations of six dining outlets and banqueting. I have over 12 years of experience as a chef and I’ve travelled the world, heading up kitchens in luxury hotels in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Seychelles and the UK.

What’s your strategy for developing F&B concepts?

First comes the vision. If you can see the end, the rest is just a process. A new concept is like an adventure vacation – you source the location, then take into account the possibilities, the environment, the culture, the infrastructure and then you plan according to those things. The major challenges are the cost factor and coming up with the right products according to the market.

Tell us about the restaurants at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara:

We have all-day dining restaurant Sakalan – ‘the land of frankincense’ – with open kitchens and deli counters. Our signature restaurant is Mekong, which takes guests 36

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

Guests can have a romantic dinner for two on the beach

My goal is to create menus that are balanced, interesting and innovative, with a touch of something new to make people curious” - Dennis Kammerzell on a voyage along South East Asia’s river with cuisines from China, Thailand and Vietnam. We’ve also got beachside dining restaurant Al Mina, which translates

Which experiences and influences do you draw on for your menu creation?

Writing a new menu is like writing a love letter to your crush. If you use the same ingredients as everyone else, you will not impress her; using terms or expressions that only you understand will confuse her. Make it too simple and she will be bored and uninterested; make it too fancy, it might not fit the budget. My goal is to create menus that are balanced, interesting and innovative, with a touch of something new to make people curious. People want to try new things and if they like it, hopefully they will come back with friends.

C hef F ocus

Some of the dishes at Al Mina restaurant

Mekong takes guests on a voyage along South East Asia’s river with cuisines from China, Thailand and Vietnam

Beachside dining restaurant, Al Mina

What advice would you offer to chefs starting out in this region?

Be very open minded as the Middle East is about so much more than Arabic food. The market is impressively varied and large and the competition does not sleep, so if you don’t push yourself, you will be left behind.

Signature restaurant, Mekong

Which restaurants in Salalah do you view as your strongest competitors?

There is no competition, only guidelines. The smallest restaurant can have the best paratha or kabsa maker and you should not try to compete but learn and evolve.

Which suppliers do you work with?

We are currently working with a couple of local suppliers in Oman and some from the UAE. However, we are looking to work more within the local market to be more sustainable and for marketing purposes. So far, the only challenge has been the arrival time. It can take too long to get produce but in the end it is worth the wait for delicate Items.

How do you see the menus evolving going forward?

I think we will add more fresh products, and more balanced and healthy items. We’re

also looking into using more local products with a mix of the outside world. We want to get the resort on the map as the capital of culinary and guest service experience. June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


T he Hotel Show

Makati City, the business district of Metro Manila, Philippines

The Hotel Show gears up for inaugural Philippines event T

Dubai’s The Hotel Show will make its debut in the Philippines this year next to the country’s largest food show

he Hotel Show Dubai – the Middle East’s largest event dedicated to the hospitality industry, entering its 18th edition this year – is set to launch in the Philippines for the first time in August, colocated with World Food Expo (WOFEX), the country’s largest food show. The inaugural The Hotel Show Philippines and the 17th edition of WOFEX will take place from 2-5 August 2017 in Metro Manila. 38

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

Together, they will provide the biggest food and hospitality platform in the Philippines’ history, occupying its two largest venues: World Trade Center Metro Manila and SMX Convention Center. John Suzara, event manager of The Hotel Show Philippines, commented: “Together, The Hotel Show and WOFEX are providing the ultimate chance for hotel and food and beverage professionals to source everything

needed to build, develop and maintain a hotel or F&B establishment at a time of significant growth for the Philippines hospitality and tourism sector.” According to Colliers International, food and beverage now accounts for 30% to 50% of leasable space in shopping centres across the Philippines, and 40% of Philippine household expenditure. Meanwhile, in 2017, Colliers forecast

The H otel S how

dmg events and PEPTarsus teams at The Hotel Show Philippines launch event in Manila

Judges at the Philippine Culinary Cup, WOFEX

4,200 new hotel rooms to be delivered in capital city Manila at a time when tourism is at a high and continues to grow at an unprecedented rate – with 12 million international visitors expected by 2020. WOFEX sees more than 50,000 visitors annually. With the largest number of exhibitors and occupied space, it remains the biggest event dedicated to food in the Philippines. Visitors from all over the world have the chance to experience the best of Filipino foodstuffs including some of the country’s best homegrown products. Meanwhile global exhibitors showcase the best in international cuisine to the local market. Features also include cooking and baking demos, technical and business seminars, and the ‘Philippine Culinary Cup’ – the only Philippine competition endorsed by Worldchefs, the World Association of Chef Societies. The Hotel Show Philippines will showcase local and international suppliers representing the product sectors that embody the full spectrum of the hospitality industry, from interiors, lighting and design to technology, and much more. Meanwhile, the 18th edition of flagship event, The Hotel Show Dubai, will follow in September (18 – 20 2017) at the Dubai World Trade Centre as part of Dubai International Hospitality Week. Find out more about The Hotel Show Dubai (www.thehotelshow. com), The Hotel Show Philippines (www.thehotelshowphilippines. com), and WOFEX ( June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


S pecial Report

Farming for

the future

As the Middle East’s food imports continue to grow, regional innovation is crucial to ensure future food security. John Griffiths, CEO of Technopodia explains why aeroponics could be the solution


echnopodia, a company launched by ex-aircraft engineer John Griffiths, is looking to pioneer aeroponics in the UAE as the preferred urban farming method for growing fruit and vegetables and crops. The technique involves growing plants in vertical stacks without sunlight or soil, and while it is nothing new – the first aeroponics apparatus was commercially available in 1983 and from 2006 it has been used in agriculture across the globe – it has not yet been widely used in farming in the Middle East. Up until now, hydroponics, which uses a liquid nutrient 40

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solution and essential minerals to sustain plant growth, has been the more common farming method in the region. However, Griffiths is quick to highlight why aeroponics is superior. “We don’t grow plants in greenhouses, so we can control the structure inside far better. We use a lot less water and energy,” he comments. “Most hydroponic systems have to use chemicals to keep out microbes and bacteria because mould grows in humid environments. Also, if roots are sitting in water they get damaged and it impacts the flavour. With aeroponics, there’s no

water so the roots get oxygen and a bigger uptake of nutrition.” In addition to providing a better-quality product and larger yield than other urban farming methods, Griffiths is keen to promote the clean food benefits of the system, pointing out that even so-called organic fruit and vegetables in the Middle East often contain pesticides and pathogens from the soil. “We want to move away from that. We don’t have any growing medium whatsoever so everything is based on the nutrition that is sprayed onto the roots of the plant directly. There’s nothing added, no

S pecial Report

Technopodia’s showcase unit

L-R: John Griffiths, CEO, Technopodia and regional partner Khalid Al Azzani

Technopodia’s first shoots of pak choy, a type of Chinese cabbage fertilisers, just pure nutrition in the form of natural salts.” Griffiths has spent ten months building a showcase unit for the system, carefully adjusting the light, temperature, CO2 levels and oxygen to create the perfect prototype. “We’re testing it out and playing about with the power requirements and trying to get the cycle of nutrition down to the lowest level because in theory in aeroponics, the plants need less nutrition. “We’re also looking at what sort of plants we can grow. If you look at hydroponic systems in big greenhouses, they have prob-

lems with insects, whereas we can control the CO2 levels to kill the insects naturally.” Initially, items such as leafy greens and herbs, Asian greens, strawberries, different varieties of tomatoes and pea plants will be tested out. Later, the team will look at how they can introduce apples, citrus fruits and perhaps even some high value crops. In terms of the actual expertise on the plants being grown, Griffiths’ brother who is based in the UK, is a member of the Royal Horticulture Society and takes care of that side of the business. “If there’s any issue or if we’re asked to grow a certain plant, for

Here in Dubai most of our food is imported and the government wants to change that. It’s not just about the food itself but the transport costs and the environment. We want to drive clean food and support the environment” John Griffiths example garlic or ginger, he experiments in the UK,” says Griffiths. Technopodia is still in the early stages, but already there are plans to set up branches across the world in the UK, South Africa, and the Middle East, which is currently being established with Griffiths' partner, Khalid Al Azzani. However, he is clear that he does not want a large production headquarters, since he plans to make the aeroponics units available in a modular format, with a 40-foot unit the equivalent of an acres’ worth of growing. “If you want a massive farm we can give you that, or if June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Technopodia is testing out its first strawberry plants in the showcase unit you want a unit for the roof of a building, we’ll do one. We are also looking into building-integrated agriculture, so for example a hotel could use one floor to create their own farm,” says Griffiths. And while the company can offer a full turnkey solution whereby they build, operate and manage the farm, either on a short-term or long-term basis, Griffiths wants to make ensure the units are fully automated and therefore user-friendly with low manpower costs. “There are only five of us at the moment because it’s the beginning. We can get the panels produced, we deliver them on-site and all the system and pumps can be put together there so I don’t need a manufacturing unit or hundreds of staff.” That said, Griffiths expresses an interest in CSR, and mentions that he would like Technopodia to support African farmers to become entrepreneurs and create jobs for the long-term unemployed in the UK, particularly ex-armed force veterans. “We can set up farms for them and hopefully get government and charity support to help them build a business and they can provide restaurants or hotels with clean food.” In addition, he would like to set up centres of excellence and agricultural free zones around the world to transfer knowledge on aeroponics. With Middle East food imports set to top US $35.2 billion by 2020, according to a recent report from BMI, regional innovation is crucial to ensure future food security. Whether aeroponics can provide a solution for this remains to be seen, however Griffiths certainly sees it as a way forward. He says: “Here in Dubai most of our food is imported and the government wants to change that. It’s not just about the food itself but the transport costs and the environment. “We want to drive clean food and support the environment.” 42

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Coffee Special Catering News presents the coffee trends impacting the Middle East’s F&B industry and the latest coffee products and machines on the market






COFFEE Machines



COFFEE Products June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Trends in...


From cold brew to pour-over and single-origin beans, Catering News explores the latest coffee trends in the Middle East

Cold brew has exploded in popularity in 2017. Unlike other types of coffee, cold brew takes time to make as it requires soaking the special coffee beans in water for more than 12 hours” Eman Al Owais, founder, Jolie Floral Boutique Café


hile coffee has always been an important part of Middle Eastern culture, the region is currently experiencing unprecendented growth in the volume of coffee consumed. According to Euromonitor, on-trade volume of coffee sales increased by 6% in 2016 and is expected to remain at this growth rate in 2017. A recorded 2.3 billion tonnes in 2017 is set to reach 3 billion tonnes by 2021, representing 44

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a total volume CAGR of 6% over the forecast period 2016-2021. In line with this growth in consumption, consumers are becoming more sophisticated when it comes to seeking out the best coffee experiences, and are taking an interest in everything from barista training to the beans and the latest brewing gadgets. One of the most prominent trends in coffee in the Middle East at the moment is cold brew, a beverage produced by steeping coffee

A frothy nitro cold brew coffee grounds in water at cool temperatures for an extended period, usually 12 hours or more. This can also be charged with nitrogen to produce nitro cold brew coffee, which has a creamy texture and a head. Robert Jones, managing director of Coffee Planet said: “One of the most notable trends aside from specialty-grade coffee is the increased demand for freshly-roasted as well as cold brew and nitro coffees. This

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is great for us as we roast and pack our own coffee in Dubai, which allows us to quickly adapt to any coffee needs. Cold brew is suited to specialty coffee as it emphasises the delicate nuances and aromas of the bean and we expect to see this type of coffee continue to grow in popularity.” When creating cold brew coffee, roomtemperature or chilled water is used to steep the coffee grounds and once they have been filtered out of the water, a coffee concentrate is left over, which can be diluted with water or milk. Cold brew can also be made using a slowdrip method, whereby water is dripped through coffee beans over several hours. Cold brew is known for having lower acidity than hot coffee. Rashid Bahar, business development manager at TSSC, which recently installed cold brew taps in the newly opened Flow café at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, commented: “The cold brew tap offers nitro coffee, a cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen. Nitrogen does not easily dissolve in water, making the beverage creamier and richer than hot coffee. Cold brew must be treated differently to hot coffee as it takes longer to make and has a higher caffeine content due to steeping time. We recommend 14 – 16 hours in a refrigerator with a special cold brewer.” Jolie Floral Boutique Café, which opened its doors earlier this year and specialises in floral-infused coffees, offers three types of cold brew – Irish, almond cinnamon and Arabic. “Cold brew has exploded in popularity in 2017,” said Eman Al Owais, the café’s founder. “Unlike other types of coffee, cold brew takes time to make as it requires soaking the special coffee beans in water for more than 12 hours.” Another trend Al Owais highlights is that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the origins of coffee. Many are now looking for single-origin beans, grown within one geographical region, or even micro-lot coffee, a specific single-origin coffee from a single field on a farm, a small range of altitude and a specific day of harvest. “A number of independent coffee merchants are shifting their focus to the quality of the coffee instead of the amount of coffee they serve. The demand for single origin and micro-lot is increasing,” she said.

Single origin beans are increasing in popularity, such as Coffee Planet’s Nicaragua El Bosque Bahar from TSSC agreed, adding: “People are coming to know more about the origin of the beans. They are trying to decipher their own favourite flavour from different origins and so we need to be able to propose to guests what they might like. People are also starting to care more about the environment and you can see that in beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.” Coffee Planet is one company adapting to the trend for single origin coffee, and currently offers single origin 100% Arabica specialty beans, each with their own tasting note. A popular choice is the Nicaragua El Bosque single origin beans,

which provide a combination of milk chocolate and roasted almond aromas complemented by a melted butter and crème caramel sweetness. In addition to the beans, customers are turning their attention to new coffee brewing gadgets. Tony Billingham, Boncafe group executive director highlights the siphon coffee brewer, which uses a heat source to create a vacuum in one chamber by forcing water up into another chamber where the coffee grounds are steeped. The brew then drains back down to the bottom chamber. “Siphon coffee brewers is one of the trends on the market – brewing coffee June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Every hot coffee is served with a flower stem at Jolie Café

from elegant glass chambers using a stunning vacuum process,” he comments. For Al Owais of Jolie Floral Boutique Café, another trend is pour-over coffee. “Elevating the coffee experience to the next level, Jolie offers Chemex coffee,” she comments. “The Chemex coffee maker is a manual, pour-over style glass container coffee maker, which is perfect for all specialty coffee lovers. Everything is made by hand with a paper filter, which reduces the coffee oils and results in a better tasting coffee.” Another alternative brewing technique on the rise is a cold drip coffee maker, according to Jones of Coffee Planet. “The cold drip gadget uses a metal valve to control the drip. The coffee flows through the stainless-steel filter resulting in a clean, rich brew. Exploring brewing gadgets creates new ways to enjoy specialty coffee as it emphasises distinctions in taste from gadget to gadget. We expect to see these alternative brewing methods continue to grow in popularity,” he comments. For coffee enthusiasts today, having picture-perfect coffee is another priority, which is why Jolie Café focuses on creating Insta46

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Siphon coffee brewers are a trend

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People are coming to know more about the origin of the beans. They are trying to decipher their own favourite flavour from different origins and so we need to be able to propose to guests what they might like” Rashid Bahar, business development manager, TSSC gram-ready drinks. “Everyone is after that unmatched experience they can post on social media,” comments Al Owais. “Our baristas make sure that every coffee they serve is Instagram-worthy and for that special Jolie touch, we add a stem of a rose, carnation or tulip.” Latte art and ‘selfie drinks’ are other presentation trends pointed out by Arnd Springer, managing partner at Jackson Vending Dallmayr who says these are set to launch at the company’s Blue Beach Café on Dubai’s Kite Beach this year. As the coffee market continues to grow and mature in the Middle East, it is important for F&B outlets to explore the latest trends, while continuing to focus on the basics – quality beans, excellent machines and outstanding baristas. Al Owais concludes: “The coffee industry is evolving into a science of crafting the perfect cup of coffee, time and time again. This science requires synergy, from the origins of the coffee beans and how they are roasted, all the way up to the experience of your barista.”


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Full steam ahead

Catering news sniffs out the best new coffee machines on the market

BONCAFE CEO Tony Billingham speaks about La Marzocco Linea PB AV, one of the company’s best-sellers What is your best-selling coffee machine product? In traditional coffee machines, La Marzocco Linea PB AV is one of our best-sellers. What is unique about it? All the models feature unique characteristics, such as being completely hand crafted, using stainless steel material (including the boilers), a dual boiler system and delivering dry steam. The Linea PB AV, designed by and named in recognition of Piero Bambi and inspired by the Linea Classic, has refined, sharpened design elements with simplified lines, a lower profile and fine-tuned performance features. These include an exclusive, user-friendly interface software to ensure a new level of performance, an optional new patented scale technology and the machine can be programmed to enter a stand-by mode, thereby improving energy efficiency. What is the most important feature of the perfect coffee machine? The most important feature of a coffee machine is its calibration. T: +971 4 282 8742 E: W:

DE’LONGHI Massimo Renesto, MEIA region brand manager, Braun & De'Longhi presents De’Longhi’s Dedica machine What is your best-selling coffee machine product? De’Longhi’s best-selling coffee machine is the Dedica pump-driven espresso maker. What is unique about it? The Dedica machines are equipped with a thermoblock heating system that enhances the performance, quality and ease of use. It also allows for coffee length customisation. Additionally, the machines have an easy-to-use control panel with three illuminated buttons, an on/off button with an automatic standby for energy saving, and a self-priming system, which means the machine is always ready for use. What is the most important feature of the perfect coffee machine? The most important feature of the Dedica machine is its breakthrough design. It has a one-of-a-kind design, making it the slimmest on the market with only 15cm of width. Regardless of its smaller size, it allows its users to benefit from everything an excellent machine offers. T: +971 4 417 4800 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME June 2017

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The Victoria Arduino – Black Eagle VA388 is one of Coffee Planet’s most popular machines says managing director, Robert Jones What is your best-selling coffee machine? Catering to high-volumes and demanding coffee-professionals, the Victoria Arduino – Black Eagle VA388, is one of our best-selling coffee machine products across hotels, catering companies and cafes. What is unique about it? The Victoria Arduino – Black Eagle adds a new dimension to coffee quality with the innovative gravimetric technology system, whereby each espresso coffee can be made with the same ratio, ensuring a consistent brew. It introduces new reference standards for temperature accuracy in water supply, as each group includes a three-dimensional temperature control, so the barista can easily set temperature distribution of each group for maximum flexibility when serving multiple drinks. What is the most important feature of the perfect coffee machine? To create a delicious cup of coffee, one of the most important features of a coffee machine is the ability to control the water temperature. T: +971 4 312 8444 E: W:



Arnd Springer, managing partner presents the fully automatic, heavy duty Sielaff Siamonie What is your best-selling coffee machine product? The Sielaff Siamonie is our best-seller. What is unique about it? It’s a fully automatic, heavy duty coffee machine with a wide range of coffee selections and twin grinders, which means two different blends of coffee can be served. The user-friendly features mean guests can use the machine without assistance. What is the most important feature of the perfect coffee machine? The grinder and brewing unit are the most important features.

Sales manager, Azzam Al Hakawati introduces the best-selling Fracino Bambino Commercial Kit What is your best-selling coffee machine product? Currently the best-seller is our Fracino Bambino Commercial Kit (AED 9,950), which includes a professional 2 group machine, Cunill Tranquillo-Tron grinder, milk jug, tamper, 12 e-spoons and 24 Lavazza ceramic cups. What is unique about it? The Fracino Bambino provides an excellent opportunity for bespoke branding, from the UK’s only manufacturer of espresso and cappuccino coffee machines. It has a hot water facility and steam tube for frothing and steaming milk. All have large capacity boilers, high-powered elements and are hand built to the highest standards using only the finest stainless steel, copper and brass. What is the most important feature of the perfect coffee machine? The most important feature is the quality of coffee produced in the cup. T: +971 4 380 7899 E: W:

innovation & luxury

T: +971 4 297 7888 E: W: June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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LA MARQUISE Olga Cassidy, marketing manager shares details of the company’s latest addition – the WMF 9000S+ What is your best-selling coffee machine product? Fully automatic coffee machines from WMF is our best-selling coffee machine line. WMF have launched their new fully automatic coffee machine, WMF 9000S+, which is now available for our clients in the GCC. What is unique about it? WMF is produced in Germany and customers appreciate its performance, durability and design. The WMF 9000S+ has a 10-inch touch screen, which can be fully customised in terms of its graphic, functional and linguistic settings. Its operating system allows for the animation of drink images, flexible embedding of nutritional data, promotional offers and videos. The touch screen display includes customisation options, such as drink size, coffee strength, tea water temperature and different types of milk, thanks to the optional two-milk system. For extra efficiency during peak periods, a whole sequence of drinks can be pre-selected which are then prepared one after the other by the speciality machine. WMF 9000S+ is also suitable for self-service, thanks to its intuitive system design. What is the most important feature of the perfect coffee machine? The perfect coffee machine has to have several crucial features: performance, durability, flexibility and design. T: +971 434 33478 E: W:

MUDDLE ME Darren Castillo, manager – Muddle Me Café Division offers the low-down on the new Slayer Steam What is your best-selling coffee machine product? The Slayer is our best-selling coffee machine and demand for the newly launched Slayer Steam model has been overwhelming. What is unique about it? The Slayer Steam was developed with the intention of finally giving the professional barista ultimate control over the flow rate of steam. Created with Accu-Flow technology, it places four programmable steam flow rate presets (two at each steam wand) to help manage precise steam control. While impressively innovative, the system can still be easily tuned by the barista through the digital barista dashboard. Additionally, the patent-pending vaporiser creates a drier steam than standard saturated boilers, creating a less watery, more intensely flavoured milk upon completion of the steaming process. What is the most important feature of the perfect coffee machine? The three most important features are the ability to control water temperature, pressure and flow rate. All of these variables need to be controlled accurately and consistently so that once your profile has been dialed in, each extraction will taste the same as the last. This consistency of taste and experience a great machine can help provide, is key to building a loyal customer following. T: +971 55 194 0044 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME June 2017

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Oliver Welschar, head of global key account management & customised solutions

Keisuke Kutomi, food & beverage manager at TSSC showcases the Franke coffee system A-Line


What is your best-selling coffee machine? It is our fully automatic coffee machine Melitta® Cafina® XT6, which was recognised with the German Design Award 2016.

What is your best-selling coffee machine product? Our best-seller is the Franke coffee system A-Line (A200, A600, A800 and A1000).

What is unique about it? The compact piston coffee machine, which is just 30cm wide, has clear, sleek lines, ergonomic functional areas and advanced technology for high beverage quality in the cup. A new, self-developed grinder with 75-millimetre grinding disks made from specially polished, durable tool steel is even more effective than its predecessors. It reduces grinding time and protects the bean’s aroma as the disks hardly produce any heat.

What is unique about it? Every Franke super automatic coffee machine is packed with true passion for coffee and 100% Swissness. The FoamMaster™ can be combined with the A-Line (excluding the A200) and is your key to a virtually limitless range of flavourful specialty coffee and milk beverages, from the perfect latte macchiato to a classic espresso, a refreshing strawberry milk drink and much more.

What is the most important feature of the perfect coffee machine? One very important feature of our piston coffee machines is the top-quality metal brewing unit, which ensures a reliable and highly precise operation. The ability to set the piston pressure for each coffee specialty individually via the display, helps underline the special characteristics of the various beverages. T: +49 571 50 490 E: W:

Sarah Ognibeni, marketing & communications manager explains the Schaerer Coffee Soul’s new power boost What is your best-selling coffee machine product? The Schaerer Coffee Soul, a 33cm slimline fully automatic coffee machine, which features state-of-the-art technology and an athletic yet elegant design. The machine has just been moved into a new power bracket. What is unique about it? The Schaerer Coffee Soul has been optimised both in terms of its power and its pump technology. It has also been equipped with topping hoppers with a capacity of 2,000 grams. Thanks to this power boost, the recommended cup quantity for the Coffee Soul is now up to 250 cups a day. This makes it ideal for applications with a high coffee output such as bakeries and fast food restaurants, as well as for self-service in convenience stores, petrol stations or during a hotel breakfast.

What is the most important feature of the perfect coffee machine? The most important features are in-cup quality, beverage variety and ease of use. T: +971 4 343 1100 E: W:

T: +41 32 681 62 00 E: W: June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


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Full of beans The coffee products creating a buzz in the Middle East’s F&B industry


Nespresso and Dolce Gusto compatible capsules from Segafredo Zanetti are Boncafé’s best-selling coffee products. Nespresso Compatible Espresso Per Te is available in three different flavours: Classic, Intense and Decaf. Dolce Gusto compatibles, Mio Caffe, are available in four flavours: Ristretto, Lungo, Espresso and Cappuccino. The company has also launched some new coffee blends from Vietnam. According to Boncafé, the compatible capsules from Segafredo Zanetti provide Nespresso and Dolce Gusto consumers with a high quality, credible alternative at a competitive price. Boncafé has been a renowned player on the market for more than 12 years and looks forward to increasing its presence in the UAE and North Africa. T: +971 4 282 8742 E: W:

COFFEE PLANET Coffee Planet is continuously exploring new options with coffee products, including single origin specialty Arabica, cold brew and nitro coffees. It roasts and packs its own coffee in Dubai, which allows the company to quickly adapt to any prominent coffee needs, such as the current strong appetite for unique single origin and micro-lot coffees. Cold brew is suited to specialty coffee as it emphasises the delicate nuances and aromas of the bean and Coffee Planet expects to see this type of coffee continue to grow in popularity. As a local coffee company, Coffee Planet can deliver its freshly roasted, 100% Arabica specialty coffee quickly, ensuring it maintains the quality. The company has a 360-degree approach to coffee solutions, from freshly roasted, 100% Arabica coffee beans, ground coffee and single serve capsules to consumables, coffee equipment and maintenance support. T: +971 4 312 8444 E: W:


The new Prontissimo instant coffee range is the latest product from Lavazza Eurocoffee. The first 100% Arabica instant coffee blend, it has 10% micro ground coffee to give more body and complexity to the cup. Prontissimo is a cost-effective alternative for an in-room offering, removing the need for equipment while maintaining a quality branded solution. Guests get the quality of Lavazza coffee with minimal preparation and complexity. Eurocoffee has just finalised its in-room offering and docking station and is now creating custom finishes for its 3 Group Machine Romano to give its machines a unique finish and draw attention to the service area, with the first batch to be shipped to Dubai shortly. T: +971 4 380 7899 E: W:


Catering NEWS ME June 2017

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Muddle Me has just launched ceramic coffee cups by Acme & Co, billed as ‘The Evolution’. According to the company, Acme coffee cups are considered the benchmark against which all other cups are brewed – they are stunning, robust cups that have taken the coffee world by storm. Designed to SCAA standards, The Evolution series offers precision measurements with an enhanced drinking experience. While the base is still thick for improved heat retention, the lip is finer and tapers more to make it easier to drink. The Acme cup was designed by and for the coffee connoisseur and third wave espresso standards. It’s one of the only cups of its kind to offer precision measurements with an enhanced drinking experience.

Orbis Coffee offers locally-roasted Arabica coffee with tailored blends for its clients and full service, including regular maintenance and call-outs in the event of breakdown. Businesses that purchase Orbis Coffee are looking for a friendly roastery that can offer the same level of service across multiple Gulf countries and into Eastern Europe. With the second roastery already operating in Muscat, Orbis Coffee will continue to expand into territories where scalable operations are viable. This year, the company is launching a new coffee brand called Mia Vita, aimed at the more cost conscious outlet, where value for money is most important. Mia Vita will compete with the Italian style coffee but will be roasted in Dubai to ensure optimal freshness and a full-bodied, smooth taste.

T: +971 55 194 0044 E: W:

Jackson Vending Dallmayr

T: +971 50 552 8798 E: W:


Café Gourmand with Anmut Samarah from Villeroy & Boch is the company’s latest range for coffee. The new décor, Anmut Samarah, a bone porcelain series, is ideal for café gourmand, or hotels and restaurants that want to put ornamental elegance on the breakfast table. Villeroy & Boch’s timeless Anmut crockery classic from the 1950s has been given a glamorous and oriental makeover with Samarah decor. The delicate tendrils, paisley elements, and symmetrical details on the round ceramic are arranged in soft gold and fine beige tones. The real highlight, however, is the collection’s versatility. The items are each decorated slightly differently, allowing for individual, mix-and-match combinations. The Anmut Samarah collection comprises cups and saucers in multiple sizes to suit every coffee beverage from mochas to espressos, a creamer, sugar bowl, tea pot, and flat and deep plates. T: +352 46 821 448 E: W:

Dallmayr 3 in 1 instant coffee and Café Crème are the latest products from the company. Café Crème offers a silky smooth crema, a balanced flavour and a full aroma. Meanwhile, Dallmayr 3 in 1 is a soluble coffee-based beverage powder with an intense aroma due to its high coffee content. The product also has a creamy, milky note and is pleasantly sweet. It is ideal as a substitute for a cappuccino and is easy to prepare. In 2017, the company is looking to launch a full range of single origin coffee.

Nespresso has recently launched two new Grands Crus – Espresso Vanilla and Espresso Caramel. Both use one of Nespresso’s best-sellers as the base, the Espresso Forte, the most balanced yet intense of its coffees. This marks the first time Nespresso has introduced flavoured coffee to its B2B range and they offer something different for customers. The new products can be enjoyed alone or combined with milk to create interesting recipes for today’s coffee connoisseurs. This year, Nespresso will also intensify its communications around its holistic sustainable programme, whereby it collects used capsules directly at customers’ premises.

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T: +971 4 321 0888 E: W:


June 2017 Catering NEWS ME


S pill the beans

Maya La Chocolaterie Sonya Janahi, deputy chairperson & CEO of Maya La Chocolaterie & The Living Concepts explains how she has created a chocolate empire out of Bahrain What is your career background? I have enjoyed a diverse career in the banking and telecom industries spanning over 25 years, with specialised know-how in the areas of retail, investment, oil & gas and real estate. I am also actively involved in our family business as a board member and have applied my corporate knowledge to strategically diversify and evolve the group’s subsidiaries beyond Bahrain. How and why was Maya established? After spending over two decades working in the corporate world, I wanted to venture out on my own and create something that would make a difference. My father was an entrepreneur and he had always inspired me in that sense. In 2006, I set up my hospitality and F&B consultancy ‘The Living Concepts’ because I saw a gap in the local market for unique food and beverage concepts – and I chose chocolate because I am a true chocolate aficionado. After a year of intensive research into the product and development, we launched our flagship ‘Maya La Chocolaterie’ outlet in Bahrain in 2007 and a year later we franchised to Qatar. That was the start of Maya’s regional expansion journey. What is unique about Maya chocolates? My vision was to create a chocolate brand out of this region that would be on par in quality and taste with some of the finest chocolatiers in the world. I was also determined to fill the gap in the regional market for ‘healthier’ chocolate. Hence, we opted to limit the use of cocoa butter in our chocolates to a bare minimum, eliminating any additives and preservatives and incorporating dark chocolate into our mixes. When we first started, consumption of our dark chocolate was at 5%, and now, 10 years 54

Catering NEWS ME June 2017

Jewel Box


later, it is over 45% - a significant jump. Our chocolates have a shelf life of six to eight months purely because of the stringent hygiene methods we use in our production methods and facility. How much chocolate is produced in the factory? We produce and export over 25 tonnes of artisan retail chocolates annually, featuring an eclectic range of flavours, from the exotic to the popular favourites. To ensure consistency in quality and taste, we produce all our chocolates locally and then export them fresh to our franchisees in the GCC and to clients worldwide. We create over 90 daring concoctions that are signature to Maya, all Halal-certified, inspired by alluring blends of the finest Belgian cocoa and Arabian spices. Do you supply chocolate to the catering/ hospitality industry? Maya functions as a white label supplier to other brands, creating chocolates exclusively for third-party distribution, which are different to Maya’s range of products. Our clients include sectors such as finance, fashion, tourism, and retail.

Please explain your catering business ‘Maya Delices’? Maya Delices is the second brand that falls under ‘The Living Concepts’ umbrella and operates as Maya’s catering arm, creating unique and artistically-inspired desserts for corporate and private events. What markets are you operating in with your franchised concepts? Since opening our first branch in Doha in 2008, we have evolved Maya into a regional chain. We have 11 outlets in the GCC currently in operation with a physical presence in Bahrain, five outlets in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Jeddah) and we are reopening soon in Doha. From the start, our aspiration for Maya was to take the brand across borders, so franchising was the perfect vehicle for us and was integral to our business plan. We offer our franchise partners a holistic support system, ranging from marketing to interior design, training and the actual retail products themselves, which are shipped fresh from Bahrain. What are your plans for the future? We are always looking to expand Maya’s reach and our immediate plan is to open new branches across the Middle East, intensifying our presence in Saudi Arabia, and establishing new branches in the UAE, Oman and Morocco by the end of 2017. We have also set our sights on Europe and are exploring opportunities in London. In 2018, we plan to move into Asia with markets such as Singapore and Malaysia posing great potential. We also have an app and a range of cookbooks in the pipeline, which are shaping up nicely. The longterm plan is to take the company public by 2020. Another area of focus is to get Maya classified as a ‘bean to bar’ production facility in the next three years, to enable the processing and chocolate extraction of the imported cocoa beans on home ground.

Catering News ME - June 2017  
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