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Hit the Top

Contents Volume 6 Issue 08


Cover story

18 25


Cover model: Nadine Lombard, manager of Filini Restaurant at Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island.


Contents August 2010

05 News Boosting the standard of competition entrants; Saudi drinks firm aims for the top; new technology helping recruiters 08 Food fashion Catering to the latest craze or staying true to tradition: how should operators adapt to changing F&B trends? 16 The budget boom Columnist Aidan Keane discovers that low-cost no longer entails dreary outlets 18 Roundtable Bar and beverage industry professionals assess the regional industry’s future 25 Top 10 Outlet Openings Caterer’s pick of the most exciting and confident outlet launches of the year

36 Cocoa nuts! Chefs and suppliers on why chocolate is a recession-proof industry 44 F&B Fusion Chefs and bartenders team up for the first Platinum Fusion comp 46 Time for a cuppa The top tea and coffee options for the industry 49 Product showcase The best and brightest new F&B products coming into the market 56 Last bite This month’s Caterer gallery involves smiling bakers and stampeding waiters — were you caught on camera?

44 49


For the latest news and stories go to

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Web contents

Online The online home of Editor’s pick

On camera

Top 20 Ramadan food festivities Ramadan is a busy time for the hospitality industry, with outlets vying for customers and promotions springing up everywhere. Check out some of the top deals on offer in’s Ramadan listings.

The art of the matter In a competitive market, F&B must be increasingly daring and creative to impress customers — but Middle East chefs and suppliers are rising to the challenge. Caterer spoke to some of the region’s top kitchen artists about their disciplines, their determination, and having the right tools for the job.


Sunset service

Pole position

Taste tourism

Ensure your fast-breaking feasts attract business during Ramadan

Experts assess how regional competitions are driving F&B industry progress

Why Middle East operators should take a closer look at culinary holiday packages

Most popular

1. destroys 2. Municipality 245 tons of unfit food This month’s 3. PHOTOS: F&B news with views chef wins 4. Mövenpick Paris trip in culinary comp Palace 5. Emirates purchases rare whiskies Five-star hotels sold food not fit for consumption

For the latest news and stories go to


Caterer Middle East August 2010

News August 2010

Story of the month

Chefs call for new approach to Salon F&B operators must re-assess approach to comp to drive standards Operators submitting chefs to participate in Dubai’s Salon Culinaire event must re-assess their approach to drive competition standards, chefs have claimed. Commenting on the competition, which attracts entrants from all over the region and runs in conjunction with trade show Gulfood, Michael Kitts — head chef and senior lecturer at Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management — noted: “What can be a bit disappointing is when it becomes all about numbers; hotels being able to say they’ve got 1500 entrants. “They’d be better off sending quality people who would raise the standard, as opposed to sticking anyone in simply to up their figures.” Al Bustan Rotana Dubai executive chef Christophe Prud’homme agreed the event had become incredibly popular. “The [Salon Culinaire] is a must — all hotels have to send their chefs every year, and try to get more medals than other properties. But really, what does that attitude achieve at the end of the day?” he queried. “It comes down to the fact that hotel restaurants should be allowed to select their own candidates for these events. Because if your hotel group tells you ‘the pastry class is big, we need to send all 14 pastry chefs’, that is not the point; the point is that you send those who are capable of competing at the required standard, and who are in with a fighting chance of getting those medals,” Prud’homme asserted. According to Emirates Academy’s Kitts, the current approach to events like Salon Culinaire means the industry is losing out on some of the beneficial effects of such culinary competitions. “We’re basically diluting the product, with too many competitors going in for too many events,” he asserted. Commenting on the number of participants at the Salon Culinaire, Andy Cuthbert, chairman of event organiser the Emirates Culinary Guild (ECG), noted: “The number of people that enter is up to the hotels and their chefs; and we count ourselves very fortunate that there is so much in-

Headline grabbers P6 The king of pop Saudi drinks firm Aujan Industries plans to give bigname multinationals a run for their money in the soda stakes P6 Tech time Industry experts say technology is forging a new path in F&B recruitment

Salon Culinaire 2010 generated huge interest from the region’s chefs. terest from the F&B community here. At the show, we have got a cap on how many chefs per property can enter each class,” he continued. “But apart from that, the competitor limit is really dictated by space and logistics, and by the show’s opening hours. “Certainly it can be better for the overall quality of a competition if someone sends one chef along, who they feel confident will do well and bring home a medal, than sending the whole team regardless of their standard, then chastising them for not winning gold,” continued Cuthbert. “But the standard we see among competitors at the Salon is really down to the operations that submit them.” Considering other ways to drive competition standards, Dubai World Trade Centre executive sous chef Raimund Haemmerle — who praised the event for the opportunity it afforded young chefs in the region to learn and progress — did note that when the Salon started out and was held every two years, there was “really time for chefs to focus and to train”. “Every year is a lot of pressure,” he admitted. But ECG’s Cuthbert explained: “Being annual means we are able to stay abreast of industry trends — and on top of that, the interest we see each year from all the entrants shows that the demand is there.”

P6 Online opinions Our monthly web poll reveals the fickle nature of consumer F&B trends P7 Teaching taste Increasing numbers of chefs are reaping the business benefits of inhouse cooking classes P7 Edible art Why presenting food creatively is now more important than ever

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August 2010 Caterer Middle East


News August 2010

Aujan aims for the soda sales crown

Established KSA-based drinks firm gears up for bullish beverage expansion in regional market Saudi Arabia-based soft drink giant Aujan Industries is aiming to become the region’s leading soda distributor, ahead of traditional household brands such as Coca Cola and Pepsi. Commenting on the established multinationals, chairman Adel Aujan insisted the company had the capacity to rival them. “We have the skills, the financial muscle, the creative marketing, the corporate governance — and on top of that, we have the local knowledge,” he pointed out. “There’s no question that we can compete.” Today, courtesy of its brands Rani, Vimto and Barbican, Aujan is the largest drinks firm in the GCC, with more than 2500 employees and roots in 26 countries. The firm saw a rise of more than 20% in revenue in 2009, and is expecting a similar hike this year.

Aujan Industries chairman Adel Aujan.

Tech advances enhance recruitment

Are consumers in the Middle East fickle when it comes to food? Yes; there are always new crazes sweeping the region, which makes the F&B market unstable.


Yes, but they are generally just mirroring crazes from other parts of the world.


Some are, which is why you have new restaurants popping up with new fads.


No; classic restaurants will out-perform trendy new launches every time.




“We’re in the one-riyal business,” explained Aujan. “It’s anti-cyclical; we do better in recessions than upturns. “People don’t buy expensive things in a recession, but buy more of the low-priced items to compensate.” The firm is aiming to generate US $1 billion in sales by the end of 2012. Currently running three plants — in its key markets, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran — two more will be added to the portfolio over the next two years. Politics permitting, one is slated for development in Iraq. “The volume [there] is huge,” Aujan asserted. “The arithmetic demands a plant but [Iraq’s] got to stabilise first. As soon as it does, we’ll move on it. “But the growth story isn’t over for us in the Gulf — the area has a long way to go. These are still priority markets for us.”

Caterer Middle East August 2010

Modern technology is helping F&B operations hire the right people, according to recruitment professionals. Vivek Singh, HR director at The Address Dubai Marina, explained: “The

The Address’ Vivek Singh.

way we go about recruiting in this region — where a lot of new hospitality staff are brought in from other countries — has completely changed, thanks to technological advancements. “Nowadays we can use Linked In as a tool to get references, or conduct an interview via Skype, or employ social networks as a tool to find candidates. “Everyone uses these methods now, and really it’s more comfortable — if you can interview face-to-face as opposed to over the phone, you can connect better.” Singh added that, with

operators around the world increasingly turning back to a selection process — using talent-based or strengthbased tools to select staff — technology had another key role to play. “Everyone seems to be trying to get the right tool into their selection process,” he revealed. “The right programme can help us find like-minded people; we are working on that right now.” Al Manzil and Qamardeen Hotels’ F&B manager CD Kotze agreed this technology could “help a great deal in identifying the right person for a role.”

News August 2010

Ritz-Carlton’s Matthew Morrison.

Taste for learning helps industry The growing consumer thirst for food knowledge is helping drive business and move the F&B industry forward, say Middle East chefs. According to Ritz-Carlton Doha executive chef Matthew Morrison, running in-house cooking classes can be a major benefit for a restaurant.

“Giving people more information about what they’re eating and how they can make easy meals themselves shows them that, when they come to our restaurants, they are getting great quality food,” he explained. “It also gives them an insight into how much work goes into making and producing everything in-house.” Morrison added that customers who built up relationships with the chef, restaurant manager or the waiting staff often felt more comfortable about coming to the outlet to dine.

beverage world, according to the region’s kitchen artists. “It is a well known fact that before you put any food in your mouth, you ‘taste’ a dish with your eyes,” commented Renaissance Dubai Hotel pastry chef Achala Weerasinghe. “A dish might be delicious, but if the chef has neglected to add attractive colour, texture and volume to the plate, the customer could well reject it.”

Artistic creations key to F&B success Taste may be important, but presentation is becoming a major focus of the food and

DWTC’s Lifeng Dong.

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) kitchen artist Lifeng Dong — winner of the gold medal for Best Kitchen Artist at Salon Culinaire 2010 — added: “Incorporating kitchen art into a buffet display, or even a single dish, offers a uniquely innovative and creative element which positively impacts the guest experience.” According to Beach Rotana executive sous chef Raghu Pillai, the regional culinary scene is “passing through a period of renaissance”. “Many people today have travelled extensively and seen and tasted many different cuisines, so chefs have to come up with bold new concepts and ideas to attract interest,” he noted.

News analysis August 2010

In a world of fickle consumers and everchanging F&B trends, how can outlets remain relevant without becoming the latest food fashion victim?


Caterer Middle East August 2010

News analysis August 2010


hen it comes to trends, the FLEETING FADS... “Cupcakes, for instance, have seen real Middle East market is a bit success in the Middle East — but not for “I would say in recent years it would have to be like a youngster eagerly trylong, I’d guess,” he predicted. Japanese restaurants, especially with sushi.” ing to emulate a trendy older sibling: if “The best way to follow trends is to Naveed Dowlatshahi, Foodmark there is something new and exciting gostudy your customers, so you know what’s ing on in a more established market, be working in real time,” Aubour asserted. “The minimalistic, cold approach to food and interior, it in fashion, food or finance, you can bet Foodmark deputy general manager which lack personality and atmosphere.” your life it will make its way here. Naveed Dowlatshahi agreed the consumNadine Lombard, Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island That’s not to say all incoming trends will er must lead the operator, noting: “The become permanent fixtures; the fad may best form of advertising is word-of-mouth “Molecular gastronomy. With all respect to the pioneers pass almost instantly. But this is certainly and that is how food fads are created. a region that is willing to experiment. experimen of the discipline, which has raised some great cooking “If the consumer likes what they see In the F&B industry, trends ove techniques, I personally feel that the consumers are over the and taste, word will travel — and nothpast few years have included crazy cockmore interested in eating a perfect olive than an olive ing beats that sort of PR.” tails, Japanese food, cupcakes, molecular mole which has been puréed and then chemically turned However Raffles Dubai executive chef cuisine and organic ingredients — and back into an olive with no texture.” Andrew Whiffen said he believed it was more than a few new outlets have closed c Andrew Whiffen, Raffles Dubai the industry that should take the lead down within months, after trying to cater when it comes to F&B trend-setting. to a craze and falling short. “The key is identifying an aspect of But whether these trends have ha had positive or negative outcomes the F&B industry which has not been approached, or giving an old for operators, the bottom line is that tha today, food is fashionable. approach a new twist. Having said that, there is every possibility Ritz-Carlton Doha executive chef che Matthew Morrison said he felt that the consumer can have a strong influence on what direction the foodie renaissance was down to media influence. “Cooking pro- trends take,” he admitted. grammes on television and the celebrity cel chef boom of the past 10 “The increase of farmers markets across the UK is a good example: years have got people more interest interested in food as an art; today people local food providers such as butchers and fishmongers were on the see it as a modern, chic interest,” he explained. verge of becoming extinct. But as the general public became more Increased public knowledge is all al well and good, but constantly- aware of the potential health benefits and superior taste of organic or changing food fads can put additional addition pressure on F&B operators. local foods, demand for these items has returned.” As Baptiste Aubour, outlet manag manager of L’atelier des Chefs — a cuHowever it starts, once a trend takes off, it can mean big bucks for linary ‘school’ located at Le Mérid Méridien Dubai — pointed out, guest those with the supply to meet demand. expectations are “constantly moving moving, changing and evolving”. Furthermore, a successful trend may well become a consumer ex-

Carluccio’s is one of the outlets Foodmark has developed in Dubai.

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


News analysis August 2010

Fire & Ice at Raffles Dubai. pectation when they dine out — so not catering to the current craze could hold an outlet back. But surely there are also risks if a restaurant or bar panders to every fad that comes along, thereby confusing its offering? Nadine Lombard, manager of Filini Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island, noted: “Like the fashion industry, restaurateurs are constantly striving to create something different and trendy to draw the crowd. “You could choose to follow every trend that comes along — or you can stick to what you know and what your guests expect of you. “I think there’s a careful balance to be struck,” she continued. “If you experiment too much with trends, you risk losing your regular clientele; better to look to ideas that hold a timeless quality. “But if you do take that risk, and follow new market trends, you need to be prepared to re-invent yourself

every six months when each fad fades, which could cost you a fortune and leave the consumer unsure of where you are heading,” she warned. Foodmark’s Dowlatshahi added that outlets adhering to trends too closely could “lose focus of what should be the real driving factor, which is delivering what the customer wants”. “For me the formula is simple: find a niche in the market and then focus on providing quality in all areas of that arena,” he asserted. But this is not always the case in the Middle East market, as Raffles’ Whiffen noted. “Fads in F&B are very common here, and unfortunately opening a restaurant based on a trend does have a potential risk,” he said. “There do seem to be a number of restaurants and bars which launch and are trend-based — and it’s always interesting to see how long such ventures last.

News analysis August 2010

“But if you do build your business on a TRENDS TO TARGET... new trend, doing a full and detailed mar“I believe recently, due to the global economic ket survey can help ensure the concept climate, we’ve seen great value for money at the top will last the test of time,” he advised. restaurants. The same applies to Friday brunch deals Although some fad-based ventures will — a great trend in this market, which I do not believe fail, those with a solid grounding — and will disappear any time soon.” a nose for a lasting trend — could do exNaveed Dowlatshahi, Foodmark tremely well. But for ventures that make the deci“Lively venues with a great atmosphere, that are sion not to chase every new food trend capable of transforming themselves depending on the that comes along, how can they ensure time of day.” their offering remains current, relevant Nadine Lombard, Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island and in fashion? Foodmark’s Dowlatshahi said the best “Lounge bars: these are becoming more and more bet was to “keep things simple”. popular all over the world, offering a casual atmo“Understand your customer and delivsphere with light snacks as an evening option, rather er what they want in service and quality. then going out for a full meal.” Play with the menu occasionally to keep Andrew Whiffen, Raffles Dubai the taste buds interested, but stick to the original concept,” he said. Radisson’s Lombard agreed listening to customers was key, and recommended “maintaining high, consistent standards”. “Small changes can make a huge difference, so keep your outlet exciting by introducing new menu items or changing the look of your menu and wine list,” she said. “But most individuals are creatures of habit, so overly drastic changes may cause you to lose customers.” So although a carefully thought-out change can refresh an outlet, dramatic changes won’t necessarily impress your clientele — as noted by Raffles’ Whiffen. “Should business demand that changes be made, simple and cost-effective alterations can be made to things such as the music, menu format or content or uniforms,” he commented. “Any long-standing restaurant or bar must have built up a good client base — and they will keep returning because of the offering and service they receive there. “So simply makRaffles Dubai’s ing reactionary, Andrew Whiffen. dramatic changes can ultimately be worse for business than no change Filini at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island. at all.”

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


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Editor’s comment Volume 6 Issue 08

Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 (0)4 210 8000 Fax: +971 (0)4 210 8080 Offices in Dubai & London ITP Business Publishing CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Editorial Director David Ingham Publishing Director Diarmuid O’Malley Editorial Editor Lucy Taylor Tel: +971 4 210 8493 email: Staff writer Harriet Sinclair Tel: +971 4 210 8394 email: Advertising Publishing Director Diarmuid O’Malley Tel: +971 4 210 8568 email: Commercial Director Sarah Worth Tel: +971 4 210 8595 email: Int. Sales Manager, Hospitality & Catering Middle East & India Amanda Stewart GSM: +44 7908 117 333 email: Skype: amandajanestewart Studio Group Art Editor Dan Prescott Designer Lucy McMurray Photography Director of Photography Sevag Davidian Senior Photographers Efraim Evidor, Jovana Obradovic Staff Photographers Isidora Bojovic, George Dipin, Murrindie Frew, Lyubov Galushko, Shruti Jagdesh, Mosh Lafuente, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav Production & Distribution Group Production Manager Kyle Smith Deputy Production Manager, ITP Business Matthew Grant Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Editor Emmalyn Robles Distribution Manager Karima Ashwell Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami Circulation Head of Circulations & Database Gaurav Gulati Marketing Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Marketing Manager Annie Chinoy ITP Digital Director Peter Conmy ITP Group Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors K M Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 210 8000 Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact for further details or visit Printed by Color Lines Controlled Distribution by Blue Truck The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication, which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the readers’ particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

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Published by and Copyright © 2010 ITP Business Publishing,a division of the ITP Publishing Group Ltd.Registered in the B.V.I. under Company number 1402846.

The power of people As this is my last editor’s comment for Caterer Middle East, it seemed like a good opportunity to look back over the past couple of years and see how things in the F&B industry have progressed across the region. The dramatic change, of course, is the number of outlets operating here today. Despite the ongoing effects of the economic downturn, a host of new projects have sprung up over the past few years, including hotels, malls, residential and business communities — all of which have come with their own particular class of food and beverage offerings and their own take on how to make an outlet successful. Although no definitive count has been made to date, the region is home to literally thousands of outlets — ranging from fine-dining establishments in luxury hotels, to unassuming independent cafés offering simple take-away fare. The fact that consumers now have more choice is undeniable; but I suppose the real issue is whether quality has increased along with volume. It’s a tough one to answer, because during my time working on Caterer I have been lucky enough to witness some truly ground-breaking concepts, some fantastic training programmes and some real industry pioneers. On the other hand, as a consumer in this region, I have had experiences all too often which remind me why the Middle East still has a way to go: outlets with shoddy service, over-priced menus and poor hygiene are still too common. But I think, overall, the outlook is positive — primarily due to the dedicated professionals living and working in the region, who are constantly looking for ways to improve and progress its F&B status. I believe that Middle East restaurants, bars, lounges and cafes have a huge amount to offer both local residents and tourists, and it could mark itself out as one of the world’s most diverse culinary destinations. But Rome was not built in a day — and neither was its culinary reputation. We may have the necessary food and beverage infrastructure, but international standing is not something that can spring up at the speed of a Dubai skyscraper. (Well, a Dubai skyscraper circa 2007, at least.) Building a solid reputation requires tenacity, effort, dedication and patience. But if industry professionals can keep up the good work and continue to improve F&B offerings and standards across the board, I do believe the Middle East could one day rank among the world’s culinary greats.

Lucy Taylor, Editor

To subscribe please visit August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Comment ent F&B column mn


Connolly The real impact of bad reviews. A negative report does not mean the end of the world — as long as you handle the follow-up correctly. As someone who spends her days reviewing, previewing and visiting restaurants around the UAE, I want to make something quite clear about restaurant criticism: restaurant reviewers are critical, biased and opinionated — that’s their job! Dining critics go to restaurants searching for imperfections. Even if someone loves a restaurant, they will point out the establishment’s slightest mishaps with brutal honesty. However, restaurateurs need not pack away their aprons just yet. Today’s savvy public generally knows to take restaurant reviews with a pinch of salt, and the impact a less than glowing review will have on footfall is not as calamitous as it may first appear. In fact, restaurant reviews have little to do with the success or failure of a venue. A bad review isn’t any more likely to close down a restaurant than a good review is to make one. (If this were true, restaurant critics would have the power to fill cities with exactly the restaurants they personally prefer!) An outlet is more likely to suffer because of a poor economic climate or a bad location than a negative review. All the same, a bad review may highlight flaws which in themselves could lead to closure if unattended. So what can you do when the review comes in and it’s not as you had hoped? Here are a few strategies for dealing with a less than favourable report.


Caterer Middle East August 2010

1. Resist revenge While revenge can be sweet at the time, it is rarely constructive in the long run. Resist the temptation to lash out at the food critic or the publication following a poor review; remember that they control editorial content, and if you offend them, you may end up generating more negative press for your restaurant. However, if the review contains factual errors, you should write a letter to the editor requesting a correction and explaining the situation in your own words. 2. Don’t blame the PR Restaurants often blame their publicist or PR for a poor review or expect them to wave their magic marketing wand and reverse a poor write-up. In fact, the moment a food writer arrives at your restaurant, the publicist’s job comes to an end and your work begins. As obvious as it may sound, the best restaurants are the ones that offer continually good food and service. 3. Try to take a step back No restaurant operation is flawless, so be pragmatic about the review and the possible effects. Step out of your comfort zone and consider the dining experience from the perspective of the client. Be realistic about the problems you have the power and resources to tackle and do so immediately. 4. Blow your own horn Focus on the positive media attention your restaurant has received in the past. Frame

newspaper and magazine articles and display them in your restaurant, or post them on your website. Create opportunities for positive media coverage for your establishment by partnering with a local charity or getting involved in a high-profile community event. 5. Listen to the reviewers that count — your customers Keep communicating with your fee-paying public; make it easy for them to give you feedback, then listen and address any relevant points, as it is this type of feedback that can help your restaurant improve. Place comment cards on tables or launch a blog on your website where customers can share their experiences at your outlet. Employ secret shoppers to anonymously dine at your restaurant, equipped with specific guidelines on how to test staff. Because you can’t anticipate when they will show up, it will force your whole team to stay on their toes at all times. I am sure many of you employ such strategies already, but they bear repeating, being continually relevant and useful. Remember that while a less-than-perfect write-up can cause a short term PR headache, it’s the positive action you take that will ensure your restaurant remains relevant. In the words of renowned chef Wolfgang Puck: “I learned more from the one restaurant that didn’t work than from all the ones that were successes.” Victoria Connolly is managing director of Desert Diva Media, the company behind recently re-launched website — a resource offering foodies in the UAE detailed information about all things food-related, from chef interviews to restaurant reviews.

Comment Designer column


Keane The budget boom. The region’s growing market for budget hotels has prompted a very pleasing partnership between design and affordability. Just because you’re not paying a great deal for a stay at a hotel does not mean that the place should be deficient in design innovation and excitement. If anything, the design of the place should act as some sort of compensation for the lack of luxe! There are many instances where this pairing of lower rates and funky design has been successfully employed — precedents that show the public’s willingness to accept such a trade-off. Thinking from the hip, how about Mercedes and Smart? Luxury car-maker meets and mentors funky design team: the perfect example of form meets affordable function. The trade-off of getting good design but less luxury is now more acceptable than ever. As each and every member of the public becomes increasingly design aware, literate and opinionated, so our design demands

grow — not so much in stature but certainly in complexity. As a commercial brand designer, or rather a designer of commercial brands, I have had to accept a new, or certainly changing, way of working. I have to be less disposed to impose random personal preference and ever more willing to analyse the end user — their habits, choices and feedback — before applying the best design solution. I have heard designers blame all manner of things for this increasingly common way of working. As design briefs become more about specific problem-solving and less about flamboyance, the role of the designer has changed: life has become more focused. I am actually working on a project as we speak for a major budget hotel provider who, through insightful design, wants to de-formalise their heavily branded reception, create a ‘bustle zone’ and then captivate the customer

For the new generation of hip budget hotels, affordability does not mean sacrificing design in outlets.


Caterer Middle East August 2010

with an F&B offer that will essentially seduce them with enough edge and accessibility to ensure lasting credibility. Let me tell you, they know who they want to enjoy their hotel, as well as the how, why and when. My role is simple: listen for the clues from the client and create a scheme that answers all the socio-demographic algebra. This is now the accepted way of working in design. Profits and returns are so highly prized (and protected) that some prettyin-pink designer cannot just be let loose to jeopardise that investment. Sure, it isn’t as much fun as it was back in the day; but at least clients and the buying public now appreciate the importance of good design. Anyway, I digress. Back to my point: budget hotels shouldn’t mean slack F&B design. This project we are working on proves that the smart operators are investing time in segmenting their estate by user groups and occasions — taking this info and laying out a template for great, highly relevant outlets, with no obvious link to the hotel brand. I love budget hotels; or rather, I love the potential they have. Simply through brilliant design and cost engineering, a great looking, comfortable and utterly affordable hotel can be built anywhere, bringing a bit of lifestyle to numerous consumers. Amazing! The F&B element of the operation plays a vital role by offering a funky, affordable eatery — and the designs of these outlets are getting ever edgier as a result of the steadily growing competition. So while costs may be down at budget hotels, design is definitely on the up. Aidan Keane is the founder of specialist leisure and retail design firm Keane; for more information, visit:

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Roundtable Bar and beverage trends

The right ingredients Top beverage professionals met up at the InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City this month, to share some honest advice on exactly what it will take to bring the Middle East bar industry up to international standards What is the biggest challenge facing the Middle East bar and beverage industry right now? Nick Hancock: One thing we’ve talked about before is the lack of any official bar guild in the region — and that’s still applicable. The main issue in this market is that there are more bars now and there are also less people. On top of the effects of the downturn, it’s the summer, so people go away, and there are fewer tourists because of the weather. It’s a difficult time of year; I think quarter four is the focus for most operators.

Nick Hancock, operations manager for Emirates Leisure Retail.

Ghaith Zeidan: A lot of companies are looking at Q4; it should represent the best time of year for everybody. But just going back to the issue of a bar guild, that’s definitely something we want to arrange. Myself and representatives from Monin and MMI are in touch with Derick Lee, the president of the International Bartenders Association, and we’re definitely looking at bringing the IBA here. It would bring more credibility to training, to events, and really move the industry to a different level. Etienne Haro: I don’t think it’s too bad here — a lot of suppliers have really tried to fill that training gap, bringing specialists over and hosting events for beverage staff. Having said that, it is still too contractual and too infrequent. What we really need to do is challenge staff to


Caterer Middle East August 2010

Roundtable Bar and beverage industry

be more creative, more outgoing, because that’s what makes a bar great. That’s why competitions are so good — because they take bartenders out of the work place and let them try something new.

forecast, especially in this environment. So you can’t aim too low, but you’ve got to be realistic and have confidence in the numbers you’re giving and the reasons you’re giving them.

Giorgio Vallesi: For MMI, we see competitions as one of the most important things to do for the industry. It gives bartenders the chance to socialise, to network, to learn and share ideas. Also I think one of the main issues we’re facing comes down to the importance bars attach to training: business was always booming here, you just opened the doors and people came in. But the reality today is totally different — customers are looking for value, and that includes great service as well as a great product. But I think a lot of people thought the way to solve this sudden slowing of business was to offer discounts, which isn’t right or sustainable.

Haro: Forecasting is key to your cost management, and that’s the biggest problem. Whether your forecast is right or wrong is not really important — what is important is that a lot of things are coming out from your forecast, so if you’re way off, and you get orders wrong, for example, that’s not good.

Sid King: Challenge-wise, forecasting is a bit of a disaster at the moment. We are facing issues in meeting the budget and are now focusing on forecast, and the only way to do this is to offer the best possible service and the best possible products. Plus we’re not sitting around idly in quiet times; we are focusing on training, making sure staff are knowledgeable and confident, so the customers we do have are getting the best possible service. Hancock: There are two types of forecast: a bad forecast and a lucky

[L-R] Ghaith Zeidan, Sid King, Etienne Haro, John Quick, Shaun Roesstorff, Giorgio Vallesi and Nick Hancock strike a pose in Eclipse Bar at the InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City.

John Quick, bar manager at Zuma Dubai.

Roundtable Bar and beverage industry

Sid King, beverage manager at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek.


Caterer Middle East August 2010

Roundtable Bar and beverage industry

In the current climate, outlets have to fight for business; how are your operations driving footfall? Quick: There are all sorts of ways to encourage footfall. People see Zuma and think it’s expensive, so deals such as taster menus or lunch time and early evening specials are a great way to get them in and show them what we’re really about.

What trends are you noticing in the beverage field at the moment? Haro: I’d say it’s a major return to classics. I look at what’s around and there are a lot of the traditional names — Mojitos, Cosmopolitans, all of that. A few years ago we had some really bold things; nowadays there’s a move back to the recognisable.

Shaun Roesstorff: When the market became tougher, there were a lot of venues giving discounts or giving something for free — instead of doing all that, you can step up a notch with your quality, and make sure you’re really living up to, or going one better than, your price bracket.

Zeidan: I think the trend today is to offer classics with a slight

Haro: Value is the key, certainly. It’s misleading to think that because you reduce the price of an item by two dirhams, you’re putting yourself at a competitive advantage. Zeidan: Today, people are most likely to go somewhere they trust to give good value — and I don’t think they mind paying that bit extra if they are confident of getting that.

Giorgio Vallesi, senior category manager with MMI. .

Quick: There do seem to be less people going out, as well. When I came to Dubai a year ago, Zuma was packed every night; now it’s still doing well in the restaurant, but the bar can be a bit quiet, because we’re used to crowds. So footfall is definitely down — but it’s spending habits too. Hancock: I bet your food sales are not too different to last year, but alcohol is very different, right? It’s the same in our outlets. Food sales are actually up on last year, alcohol sales are down.

twist; but we come back to the same point — the consumer. Vallesi: Absolutely; 2009 was the best year for MMI retail, but the People are not feeling ‘brave’ on-trade went down because people are being more cautious, enterenough at the moment to go out taining more at home when they would have gone out before. and spend money on something Everyone’s downgrading, so people who were drinking chamthey might not like. But give them pagne last year are now having sparkling wine; those a slight twist on an who drank wine are having spirits; those who drank old favourite, and they 2009 was spirits are going to beer, and so on. will go for that. So the volume is still there, but the revenue has the best year dropped because the purchase of premium goods for MMI retail, Roesstorff: People trust what they know. They has fallen. but the on-trade know Mojitos, they know Quick: We’re definitely seeing that, particularly with Caipirinhas, they know went down” regards to high-end cognacs and premium whiskies. what to expect. People are more cautious with their money. And that’s what they’re looking for: something they are comHancock: And also we’ve seen a big drop in the amount of credit fortable with and know they will enjoy. card usage, with people just leaving their card behind the bar for Quick: It’s a bit disheartening for the evening, which was typical a few years back in this market.

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Roundtable Bar and beverage industry

bartenders though, because most of us hate doing Mojitos! When you’ve spent time developing an inventive cocktail list, you want to encourage people to try it. At Zuma, we will try to engage a customer by chatting about what they like, and giving them something a bit different and new to try; then, if they don’t like it, fair enough, they can have a round of Mojitos instead.

Shaun Roesstorff, bar manager of Eclipse at InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City.

Zeidan: But this is the difference with an independent outlet. You have the freedom to empower your bartenders to offer different drinks to your customers, and if they don’t like it — fine, they can throw it away. No hotel in town will do that. At many places, if you don’t order from the menu, you don’t get. They won’t ask if you like it sour or sweet, or what kind of thing you’re looking for: they’re there to sell by rote. This is also why people order things they know, because they don’t want to be disappointed by it. Haro: Well I like to think hotels are a bit more creative than you’re portraying them! There are some amazing hotel bars. Zeidan: OK, some are good, but I’m talking about 80-90% of hotel

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bars out there. I’ve been here since before there was a cocktail industry, back when a Bloody Mary was unheard of, so it’s great to see it even up to where it is today. But there’s still more to be done. And regarding trends, this really isn’t a trends market; we copy. We copy Europe, the US, Asia, whatever works there we think will work here, so we copy. We’re not a trend-setting market. Why isn’t this a market that can lead? Zeidan: It’s about not having the producers here, so you don’t have that invention here; so we have to rely on new ideas from outside. Quick: Why can’t the bartenders here have new ideas though? I think if people are encouraged to be creative, then they absolutely can be, no matter where they are. And OK, maybe in independent outlets it is easier to empower the

Roundtable Bar and beverage industry

Etienne Haro, director at Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire and complex beverage manager for InterContinental Hotels Group Dubai Festival City.

staff to be creative in that way, but it’s not a hard-and-fast rule by any means. Zeidan: But I think we always come back to the same point here, which is people. Hancock: And that brings us back to the first question, on what the main challenges are; for me, it’s staff. You find some decent empowered staff, particularly in independent outlets, but still… King: My staff are empowered — to a certain point. To throw away a cocktail, no; to promote their outlet’s speciality cocktails, yes. But there is a limit, if you’re on a small wage and the budget is tight, as they are nowadays. What you need are people with charisma and character, which

Roundtable Bar and beverage industry

is what my bartenders have, and I think if they’re friendly and focused and get people buying, then good for them.

the bar backs, waiters, receptionists, everyone. So then everyone can up-sell and understand the product.

Quick: That is one of the main problems, though: salaries. Many outlets will hire for volume rather than skill; cheap labour rather than people with real knowledge and experience. But then I know some really good bartenders in London, and they’re on great salaries — so they would never come here.

King: This is one of the challenges of my role; I’m in charge of beverage training for 180 front-line staff for our restaurants and bars. We do promote from within, we never take bar staff from outside the hotel, and it is a high-demand job because tips are good. And those who are keen and come to all the trainings are the ones who are considered.

Vallesi: To have that confidence, to recommend things and get your customers to try something different, I think you’ve got to build up your skills up behind the bar — i.e. by cleaning glasses and working the tills, rather than going straight in and having a list telling you what to put in a Cosmopolitan. If you don’t have the basic training, you won’t be able to excel as a bartender; if you don’t learn to walk, you can’t run.

Ghaith Zeidan, beverage sales manager for Fresh Express, the local distributor for Monin.

Quick: It’s also about having a bit of passion in what you’re doing, following a career path you want to. A lot of the top guys in Europe are career bartenders — look at Salvatore Calabrese, he’s a legend. These people do it because they love what they’re doing, and that’s what we want here: people that come to be bartenders and are passionate about learning and furthering their bar career. And then if you have a few new recruits, then that’s fine: the experienced hands can train. There’s a balance to be struck. So can anything be done about this staffing situation? Hancock: I think there’s a lot we can do — it’s just getting the boys in HR and finance to agree! But I look at what Zuma have done; they’ve broken that mould in Dubai where you’ve got 100 Filipinos and Indians behind the bar who aren’t particularly interested in making a career in the beverage industry and who haven’t been trained properly. Instead, they’ve got a handful of professionals from established beverage markets, such as South Africa, and the UK, and these experienced career bartenders are there to train and help the recruits from the Philippines, or India, or any other major feeder market, who don’t have the experience. And these professionals will show them the enthusiasm and passion that can go with a bar career. Roesstorff: It does all come back to the staffing. There are too many people coming in without the necessary required knowledge, and who then get moved up before they have really mastered the basic skills. So that initial training does need to be addressed — perhaps by offering training in the basics for anyone who works in the outlet, from the bartenders to the glass washers. Quick: When we do our training, everybody goes — the bartenders,


Caterer Middle East August 2010

Zeidan: Do you find most people are there out of passion for the business, or is it because they want more money? King: It’s a bit of both, definitely — and the third reason is because their manager sent them! But you can quickly tell who is passionate and who is not, so we just have to try and get the message across as best we can. Zeidan: Ultimately, if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you won’t excel.

Top 10 Outlet Openings

Caterer Middle East’s pick of the hottest F&B outlet launches from around the region — all of which show how the right market research, branding and ethos can generate a successful new business even in a tough economic climate.

Caterer Middle East’s Top 20 Outlet Openings of 2010 is a round-up of the most interesting, buzz-generating, commercially confident launches of this year. Outlets did not have to be of any specific orientation to be included — just strong in their particular arena, with the potential to do well in the market. The list was compiled using recommendations offered by industry professionals and ITP editorial staff, while the final ranking was selected based on votes cast by the ITP editorial team. Please note that the Top 20 Outlet Openings of 2010 is an entirely subjective list.

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Top 10 Outlet Openings


Hakkasan, Emirates Palace

Topping our list of this year’s top outlet openings is Hakkasan Abu Dhabi — the Hakkasan group’s third outlet worldwide, bringing the brand’s trademark modern Chinese cuisine to a new audience. Executive chef Lee Kok Hua explains: “The base of the menu is classical Cantonese cuisine, then we mix in some Far Eastern and Chinese cuisine as well.” Hakkasan Limited chief operating officer Didier Souillat believes the new outlet has “a bit of an edge” over other UAE restaurants of the same calibre, but insists: “We’re not about being competitive, we’re about complementing what is already a great food offering in Abu Dhabi, and indeed the UAE.” Chef Kok Hua agrees: “We don’t want to compare ourselves with other restaurants. When we arrived here, we did our market research in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but we can’t weigh ourselves up [against other outlets], because we have a different approach. We are guided by our Hakkasan philosophy; we are a Chinese restaurant like no other.” “We have a lot going for us: there is no such concept as Hakkasan in the region at the moment,” continues Souillat. “The attraction of being in Emirates Palace is a plus; and I think the features — not just the food, but the whole layout and its appeal to the senses — will definitely continue to fill the place up.”

Top tip

“It is very im of the loc portant to be re sp al cal ingre culture and use ectful dients as fr much as esh, lopossible.” Lee Ko Hakkasa k Hua, n Abu D habi

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Top 10 Outlet Openings


Rhodes Twenty10, Le Royal Méridien

Rhodes Twenty10, opening this summer at Dubai’s Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa, will provide a steakhouse concept “with a new twist”, according to patron chef Gary Rhodes. “We’re going to make sure the guest is in control of what they want to eat, not just having what the menu says they should,” he explains. Commenting on the restaurant’s inception, Pam Wilby, complex general manager of Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa and Grosvenor House Dubai, adds: “We had been planning on renovating our existing steak house, Prime Rib, for some time; so when Gary Rhodes approached us regarding Rhodes Twenty10, the timing could not have been better. “Based on his food concept, the restaurant’s design mixes both contemporary and classical elements with trendy details,” she continues. “This has been achieved drawing on luxurious fabrics, black sparkling marble floors and a chic lilac colour.” Wilby insists that although Dubai already boasts many steak restaurants, Rhodes Twenty10 wil bring something new to the market. “The emphasis is based on sharing, bringing family and friends together,” she says. “Plus the menu will range from classical dishes to some much more exotic creations, such as the Rhodes Twenty10 signature burger: presented without a burger bun, topped with foie gras.”

Top 10 Outlet Openings


Top tip


“Do your ho out every mework properly thing you first. Find ca ket you’r e targetin n about the marg and be e careful w xtrem he Joe Van n choosing a sit ely e Jaarsve ld, Food .” fund Internati onal

Mall of the Emirates

This family restaurant is scheduled to open in UAE shopping complex Mall of the Emirates’ new food court before the end of the year. Foodfund International head of operations Joe Van Jaarsveld labells the venture a “unique, contemporary experience of traditional tribal cuisine, encompassing recipes from all over the African continent”. “The décor is going to transport the diner to mysterious ancient Africa, as well as bringing flavours from the modern style. Add vibrant service, carried out by enthusiastic personnel from all over


Floor 10, Kempinski Nile Hotel

Floor 10 is a new ‘dining destination’ at Egypt’s recently opened Kempinski Nile Hotel, in Cairo. The outlet’s maître de cuisine, Simon Dow, describes Floor 10 as

the continent, and the unforgettable experience will be complete,” he asserts — while executive chef Roy Soundranayagam adds: “We have a close relationship with our staff who come from several African tribes, and having tasted some of their favourite dishes, I knew we were on a winner.” Soundranayagam reveals that the menu comprises traditional dishes from most countries on the African continent. “We have been researching, testing and perfecting the flavours and recipes with our team for the past 18 months,” he explains. And Van Jaarsveld is confident all the hard work will pay off. “The lack of disposable income has meant the public are far more careful where they spend their hard-earned cash,” he admits. “But we believe that quality food, at prices that scream value, with service that is genuine not automated, will always ensure success. Add a bit of theatre to the whole experience and its success has no limit!”

“an eclectic mix of influences from Europe, with little touches from the Middle East”. “Although the menu foundations are prominently French, we have really updated them “Think about the guest and not to create a sexy, edgy dining experience — so about your ego or personal taste.” Raoul Duclos, Kempinski the customers feels like they are having someNile Hotel Cairo thing new and fresh and will want to come back,” he explains. The hotel’s director of F&B, Raoul Duclos, adds that the concept has been developed as something “simple, fresh and unique — the first real Michelin-star experience in Cairo”. But establishing this venue was not without its challenges, D Duclos admits. “Finding the right balance between investment and po potential return was vital — as was planning the actual co concept. Unique often means expensive, and nowadays ‘e ‘expensive’ is a risk,” he comments. But Duclos feels the team has successfully accomplished w what it set out to do, as does Dow. “We as a team believe in what we’re doing, which is defini nitely a key point in delivering a new concept,” he says.

Top tip

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Top 10 Outlet Openings


maze, The Pearl — Qatar

Adding yet another string to his bow is celeb chef Gordon Ramsay, who has opened a Doha branch of his maze restaurant at The Pearl — Qatar. Restaurant manager Suzanna Parry describes the outlet’s offering as “European cuisine with Asian influences in a relaxed and informal environment”. “We are not trying to replicate the exact same fine-dining experience of maze London, but instead adapt the concept to Doha using local produce as much as possible,” she explains. Executive chef Robert Daniels agrees: “We decided on a concept for our menu before arriving, but then after being here and doing some market research, we took what we had and re-adapted that to the local environment.” According to Parry, Doha is a prime market for F&B expansion. “Doha is where Dubai was 15 years ago,” she observes. “I’ve only been here five months and have never seen so many openings so close together; F&B projects are popping up all the time on The Pearl and it’s fantastic to be here first. “Our success will be based on our continuous efforts to be different, to provide great service and more importantly fantastic cuisine,” Parry asserts. Meanwhile Daniels says it is “down to the products and services that we offer as a business, and the standards that we maintain, that set us apart from the rest of the market”.

Top tip


Mango Tree Bistro,

“Make s ure yo trustwort u deal with the ri hy su ght, help you ppliers who can create w hat want for your clie you ntele.” Ananto Mango T Hadi, ree Bistr o In at number six is Mango Tree Bistro, the younger sibling of the estab-

Souk Al Bahar

lished Mango Tree brand, which opened at Dubai’s Souk Al Bahar this year. According to manager John Victor, Mango Tree Bistro was created “for the younger generation of customers; it’s very casual and the menu is more approachable.” Chef de cuisine Ananto Hadi adds: “Our menu is a bit more simple than the average Thai menu, but without any compromises in taste — we fly in ingredients from Thailand to ensure that. This is simple food aimed at the younger generation, which is a big trend these days in Thailand.” Hadi admits that getting exactly the right ingredients can be a challenge. “But we have overcome that by f finding suitable back-up alternatives that don’t compromise the taste,” he explains. Victor is confident of the brand’s success in the Middle East: “The Bistro concept was specifically des signed a few years back for this market segment and price point,” he reveals. “And we will continue to draw diners through our unique offers, the building of a loyal customer base a by constantly pushing things one step further.” and


Caterer Middle East August 2010

Top 10 Outlet Openings



Top tip “Go with a big concept and big ideas; be unique and innovative.” Hichem Benamor, Pampano

The Pearl — Qatar

An unusual collaboration between opera star and celebrity chef comes in at number seven, adding to the growing F&B portfolio on The Pearl — Qatar. Celebrated Mexican chef Richard Sandoval has partnered with opera legend Placido Domingo, to bring “modern Mexican seafood to Doha”, says the outlet’s operations manager, Hichem Benamor. Chef Fabian Coronado expands: “Richard Sandoval’s concept is a modern mix of traditional Mexican recipes, with a touch of Asian ingredients. He always uses high quality seafood and fresh goods.” As others before him, Coronado has found the regional supply chain to pose problems. “Most items are imported, so their availability is therefore dependent on the suppliers. In order to overcome this, we have to contact a purveyor in the country and arrange for a local supplier to import specific ingredients we need,” he says. But both Coronado and Benamor have full confidence in the success of the venture. “Good food is always in demand; despite the downturn, the public still dines out,” reasons Benamor. “Quality food and service will always be the winning horse in this race.”


Caramel, DIFC

The glitz and glamour of Las Vegas arrived in the Middle East this year, in the shape of renowned US restaurant brand Caramel, managed by The Light Group. Jim Moaddab, director of operations for the group in Dubai, comments: “Caramel provides patrons with a young and sophisticated contemporary American restaurant, perfect for a quick bite or business lunch. Then by night it transforms into an exciting and energetic ultra-lounge serving flavourful and decadent plates, and offering a full-service bar; ideal for unwinding.” Moaddab believe the outlet’s location at DIFC — “and the progressive nature of the brand” — will secure its appeal within the busy market. “We offer something a bit different,” he insists. Discussing the menu, executive chef for The Light Group, Brian Massie, explains he wanted to create “a light fare, tapas style menu that’s conducive to its surroundings”. “We want to be the first in Dubai to introduce trendy, fresh, innovative food,” he says. However Massie admits the region’s suppliers have raised challenges in this department. “In the US, we’re used to vendors with years of experience, and the vast availability of many products — so if my vendor doesn’t have something, 100 other vendors will be able to get it to me in “Attentio five minutes,” he explains, adding that this is n to deta il, from d to entert éco not necessarily the case in the Middle East. ainment to servic r to food to provid e. You wa e th e b But Massie is not prepared to expect less. nt es your ven t you can to mak ue stan e “The Dubai way isn’t always the right way, Jim Moa d out.” d even if it is the answer you get from all the The Ligh dab, t Group vendors; you need to set ground rules and explain your expectations, then live by those ideals,” he says.

Top tip

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Top 10 Outlet Openings

9 10

Top tip

Shahista, Garhoud

“Always ma right con ke sure you cho ose the cept and th and you will neve e right location r go wro ng in the restaura nt b Ghulam usiness.” Hazrat Safi Gro Safi, up

Breathtakingly colourful new restaurant Shahista is hoping to make its mark as the UAE’s only outlet offering top-end Afghani cuisine. Owner Safi Group’s chairman, Ghulam Hazrat Safi, expands: “There are many Afghani businesses across sectors that are headquarted in Dubai — but not many that relate to the F&B industry, particularly in a fine-dining atmosphere. This was the primary reason behind conceptualising Shahista.” Safi reveals that the main challenge of launching the restaurant was sourcing the correct team. “But we are very happy with our choices and have managed to bring the restaurant to life in exactly the way we had planned,” he adds. Shahista chef Wahid Ullah notes that the only mandate for the outlet’s menu was to make it authentic — and this is where he is planning to appeal to customers. “In tougher economic times, chefs have to be more particular about satisfying their customers,” he explains. “You get one chance to make your guest a loyalist, so you can’t go wrong: if you get it right, you have a customer for life.” Despite the competitive market, Safi is optimistic about the future: “Success depends on quality of service and food; we maintain these aspects at the highest standard, and so far the result has been very encouraging.”

Shiba Bar, Jumeirah The Meydan

Located on the lobby level of the plush new race-side hotel, Shiba Bar brings a taste of Japan to Dubai, with a chic, urban twist on traditional décor. For those looking for more than beverages, there is also the Shiba Restaurant nearby. Commenting on the Shiba offering, hotel general manager Abdin Nasrallah notes that it has “a fantastic bar setup”, revealing that he personally chose the chairs and cushions for the outlet. “We have created a food court of sorts, overlooking the track, off the hotel’s main lobby — the bar and lounge and ballrooms and all-day dining and the Asian restaurant and bar are within easy reach, all on one floor, which makes it easier for guests to shop around and to choose where they want to go,” he explains. Coming from an F&B background, Nasrallah does not underestimate the importance of good service in his outlets: “Serving doesn’t just mean giving a tray of food; it’s learning how to talk to people, how to make others happy, how to give people what they want; and it gives great satisfaction when you realise you have done that.”


Caterer Middle East August 2010

Ingredient focus Chocolate

Time for a sweet treat Unfazed by the international slowdown, the region’s chocolate market is going from strength to strength — proving consumers will still spring for the little luxuries

In a region with a traditionally sweet tooth, it is unsurprising that the chocolate market is thriving. According to chefs, chocolate has always been a popular component of Middle East outlet menus — and Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates executive chef Winfried Helmetag adds that the market is “growing fast”. “Even though there is crisis, there are still many chocolate companies trying to establish or expand their presence here,” he observes. “And tourism plays a major role in the chocolate industry, because most of the hotels require chocolate as part of their amenities.” Martin Chiffers, executive pastry chef at The Address Dubai Marina, notes that chocolate, sweets and desserts are inordinately


Caterer Middle East August 2010

What’s your favourite way to serve chocolate? “Chocolate mousse, because its soft, creamy and you can easily taste the real chocolate flavour.” Winfried Helmetag, executive chef, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates “Every Thursday and Friday afternoon we have a vast display of chocolate creations and desserts at Kambaa, our Lobby Lounge. I have also created a chocolate connoisseur’s drink station with over 12 varieties of chocolate; this allows guests to taste different types of chocolate — bitter, sweet, with hints of fruits and flowers. Each variety used is distinct.” Martin Chiffers, executive pastry chef, The Address Dubai Marina

Ingredient focus Chocolate

A cocoa pod. [Barry Callabaut]

The Address Dubai Marina’s Martin Chiffers.

Swiss International Chocolates.

popular across the Middle East. “This could also be due to hisMeanwhile Swiss International Chocolates managing director torical reasons, as sweets have always been an integral part of the Daniel Hutmacher has noticed another repercussion of the sudculinary delicacies on offer here,” he comments. den financial slowdown. So with such a strong base in the region, has the chocolate “Previously, lots of foreign brands were coming into the region, industry suffered any ill-effects from the economic downturn? building themselves up, and [when the recession hit] they Kempinski’s Helmetag says not. “Based on what I’ve observed, could not put a stop to their projects; hence the large supply of I don’t think it’s affected the confectionary market that much. chocolate companies in what is today a much smaller market,” There are still lots of people who love he asserts. to eat sweets and chocolates.” But there is still business to be had Meet the supplier… The Address’ Chiffers agrees: for those delivering top-notch prodSwiss International Chocolates creates hand“Chocolate is still an ‘affordable ucts, Hutmacher emphasises. crafted, bespoke Swiss chocolates for its elite clientele. luxury’, a treat which makes people “People are now focusing on qual“We work in the artisan way to guarantee quality, freshfeel good.” ity, value for money, differentiation, ness, creativity, novelty and surprise,” says managing Indeed, as JM Posner managing service, technical support, smaller director Daniel Hutmacher. director Justin Posner explains, orders, and companies with knowl“New on the market is our Ramadan line, containing homechocolate has long been viewed as a edge of the market and the region,” made caramels which are nice and crunchy; also our Exotic recession-proof market. he says. line, which contains a beautiful 70% cocoa and smooth vanilla. “Like most things, cocoa prices Chefs agree, explaining there are Soon to come is the Autumn collection.” have risen over the past 18 months certain criteria they have for purchaswhich has made the price of chocoing chocolate products. Web: late go to an all-time high — but “In choosing a chocolate product, I chocolate is still in demand,” he normally check where the chocolate points out. has been produced and the content But the global financial downturn of the cocoa in it,” says Kempinski’s was not without its repercussions for Helmetag. “When those aspects are the cocoa products market. right, things like the sweetness and EMF Emirates general manager flavour follow.” Pierre Feghali admits: “Sales had Meanwhile The Address’ Chiffers slight decreases in areas that rely has established a preferred supplier heavily on tourism. partner for chocolate items. “When certain countries’ tourism “I normally select my favourite industry suffere, so did their hotels brand, Valrhona. The cocoa content — hence the slowdown in sales to the varies from 32% to 100%, depending hotels sector in some areas.” on the use of the chococolate — and

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Ingredient focus Chocolate

Meet the supplier… JM Posner manufactures quality chocolate fountains, certificated to the highest international standards. The firm is currently supplying the 43” and 30” commercial chocolate fountains in the UAE, with a range of accessories, display illuminated surrounds and wind guards available via EverStyle Trading to the HORECA market in the GCC. “In late 2010, we will be launching

Chocolate: an affordable luxury for today’s cautious consumers.

a 23” chocolate fountain aimed at the smaller catering businesses,” reveals managing director Justin Posner. “The idea is to create the same ‘wow factor’ by displaying flowing, molten chocolate, but you will only need 2.5kg of chocolate, so there’s a saving there.” Web:

each chocolate has a signature flavour depending on the beans used, the part of the world the beans come from and the blend,” he explains. “I select the chocolate to match the desserts or cakes that I am preparing, as some chocolates might work better with fruits, for example, than other ingredients.” But of course, whatever chocolatey goodies outlets produce must first and foremost appeal to the consumer, so market trends play a major role in what is created.

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Ingredient focus Chocolate

Swiss International Chocolates. According to Chiffers, many people in the region are “still unsure of the health benefits of chocolate and often ask for low-fat options”. “There are also requests for sugarfree chocolate,” he observes. And Middle East consumers certainly aren’t afraid to ask for what they want — which can be a benefit for those willing to accommodate them, as Swiss International’s Hutmacher notes. “Lots of requests do come our way for tailored chocolates; differentiation is a major draw factor for customers,” he says. Meanwhile EMF Emirates general manager Pierre Feghali says tastes and trends vary in each country around the MENA region. “The GCC consumers are quite similar, with nationals having a tendency towards milk chocolate, whereas more expats will prefer dark,” Feghali observes. “The UAE for instance, with the presence of a large European community, has the region’s highest sales of dark chocolate — especially in Dubai, where there is also a major concentration of hotels, with chefs who use mainly dark chocolate in dessert creation. “Because of the relatively high purchasing power of GCC residents, the

Sun-drying cocoa beans. [Barry Callabaut]

Meet the supplier… EMF Emirates is part of EMF Trading Ltd, which is the coordination office for esteemed international chocolate brand Barry Callebaut. EMF coordinates Barry Callebaut business in 16 countries in the Middle East, covering all Arab countries (except Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), plus Iran and Cyprus. “Our activities go from bulk chocolates for chefs and confectioners, to specialities for pastry chefs and chocolatiers, to semi-finished products, like cocoa powder, cocoa mass and cocoa butter,” says general manager Pierre Feghali. “Barry Callebaut recently launched two new products: ACTICOA, which uses a process that not only preserves the beneficial polyphenols from the cocoa beans, but enriches them in the chocolate, making a product that is beneficial to your health. “The second is Tooth-Friendly Chocolate, which has been accredited by university dental institutes as safe for teeth.” Email:

Rough blocks of chocolate. [Barry Callabaut] ranges we sell to this area are mainly high end, gourmet products from the Barry Callebaut line,” he continues. But even in the strong Middle East market, there are nevertheless chocolate-selling anomalies. “Syria and Iran have their own specificity,” explains Feghali. “Due to a total restriction, or an implementation of extremely high customs duty (50% in Syria, 70% in Iran), the importing of finished chocolate products is extremely low. “Consequently, the market in these countries is predominantly focused on locally produced chocolate goods,” he continues. “That is why our sales in these two markets consist mainly of semifinished cocoa products — cocoa powder, cocoa mass and cocoa butter — on which there is little customs duty, sold to industrials who produce their own bulk chocolate that they sell to chocolatiers and pastry shops to produce the end products.” It seems that although chocolate is a strong market in the Middle East, it is still not as developed across the board as other parts of the world. But with chefs and suppliers championing the cause, challenging consumer tastes and getting creative with cocoa, there is no doubt the chocolate market is on solid ground.

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Supplier news August 2010

Supplier news

Forrey and Galland get ready for Ramadan Artisan chocolate company introduces festive offerings to meet demand during the holy month Artisan chocolatier Forrey and Galland will be offering new ranges of sweet delights especially for Ramadan this August. The firm’s managing partner Isabel Jaouen explained: “Ramadan for us is something really important because it is all about food, and being French chocolatiers in Dubai we always combine and adapt flavours from the region. So our Ramadan collection is not like any other.” With the introduction of special new lines such as new flavours of macaroons, and the Sushi Roll — a combination of marzipan and layers of chocolate — Forrey and Galland are preparing for a busy summer. “Ramadan is our busiest time of year so we try to prepare ahead as much as we can. There is such demand there, and we have to be able to supply it,” Jaouen said. In addition to the new sweets, Forrey and Galland will also be offering special handmade gift boxes and plates for Ramadan, as well as cutomising products to meet customers’ specifications.

A selection of the beautiful handmade chocolates by Forrey and Galland. “During Ramadan it is mostly about offering some arrangement which includes something extra — such as combining a nice plate with some chocolate and flowers, personalised arrangements that are a bit

special to give to guests, clients, friends or family,” Jaouen explained. “When it comes to special events, we know people think of Forrey and Galland; it’s something special,” she concluded.

Meat trends are on the moo-ve Stainless steel, Supplier sees increasing regional demand for grain-fed livestock

spotless service

Middle East meat trends are evolving, with a new emphasis on grain-fed livestock, according to one meat and livestock industry expert. Meat and Livestock Australia regional manager Middle East and North Africa, Lachlan Bowtell, explained: “There’s been a change from ‘let’s just get something on the plate’ to ‘let’s get story food on the plate’ — and that’s what Australia does extremely well. “We can say a piece of lamb or beef comes from a certain region, under a certain brand. And we’re very focused in that sense, so I

The best way to prevent the spread of germs is by using quality stainless steel products, according to manufacturer Teknomek. The company, which produces catering stainless steel, has revelaed that tests using standard domestic dishwashers and commercial detergents found that typically, 97% of micro-organisms are eliminated on stainless steel surfaces. Compared to polymer surfaces, where typically 69-84% of micro-organisms are eliminated, stainless steel gives a more hygienic alternative for the kitchen, the company said.

think that that is really being appreciated, particularly by the middle-range and topend outlets in the Middle East,” he said. In addition to the new preference for grainfed animals, Bowtell said there had also been demand for different cuts. “Previously, someone might have bought a Wagyu tenderloin, and paid an absolute fortune for it. Now they might be buying Wagyu rump or topside as an alternative, or perhaps buying lamb shoulders instead of lamb legs, so there has definitely been a change,” he emphasised.

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Supplier news August 2010

English lamb for UAE Company reveals plans for regional expansion The English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) — in conjunction with its UAE representative, Richmond Enterprises — celebrated the launch of English lamb in the UAE last month, with an event at the Towers Rotana in Dubai last month. EBLEX export manager Jean-Pierre Garnier commented: “We are interested in markets for English lamb outside the European Union. We export around 96,000 tonnes of lamb in the world but most of it is in the EU, and now we feel we have a product and quality which wants to be seen in other markets.” The event comprised a reception for people in the gastronomy sector, followed by a food-tasting session for local importers to sample the produce. Speaking exclusively to Caterer Middle East, Garnier stressed the importance of being known within the industry. “I think we want to be seen as the product of reference for gastronomy in the region, because we come from the highest price point and we accept that we are slightly more expensive but in terms of eating experience we want to be the product of reference,” he said. The company predominantly supplies lamb to countries within the EU, with a quarter of its products being Halal, but will be expanding fully into the Middle East market over time. “The long term plan is for us to be in the Middle East. We are not yet in every single market but we’re opening in new markets all the time. With the quality of hotels in the region, there is a real demand for quality meat,” Garnier said.

A diary of sweet success New supplier on the block ChocArts shares the tasty tale of its progress in the market to date... Welcome to the new ChocArts column! Over the next few months, I will share with you the ups and downs of launching a chocolate company in Dubai. Chocarts Middle East Asia FZC, established in April 2010, is not only one of the fastest-growing chocolate companies in the HORECA industry, but also one of the most innovative branding and merchandise corporations in the region. Here’s what has happened in the world of ChocArts so far: March 23, 2010: We start with a simple package and the naïve idea of giving hotels just a single size chocolate-and-package idea. March 29: To our surprise, the authorities at the Free Zone enthusiastically support our launch plans. We wish the banks would too! April 13: The package plan is totally changed to incorporate different sizes, after feedback from meetings at five-star hotels. May 5: We get our first order from Kempinski Mall of the Emirates. The concept comes to life and our website goes live. May 11: We trademark our idea, name and logo. May 16: Royal Jet in Abu Dhabi gives us the go-ahead for the 2010 Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi, as well as two further events. May 27: Emirates Airlines helps to mould our final concept with the ‘Groundliner’, a sales trolley to convey the product to the consumer. We enter into negotiations and create a new profit story. June 3: We use the idea of the Groundliner with hotels first time, and see significant interest. June 22: Dubai World Trade Centre gets involved, for promotions. We start creating a promotion story. July 12: A busy week for us, with major promotion and presentations, kicks off with the Middle East Baking & Pastry Guild’s first event. We present the Groundliner idea, and the day finishes with a big group meeting with Mövenpick. The future is looking sweet! More ChocArts news next month. Frank Andreu CEO, ChocArts Middle East Asia FZC

EBLEX’s Jean-Pierre Garnier: delivering a quality product.


Caterer Middle East August 2010


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Supplier Platinum Fusion competition

Kitchen and bar team up for Platinum event First ever Platinum Fusion competition proves a hit with Dubai chefs and bartenders WINNERS:

Buddha Bar, Grosvenor House Dubai Bar manager Saleh Setiawan Head chef Nelson Julongbayan

[Above] Winner Budhha

Bar’s creative cocktails. [Right] Benoit de Truchis from Joseph Cartron

judgesacocktail-foodcombo. Chefs and bartenders came together for a unique competition last month, as MMI and Russian Standard Vodka launched the inaugural Platinum Fusion event. Uniting food and beverage for the first time in the UAE, the competition challenged entrants to use Russian Standard Platinum (RSP) as a common ingredient in both culinary dishes and cocktails. Each participating outlet’s team comprised one chef and one bar professional, who were charged with devising recipes for a dish and cocktail that would complement each other. On competition day, 19 teams congregated at The Address Dubai Mall to watch each pair take to the stage in a highpressure race against the clock, creating their food and cocktail combination for judges within the allotted eight minutes. Commenting on the unique event format, MMI bar training and development manager Rebecca Sturt explained: “RSP is aimed at the trendy nightlife crowd, and since its introduction in the UAE market has established itself as a sophisticated and fashionable brand. “We wanted to extend its profile in the market by creating a competition that would give the brand further credibility with the on-trade market specifically. “Bringing chefs in with the fusion concept allowed us to demonstrate the versatility of the brand,” she continued. “And a


Caterer Middle East August 2010

Zuma Dubai, DIFC

Bar manager John Quick

Senior sous chef Alexander Stumpf Carter’s, Wafi

Bartender Randy Manalang Chef Rachid Farhane

competition of this calibre gives the brand extended reach to a new profile.” Sturt added that the event had brought benefits for the industry as well. “The competition has given the contestants a platform to network with their peers in the industry, share ideas, learn from others and expand their knowledge of the Dubai F&B scene,” she said. “Additionally, there have been benefits for the industry as a whole, as the event highlighted a gap in the UAE market which is often overlooked: the aperitif. “Many restaurants are not busy between 6pm and 9pm, as there are few offers around town for people to enjoy cocktails and nibbles before going for dinner,” she observed. “The aperitif is a great occasion for restaurants to up-sell a unique cocktail and canapé menu that will engage people and encourage them to socialise, thereby driving business.” According to Sturt, the standard of entrants was extremely high. “The fact that contestants came from different styles of cuisine, bar and restaurant backgrounds made their performance even more remarkable,” she noted. The judging panel set-up — with both ‘front’ and ‘blind’ judges

Supplier Platinum Fusion competition

[Top left] Buddha Bar’s smokin’ food and drink.

[Top Centre] The team from Carter’s at Wafi took third place.

[Right] Zuma Dubai’s

[Above] Judges Bruce Woolner from

Chef Middle East and Michael Kitts

from Emirates Academy keep a close eye on the competitors.

[Below] Buddha Bar winners Saleh Setiawan and Nelson Julongbayan.

creativity and teamwork

earned them second place. — was carefully designed to ensure maximum impartial output. “All the front judges were fully independent of the contestants, and each of them had specific skills to aid them in judging the technical aspects of food or drinks — while elements like team work, food and drink pairing and originality were also assessed,” Sturt explained. After the 19 teams were whittled down to five, and a tough final had been fought out, the team from Buddha Bar at Grosvenor House Dubai emerged as the winners. The delighted pair were awarded a trophy, a three-night trip to St Petersburg and Moscow including visits to exclusive Russian Standard clubs and restaurants, and AED 10,000 worth of Russian Standard Platinum stock for their property. The teams from Zuma Dubai and Carter’s at Wafi took second and third place, receiving a stylish bartender cocktail kit, a silver cup and a trophy. Following the competition’s success, it will now become an annual event, MMI’s Sturt confirmed. “We have received lots of positive feedback that we will take on board, to ensure that next year it will be even better with more interaction between chefs and bartenders,” she revealed. “There will also be a more interactive approach to the finals, with contestants possibly creating a recipe out of a black box with random ingredients. So we are really looking forward to next year!”

A WORD FROM THE WINNERS: WINNERS “It was a pleasure to participate in this

prestigious event; we are extremely proud to have won and to have our hotel recognised.” Saleh Setiawan, assistant manager, Buddha Bar

“This event has helped us to demonstrate

our culinary talents and mixologist skills and we are very grateful to be acknowledged. It

has always been my dream to see Moscow!” Nelson Julongbayan, sushi chef, Buddha Bar

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


F&B essentials Tea and coffee

Althaus shows confidence in region Tea firm makes roads into Middle East with exclusive distributor La Marquise Tea company Athaus has launched in the Middle East, in conjunction with its exclusive distribution partner for the region, La Marquise International. Althaus managing partner and renowned tea master Ralf Janecki said: “We are launching now in the Middle East region, and we are always strong in tea drinking countries.” An official pre-launch event was held last month at Dubai’s Villa Rotana Hotel, where guests were treated to a variety of tea products as well as demonstrations of how to make the perfect cuppa. The company, which offers a range of tea flavours from traditional Darjeeling to fruity varieties such as Strawberry

Cream, is striving to make teadrinking more modern. “We are doing a whole variety of tea — we want to make all the flavours equal and make tea drinking more simple and easy, make it a part of the modern lifestyle,” Janecki explained. Despite the large number of tea drinkers around the globe, Janecki said skill and effort would be required to build up business in the region. “If you look into market shares, tea consumption has been constant for the last 10 or 20 years. So the share of mind is growing but the share of market is not,” he said. In terms of positioning, Althaus has geared itself towards the premium sector, but Janecki

Red espresso Red espresso is made from 100% Rooibos tea and has been refined to a patented espresso grind. Produced specifically for use in espresso machines, Red espresso delivers a strong, rich-tasting shot of Rooibos tea — coated with the crema typically characteristic of espresso

The Althaus demonstration: how to make a perfect cuppa. insisted that pricing would nevertheless be reasonable. “If you compare us with the big brands which you can find in the supermarket, we are

easily much more expensive; but we see ourselves as a quality leader, not price leader. So we are trying to give value for money,” he reasoned.

Lavazza — that is caffeine-free and rich in antioxidants (five times more than in green tea). Emirates Snack Foods LLC Tel: +971 4 2672424 Fax: +971 4 2672563 Email: Web:

The new Lavazza training centre has created the Cappuccino Cuor Di Crema milk frother — a unique piece of equipment which has been designed to allow customers to enjoy the perfect Lavazza cappuccino at any time of day. Compact, easy-to-use and simple to clean, the Lavazza milk frother is the ideal accessory for bars, cafes, restaurants and lounges. This new product allows your customers to savour coffee in all its varieties, as well as making it easy for anyone to serve up hot beverages in the style of the best Italian cafés. Lavazza Tel: +971 4 3212178 Fax: +971 4 3211274 Email: Web:


Caterer Middle East August 2010

F&B essentials Tea and coffee


Marco Beverages

The Musica from Raw Coffee is ergonomically designed to deliver exceptional espresso and cappuccino to a professional standard. The model employs new technology to deliver automatic dosing, thermo-compensated group head, a sound proof pump and an insulated boiler.

Marco has developed the Ecosmart water boiler with variable temperature control to respond to the modern requirement for hot water at varying temperatures for brewing different speciality teas and coffees. Ecosmart is a development based on the energy efficient benefits of the company’s Ecoboilers range.

Raw Coffee Tel: +971 50 553 6808 Email: Web:

Marco Beverages Tel: +353 1 295 2674 Fax: +353 1 295 3715 Email Web:

Solis SE-8

Newby Teas

The Solis SE-8 fully automatic machine comes complete with a built in milk system, and can produce cappuccinos at the touch of a button. With a 2.2 litre water capacity, this machine is ideal for small coffee shops or restaurants.

Indian Breakfast tea from Newby Teas produces a medium strength brew with a coppery tint and a combination of the deep astringent flavours of Assam, Darjeeling and Himalayan teas. The combination of strength, flavour and astringency makes this an excellent allround tea, going well with breakfast or afternoon refreshments.

BonCafé Tel: +971 4 2828742 Fax: +971 4 2828743 Email: info.boncafeme@ Web:

Newby Teas Tel: +44 20 7251 8939 Fax: +44 20 7251 8928 Email: Web:

Malongo Malongo is offering a new range of flavours, which includes: Thé Darjeeling, an autumn harvest producing a flavour reminiscent of ripe fruit; Thé Earl Grey, a classic flavour of remarkable delicacy; English Breakfast, with a full bodied aroma and flavour, spiced with a subtle bitterness; and Mint Tea, which is a tasty blend of green tea and mint. Malongo Tel: +971 4 334 9993 Fax: +971 4 334 8862 Email: Web:

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Supplier Product showcase

New products Every month, Caterer brings you the best and brightest new products on the market

Eikon series

Samsung Refrigerator

The new Eikon series by Merry Chef, with advanced technology, guarantees ease of use via an icon-driven screen. Tests show the new series will save food service operators 25% in energy consumption. In addition to greater ease of use and energy efficiency, the streamlined design of the Eikon series incorporates a monitored, removable front filter for easy cleaning, ventless facility and cool-to-touch surface.

The Samsung RR82EERS and RR82WERS reversible door refrigerator features silver antic-bacterial coating, helping refrigerators to maintain a hygienic environment. The inner walls of the products are coated with silver particles that destroy 99.9% of bacteria, providing substantial benefits in terms of the safe and fresh storage of food.

MerryChef Tel: +33 6 801 5056 Email: Web:


Salad Bar The new salad bar by Roller Grill International is suitable for cold meals, salads, starters, fish and desserts, with a temperature between +2째C and +10째C. There is no need to defrost this model as the pipe of the evaporator is protected from the air. The model is available in three different colours with the added option of a roof. Roller Grill International Tel: +33 2 37 446 777 Fax: +971 4 364 8602 Email: ypointereau@ Web:

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd Tel: +971 4 364 8600 Fax: +971 4 364 8602 Web:

The single portion platter, bowl and lid from Dalebrook are ideal for keeping sandwiches, salads, pastas or desserts fresh and visible to customers. Items are made from 100% food safe melamine, making them durable, scratch-proof and dishwasher-safe. The clear lid fits both the platter and bowl, and all items are stackable making them perfect for canteen display and transportation. These items are ideal for self-serve restaurants and can be re-used, making them environmentally friendly. Carpe Diem / La Cornue Chapelle Tel: +971 4 344 4734 Fax: +971 4 344 3663 Email: Web:

August 2010 Caterer Middle East


Supplier Product showcase

Schaerer Coffee Vito

Great coffee -

Tuscany Linen

small machine

Vat-dyed table linen products are made of 30/2, 30/2 which minimises the possibility of skewing while calendaring. Furthermore, discolouration while laundering is minimal with Tuscany products, due to the type of dye used, which can even withstand chlorine bleach.

Discover the latest innovation from Schaerer for coffee connoisseurs: the Schaerer Coffee Vito. This multi-talented model is extremely compact, reliable and versatile, and still allows you to prepare all your favourite coffee and chocolate beverages. The Vito is designed to satisfy even the most demanding requirements of small to medium-sized restaurants, cafĂŠs and ofďŹ ces in a most impressive style.

Signoria Hospitality FZCO Tel: +971 4 420 9861 Fax: +971 4 420 9860 Email: Web:

Dynamix The Dynamix offers optimum quality, with special antioxidant-coated lines and a stainless steel tube and bell. Its motor runs at 13,000 RPM and the speed is variable according to your needs. Four accessories are available for various uses, including standard, emulsifying titanium blades, as well as stainless steel batter and whisk discs. Dynamic Mixers Tel: +33 2 516 30272 Fax: +33 2 516 30273 Email: Web:

Canyons Chafing Dishes Canyons chafing dishes from Steelite International provide visual impact and practicality. Manufactured from high quality aluminium with a tough powder-coated finish, Canyons are available in both round and rectangular versions, in a range of finishes, and use standard 350 mm and 1/1 Gastronorm water pans. Both types can be flat-packed for easy storage. A Ronai Tel: +971 4 341 4409 Fax: +971 4 341 4457 Email: Web:


Distributors & supplies directory Distributors ABC Baking Tel: 009714 885 3788 Email:

B.A.K. (Oman) Tel: +968 - 2459 1065 Fax : +968 - 2459 6270 Email:

Country Hill International Tel: +971 4 347 0200 Email:

Emf Emirates Tel: +971 4 2861166 Fax: +971 4 2863080 Email:

Lactalis International Tel: +971 4 3298061 Email:

La Marquise Tel: +971 4 343 3478 Email:

Baqer Mohebi Tel: +971 4 396 9777 Email: (Marketing & distribution of food & non food FMCG, food ingredients & Cuban Cigars)

Suppliers BEVERAGES Boncafe Tel: +971 4 2828742 Email:

Franke Tel: +41 6 2787 3607

Lavazza Tel: +971 50 5959385 Fax: +971 4 3211274 Email:

Marco Beverages Tel: 01933 666 488 Email:

Monin Tel: +971 50 940 0918 Email:

Horeca Trade Llc Tel: +971 4 3403330 Email:



Tulsidas Lalchand

Al Diyafa Tel: 009714 369 2888 Email:

Clearwater Seafoods

Tel: +971 4 881 5552 Email:

Tel: 001 902 443 0550 Email:


Giles & Posner Tel: +44 1923 234040 Fax: +44 1923 245151 Email:

Tel: +971 4 408 8100 Email:

Tel: +971 50 6447837 Email:

Tel: +41 318 585111 Email:

COOKING Convotherm Tel: +49 884 7670 Email:

MKN Tel: +49 5 3 318 9207 Email:

Johnson Diversey Gulf Fze Tel: +971 4 881 9470

MGK/Temptrak Tel: 009714 3309071

Newell Rubbermaid Tel: +971 4 292 3444 Email:

RESTAURANT/ HOTEL SUPPLIES Churchill China Tel: +44 1782 524371 Email:

Schaerer Nestlé Professional Tel: +971 4 408 8100 Email:

Pritchitts Tel: 02082907020 Email:

Quraish Tel: +966 2 6532441 Email:

Tel: +971 2 6730 565 Email:

TSSC Tel: +971 4 343 1100 Email: (Catering/kitchen equipment, chocolate/ coffee equipment, FMCG, refrigeration)

JSD Products Tel: +44 1727 841111 Email:


Unilever Foodsolutions

Lambweston Nestlé Professional

Tel: +971 4 3533736 Email:

Tel: +971 4 2675406 Email:

Tel: +49 421 3502 387 Email:

Shura Trading

Tel: +9714 - 285 2222

Bakemart Llc

CSM Deutschland GmbH

Fax : +9714 - 222 2900 Email:

Dalebrook Supplies Ltd

Tel: 009714 334 1040 Email:

Royal Host Tel: +966 2 2522289 Email:

Villeroy and Boch Tel: +352 46821208 Email:

CATERING EQUIPMENT Electrolux Professional Tel: +39 0434380304 Email:

Koma Middle East Tel: 9714 887 3334 Email:

Robot Coupe Tel: 0033 143 988833 Email:


Tel: 0044 1376 510101 Email:

Duni AB Tel: +46 40 10 62 00 Fax: +46 40 39 66 30 Email:

Impulse Enterprises Tel: 001 954 9579917 Email:

Dick Tel: +49 7 153 8170 Email:

Victorinox AG Tel: +41 41 818 12 64 Email:

Appointments August 2010

Appointments Pravin Kumar has joined the Sheraton Deira Hotel as its new food and beverage manager. Prior joining the team in Deira, Kumar was part of the pre-opening task force at The Grand Mauritian, Mauritius, a Starwood Luxury Collection hotel, where he played a key role in setting up food and beverage operations. Prior’s previous experience comprised stints with the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel, as well as various five-star establishments in Mumbai, including the Grand Hyatt, Marriot Executive Apartments and Holiday Inn.

Rotana Abu Dhabi has appointed Gavin Sellars as executive sous chef at its signature restaurant, Teatro. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Sellars has a diverse knowledge of various international cuisines, as well as fine-dining and bistro outlets. Over more than 14 years in the industry, Sellars has held roles at many top Australian restaurants, as well as getting the opportunity to cook for celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Will Smith, as well as former US President Bill Clinton and his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton.

Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi has welcomed Alain Rion as new head chef of Al Fanar — its famous revolving rooftop restaurant. Having first realised his passion for food when cooking with his grandmother as a youngster, Rion kicked off his career with an apprenticeship at the legendary Paul Bocuse restaurant in France, and later learned from many other greats, such as Alain Ducasse and Bernard Loiseau. Rion, who descriobes his technique as “French cuisine with a modern twist”, has prepared culinary delights for an array of distinguished clients, including the Qatari royal family.

Hilton Abu Dhabi has announced the appointment of Leena Rajagopal as its new director of conferences and events. Malaysian national Rajagopal has worked for Hilton Hotels and Resorts since 2006, starting her career at Hilton Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, and joined the conference and events team at Hilton Abu Dhabi in 2008. Commenting on her new role, Rajagopal said she was looking forward to the new challenge, and was determined to sustain the “excellent standards and service” associated with the property.

Publication: Position: Salary: Other:

Caterer Middle East Sales Manager Competitive Monthly Commission, 22 days annual leave, medical insurance

Company Overview ITP Business Publishing produces a wide range of business-to-business publications, award programmes, events, conferences, directories and information services for key vertical markets in the Middle East and beyond. Its portfolio includes information technology, construction, hospitality, transport, healthcare, energy, finance, broadcast and telecommunications publications. Publication Overview Caterer Middle East, the region’s leading food and beverage management title, is a must-read among the Middle East’s F&B professionals— including executive chefs, F&B directors, brand owners, outlet managers and sommeliers. Caterer has an BPA Average Qualified Circulation of 5,811 copies per month and is read by more than 28,732* foodservice professionals. The Position • To develop and sell the commercial strategy for Caterer Middle East and • Sell advertising into Caterer Middle East and its brand extensions • Lead and own advertising targets and forecasting • Hit weekly, monthly and quarterly sales targets • Book revenue into the budgeted brand extensions and other projects within the portfolio • Develop both agency and direct business – both locally and from abroad • To help manage one of ITP’s Tier 1 Hospitality magazines Skills & Experience • Ideally a minimum two years media sales experience, preferably with a business-to-business background • New business skills essential • Ideally a track record in operating in the hospitality industry or related sectors • Ability to work across diverse cultures and with international clients • Ability to cross-sell advertising and sponsorship over events, online, supplements • Ability to identify own leads and be able to close confidently and under pressure • Have ambition and drive to achieve fantastic results • Good professional face-to-face presentation skills and telephone manner • Hunger, ambition, skill and dedication are a must Other • Full clean driving license preferred Should you be interested in this position please send your CV to: Diarmuid O’Malley Publishing Director

Dates for the diary Calendar

DATES FOR THE DIARY... August 2010 S























01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 August 3-7 Food Expo Jordan Amman, Jordan The 13th annual food and beverage trade fair provides a perfect platform for new products launches, networking with existing and new suppliers and clients, and the opportunity to display products and services to a targeted audience. August 6-8 6th Food and Technology Expo New Delhi, India The 6th edition of the INDIAMART Food and Technology Expo, running over

three days, will showcase the status of the advancements in agriculture and horticulture in terms of technology, market knowledge and latest developments in processing, milling and packaging foods. August 12-16 Food Expo Hong Kong, China Last year’s edition of the F&B event — which is free for trade visitors but also open to the general public — attracted more than 600 exhibitors, as well as 11,000 buyers and a whopping 344,000 public visitors.

August 17-20 Nor-Fishing Trondheim, Norway Running for 50 years, Nor-Fishing has become a central meeting place for the international fishing industry, showcasing major industry innovations — including machinery and equipment for fish processing, refrigeration and freezing. August 20-22 FoodEx 2010 Bangalore, India A trade event highlighting food products, food processing, packaging and technology.

This runs alongside Agri Tech 2010 — an international exhibition for agriculture, horticulture, dairy, poultry, live stock, aquaculture products and associated technology. August 26-28 International Beverage Exposition and Competition Shenzhen, China The IBEC offers international suppliers the opportunity to introduce their beverage products into the Chinese market, with masses of visitors, major media coverage and dedicated event awards.


Caterer Middle East August 2010

Caterer Middle East - August 2010  

Caterer Middle East - August 2010 - ITP Business

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