The Pro Chef Middle East - Edition 49

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Dominic De Sousa

Culinary news from the Middle East and beyond. From upcoming events to ingredient innovation, we cover it all.




We follow the movements of chefs across the region with all the latest hiring news.


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Ten restaurants to support when next ordering in.

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F&B outlets across the UAE who are battling to adapt and survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

© Copyright 2020 CPI Media Group FZ LLC. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.



How one Dubai restaurant is creating dishes from every part of its perishable produce.



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New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner in UAE talks ‘Kaitiakitanga’, an interpretation of sustainability.

Experts weigh in on the evolution of the coffee industry.


Palazzo Versace Dubai’s executive chef Mansour Memarian offers kitchen inspiration for cooking at home this Ramadan.


Famed chef Yannick Alleno shares recipes from his Dubai restaurants.

Edition 49 / The Pro Chef Middle East


News bites UP FRONT /

Culinary news from the Middle East and beyond

#CookItWithJumeirah series launched with Michael Ellis

Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah hosts online cooking masterclasses Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah has launched live cooking masterclasses with chefs from across its restaurants to support communities while staying at home and add some flavour into their daily routines. During the masterclass, participants can immerse themselves in a culinary experience and interact with chef by asking questions and posting comments. The weekly masterclass session and list of ingredients are shared via social media prior to the live session so that home cooks can plan ahead and prepare for their real-time cooking experience with the chef. "As our community comes together in this difficult time, we will continue to spread the light and warmth of hospitality to our guests through various innovative initiatives”, said Alessandro Redaelli, Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. For more information, follow @waldorfastoriarak on Instagram and Facebook.

Jumeirah Group has launched a new content series in which Chief Culinary Officer and former Global Head of the Michelin Restaurant and Hotel Guides Michael Ellis shares his favourite, personal recipes to recreate at home. ‘Dinner with Michael’ will feature weekly dishes – complete with ingredients list and easy-to-follow instructions – to inspire people to get adventurous and learn from a culinary great. Check out Jumeirah Group and its hotels’ social pages every Thursday to discover the new recipes and get some top tips from Michael Ellis on how to create elevated, restaurant-quality dishes at home. From simple seafood dishes to sizzling steaks, the diverse range of recipes will delight the palates of the whole family. Don’t forget to tag your dishes with #StayHomeWithJumeirah #CookItWithJumeirah


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Industry ingredient supplier, Classic Fine Foods, has launched its home delivery deli service to cater to UAE residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though traditionally Classic Fine Foods supplies ingredients to some of the UAE’s top hotel and restaurants, the recent outbreak has led to the brand evolving to ensure everyone has access to high quality produce in a short turnaround time.

That means that UAE home cooks can get their hands on chef quality ingredients at reasonable prices, delivered straight to their door. Classic Deli, the new home delivery arm of the brand, is now offering meat, seafood, dairy products, groceries, bread and pastry and fruit and vegetables for next-day delivery via its website, classicdeli. market/ae.


Classic Fine Foods launches consumer delivery service

Food can be a vector for COVID-19 Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food Security has said that while COVID-19 is not transmitted directly through the consumption of food, food can be a vector for the virus if it comes into contact with it. Speaking from a virtual meeting held on April 21, 2020, for the forthcoming G20 summit, which is scheduled to take place in Riyadh in November, Her Excellency stressed that it is vital to remind people of good hygiene and standard food safety practices. These practices are quite simple and effective to combat the spread of COVID-19, especially as people are relying on food delivery during periods of lockdown. She also conveyed that unity is essential if the global community is to continue ensuring supplies of food during the current coronavirus crisis. “The international food supply, which is too often taken for granted, is witnessing serious disruptions caused by various precautionary measures that threaten food production and food supply. These measures are also negatively impacting the lives of the people involved in the food and agriculture

NEW ONLINE CAMPAIGN #YALLAHLETSORDER TO SUPPORT GCC RESTAURANTS Global food service company, Unilever Food Solutions has launched a nationwide campaign across the GCC to promote and support local restaurants during COVID-19. Covering the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the new campaign – namely ‘Yallah Let’s Order,’ invites consumers to share visuals of their meals delivered from their favourite restaurant using the hashtag #YallahLetsOrder on their social channels every Thursday. In doing so, the idea is that the poster’s fellow colleagues, friends and family will be encouraged to order local in support of the nation’s eateries. Inspired by #TheGreatAmericanTakeout – which has garnered over 20,000 active participants in a week since launching, this GCC-focused campaign hopes to bring business to restaurants and food operators at a time they need it most. “#YALLAHLETSORDER is a small part that we can all play to help bring in traffic to restaurants and food operators,” said Unilever Food Solution’s Marketing Director (MEPS, SA and ANZ) Melinda Taylor. “We are confident that community and togetherness will be the enduring message of this crisis!”

industry, so it is vital we work together in an active and committed way,” Her Excellency said. She stressed that it was imperative that countries worked together and followed the recommendations of international organisations. She also warned about unscrupulous actors taking advantage of the crisis by raising prices of essential foodstuffs.

Abu Dhabi restaurants granted 20% refund on rent fees Abu Dhabi restaurants and F&B outlets will receive a 20% rent refund as part of the government’s Economic Stimulus Package. The refund will apply to restaurants, F&B outlets and tourist and entertainment facilities in the UAE capital whereby contracts were signed between 1 October 2019 and 31 March 2020, or contracts that have been renewed or are due to be renewed between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020. The refund will not apply to lease-to-own contracts, the Department of Economic Development has confirmed. The move comes as part of the Abu Dhabi Economic Stimulus Package that aims to help businesses survive economic challenges as a result of COVID-19. Its stimulus package includes AED5 billion allocated for water and electricity subsidies for citizens and the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as subsidising electricity connection fees for start-ups until the end of 2020. It also includes AED3 billion allocated to the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme, and AED1 billion to establish a market maker fund aimed at enhancing liquidity and sustaining balance between supply and demand for stocks.

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The Middle East Restaurant Association born to support restaurant industry

Fresh Del Monte Produce launches e-commerce store

The Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) has launched a non-profit organisation to act as a hub to connect and support the UAE’s restaurant industry during the difficult circumstances. The Middle East Restaurant Association (MERA) will be a vital source of help, advice and information that concerned business-owners and members of the industry can come to for assistance and guidance. The association aims to look after everyone in the industry, at all levels, not just owners and management. MERA’s founders are currently in the final stages of registering the nonprofit incorporated organisation (NPIO) as a legal entity. Nevertheless, the needs of the industry come first and the MERA team is eager to provide an inclusive support system for the wider F&B community. With that in mind, the association hosted its first-ever ‘MERA powered by GRIF’ online Zoom session on April 1 with founding board members: Naim Maadad, CEO of Gates Hospitality, Duncan Fraser-Smith, VP of TFG Food & Beverage, Ramzy Abdul Majeed, founder and MD of Whissle Hospitality Group, Ravi Chandran, CEO (MENA) of Liwa Minor, Amit Nayak CHA, VP and board member at HAMA MEA, and David Singleton, partner at Socius Group. A leading legal practitioner will also be present. Other founding board members include Rene Beil (Managing Director, Beaufort Global Partners), Lynne Bellinger (Director of Food & Beverage Development, Marriott International MEA), and Jennifer PettingerHaines, (Co-Founder of GRIF & MD Middle East of Bench Events). To learn more, e-mail

Fresh Del Monte Produce in the Middle East and North Africa has announced the launch of its e-commerce store, which was made live on April 19, 2020 in the UAE and to be rolled out to other countries soon. The new store will allow consumers to gain easier access Del Monte’s products; with same-day delivery available for orders placed before noon. “In line with its strategy to cater to consumers’ needs, Fresh Del Monte is striving to further grow and provide services that reflect both changes in technology and customer behaviour, commented Racha El Aawar, Fresh Del Monte’s Regional Marketing Manager for the Middle East and North African region. “Today, more than ever, our customers and consumers are turning to ecommerce to satisfy their needs. We want them to know we value their loyalty, and offering them the tools and resources they need is our top priority.” The store (, allows Fresh Del Monte to be directly in touch with consumers, as it strives to provide them with convenient yet healthy choices and a wide variety of high-quality fresh snacks and meals.

Dubai chefs among global contributors to free recipe e-book Globally acclaimed chefs have joined forces to create a free, recipe e-book, packed full of their finest creations to inspire home cooks during the pandemic. Led by Dubai-based author Flavel Monteiro, ‘Come Together: The World’s Finest Chefs,’ draws more than 100 recipes from 84 chefs. With over 50 Michelin stars between them, representing some of the best restaurants from Brazil to Australia, the book collates culinary creations from six continents and 31 countries. In his foreword, Monteiro talks about how the inspiration for the book came when he saw people “taking shelter in their homes from this invisible enemy” and his colleagues in the restaurant


The Pro Chef Middle East / Edition 49

industry were suffering. “I was inspired to find a way for all of us to join together in solidarity with those on the front lines of this battle and connect as one in a celebration of something that we can share – great food!” A number of UAE-based chefs have contributed to the book, including Francesco Guarracino of Roberto’s Abu Dhabi and Dubai; Reif Othman of Reif Japanese Kushiyaki; Colin Clague of Ruya; Craig Best of Hell’s Kitchen; James Knight-Pacheco of ME Dubai and Raymond Wong of Seafire Steakhouse, plus many more. Among the recipes include a grilled beef tenderloin from chef Luigi Vespero of Waldorf Astoria DIFC, almond-crusted vegetable tikkis from Vineet Bhatia of Indya and Indego in Dubai and a smoked cuttlefish tartare from chef Guarracino. In a touching tribute to his home country, chef Francesco Acquaviva of Social by Heinz Beck has curated a recipe titled “Heart for Italy” – an orange cremoux and chocolate mousse topped with a pistachio ganache, chocolate crunch, ricotta cream and a pistachio sponge.


50 Best has announced that it is postponing The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020, with a view to host the event in 2021 in Antwerp, Flanders. The event was due to take place on 2 June 2020, but recent circumstances surrounding COVID-19 have led to the decision to move the event. This announcement also means that 50 Best will not release its annual list in ranked format this year. “Given the circumstances globally, in 2020 we will put all our efforts into helping the restaurant sector to fight for its future, as well as assisting in the work that chefs and restaurateurs are themselves doing to help others,” said William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. In place of the global gastronomic gathering, 50 Best will design and develop impactful initiatives that will help the world work together in this time of need. It will also use its network to support and amplify programmes that will bolster businesses, while continuing its editorial campaign to support restaurants, restaurant workers and chefs. This decision has been made as a result not only of current international travel restrictions and severe health concerns, but also in light of the horrific toll that the pandemic is taking on the restaurant and hospitality sectors worldwide, not to mention the suffering of millions of individuals at the hands of the virus. “We stand united with the restaurant sector at this unprecedented time,” said Drew. “Today we make a pledge that even though there will be no celebration of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year, we will act to support and defend restaurants today and in the future.”

Careem introduces ‘Shops’ on Careem NOW for daily essentials Careem has launched a grocery delivery service in Dubai through the Careem NOW app as a way to help customers during this time. The ondemand service supports customers with the delivery of groceries and other essentials within a quick response time, and continues to reinforce the Careem promise, to offer customers a continued comprehensive array of services, all displayed and catalogued on the app. To avail the service, customers only need to download the Careem NOW app, choose their preferred merchant, select from a catalogue of available items and add them to their basket. Upon check out, customers can choose their location and payment method, and a Careem Captain will deliver the order within the hour. In addition to being the only app to offer Lulu Hypermarket in Dubai,

Careem Shops include 7-Eleven, 800-Pharmacy, Al Manara Pharmacy, NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO, The Pet Corner, The Coffee Souq, Julius Meinl Coffee, Al Dar Roastery, Rootz Organics, Al Douri Signature, Al Douri Mart, Supermarché, Narinport, Four Seasons Pharmacy, and La Despensa Spanish Food Store, to name a few.

Waterfront Market re-opens fish market with heightened safety As an essential service to the public and trade customers, Waterfront Market, Dubai’s premier fresh food market, was given permission by the authorities to re-open its Fish Market on April 7, 2020. As part of its reopening, Waterfront Market has implemented a range of precautionary health and safety measures in order to combat the spread of COVID-19. A dedicated team has been assigned to implement a 24-hour cleaning programme, which includes disinfecting and sanitising all common areas in addition to their standard hygiene cleaning practices. Thermal cameras have been installed at all entrances to WFM to monitor staff and customer’s temperatures as they enter and numerous fixed hand sanitizer units have been installed at multiple locations in order to facilitate customers to keep sanitizing their hands regularly. All customers and staff will have to practice physical distancing, masks and gloves will be mandatory and only one family member will be limited to do the shopping, whilst children will be prohibited to enter. The Fish Market will be operational around the clock with deep cleaning and sanitization closures from 12:00 to 14:00:00 PM and 2 to 6 AM. Visit for more information.

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UAE restaurants help those in need

Talabat, Kitopi team up to distribute 20,000 free meals in Dubai

Nammos Dubai to feed caregivers on frontline Nammos Dubai joins the initiative to support the national effort of those on the frontline and in-need by providing over a thousand meals per week during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Nammos was built on the concept of community,” says Samy Ibrahim, the founder of Nammos. He continues, “We hope to build a better future and we cannot do it without the caregivers who are mobilized everyday to fight against the outbreak and those who have lost their jobs because of it. This is our token of appreciation and a small contribution to their efforts. The team at Nammos has been instrumental in supporting the initiative since the beginning of April. They are coming in every day to safely cook and pack the food packages along with fresh fruits, drinks and refreshments. The packages are hand delivered to health centres and designated frontline caregivers managed by UAE Food Bank and Dubai Municipality, which hosts people who have lost jobs because of Covid-19.

Popular food delivery service Talabat have teamed up with Kitopi – a cloud kitchen platform, to provide 20,000 meals to those most affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Dubai. The partnership between the pair involves Kitopi preparing and packaging 1,000 meals daily, which are then delivered by Talabat to communities in need. Talabat has collaborated with Dubai Police and the Dubai Health Authority as part of the initiative to ensure those most affected receive the help. “These are unprecedented times that require us to think beyond ourselves. Our mission is to revolutionise the way people can access food, and for us today, that means helping to feed the most vulnerable,” said Jihad Bou Nasr, country manager of Kitopi UAE. “This initiative would not have been possible without our chefs, the local authorities and Talabat. Together, we’re determined to continue serving our communities.” Mo Yildirim, Managing Director of Talabat UAE, added, “People are struggling, and it is particularly those who are living day-today or week-to-week who are most affected by this, who need the most help. We would like to thank the Dubai authorities for diligently and calmly managing the situation, Kitopi for cooking the fresh meals, but also our riders – not only for delivering these meals, but for continuing to deliver food, medicines and groceries across the emirate so people can stay home.”

Pierre Marcolini delivers chocolate to hospitals Following the closure of its Dubai, Belgian, Parisian and London Boutiques, Pierre Marcolini offered chocolates, delicacies, pastries and seasonal creations to hospitals in each of the locations to commemorate all the efforts of healthcare staff. Pierre Marcolini Middle East provided fine chocolates to the frontline staff of Medcare Hospital in Dubai, hoping this small contribution can boost morale during the coronavirus crisis for all employees, patients and families on the front line. Offering chocolates does not seem essential, but it’s is an undeniable comfort. This is all the more important in this difficult period for everyone, but especially for the extraordinary hospital staff who are experiencing probably one of the most difficult times of our lives.


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Alabbar Enterprises launch ‘Helping Hands’ initiative The Noodle House, VeggiTech team up for frontline care package scheme In a bid to give back to those on the frontline fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, The Noodle House has launched a new community-based campaign to create care packages for those in need. The Asian food arm of Sarood Hospitality has teamed up with VeggiTech – a UAE-based agri-technology start-up, to curate nutritional care packages of fresh, locally grown produce to supply healthcare staff across the UAE – free of charge. VeggiTech’s Sharjah-based hydroponics farm, and the source of the fresh produce used in the packages, is located 80 kilometres from Dubai and tackles key challenges of traditional farming through its innovative technology. Through its inhouse designed and manufactured system, the produce is grown using 95% less water usage and fertilizers; no pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, meaning the produce used in the packages is completely organic. The farm also boasts a 25-day harvest cycle compared to the 75-days in the field in conventional agriculture. Inside each care package, recipients can expect a selection of highly nutritional fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines, curly parsley and kale. Up to 500kg of locally grown produce will be available per day from the onset of this initiative. The “Help Our Heroes” campaign is available to “all healthcare staff,” from nurses and surgeons, all the way to housekeeping, maintenance and reception workers. Those wishing to apply for the package themselves or on behalf of a friend, can do so via The Noodle House on Facebook. In order for each application to be processed, the full name of the healthcare staff, role at the hospitality, delivery address with contact details must be sent via direct message to the page.

As everyone is affected by COVID-19, unfortunately, there are some who have been significantly affected more than others. A lot of UAE residents who depend on their daily wages are struggling with basic necessities, such as food. In light of this, Alabbar Enterprises have launched a CSR initiative, ‘Helping Hands’, to support the community and deliver wholesome charity meals for those in need. Joining forces with both their suppliers and brands, including Two At Symphony, Karak House, GIA, Angelina, Social House, Markette and Candylicious, Alabbar Enterprises are preparing homemade meals, made with love, to support 3,500 people a week in need. The initiative is in collaboration with their charity partner, Community Solidarity Fund Against COVID-19, to support the community in easing challenges in the current environment. Alabbar Enterprises has launched the dedicated website to track the amount of donations and for companies to get in involved. Alabbar Enterprises, along with their suppliers and brand teams cook, prepare, pack and deliver homemade nutritious meals, made fresh every day. ‘Helping Hands’ means that no one who has found themselves in a difficult situation, due to the global pandemic, will go to sleep each night with an empty stomach. Bringing their expertise, teams, brands and network together in unison, Alabbar Enterprises is delivering this much-needed support for the community at a time of difficulty.

Etihad catering arm to provide meals to those impacted by COVID-19 Etihad Airways’ catering arm has announced that it has been commissioned to prepare and provide meals to those most in need during the COVID-19 outbreak. Etihad Airport Services Catering (EAS Catering) is said to have been selected to support initiatives led by various government entities, business organisations and community centres due to its stringent food handling procedures. “The capabilities of EAS Catering’s in-house food laboratory means we have direct oversight on the effectiveness of COVID-19 safety measures,” said Andrew Caines, General Manager, EAS Catering. “We increased microbiological swabbing of surfaces and hands in order to validate disinfection and hand washing efforts, which are direct indicators of virus viability.” Since the start of the pandemic, EAS Catering has cooked and delivered over 15,000 meals a day to people self-isolating or under quarantine, frontline medical staff, humanitarian drives and for various businesses across the capital. EAS Catering is also delivering amenities and providing a laundry service for Etihad employees living in temporary isolation at Masdar City so as to operate essential freighter and repatriation flights. These include loadmasters, cargo agents, pilots and cabin crew. In addition, Etihad crew living in company provided accommodation and requiring a meal delivery service are also being catered for free of charge.

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The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi has bolstered its F&B team by welcoming a new executive chef and pastry chef. Sat at the helm of the kitchen operations for the resort, Michael Gremer brings with him more than two decades of culinary expertise and will be responsible for boosting the gastronomic experiences currently available at its restaurants. Hailing from Germany, the 51-year-old executive chef has a solid background in top management roles in luxury and international hotels across Asia, including countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan, in addition to wide experience with large-scale launches and renovations in the US and Australia. Hamza Ghazi Al Durdang is the second to join the team as their newest pastry chef. With almost 15 years’ experience in creating culinary masterpieces in Jordan, UAE and most recently India, he is an extremely talented and innovative pastry chef who specialises in chocolate creations and sugar arts. Michael Gremer, executive chef at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, said: “I am honoured to be working with a kitchen team that have such an impressive skill set and experience working with some of the biggest names in the industry. We are thrilled to continue the legacy of the St. Regis brand while creating new and innovative menus and culinary experiences.” Spread across the expansive resort are seven dining venues, including the world-renowned Buddha-Bar Beach Abu Dhabi, MAZI Abu Dhabi serving modern Greek cuisine, Mediterranean-inspired Olea, an award-winning Southeast-Asian restaurant Sontaya, The Manhattan Lounge, an onsite pastry shop – The Drawing Room, and the casual pool and beach setting.


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The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi



Al Asr Al Dahabi Café & Restaurant, Al Mamzar



JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman

Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences Emirates Pearl

Following its successful February launch Dubai’s Al Asr Al Dahabi Café & Restaurant has announced the appointment of Ehab Mahmoud Mohamed Ahmed Nasef as its executive chef. Nasef joins Al Asr Al Dahabi with over 19 years of regional experience. He started his culinary journey in 2001 at the Grand Hyatt in Egypt, where he worked for over a decade. He then took a position at Hilton Kuwait Resort Salmiya as a sous chef. While there, he managed the French, Oriental, Italian, Turkish and Spanish kitchens, in addition to the Arabic kitchen. Nasef was also responsible for the execution of banquets, developing the team and providing the highest quality service across the hotel’s restaurants. Nasef moved to the UAE in 2018 to take his most challenging position to date, stepping into the role of head chef at Raffles, Emirates Park Resort. Reporting directly to the general manager, he was tasked with maintaining the world-class service and quality the brand is known for, while developing new menu items and ensuring the smooth operations between relevant key departments. At the end of 2019, Nasef joined Al Asr Al Dahabi as the executive chef and played an instrumental role in launching the new brand in Dubai. He said: “I am honoured to take on the challenge of launching this ambitious brand-new restaurant concept in Dubai. We want to create something Dubai residents haven’t seen before by taking traditional dishes and presenting them in an unexpected and modern way. I have created signature menu items that use the freshest organic ingredients to elevate dishes and delight diners. For guests that enjoy something sweet to end a meal, I highly recommend our pineapple crème brulée. I guarantee people will have never tasted anything like it.”

The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai has welcomed Moritz Neumann as its new executive chef. In his new role he will oversee the hotel’s 15 restaurants, lounges and bars and lead a team of 300 talented chefs. Neumann, a German national joins the iconic Business Bay hotel from La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk where he was previously in charge of its culinary operations. During his 18-year tenure with Marriott International, Neumann has worked with 6 different brands, successfully completed 3 hotel pre-openings and has won numerous awards for outstanding leadership and talent. Neumann states: “At Marriott we always strive to be one step ahead. In order to do that we foster a work environment that supports associates to learn, grow and innovate. It is a fantastic brand to work with and I am immensely looking forward to this new chapter at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, a hotel that inspirers other hotels in the industry.” Neumann, originally from Munich in the German state of Bavaria, has been residing in Dubai for the past 7 years. Prior to his venture in Dubai and the Middle East, he refined his culinary skills in London, Arizona and Germany, and further holds a degree in the culinary arts from the distinguished Munich Business School. The hotel’s 2020 plans include further the revamping of two of its food and beverage outlets, in which Neumann will be heavily involved in.

Six Senses Zighy Bay has welcomed Geogle Michele Mingozzi, as its new executive chef. In his new role, Chef Mingozzi will continue to build on the sustainable brand ethos of Six Senses, leveraging the resort’s farm and organic garden to produce seasonal menus using local produce. Most recently working at Kanuhura Maldives, Michele brings more than 25 years’ experience to the role, where he will handle the management and operations of the 82-villa resort’s four restaurants, in-room dining, events and numerous dining experiences that the resort is renowned for, including Shua Shack. With experience working in remote locations such as the Maldives, Fiji and the Philippines, as well as Michelin starred restaurants in Italy, Germany and London and cities in the Middle East as such as Dubai and Doha, Chef Mingozzi’s experience is certainly diverse and varied. Speaking about his new role, Michele said: “What excites me most is the opportunity to be part of a resort that has wellness, sustainability and freshness at its very core. Guests tastes may vary, but what remains a constant is their desire for fresh produce and where else to do you find a resort that has its own artisanal cheese factory and a garden which you can walk too to pick fresh products. For any chef, this is a dream come true. I’m looking forward to using my experiences around the world to add a fusion to traditional foods, whilst still showcasing the Arabic food that this region is so famed for to our guests”.

Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences Emirates Pearl has appointed Stefan Moerth as its new executive chef. In his new role, he will oversee the entire culinary operations of the property. Moerth brings with him 30 years of experience at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and in luxury hotels around the world. After stints at Bangkok’s Mandarin Oriental and The Peninsula Bangkok, he served as the executive chef in several luxury Hyatt properties in Asia including Park Hyatt Saigon, Park Hyatt Tokyo and Grand Hyatt Seoul. His most recent position was executive chef at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. “This is an exceptional opportunity to work in a new Grand Hyatt in the Middle East, with our goal to establish the hotel as a favorite dining destination in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “I want to have authenticity, sustainability and freshness in everything we put on a plate to take into account the well-being and expectations of today’s savvy customers while adding a modern touch to provide the most interesting culinary experiences for them.” Moerth will be in charge of all four F&B venues – Verso, Lexx, Sahha, and Pearl Lounge – as well as the events’ culinary operations. “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Stefan who brings vast culinary expertise throughout his world travels,” said Grand Hyatt Hotel Abu Dhabi general manager Julien Gonzalvez.

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#UAERestaurantsUnite Since mid-March 2020, restaurants across the UAE were forced to shut up shop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to battle through tough times, some outlets chose to continue operating to offer customers door to door delivery, and so the #UAERestaurantsUnite community was born, thanks to the founder of FooDiva, Samantha Wood. Here are 10 restaurants to support when next ordering in.

Order your favourite dishes from La Serre to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. La Serre’s new delivery menu features signatures from the restaurant, including breakfast dishes like avocado benedict, croque monsieur for lunch, and beef bourguignon for dinner. La Serre’s Boulangerie is also still operating to produce daily fresh bakes for delivery, including pastries and breads. Orders can be placed directly with La Serre by visiting or calling 04 528 3779. You can also place an order for delivery through Deliveroo and Talabat

COYA Dubai, Four Seasons Jumeirah Fancy a treat meal? COYA’s Latin American new ‘to go’ menu ‘Coya 2 U’ is now available daily, allowing you to order food for delivery anywhere in Dubai. On the menu, expect to find highlights from COYA’s menu, including dishes such as aji amarillo chicken, tamarind-glazed lamb ribs, Chilean sea bass with rice, and orange & lime churros for dessert. Place your order directly with COYA Dubai by visiting or call 04 316 9600. 10

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La Petite Maison, DIFC If you’re looking to soak up the Cote d’Azur feeling from the comfort of your balcony, can do so with the newly launched delivery option from LPM, available on Deliveroo. Serving a mix of French and Italian cuisine, expect the likes of Croquettes de Morue, Entrecôte Grillé and Gratin Dauphinois. After a successful launch with Deliveroo in March, LPM Restaurant & Bar has now collaborated with the InterContinental Dubai Marina to be able to service guests residing in Marina and the surrounding areas. LPM Global Operations Director, Nicolas Budzynski says: “The Deliveroo launch has been great, we are extremely happy with the positive feedback. We have been receiving many requests from diners that do not live within the initial Deliveroo delivery radius and we hope that our collaboration with the InterContinental will be a pleasant surprise for our guests that live in these areas.” The LPM collaboration with InterContinental Dubai Marina went live on Deliveroo on April 15 and delivery areas include: Marina, JBR, The Palm (except the Crescent), Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Heights, JLT, Emirates Hills, The Lakes, Meadows, The Springs, The Greens, Barsha Heights, Al Sufouh and Barsha 1,2,3.


La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie, Downtown Dubai

Nobu, Atlantis, The Palm

Il Faro, Palm Jumeirah

For the first time, residents can now order signature Nobu dishes to their door, including the famous black miso cod, lobster wasabi tacos and fresh sushi and sashimi. Based at Atlantis, The Palm, Nobu’s menu – created by Michelin star-winning chef Nobu Matsuhisa, finds the perfect balance between Japanese techniques and Latin American ingredients. Those wishing to place an order can do so on Zomato, with 25% off the final bill.

Authentic Italian eatery, Il Faro, now offers home delivery for your fix of Italian dishes such as pizza bufala, eggplant parmigiana or spaghetti carbonara. Palm Jumeirah’s muchloved waterside trattoria is serving up all its signature dishes for foodies to dine at home. Savour the rich flavours of Italy made with fresh, wholesome ingredients from the comfort of your living room. Get deliveries straight to your doorstep from 12 noon to 9pm on Deliveroo or Zomato, or call 04 568 3137.

Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes The city's first gastropub brings #ReformToYourDoor with their signature dishes available for delivery and drive through – just call ahead and Reform Social & Grill will make sure your order is ready for collection. Beat those breakfast cravings with a signature bap or a full traditional fry-up, through to lunch and dinner classics with the Reform burger, five fish finger buttie, pie & chips and battered cod. If you have a family to feed, Reform can help with the cooking and save you the washing up with family feast specials, which include lamb shepherd’s pie, a full roast chicken with all the trimmings and traditional lasagne. Reform has also discounted the favourite dishes, so everything is that little bit friendlier on the purse strings. Delivery and drive through is available daily from 9am to 9pm. Call 04 454 2638 or see @ reformdubai on Instagram.

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tashas Café

The Little Katsu Shop, DIFC

tashas Café, the South African boutique lifestyle café, has launched home delivery services for customers through a new partnership with Deliveroo. For the first time, customers can enjoy the tashas experience from the comfort of their own homes and taste signature dishes such as the Texas salad, chicken vol-au-vent or Savva’s chicken pasta. Dessert options are also available including a selection of cakes, ideal for an afternoon pick-me-up at home. Delivery from all four tashas restaurants are now available on Deliveroo.

This new eatery from the BB Social Dining team is all about the famed Japanese-style katsu sandos – you know, the drool-worthy sandwiches you see all over Instagram these days. Imagine buttery brioche buns sandwiching melt-in-the-mouth tenderloin, moist chicken breast, or perhaps a generous slab of camembert. Now available for delivery through Deliveroo. For more information, see @thelittlekatsushop on Instagram.

Ultra Brasserie, Marina Plaza In search of healthy options while indoors? Order from Ultra Brasserie for your vitamin boost as they serve up part of your daily five with dishes such as organic quinoa & prawn salad, Ultra’s own Beyond Burger and panko chicken poke bowl. Craving a vitamin boost? Then add a fresh fruit blend, smoothie or vitamin shot to your order. Orders for breakfast, lunch and dinner are available for delivery every day from 7.30am – 7.30pm to the Dubai Marina, JLT and JBR areas. Call 4 277 5644 or see @ ultrabrasserie on Instagram. 12

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Lah Lah, Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens, has responded to large portions of its community looking for accessible vegan options and home-style Asian dining by introducing new delivery services for its hugely popular panAsian restaurant and lounge, LAH LAH. LAH LAH’s pan-Asian dishes are now available for delivery across Dubai via Deliveroo, with personal delivery an extra option for residents of The Greens. Among the items available are vegetable green or red curry with tofu, eggplant, mushroom and Thai basil; green papaya salad with tomato, apple, cashew nut and tamarind dressing; and LAH LAH signature peking duck, complete with pancakes, baby cucumber and spring onion, to name a few. Check out LAH LAH’s delivery menu on Instagram @lahlahdxb and to order call 04 519 1111, or e-mail

Wagamama UAE Wagamama has launched a variety of online ordering offers to help more people in the UAE who are practicing social distancing eat healthy and immune boosting foods. Wagamama’s Asian-inspired menu has been created to soothe, nourish, sustain and inspire and wagamama UAE has devised a variety of online ordering offers for Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Talabat that feature dishes with the most nourishing ingredients. Customers who are ordering on Deliveroo can enjoy a meal for two for Dhs75 which includes a chicken katsu curry, a teriyaki steak soba and duck gyoza. A meal for four includes teriyaki steak soba, chicken teriyaki donburi, yaki soba, chicken katsu curry, ebi katsu, korean bbq beef bao bun and chicken gyoza for Dhs150. Both offers are subject to terms and conditions and valid until April 20, 2020. For more information, visit take-out.

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The Pro Chef Middle East / Edition 49


In the most unprecedented global crisis of our time, the hospitality industry is suffering like never before. Here, The Pro Chef ME spotlights the F&B outlets across the UAE who, out of sheer energy and ingenuity, are battling to adapt and survive this pandemic – whether it’s through reverting to delivery-only menus, or asserting their community spirit through kind-hearted gestures to help those most in need. By GLESNI HOLLAND


he onslaught of COVID-19 and its devastating effects on the hospitality industry has forced restaurant owners to stop and think. Across the UAE, outlets are having to reinvent themselves in order to remain operational in the evolving crisis and the stringent restrictions that it brings with it. Restaurants were initially forced to close except for delivery on March 23 for a period of two weeks, but this has since been extended until further notice in a bid to curb the spreading of the virus. Its impact, not only in the short term but for the indefinite future, has undoubtedly been recognised by restaurant CEOs. A study by restaurant performance firm, Mingora, which was published in mid-April confirmed that 90% of CEOs surveyed are expecting to see ‘significant decline’ in 2020, compared to 0% suspecting that prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Though the closure confirmation was expected by many, it didn’t make it an easier pill to swallow. “My first thought was for our colleagues who are supporting themselves and their families within the hospitality business, and how this will ultimately affect all of us,” says COYA head of operations, Cedric Toussaint. “My second thought was about how we could continue to serve our guests in a different way.” For fine-dining outlets such as COYA, who prides itself on providing fresh fusion food, elaborate cocktails and an exquisite guest experience, the notion of reverting to a delivery-only service may have seemed daunting. “COYA did not have a delivery nor takeaway service before this situation,” explains Toussaint. “But we have experience with outside catering for private client events, in addition to creating pop-up experiences in markets like Saudi Arabia, so we are skilled in mobilising quickly around new ideas.” Its new delivery service, COYA2U, “is a total change of COYA’s operations,” but one that Toussaint says there was a significant demand for. Signature dishes on the all-new delivery menu feature COYA classics, including spicy beef fillet, seabass cazuela and the trio of corn salad.

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“Restaurants have built a unique and innovative F&B ecosystem in the UAE, which boasts some of the world’s highest rates for dining out and delivery. We do not expect that to change after COVID-19.” Similarly for LPM Restaurant & Bar, the need for a home-delivery option had never previously been a necessary business model. The popular DIFC-based eatery is a self-proclaimed place of “crackling energy” that retains a somewhat “conspiratorial feel.” In the new delivery-only era, particular focus was required in how best to create “the right LPM experience” for guests at home, says Nicolas Budzynski, Global Operations Director, LPM Restaurant & Bar. “We have


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explored offering delivery options in the past as we received many enquiries and requests from our guests, but we never felt that the time was right,” he says. As a “premium venue” with a higher price point than most food delivery options, careful consideration was needed to ensure the restaurants’ dine-in quality was replicated in at-home orders. Right down to the packaging and presentation (the restaurant launched a selection of hand-painted canvas bags for deliveries to encompass the brand’s values of remaining elegant, unique and eco-friendly), “we could not simply do it in the same way that other restaurants were delivering, because of our higher price point,” explains Budzynski. Like many brands, the motivation behind introducing a delivery service was not purely for LPM’s financial gain. “Instead, we wanted to secure our employees and shareholders, while keeping LPM relevant and connected to the market during these difficult times,” adds Budzynski. Across the city, many restaurants have had to accept that handling the delivery process – from logistical challenges to lack of online payment gateways - is not something they’d wish to prioritise right now, and as

Cedric Toussaint, COYA

Julien Pilard, Publique

Nicola Walsh, Sarood Hospitality

Nicolas Budzynski, LPM

such have partnered with food aggregators to alleviate some of the pressure – but at a cost. As soon as outlets begin thinking about delivery, they must turn their attention to “the two biggest market players” if they want to be seen and incur a volume of orders, says Julian Pilard, Patron at Bistro des Art and Publique. “Neither of these have reduced their fees since the pandemic,” he explains, and mounting costs on top of the restaurant’s outgoings was something Gates Hospitality – the overarching arm of both Bistro des Art and Publique – was keen to avoid. In light of this, the restaurant group has taken on the task of conducting the delivery process itself using one main kitchen from the Gates Hospitality venues. Adopting this “new business vision” has involved an entire shift in not only mindset, but menu offerings too, says Pilard. “With Publique being a French restaurant, we have had many requests for the raclette or cheese fondue to be delivered. But we have had to be realistic and conclude that it won’t be possible logistically, due to the equipment required,” he says. “The focus has instead focused on providing diners with a French hamper, including a selection of cheese, cold cuts, onion tart, foie gras, breads and condiments.” For some, delivery was already very much a part of their regular operations. The Asian food arm of Sarood Hospitality, The Noodle House, launched its delivery service back in 2018. Since then, the capability has accounted for approximately 9% of total business. However, since the pandemic outbreak, delivery sales have spiked by 48%. Currently operating out of a dark kitchen hub which was purposefully built to cater for deliveries, the only transition was “to prepare for an increase in output,” says Nicola Walsh, marketing director at Sarood Hospitality. “We will shortly be operating more Sarood Hospitality brands for delivery, but this comes with myriad challenges. We do not have access to all of our kitchens, so we are combining brands in fewer kitchens. Supply chain is also limited so we will not be running our full menus but instead sticking to ‘kits’ and reduced offers,” she says. Aside from their delivery efforts, the team behind The Noodle House have also been utilising this time to give back to those on the frontline, fighting the coronavirus in health centres and hospitals in order to keep UAE residents safe. The “Help Our Heroes” campaign launched in early April as a collaboration between The Noodle House and UAE-based agri-technology

“Major crises have always been followed by great creative eras and economic booms, so I am looking forward to a bigger and brighter future ahead.”

startup, VeggiTech. “Following on from a very productive chat with our likeminded industry friend and partner – Hemant Julka from VeggiTech, the opportunity to distribute care packages of fresh produce to healthcare professionals, free of charge, came to life,” explains Walsh. “Actions speak louder than words and now, more than ever, it is paramount to look after those that look after you. At the end of the day, brands that behave like humans have more friends – it is vital to use this time to think of how we make our brands more relevant and meaningful therefore, serving the community better.” While we cannot foresee what a life postCOVID will bring, the UAE is already putting plans in place for the F&B industry to operate differently once the restrictions are lifted. In a circular distributed on 22 April ahead of reopening plans, the government stipulated that restaurants would operate at 30% capacity and be required to leave a two-metre distance between tables when reopening dates are confirmed. This won’t dampen the industry’s fight though, says Walsh. “Despite the current challenges, we must not forget that restaurants and hospitality groups whether independent or multinational - have worked hard to build a unique and innovative F&B ecosystem in the Emirates, which boasts some of the world’s highest rates for dining out and delivery. We do not expect that to change after COVID-19,” she says. In the meantime, many are holding out for guidance from the UAE’s leadership in creating clear measures to support local businesses, in a bid to aid recovery and revise their contribution to supporting the tourist and expat network, says Budzynski. “Major crises have always been followed by great creative eras and economic booms, so I am looking forward to a bigger and brighter future ahead.”

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With annual food waste in the UAE estimated at 197kg per person, compared with 95 to 115kg in Europe and North America, local restaurant COYA Dubai is doing its part to reduce waste with a sustainable kitchen initiative that sees the Peruvian restaurant create dishes from every part of its perishable produce.


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Waste not, F want not

ood waste is a growing problem around the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations, out of the one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets wasted. Research from the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) indicates that annual food waste in the UAE is estimated at 197kg per person, compared with 95 to 115kg in Europe and North America. Inspired by the challenge of reducing food wastage at its venues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, COYA, the internationally celebrated contemporary Peruvian restaurant, creates dishes out of every possible aspect of its perishable produce, including vegetable stalks and peelings, meat trimmings and bones, and seafood shells.

“A little creative thinking can decrease waste significantly by utilising every part of the fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meat”

COYA’s Middle East Executive Chef Benjamin Wan, said: “Tackling food waste is certainly a major concern and something of a ‘work in progress’ for the regional and global restaurant industry. At the simplest level, we create a more sustainable kitchen through waste minimisation. A little creative thinking can decrease waste significantly by utilising every part of the fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meat that people often don’t think of as edible, transforming them into something delicious. Chef Ben and COYA’s restaurant staff challenge each other to find new uses for the produce that arrives daily to create the venue’s signature dishes. The restaurant makes cooking stocks from chicken, beef, and fish bones, as well as shrimp and lobster shells. Top grade tuna and salmon bones have been scraped

of their meat and are added to the taco filling. Trimmings from beef ribs are used to make beef bao filling. And, after using the corn for corn salad, the cob goes to pastry to be used as an infusion for sweet corn ice cream, Sunday de Maiz. Vegetable stalks and peels are used for stock as well as garnish. COYA’s innovation in developing a sustainable kitchen also extends to its celebrated Pisco Bar and Lounge, where mixologists create drinks incorporating produce trimmings from the kitchen that would otherwise be thrown out. For example, the cob from purple corn is boiled and used for famous Peruvian drink, Chicha Morada and for Chicha Morada Granita, which a semi-frozen drink. The same with pineapple and orange, after squeezing them for fresh juice the rest is boiled for Chicha Morada. Also, COYA found a way to use up leftover lime rinds: after squeezing the juice, the rinds are combined with sugar to make Oleo Saccharum, a special syrup used in cocktails. Other fruit and vegetable components go into special house made Pisco flavours for which COYA has become acclaimed. “As the UAE government takes steps to reduce food waste, COYA is doing its part to develop an authentically sustainable kitchen that will hopefully inspire our guests and our peers to take simple steps to decrease their own food waste footprint,” chef Ben concluded.

Located at Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach, COYA Dubai is a Latin American dining destination. For more information, e-mail, visit or call 04 316 9600.

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Kevin McKenna, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's Trade Commissioner in UAE and Qatar, and Consul General in Dubai, UAE, talks ‘Kaitiakitanga’ – a New Zealand interpretation of sustainability

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“‘Tiaki’ replaces traditional trawl nets with modular harvesting systems, landing fish alive and returning unwanted catch to the ocean” translating this through to other events, including Expo 2021 Dubai, where New Zealand’s pavilion stands as part of the sustainability district. Producers across New Zealand have made many advances in the pursuit of sustainable food farming and production. Today, New Zealand exports nearly 80% of the food it produces to 120 countries around the world. If you speak to chefs and food lovers across the world, many will tell you they trust New Zealand produce, and have high expectations for quality, transparency and consistency when engaging in business with New Zealand companies. I’m proud to say that these were the types of companies found at our Dairy and World Foods pavilions at Gulfood 2020. Businesses who can demonstrate their care for people and place, and whose products, services and expertise can help solve problems of all shapes and sizes.


Kevin McKenna

Trade Commissioner in UAE and Qatar, and Consul General in Dubai, UAE Based in Dubai in the UAE, Kevin is responsible for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's (NZTE) activities in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. Prior to taking up this role, Kevin was Trade Commissioner and Consul General in Mumbai, India. Before joining NZTE he was Executive General Manager for Transfield Services companies in the Middle East, India and Asia regions, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He has held several directorships of Middle Eastern companies, including Transfield-Emdad Services and Intergulf Contracting in the UAE, and Transfield-Mannai FMS in Qatar. Kevin is a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and has a MA (Hons) from Massey University and a BSc from the University of Otago, as well as a Diploma in Business from Massey. He is also a former Wing Commander in the Royal NZ Airforce.



he concept and practice of sustainability has quickly gained traction in different industries over the last decade. But what does it mean to be sustainable? The difficulty of measuring changes taken towards more sustainable business models has made sustainability a concept hard for many companies to grasp and put into practice. It was great to see at Gulfood 2020 this year the organisers urging us to ‘rethink food’ – which to me, really starts with rethinking the impact that our current agriculture and food production systems have on the planet. The concept of sustainable living for the good of the world, has been a long-held belief by many people, and particularly the indigenous Māori of New Zealand. The ethos of ‘kaitiakitanga’, the connection and responsibility between people and the natural world – offers a broader way of thinking about the concept of sustainability. By incorporating people as well as place, we connect the ideas of health and wellbeing alongside caring for the environment. In other words, if we take care of the land, it will take care of us. The ethos of ‘kaitiakitanga’ isn’t only about the present. Māori have long thought about saving our resources for future generations as well. This ethos was the inspiration for the theme for our country pavilions at Gulfood 2020 – and we will continue

A number of New Zealand producers have embarked on this journey and are working to reduce their impact on the environment. Seafood supplier, Sanford, for example, has several initiatives in place, some old and some new, including the likes of a plastic reduction programme and implementing dolphin-safe fishing methods. It has also played a role in the development of a new sustainable fishing method: ‘Tiaki’, which replaces traditional trawl nets with modular harvesting systems, landing fish alive and returning unwanted catch to the ocean. If this method is widely adopted, it would truly revolutionise the fishing industry on a global scale. A great example of ‘care for people’ is the work done by Mother Earth, one of Prolife Food’s brands. The business is a partner on the New Zealand Enviroschools

Programme, where young people across more than 1,200 schools are empowered to design and lead sustainability projects in their schools, neighbourhoods and country. Blossom Hill and fellow World Foods exhibitor, Egmont Honey, are focused on taking care of one of our most precious allies in food production – bees and other pollinators. With the increasing evidence that our love of almond milk, is contributing to declining bee populations due to pesticide use, it’s clear that there is a need for continued innovation of our food is grown and produced. Meanwhile, a portion of sales of Egmont Honey goes towards initiatives to increase global bee populations, and the apiarists (a father and son team) ensure that their bees are not put under undue strain through commercial pollination activities and pesticide exposure.

What makes me a proud kiwi is knowing that, even with these steps in the right direction many of the companies we work with are still changing, adapting and innovating; they know that both they and we can do more when it comes to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our environment and the health and wellbeing of our people. This gives me a lot of optimism for the future.

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TRENDS IN COFFEE Experts weigh in on the evolution of the coffee industry.

Eden Nebreja: A growing trend in the

coffee industry is offering a greater variety of coffee drinks and flavoured beverages for an ever-evolving coffee-drinking audience. Now, when you go to a coffee shop, there are dozens of drinks you can pick. Here are some new types of specialty drinks that are going to be popular in 2020: Firstly, non-dairy milk variation has grown in popularity over the last couple years and has recently started impacting coffee trends. We expect to see a flow of non-dairy milk varieties offered in local cafés. Soy, lactose-free, or almond milk are pretty well-established, but options like oat, rice, coconut, hazelnut milk may take center stage in 2020 as dairy substitutes and creamer alternatives. Secondly, ready-to-drink coffee. People are increasingly on the go, and they are looking for coffee and drinks that are easy to carry around. Ready-to-drink coffee like bottles


Eden Nebreja, Marketing Manager

Cypher Urban Roastery

Mohamad Merhi, Managing Partner

Bon Café Middle East

Aparna Barretto, Managing Director

Specialty Batch Coffee

Ryan Godinho, Owner & Roastmaster


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of pre-made coffee, frappuccinos, or cold brew that you can find in gas stations and convenience stores have been a successful solution for customers on the move. Lastly, the ‘signature drink – like the Spanish latte was huge demand over the last year and everyone's is now talking about Dalgona Coffee a whipped coffee made with just three ingredients –it’s like a cappuccino turned on its head, with the frothy coffee on top and the milk underneath.

Mohamad Merhi: The industry is evolving. Consumers demand has emphasized the importance of transparency and quality. This change can be witnessed vividly from the countries of origin - coffee producing countries. There has been a big focus on improvements along the supply chain from coffee planting to processing techniques. Farmers/Producers are working hard to innovate and utilize available technologies to enhance the process at their level. For example, there has been a trend to experiment with various fermentation methods leading to new flavor profiles that indulges the palette of the drinker. With regards to end users, Millennials appreciate specialty coffee and now pay attention to the coffee grading and quality schemes made by the coffee brands.

Aparna Barretto: Most of the baristas working in the coffee shops are posting their brew guides in social media. Sharing to everyone their different brewing techniques and guides that may or will help aspiring coffee enthusiast and sharing what differ or trends are happening in their respective region or country. We predict that there will be a surge and demand on online courses or masterclass offered by various coffee suppliers and along with this e-commerce will be one of the major distribution channel within the coffee industry.

Ryan Godinho: In terms of coffee, more specifically, coffee production, this year we are witnessing a lot of innovation specifically at farm level. There seems to be more 'processing' advancements seen utilising fermentation techniques, with time, temperature, air and additives as variables. Farmers are able to harvest an 'average' coffee and make it above average by using these techniques to manipulate the resultant flavour profiles. Essentially, this could mean; what we know as the origin flavour characteristics of say the fruity Ethiopian, could partially be implemented into a very distinct nutty Brazilian. On the other hand, you could also expect something like cinnamon to be added to the fermentation process to bring out a whole new dimension of a coffee.



from Brazilian, Colombian, Panamanian, El Salvadorian, Ethiopian(s) and Kenyans have had a prominent place in the UAE market over the years, with a growing demand from newcomers, month-on-month. As purists ourselves, we're very glad to know that our most served resultant beverages at our clients’ range from Espresso and Long blacks, as well as Piccolo Lattes and Flat Whites.

WHAT BEANS ARE MOST IN DEMAND FROM CONSUMERS RIGHT NOW, AND HOW ARE THEY MOST LIKING THEIR COFFEE SERVED? Mohamad: At the retail level, within our region espresso roasted beans are the volume drivers. Drinks such as Cappuccinos, Lattes and Flat Whites are all made from espresso roasted beans via specialized machines. These drinks are widely consumed in most cafes and the fastest growing drink of all is proving to be the Flat White while the cappuccino remains the most popular.

WHAT PROCESS DO YOU USE TO ROAST BEANS IN-HOUSE? Eden: For Bonomi coffee beans in house roasting we use oven method with a temperature of 260° for 15-20 minutes.

Ryan: Our cafe and restaurant customers tend to be fanatics of consistency, and rightly so. The ritual of 'grabbing a coffee' partially relies on a form of familiarity for the customer. Our bestselling beans tend to be the specialty coffees that we are able to source in larger quantities year on year, while still maintaining quality standards. Our lots

Mohamad: The approach we utilize to roast artisanal coffee depends on the attributes within the coffee itself such as its density, moisture/water activity levels and freshness of crop. Furthermore, after understanding these attributes, coffee goes through a quality control process to ensure consistency and superior flavors as per our client’s demands. Ryan: We follow very strict protocols when it comes to roasting. First, to determine

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whether a particular coffee would suit espresso or filter brewing, as this would further determine which roasting style we implement with that particular lot. We do not roast all coffees the same as this would be an easy compromise; neither the best espresso nor the best filter. The preliminary analysis is done by roasting a small sample and using an industry standard ‘cupping’ evaluation procedure. With tasting concluded we already envision a starting point for the coffee at hand. We run a couple test ‘production’ (larger batch) roasts and brew it over a 1-4-week timeframe to see how it is developing with age. Once we are satisfied, we lock in the roasting variables (gas, air, drum speed changes) as our ‘profile’ for that particular coffee. For our daily production roast, our scheduled green coffees are weighed out and checked prior to roasting. We then measure the moisture and density to determine whether the profile will be easy replicated. Any changes to the raw product need to be counteracted during the roasting process. We log each and every roast including secondby-second temperature changes within and


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around the bean over time, and key points in the roasting process; i.e. the time at which the bean goes into a browning / maillard phase; when it reaches the exothermic, first crack phase, and lastly the time and temperature at which we will end the roast. These are all just some of the vital steps in order to achieve true consistency.


Ryan: Roasting equipment comes in different shapes and sizes. The strength of any machine is its ability to efficiently manage and control (to a point) the different types of heat transfer - radiant and conductive and convective. The size of the roaster will determine the maximum weight/ batch size of green coffee that can be roasted at a time. Typically, a batch can be roasted anywhere between 5-15 mins depending on the size of the roaster, the method of heat transfer and the intended purpose of the roasted coffee; espresso or filter. A truly skilled roaster operator will have spent months, if not years, roasting and learning his/her machine and all of its intricacies.

Some of the most advanced roasting machines will provide the roaster operator with multiple variable controls such as air flow control, drum speed (in the case of a drum roaster) and extremely precise gas/ burner control.


machine, the A300, is an expansion of its A-line and offers the ‘highest coffee quality on a small footprint machine’. With three basic models and a modular design, the A300 represents an entry point into the world of professional fully automatic coffee machines for new customers. Faema launched a new Espresso machine that is the recreation of 1956 President model, which was the first lever machine with double boiler. Another novelty is the Colorato Coffee Printer (presented at Gulfood 2020), a machine which allows to print designs directly on foam of coffee and cappuccino.

Mohamad: At Cypher, we are in the process of installing a handmade artisanal coffee roaster that is based on retro designs yet encompassing all the technology presently available in order automize the roasting cycle.

Aparna: Nowadays people are using smartphones and most of the devices are connected through WiFi. This does not exempt what we offer in our portfolio which is the La Marzocco Linea Mini and GS3 models. These coffee machines can be connected with our smartphones which allows all owners of Linea Mini or GS3 to connect their machine remotely via the La Marzocco App. Our reverse osmosis water filtration system, BWT BestAqua 14ROC has connectivity through Bluetooth, which lets you see and control all the relevant operating parameters resulting with best water optimisation.


Eden: Nitro Coffee is created by infusing the filtered cold brew with nitrogen. The process introduces tiny bubbles of food grade nitrogen to our filtered cold brew that cascade and settle leaving a delicious and refreshing drink with a natural sweetness. Nitro coffee is made using the filtered cold brew coffee which we produce using the purest, reverse osmosis water so that our products are stable and consistent in commercial quantities. We cold brew for freshness and stability and achieve a 12-months shelf life of bag-in-box cold brew coffee. Ryan: Nitro coffee is basically nitrogen gas infused to a coffee (typically a cold brewed coffee). The nitrogen provides the beverage with an extremely creamy texture, similar to that of milk. Some of the key benefits of nitro coffee, from a retailer or supplier point of view, is the long shelf life (if properly stored and kegged), super quick preparation, and the ability to use any grade/quality and age of green and roasted coffee.


Mohamad: At Cypher, we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint by minimising the amount of boxes being delivered to different locations. We are currently replacing the carton boxes with reusable boxes (made from previously utilised coffee jute bags) to transport our coffee across the UAE and as a result reduce the percentage of waste created.

Aparna: Boncafé Group at group level along with our main group Massimio Zanetti Beverage Group is committed towards promoting sustainability along with the coffee supply chain. We do mandatory Sustainable Audits of the group. Several initiatives are taken – for example: Launching 100% compostable, biodegradable capsules that have no plastic or aluminum and can be disposed of with general waste. We have produced Rain Forest Alliance coffee in our Vietnam factory as part of our ongoing commitment of creating an environment of sustainably sourced coffee. RFA certified farms in Vietnam have to meet the criteria of RFA Sustainable Agriculture Standards that are based on three pillars of sustainability - social, economic and environmental. The farmers are trained in sustainable practices that help safeguard the health of the land and benefit farmer communities while boosting the yields at the same time.


coming out in the market. The latest one we have started selling is a new brewing gadget called Delter Coffee Press which has a sleek and compact design with a unique brewing method.

Aparna: Portable brewing tools that lets your brew your favorite cup of coffee on the go. Multi brewing apparatus that has different brew functions that allows you to drink and explore various coffee brewing methods. Ryan: Over the last year, we’ve seen a lot of ‘re-inventions’ of older accessories that assist the barista in the workflow. Items such as the coffee leveller and distributor, auto-tamper and new shapes in milk pitchers to assist in easier/more efficient latte art.

A lot of the more recent innovations around the globe are definitely geared towards home brewing; with some well-constructed and highly efficient pour-over brewers and hand grinders being launched in 2020.


Ryan: This is a tough question considering the current Covid-1 crisis. I’d be better off talking about what I’d like to see – water being a major factor in coffee. A minimum of 90% water in espresso and 97-99% water in a filter brew. I would surely like to see more advancements in smaller scale water technologies; such as more controllable reverse osmosis systems with transparent and precise data available instantly to the operator/user. In other areas, I would also like to see more investment towards the future of coffee farms worldwide though cost-effective yet sustainable methods. Simple processes such as replacing the spent natural nutrients of the land by spreading natural fertilizers and organic matter (composted coffee pulp) under the coffee trees and between the coffee trees. This type of fertilization has been found to increase yields over time and to produce a more uniform and natural mineral content in the ground.

Eden: The return of the Moka tradition as an alternative extraction method, but with specialty coffee. We’ll also see a wider range of coffees, from gourmet coffees including frozen blended, cold brew, and nitrogeninfused beverages. Mohamad: With the accessibility of the information on the internet, more and more coffee lovers are becoming connoisseurs in the field by educating themselves on the topic and as a result are demanding higher qualities of coffee and contributing to the increase in roasting quality and brewing techniques. Cypher is also proudly contributing to tutorials online on how to use different gadgets suitable to each consumer’s brewing preference. Aparna: We expect 2020 to be more focused in regards with sustainability. Coffee capsules, coffee cups and other foodservice materials are finding ways to have a better and sustainable solutions.

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RAMADAN AT HOME Palazzo Versace Dubai’s executive chef Mansour Memarian offers kitchen inspiration for cooking at home this Ramadan

Missing the professional touch in your home kitchen? Gaggenau, the luxury brand for professional-grade home appliances, has revealed its new and technologically advanced combi-steam ovens in its 400 and 200 series. As used by chef Mansour to create his Persian lamb shank recipe, the Gaggenau 400 and 200 series of combi-steam ovens create ideal conditions, using a combination of humidity and hot air to ensure healthy cooking. Along with steam cooking, the combi-steam oven series can braise, bake, cook, grill and gratinate in the way that professionals do. For more, visit


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Photographs SUPPLIED


Persian lamb shank Serves 4

For the lamb shank 2kg lamb shank (4 pcs) 200g onion 20g garlic, crushed 200g tomato, wedges 150g carrots, chunks 150g celery, chunks 4lt water 50g adviye powder (see recipe below) 40g salt 8g black pepper 80g vegetable oil 100g spring onion For the adviye powder (mixed spice) 150g coriander 150g cumin seeds 30g cinnamon stick 10g cloves

5g star anise 5g bay leaves 30g green cardamom, whole 10g nutmeg powder 100g turmeric powder 1g turmeric powder 2g saffron pistil 20g lemon juice 4 lemon wedges

Method 1 Firstly, to make the adviye powder, mix all the whole spices except turmeric and nutmeg powder and roast in 160 degrees for 10 minutes. While roasted spices are still warm, blend them all together until powdered. Sift through with fine strainer. Lastly, mix together with turmeric and nutmeg powder. 2 Season the lamb shank with salt and pepper. 3 Heat the pan, put half of the vegetable oil and sear the lamb shank (all sides). 4 On the other pot, sautĂŠ all the vegetables with the remaining oil until caramelized. Add tomato paste and adviye powder. Keep cooking in low flame for 4 minutes. 5 Add water and salt into the pot, let it boil until the sauce gets a medium thick consistency. 6 In a deep oven container, place lamb shanks and pour the vegetable sauce over. Cover the container with aluminum foil and cook in steam oven 100 degrees for 7-8 hours. 7 Serve with roasted tomato, spring onion and white onion.

Edition 49 / The Pro Chef Middle East





World-renowned French chef Yannick Alléno is the culinary consultant at One&Only The Palm’s three restaurants; STAY where traditional French cooking methods are combined with modern culinary advancements, 101 Dining Lounge and Marina serving a refined seafood selection, and ZEST blending flavours from the Middle East, Asia, and the West. With more time on our hands at home right now, the famed chef shares two recipes from his Dubai-based restaurants to try at home.


The Pro Chef Middle East / Edition 49

Photographs SUPPLIED


Seafood & chicken paella Serves 4

Ingredients 320g bomba rice 650ml shrimp stock (or seafood/fish /chicken stock) 30g chorizo 200g raw shrimps 60g calamari 50ml virgin olive oil 1 chicken fillet 75g white onions 50g red bell pepper 50g green bell pepper 50g frozen peas 4 padrรณn peppers 75g tomato sauce 4g curry powder 4g sweet pepper powder Method 1 Chop white onions and bell peppers. 2 Cut chorizo in small dices of 5mm and thin slices. 3 Peel the raw shrimps by keeping the head. 4 Cut the chicken and calamari in squares of 3cm. 5 Put the olive oil in a paella pan and fry onions, bell peppers as well as few dices of chorizo in it. 6 Once everything is cooked, add the rice until it gets glazed. 7 Add all the spices & powders and fill it up with shrimp stock; simmer by stiring until it is cooked. 8 After 10 mins of simmering add the frozen peas. 9 Finally add the tomato sauce and stir the paella occasionally. 10 Pan-fry the chicken, shrimps, calamari, chorizo slices and padrรณn peppers separately. 11 Garnish the paella with the pan-fired ingredients, lemon juice and lemon wedges on top. 12 Ready to serve

Edition 49 / The Pro Chef Middle East




Handmade pasta with carbonara sauce Serves 4

Ingredients 300g flour 1 whole egg 180g egg yolk 50cl cream 1 white onion 100g beef pancetta 50g grated parmesan Method For the pasta dough 1 Mix by hand both the flour and eggs until get a homogenous dough, could be done with a KitchenAid. 2 Sheet the dough at 2mm and cut tagliatelle’s 9cm by 1cm, could be done with a Pasta Sheeter. 3 Pasta could be used fresh directly or dry 6 hours on a string then freeze. For the carbonara sauce 1 Cut the onion and the pancetta in dice and cook slowly, when there is no more humidity add the cream and reduce half. 2 Cook the pasta in a boiling water with salt 5-7 minutes. 3 Add the pasta in the cream and top it with the parmesan.

30 The Pro Chef Middle East

/ Edition 49

Edition 47 / The Pro Chef Middle East


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