Page 1


Global goods Gulfood is here again!

Global drinks Tea and water refresh!

Global recipes Dishes from top chefs!













SHOW PREVIEW Gulfood welcomes more foreign companies than ever before.



PRODUCT FOCUS Recipes using Hellman’s Mayonnaise and the story of Rahma olive oil from Tunisia.

TRAVEL This year’s hot food destination and source of must have ingredients? `Say ‘Ola!’ to Peru and check out some typical dishes.


THE LAST WORD Starting this issue, we have an all-star Editorial Board with us to help guide The Pro Chef ME through our third year and beyond. Say ‘Hi!’ to the new advisors.



EDITORIAL Every year, the National Restaurant Association prepares its What’s Hot culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year. With Gulfood upon us, this seems like a good time to take the temperature of the market. OUT AND ABOUT We provide an overview of the changes to this year’s Gulfood and the BBC Good Food Middle East Awards. THE EGGS FACTOR What does Executive Chef Grant Brunsden from newly-opened Fümé have in his fridge?



ROUND TABLE Is F&B driving the hospitality business or being driven to deliver more to the bottom line. We discuss the issues. MARKET FOCUS The second most popular beverage in the world, tea can also provide a new experience for fine dining. MARKET FOCUS The market’s thirst for bottled water seems quenchless. That’s good news for suppliers of premium bottled water.


PIMP MY PLATE Chef de Cuisine Ta Van Houng of Blue Jade makes an Asian clam chowder.


FACE TO FACE We talk to Chefs Darren Velvick from table 9, Reif Othman from Zuma and Mehernosh Mody from La Porte des Indes.


RECIPE CORNER Dishes from Ba and BiCE.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


UP FRONT / editor’s letter

The road ahead Every year in the US, the National Restaurant Association prepares its What’s Hot culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year surveying nearly 1,300 professional chefs to ďŹ nd which food and beverage items will be hot trends on restaurant menus in 2014. With Gulfood upon us, this seems like a good time to take the temperature of the market. The top ten projected food trends resonate quite well with us here in the Middle East, except perhaps for the last one: t-PDBMMZTPVSDFENFBUTBOETFBGPPE t-PDBMMZHSPXOQSPEVDF t&OWJSPONFOUBMTVTUBJOBCJMJUZ t)FBMUIZLJETNFBMT t(MVUFOGSFFDVJTJOF t)ZQFSMPDBMTPVSDJOHTVDIBTSFTUBVSBOUHBSEFOT t$IJMESFOTOVUSJUJPO t/POXIFBUOPPEMFTBOEQBTUBRVJOPB SJDF CVDLXIFBU t4VTUBJOBCMFTFBGPPE t'BSNPSFTUBUFCSBOEFEJUFNT What is interesting is the lack of temporary fads in the list. These are real, seismic trends across the food sector and the POZRVFTUJPOBCPVUUIFJSWJBCJMJUZJTIPXTMPXUIFXJEFSBEPQUJPOXJMMCF BT#JH'PPEBOEUIJTZFBS FTQFDJBMMZ#JH Sugar can be halted and then forced onto the defensive. In other words, provenance is king. And provenance, in turn, underlies the adoption of healthier diets and lifestyles. This may, as some commentators have discussed, be an elitist view of food with only those with spare income that can be directed to more expensive food choices. but change is coming on a wider canvas. 0OUIFXBZPVU BTFWJEFODFEJOUIFTVSWFZBSFGPBNGSPUIBJS CBDPOnBWPVSFEDIPDPMBUF mTIPGGBM HB[QBDIPBOE GVOTIBQFEDIJMESFOTJUFNT1FSFOOJBMGBWPVSJUFTSFNBJOBTGSJFEDIJDLFO *UBMJBODVJTJOF GSZJOH CBSCFRVFBOE&HHT Benedict. Equally, on the drinks side, micro distilleries, artisan spirits and locally produced beverages are the top trends. -PPLJOHBEFDBEFPVU DIFGTTFFFOWJSPONFOUBMTVTUBJOBCJMJUZ MPDBMTPVSDJOH IFBMUIOVUSJUJPO DIJMESFOTOVUSJUJPOBOE HMVUFOGSFFDVJTJOFBTUIFLFZBSFBT"OEKPJOJOHOPTFUPUBJMXJMMCFSPPUUPTUBMLDPPLJOH

$)"*3."/"/%'06/%&3 DOMINIC DE SOUSA $&0 NADEEM HOOD $00 GINA O’HARA "440$*"5&16#-*4)&3 DAVE REEDER M: +971 55 105 3773 (3061%*3&$5030'&%*503*"PAUL GODFREY (3061."/"(*/(&%*503 MELANIE MINGAS M: +971 56 758 7834 GEORGINA WILSON-POWELL D +971 4 375 5685 &%*503 DAVE REEDER 4&/*03(3"1)*$%&4*(/&3 )041*5"-*5: %*7*4*0/ CHRIS HOWLETT 1)050(3"1)&3 )041*5"-*5:%*7*4*0/ ANAS CHERUR (3061%*3&$5030'4"-&4 CAROL OWEN %*3&$5030'4"-&4 )041*5"-*5: %*7*4*0/ ANKIT SHUKLA M: +971 55 257 2807 130%6$5*0/."/"(&3 )041*5"-*5: %*7*4*0/ VA DEVAPRAKASH 8&#%&7&-01&3 )041*5"-*5:%*7*4*0/ LOUIE ALMA %*453*#65*0/."/"(&3 ROCHELLE ALMEIDA 46#4$3*15*0/4 13*/5&%#: Printwell Printing Press LLC, Dubai, UAE 16#-*4)&%#:

Head Office, PO Box 13700, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 A publication licensed by IMPZ Š Copyright 2014 CPI, 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.

Get inspired with award-winning U.S. cheese at the 2014 Emirates Culinary Guild Salon Culinaire where USDEC will sponsor the Tapas, CanapÊs and Finger Food as well as Four Course Vegetarian Menu categories. Want more information about U.S. Cheese? Visit USDEC’s booths S-133 and S-135 in the USA Pavilion (Sheikh Saeed Hall).

Enhance your culinary creations‌ with cheese from the United States

Monterey Jack: Craf

he U ted in t


tate S d te


ating v i t p ca

chefs around the world

U.S. Smoked Monterey Jack and Roasted Chicken Croquettes

“The smoky aroma of the monterey jack cheese makes the dish taste like the chicken has been roasted on a traditional wooden oven, and the texture of the cheese blends perfectly with the bĂŠchamel to give a pleasant elasticity to the ďŹ nal product.â€? –Chef Carlos Delos Mozos, Executive Chef, Crowne Plaza Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road



1 whole roasted chicken, reserving skin, meat, bones and drippings 2 l of milk 180 g butter ½ tablespoon olive oil 210 g our 4 hard-boiled eggs, minced 200 g smoked U.S. monterey jack cheese, cubed Flour, for coating Beaten egg, for coating Bread crumbs, for coating Sunower oil, for frying

Reduce roast chicken drippings to sauce. Boil chicken bones with milk for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for 4 hours. Strain milk and simmer with salt and nutmeg, keeping milk hot but not boiling. In a large sautÊ pan, create a bÊchamel sauce by melting butter with olive oil, adding our and stirring continuously on low heat for 10 minutes. Add the hot milk in 4 portions, stirring continuously for another 8 minutes, then cook for 20-30 minutes. Add reduced chicken drippings, chopped meat and skin, and cook for 10 minutes. Add hard-boiled egg and cheese until melted. Place hot mixture on a non-stick or buttered tray, cover and refrigerate. Form chilled dough into golf sized balls, coat with our, egg and bread crumbs, and chill for at least one hour. Deep fry in sunower oil.

U.S. cheese is already available in your market, check today with your local importer/distributor or contact USDEC for a list of local suppliers: # $!)*.!#(+*!&'&.%#$%-%!,!(#&!*$."'&! 

 The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a free resource to help you ďŹ nd additional information on U.S. cheese applications and distribution channels. We are a non-proďŹ t, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders.

UP FRONT / out and about

The biggest just got bigger! Now just three years away from its 30th anniversary, Gulfood is now the world's biggest annual food and hospitality industry trade show. And this year you can expect a host of new features, national pavilions, specialist conferences, ministerial summits and pioneering B2B programme to ensure it covers the entire 'foodservice sector' from 23-27th February 2014 at DWTC.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

Gulfood now boasts an additional 27,000 square metres of freed-up floor-space for to allow 4,500 local, regional and international exhibitors to focus on the foodservice, retail and hospitality trade. The additional floor space has enabled ten new country pavilions to be introduced to Gulfood's 2014 line-up including: Bahrain, the Basque region, Colombia, Czech Republic, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Romania, Serbia and Vietnam. A total of 121 national pavilions are confirmed for the February show. Gulfood's new 'finished food market' emphasis reflects the significant regional business potential for global food and beverage related businesses. GCC food imports are forecast to reach $53.1b by 2020 according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the hospitality and tourism sector remains a bright spot across the GCC, whether luxury and leisure tourism in the UAE, religious tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or sport-related tourism in Qatar. Dubai's strategic position as a recognised gateway between East and West and the re-export hub into the other regional countries, Africa, the Far East and the Sub-Continent, adds to Gulfood's appeal. At present, more than 50% of food imported by the UAE is re-exported. Beyond its position as one of the highest volume

MARK NAPIER, DIRECTOR OF EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS, DWTC. “Gulfood 2014 also marks the fifth edition of the Gulfood Awards, the definitive platform for recognising excellence and innovation in the food and drink industry. Judged by an international panel of independent industry experts, the Awards will reward people and companies in eight key categories and 22 subcategories this year"

trading platforms of any international food industry trade show, Gulfood remains the centre of knowledge exchange for many food-related sectors. At the highest level, Gulfood 2014 will host the World Food Security Summit, the first international conference in the region focused on world food security. Gulfood 2014 will also play host to the International Halal Conference - a topic of increasing importance for the global food and beverage industry and one driving considerable growth opportunities. The Pro Chef ME will have a stand close to Salon Culinaire. see you there!

Your Culinary Solution


Visit UFS at Gulfood 2014

Knorr Lipton Hellmann's

Method: 1. Visit Gulfood 2014 from the 23rd to 27th of February 2. Head to the Unilever Food Solutions stand 3. Get savings on the biggest names in Food & Beverage 4. Play the Wheel of Fortune game for fabulous prizes 5. Learn great food ideas to grow your business

Join us for five days of culinary delights – block your calendar today.

Visit the UFS stand in Hall 5, B5-40.

UP FRONT / out and about

The winners!

The annual awards by our sister magazine BBC Good Food ME took place on January 29th at The Address Dubai Marina. In August and September last year, readers nominated their favourites in each category on-line and then the top ten nominees in each category were voted for by over 15,000 consumers. Winners for Restaurant of the Year (Dubai & Abu Dhabi), Best New Restaurant (Dubai & Abu Dhabi) and Chef of the Year were chosen by an independent judging panel.

Ready for battle!

Chef of the Year 2013 Four chefs lined up to face the red box challenge, judged by Chef Uwe Micheel (President of Emirates Culinary Guild), Marianne Saulwick (Director of Industry Liaison, Academy of Hospitality Management) and Chef Tarek Ibrahim (TV chef and Business Development Manager MENA, Meat & Livestock Australia). Chefs: Amrish Sood from Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar, JW Marriott Marquis Izu Ani from La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie, Vida Downtown Jamie Robertson from Gaucho, DIFC Roberto Segura Gonzales from The Act, Shangri-la Hotel Dubai The public was invited to vote for their favourite chefs working in UAE restaurants. Using the same set of ingredients plus pantry staples, the competitors had to create a three-course meal within a set time-frame.

The judges are hungry...

Chef Ani hard at work.

Red box ingredients: beef oyster blade/at iron gilt head bream butternut squash sweet potatoes quail eggs goat's cheese dates white chocolate barley The winner: Chef Amrish Sood


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

Chef Sood works out his game plan.

out and about / UP FRONT

THE WINNING RESTAURANTS AND FINALISTS Restaurant of the Year, Dubai Hakkasan, Jumeirah Emirates Towers La Petite Maison, DIFC Nobu, Atlantis the Palm Zuma, DIFC

Best Latin American Restaurant Asado, The Palace Downtown Dubai Gaucho, DIFC La Parilla, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Toro Toro, Grosvenor House

Restaurant of the Year, Abu Dhabi 55 & 5th The Grill, The St Regis Saadiyat Island Bord Eau, Shangri-la Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, Fairmont Bab al Bahar Quest, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Best Indian Restaurant Amala, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Chor Bazaar, Mövenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel Indego by Vineet, Grosvenor House Patiala, Souk Al Bahar

Best New Restaurant, Dubai Blue Jade, The Ritz-Carlton JBR Le Serre Bistro & Boulangerie, Viva Downtown Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar, JW Marriott Marquis Tomo, Raffles Dubai Best New Restaurant, Abu Dhabi Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE Rhodes 44, The St Regis Abu Dhabi Scott's, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Spice Mela, Rosewood Hotel Chef Robertson checks his ingredients.

Restaurant of the Year, Doha Market by Jean Georges, W Doha Hotel & Residences Gordon Ramsay at The St Regis Doha Hakkasan, The St Regis Doha Saffron Lounge by Vineet Best Euro Restaurant Elia, Majestic Hotel Tower Dubai La Petite Maison, DIFC Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, InterContinental Dubai Festival City Villa Beach Restaurant, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Best Asian Restaurant Hakkasan, UAE Mango Tree, Souk Al Bahar Pai Thai, Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah Zuma, DIFC Best Contemporary British Rhodes Twenty10, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa Rivington Grill, Dubai The Gramercy, DIFC The Ivy, Jumeirah Emirates Towers

Best Middle East Restaurant Al Naforrah, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Ewaan, The Palace Downtown Dubai Marrakech, Shangri-la Hotel Dubai Ottomans, Grosvenor House Best Steakhouse 55 & 5th The Grill, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island JW Steakhouse, JW Marriott Dubai Ruth's Chris Steak House, The Address Dubai Marina The Meat Company, UAE Best Brunch Bubbalicious, Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Resort & Marina The Friday Brunch at Spectrum on One, Fairmont Dubai Jazz & Bubbles Brunch at The Talk Restaurant & Lounge, Mõvenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach The Friday Brunch at Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah Best Italian Restaurant BiCE, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort Bussola, Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Resort & Marina Roberto's, DIFC Rosso, Amwaj Rotana Best Seafood Restaurant BiCE Mare, UAE Finz, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Pierchic, Madinat Jumeirah Seafood Market, Le Meridien Dubai Best Experiential Dining Bateaux Dubai Blue Flame Cooking Classes, Jumeirah Creekside Dine in the Dark, Fairmont Dubai The Act Dubai, Shangri-la Dubai

“I feel incredible proud to be part of this industry. Since I first came here twelve years ago, I’m amazed at the standards today. Everyone wants to be part of the UAE.” Chef Gonzales heats up the action.

- Chef Gary Rhodes, guest of honour.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


UP FRONT / out and about

The gala dinner begins.

Our publisher Dominic de Sousa takes to the stage!

Tasting session before the awards.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014


Gary Rhodes celebrates local F&B success.


The Glion MBA in hospitality management will challenge you to be the best you can be, and open the door to the next stage of your career. This unique course is entirely online, so you can easily fit your studies around your work schedule.

If you’re ready for a better future, visit or call +31 20 7192500

UP FRONT / the eggs factor

Home cooking, at home New Dubai eatery Fümé promises home cooked food from around the world, delivered by eclectic Executive Chef Grant Brunsden. That is if your idea of home cooking includes slowcooked Black Angus beef brisket with piccalilli. But what’s hiding inside his fridge at home?


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

the eggs factor / UP FRONT


hef Grant Brunsden started his career at Guilford Technical Collage and then worked for a number of top restaurants in the Home Counties before joining Chris Oakes in the Surrey area. From this he had the chance to move to London to work Chef Chris Oakes at the Stafford Hotel and Chef Fergus Henderson at the St John Restaurant, both Michelin starred. Next, based on his passion for Asian food especially Japanese, he then joined Tsunami in London to learn more about the flavours and the culture and the basics of Japanese cooking, followed by four years as Senior Sous Chef at

Zuma London under Chefs Rainer Becker and Colin Clague. Following a spell with Ricker Restaurants, he moved to New Delhi as Chef de Cuisine to Open Ai, a new contemporary Japanese restaurant with Divia Cadbury, one of the co-founders of Zuma London, and Ad Singh, owner of Olive Bar and Kitchen. Next stop was Shanghai for the successful opening of M1NT Restaurant & Grill. Now, five years on, he’s been reunited with Chef Colin Clague as part of the opening team of Qbara for the Jas-Group, before shifting to Fümé with the same group. Described as a contemporary local eatery focusing on quality seasonal ingredients and value

for money, Fümé “is all about offering a great local experience with an international remit, but where quality seasonal ingredients and value for money combine to create something unique for customers who really understand and appreciate good food," Grant explains. "Dubai's reputation for culinary innovation is growing all the time and it's a real buzz to be at the heart of it.” Signature dishes for the new restaurant include hot oak-smoked Loch Duart salmon with yakitori sauce, grilled lamb cutlets in Korean spices accompanied by pickled red cabbage and slowcooked Black Angus beef brisket with piccalilli. But what’s lurking in his fridge at home?

ge... What’s in my frid

we y love salmon so my kids absolutel - Salmon fillet ck sto always have it in lot - Beef mince obo - we eat this a and thighs for ad - Chicken wings in our house lunch at school for my daughter’s - Smoked turkey lunches ool sch the for , na Tu - Tinned Century on the weekend es ich dw san on bac - HP sauce, for my - Pineapple juice - Apples - Green grapes. akfast - Fresh milk for bre up, for the kids. tch - Heinz Tomato Ke aise - Heinz Mayonn the wife - Fragata olives for an's Pickle - Heinz Ploughm for school - Capri Sun Juice, d their father! ar, for the kids an - Kraft Mini Chedd s kid the for s, - Marmum Yogurt es the school sandwich - Brown bread for - Potatoes - Broccoli - Mushrooms - Onions - Swede sh - Butternut squa - Green beans - Garlic. - Ginger - Thyme - Flat leaf parsley kies for snacks - Chocolate and coo

www ww w ww.cp .ccp pime im med me diia dia i g grro gro roup oup up co up. ccom om o m

February January Ja Jan anuar uaryy2014 uar 2014 2014 14/ /The 1 T Pro Th The P Pr Pro roChef C Chef hefMiddle hef Mi Midd Middle ddle ddl eEast E East as ast

11 11

CHEFS / round table


f we look at annual revenue for a hotel, how much of a percentage would you look to F&B to contribute? Uwe Micheel: I think we're all a little different. Our property is 55% F&B but it's a small hotel with a lot of restaurants. In Europe you’d probably expect 20%. 50/50 would be a lot for a hotel in another region. Marc Gicquel: It depends on the type of hotel. A city hotel and a resort hotel will differ. Chris Lester: The number of outlets you have will also make a difference. Thomas Pendarovski: You have to put it into context and account for banqueting. For example, in North America and Europe it can be 60/40 between banqueting and outlets. It all depends on the properties - so is it resort, leisure, a business hotel? It all puts it into context. Matias Martinez: Here at Emirates Towers we have 400 guest rooms and 15 outlets but the mix is 40/60 F&B to rooms - that's even with the banqueting. We have three different banqueting menus but they are not massive and we have the Jumeirah Hospitality branch working on outside catering Walter Knight: We work on a standard 80/20 because of our business model. Gicquel: For us 35-40% is at the high end. Would the percentages be the same in terms of profits rather than revenue? All: No! Pendarovski: It all depends. As we all know, we are pushed for a bottom line and for us we have to push those profits and you can only do so much. So sometimes you kind of have to think of what you can do differently, but there is a lot of pressure when it comes to the owners. Gicquel: The structure of the family versus single rooms is very different. F&B is way more labour intensive and you're never going to get the same amount of return on that investment and that also depends on the hotel brand. Luxury brand versus limited service, you have also different relationships between brands, for example with us between Hilton and Double Tree. Pendarovski: That's where your profit is because the overhead on the rooms is less. So there should be fewer outlets and more rooms? Knight: A lot of your outlets in Dubai are in hotels because of the alcohol laws. F&B outlets in hotels traditionally are added service, they weren't originally brought as big profit generators. We have created them to become profit generators over the years and the hotel is needed to be a good bed to sleep in. in Dubai you have so much competition on the F&B front - look at how much more marketing goes into advertising the F&B outlets than the hotel. You spend far more time and more money on trying to promote an F&B product that what you are trying to promote a hotel. Gicguel: It's all about what you promote locally


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

Walter Knight GM, Citymax

Subarna Thapa F&B Manager, Dusit Thani Dubai

Chris Lester Executive Chef, Jumeirah Restaurants

Carlos Hannon Chef/Patron, Tortuga Mexican Bar and Kitchen

F&B - driving or driven? In an ever more competitive hospitality market, what is or should be the role of F&B in helping to differentiate properties, deliver revenue and support brand identity? Together with our sister magazine, Hospitality Business ME, we pulled together both sides, from chefs to hotel management, to debate the issues.

round table / CHEFS

Christian Gradnitzer Corporate Director Culinary, Jumeirah Group

Joachim Textor Executive Chef, Anantara The Palm Dubai

Thomas Pendarovski Executive Chef, Sofitel JBR

Marc Gicquel Regional Director of F&B, Hilton Worldwide Arabian Peninsula

Matias Martinez Executive Chef, Jumeirah Emirates Towers

too. For F&B you need to be focused on the local market. Knight: Exactly! And you only have so many people in a local market and if you have flooded amounts of restaurants and such choice, you are all going for that same piece of pie. You have to be more aggressive with higher costs. Micheel: Anybody who pays full price here is stupid. There are so many promotions in the market. Everywhere you go you can get a discount. Lester: The economics are changing slightly. I come from the restaurant side of things so, yes, the hotels have had that market share because of the alcohol licensing but the freestanding restaurants are starting to evolve and in the next five years I see that market is increasing a lot more, which will create even more pressure on the hotels because, let's be honest, anywhere else in the world, what

Uwe Micheel Director of Kitchens, Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek and President, Emirates Culinary Guild Claudio Melis Executive Italian Chef, Jumeirah Group

kind of hotel has 15 F&B outlets? Subarna Thapa: Because of that - the economics - of how it has been developed with the alcohol laws, there has been no choice but, as the competition develops, it's going to become a lot harder for hotels. Micheel: The only person ahead here is Walter, because Citymax isn't dependent on that market to make a profit. I wouldn't build a hotel with five or six restaurants any more. Lester: if you have 600 rooms you want to be able to accommodate them in the hotel's restaurants, you don't want them to leave. If they are spending two weeks with you, you want repeat visits. Pendarovski: There was a study done on this and we had a meeting about a similar thing earlier today. On a five day stay, eliminating breakfast, on average your guest will dine in your hotel

restaurant once and that’s usually the day they arrive because they are tired. That's a major problem. When my wife and I go on vacation, we have breakfast and then we're out. Gicquel: We should see this as an opportunity. In terms of thinking about the offerings. We take it for granted that restaurants will be full because of the rooms but Dubai doesn't work like that. Knight: Tour operators bring in the bulk of your leisure markets anyway and they offer all these excursions and visits. A lot of the time they include a meal - a dhow cruise with dinner or a desert safari with lunch. On a seven day holiday, apart from the first day, there is something planned. If hotels don't sell half board to these tourists, they're going to sit with empty outlets. Gicquel: I agree with you and, as F&B, we should be more aware of this and target different

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


CHEFS / round table

channels in a different way. We should be working with sales, marketing and management and business development before the customer comes to Dubai and we should include casual dining and speciality restaurants in their packages. We're seeing a trend now in concierge apps and more inventive POS promotions, inroom during check in and even before guests arrive, especially since the rise in mobile apps. Do you see any opportunity to putting that information into guest’s hands? Pendarovski: Look at La Petite Maison or Zuma. I was amazed when I was told they do 700 covers a day. And do you know what the average bill is? People are spending money - they're not looking for a freebie. The problem with a lot of the hotels, from luxury to mid-scale, is that you can have a Dhs 2 burger or a Dhs 15 burger. Christian Gradnitzer: Why do they go to these places? Because hoteliers are thinking as hoteliers. Why are people only coming to our outlet once? Yes, because we deliver a service and that is the mind-set we have and we deliver a concept that may not be properly set. Why does this place do 700 covers a day? One reason I think is that Roberto's, for example, is a restaurant and a lounge and an outdoor balcony. It's almost multi-purpose, so these spaces attract different audiences. Gradnitzer: To deliver that we have to think a bit more freestanding. Marketing can be out of touch but we also need to be more targeted. What is there? Why do people go three times a month? They operate well and have the right calibre of people and people in ownership to run the business, but there must be something else. Lester: It's the clientele Micheel: No, it's not. Places like this have great


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

service, music, lighting. For us it can be a disaster. Gradnitzer: Everyone is supporting their own organisation but I don't think they are any different from others. We all talk about it but we have to deliver it. At Jumeirah, we are building a very big commitment behind the creation of freestanding destinations. We have these ideas but we have to achieve it. Why do you go to certain places? Consistency. And you can crave it and go back. Think freestanding, think about the business model and have a commitment from the ownership. Gicquel: That's where training and brand awareness are important. Lester: And remember the economics that go into the restaurant. There are also a lot of residents who eat out and some places only ever really get the residents. We have regulars coming two or three times a week. Until a few years ago residents had no choice but to go to hotels so hotel restaurants were full but now there is more choice. It's not just the guests who aren't going to the hotels but the residents also. Gradnitzer: Hotels have hundreds of benefits over the freestanding restaurants because they have a bigger market to draw to but the question is how do we first of all set the concept, then execute it and the deliver it with consistency. If you're staying there for four days and you go for the first night and are blown away by the food, why can't you come back? We do have locations within the group where our guests do not leave the place. Yes, we have that selection but it's the consistency of delivery and giving people the feel you're not just in a quality standard restaurant. Looking at another very successful restaurant, Zuma. It gets repeat business but in different ways: the same people come for business lunch, then a meal in the evening and tyhen

for the family meals at the weekend. Carlos Hannon: I am new to Dubai but at the end of the day sometimes the message we want to translate is the sequence of service and transmit what the guest needs. Be yourself and once you're yourself, you will have confidence. Think out of the box, think of new concepts. Your culture is what you want to share with the people. Thapa: I would agree with you if we were talking about any other market in the world but I feel Dubai is an anomaly in that respect. There is a huge emphasis on status here and as a result people want to be seen at top branded restaurants on the Palm and in DIFC. Look at the after work catchment areas. People migrate to certain hotels because of their location just as much as any other factor. That cannot be ignored. Gradnitzer: Everyone has a title. Once you take that away and provide the right structure,

round table / CHEFS

make them the business owner with the power to structure and execute their own ideas. For us as executive chefs, you always have that belief that when you hire a chef and have those big big operations you only ever believe that you have said the right thing. But those people will not perform if you don't empower them. Restaurants are about people. People go to people and that's freestanding areas. Pendarovski: But we're missing another point here and that's SOPs. Every major corporation whether it's Jumeirah, Marriott or Hilton, the difference between a freestanding and a hotel is the SOPs. There are too many chiefs, not enough Indians. Gradnitzer: I proudly say we don't have SOPs in our restaurants anymore - it doesn't fit the concept. You can say you're Italian but you're not Italian because you're following one cookie cutter standard. Restaurants are not like rooms. Rooms, you do one sample on a different model and you execute. Restaurants are delivered by people and the concept you have set. If I say I'm a Mexican restaurant I have to have the right people in there. When you say Italian, nobody picks a region, they just do generic Italian. There will be some big things coming out this year and we are planning from dinner backwards. We as a group, clearly, are starting to refocus. Number one is not to plan but to invest and invest in the right thing. For example, Claudio is somebody we hired because we hired the Patron/ Executive Chef for this. Sure, titles are something you can throw about but we have hired somebody four months from opening and, yes, there is financial pressure but we are trying to create freestanding restaurants through talent. It's the soul, the commitment to Jumeirah F&B. The commitment is that everybody is different. If you're in the luxury segment, focus. Gicquel: Even from each of the segments, we need to have an approach. If you take an example of the Conrad, that's the first time we have implemented a full vision in F&B. We have one person looking

"There was a study done on this and we had a meeting about a similar thing earlier today. On a five day stay, eliminating breakfast, on average your guest will dine in your hotel restaurant once and that's usually the day they arrive because they are tired. That’s a major problem." - Thomas Pendarovski, Executive Chef, Sofitel JBR after the banqueting dining and lobby lounge and another is looking after the branded outlets so has the objective of being very reactive to that market. These compete with high street business and it's two different people because it's two different approaches, two different backgrounds, two different approaches to the market and it has proven very successful so far. Gradnitzer: And I have hired a chef here for The Rib Room who has never worked in a hotel before. You have to do your homework and get out of the box thinking of outside guests, inside guests. The chef has never worked in a hotel before and that wasn't easy in the recruitment process, but otherwise we would have had a chef who would take the menu, make a new draft and say 'there is your new menu'. What this chef has done is take the menu and then first of all talk about what we are, what we want to achieve, what is around us and has presented me something totally opposite to what we have currently. That was part of being creative, giving the time to establish. Knight: The other difference there is in the freestanding mentality whether it's the guy on the floor or in the kitchen, if they don't make money they don't eat. Lester: The Caprice brands work within Jumeirah just as much as any other. There is integration and we are still able to have not necessarily all the SOPs, but to work within their guidelines and still have the flexibility to change menus reactively. You

have to make yourself a niche in the market. Gradnitzer: Brand creation is different to operating a restaurant. We talk to customers and they are not interested who cooks the room service - at that point you want to get to your room, order your burger and have it perfect. But then next time you're in Dubai and you return and place the same order you want the same thing. Are we there? No. because we try to be creative and creativity is very good. That's why we have a philosophy of core menus for a year to which we make slight changes or add promotions to them. Brand creation is about consistency. Micheel: How many people know the chefs? The key is the brand. Gradnitzer: What makes the biggest global brands? Consistency, that's what creates the brands. We try to impress people everyday but sometimes just confuse them. When you are in a multi-cultural city you have to bring originality and then create ownership to deliver consistency. What happens the other way if somebody is given that responsibility and doesn't perform. Is there a penalty? All: they lose their job! Martinez: The bonus is paid in addition, so we don't lose the money. Hannon: It's very difficult for us to act like a first time outlet dining concept Jumeirah has started but 40% of my day to day job is to handle guest

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


CHEFS / round table

complaints. The time we devote to the hotel as traditional hoteliers is not like a freestanding concept. It's going to be very difficult to advise our owners. Marc Gicquel, you come from a traditional American brand where everybody knew what to expect because that's what business travellers wanted. How difficult is it to shift corporate culture that is so engrained into this new world? Gicquel: It's not a shift - we are going to run two businesses in parallel. One of them is an established brand and has a big value and that's why you need the SOP because you cannot compromise. Whether the Waldorf Astoria or the Conrad, every brand is different and guest expectations are based on that. But it doesn't stop you within that hotel from having all day dining and traditional restaurants in the hotel, especially with table 9 and the new chef there - this person is responsible for his restaurant and for his food and he is running it as he runs it. Micheel: They are bringing some life and a different approach to the offering. It's not about making a shift from one to one as both are complementary. You want to attract people differently for each meal. If you design all day dining well you can shift from breakfast to lunch and dinner in a totally different way. That's where creativity in terms of design is important. Gradnitzer: That's the challenge: dining and destination is what everybody has and working backwards up and that's where you will be able to attract. Business isn't just cooking and service and having a pretty smile, it's understanding, feeling and living it and putting the right package together. It's culture that you build into being a strong, long history. You are creating a culture and that's what we are doing - segregating into a restaurant culture and a restaurant and bar culture. During that process, people will fall off, people will come on board and people will be attracted to that model.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

"F&B is way more labour intensive and you’re never going to get the same amount of return on that investment and that also depends on the hotel brand. Luxury brand versus limited service." - Marc Gicquel, Regional Director of F&B, Hilton Worldwide Arabian Peninsula I read something recently that both Jason Atherton and Marcus Wareing are looking more now at American style service, rather than the traditional fine dining service. Suitable for Dubai? Pendarovski: Marcus is one of my top chefs in all the UK and his restaurant management differs greatly between outlets. Micheel: You have to understand the business and who will pay for what. You go to Bur Dubai and Deira then come to the Marina, it's a totally different experience. Gradnitzer: It's an extremely young city. We have players coming in from around the world and we need time to stabilise. I lived in New York for three years and as a city it hasn't achieved what it has achieved in only 15 years, like Dubai. Cities take time and we actually offer quite a solid base. Take, for example, Holiday Inn - people stay for business so don't need many services but they are surrounded with attractive restaurants. On the other hand, Jumeirah hotels are a destination in themselves. Even a 4-star brand can still bring in a spirit and culture through the F&B director or the head chef. The GM and executive chef should empower their staff. Joachin, at Anantara you have brought new concepts and restaurants to the scene, but how difficult was it to drive that through? Joachim Textor: We didn't want to create just another Chinese or Vietnamese restaurant so we came up with Mekong, which combines all of these things. The Mekong is a river in Thailand

and there are a few thousand people living on its banks, all with different cuisines, so our menu is a journey down that river. That combination brings relevance. Another concept gaining popularity is Australian cuisine, but on the other hand there are a lot of steakhouses, so we’ll serve Australian steaks with fresh seafood and we will introduce Australian cheeses later. We wanted to create something different for that market. Moving on, how is the relationship between F&B directors, procurement managers and chefs changing. Are competition and new economic conditions shaping that relationship? Micheel: I think there is much more partnership. I don't know many hotels any more that have the old concepts of the Executive Chef being like an outlet manager in meetings, or counting teaspoons between services. I think this in most of the companies is over and the F&B Director and Chef are equal partners and the market tells us what to do - we have to follow that. The way Dubai is moving with all the freestyle restaurants and the ever growing certainty that restaurants in Dubai's JLT will be licenced within 18 months, if this is happening things will get tougher. Pendarovski: Look at Ritz-Carlton in DIFC. That was a dry area and then they granted the alcohol licences to all those freestanding restaurants and it‚Äôs affected the business. The same will happen here. Micheel: To be fair those restaurants are doing well without alcohol.

Chef Competition United Arab Emirates, 2014 Do you have a desire to push culinary boundaries? Are you open to experimenting with new ingredients? Would you like to win an all-expenses paid business and leisure trip to New Zealand to experience the country’s food, lifestyle and culture?

Here is your chance New Zealand Trade and Enterprise invites all UAE-based chefs to enter the 2014 Taste New Zealand Chef Competition. For more information about the competition, including how to enter, visit The Taste New Zealand Chef Competition is open to all senior chefs over 21 years of age, based in the UAE.

CHEFS / round table

Possible challenges to the business? One is the drive to introduce more Emirati food in every hotel. We're hearing stories about a much more rigid approach to food and recipe labelling. We look at Qatar which tightened up on alcohol overnight. All these things happen almost without warning. What do you see as the main challenges? Martinez: How does a menu that has to be 10% Emirati work in a Chinese restaurant? Micheel: 2014 has a strong focus on this and we have Emirati chefs but they are very hard to find and we have targets to have two or three in each property to provide this. In terms of the food labelling we all have our systems in place. Knight: The biggest challenge is qualified staff, that's a greater challenge that somebody demanding ten Emirati dishes on your menu. And, as the market sees more supply, it's going to become even more difficult. Gradnitzer: Why do we have challenges in consistency? Because of the turnover, the industry philosophy to move around. So you have to invest in them to eventually make them owners. But that goes back to the start and when you actually begin that process. Hannon: What about this, delivering a unique service? When we opened I was afraid to say ‘authentic Mexican cuisine’, because people only expect fajitas. I want to introduce unique recipes and family recipes, that doesn't always need nachos. If I don't put those big fajitas on the menu, perhaps the restaurant would be empty. You need to teach people sometimes that we have dishes in common and then you talk culture and history and you have the attention of the guest. We have to educate and show them the culture. How do you do this when some of your guests are tourists? Hannon: No, you approach them differently, interact. At the end of the day, once you have menu knowledge and you are confident and


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

"You have to understand the business and who will pay for what. You go to Bur Dubai and Deira then come to the Marina, it's a totally different experience." - Director of Kitchens, Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek and President, Emirates Culinary Guild passionate about your menu it will show. Pendarovski: What's the most powerful thing we have? Word of mouth. If you are doing true authentic, beautiful cuisine, then the person who dines there will tell people. Hannon: So we go back to the beginning: people, personality, identity. How many beautiful restaurants do you find in Dubai? But where is the culture? It's our responsibility to build that in Dubai, the city. Melis: Deliver fantastic performance. Micheel: When I opened a Chinese restaurant I only hired people who had never left the country before because I wanted the first Chinese restaurant in Dubai but it took a year for people to accept that the food was different. In Abu Dhabi they opened a Mexican restaurant with three Mexican chefs and it was empty. After six months they ordered a Mexican take away gave it to the chef and said 'this is what's successful'. What did the chef say? 'That's not Mexican food!' To finish, when you go back home, do you look for a new restaurant and a new experience or return to a favourite? Knight: Something I am basing my outlets on is a friend in Johannesburg, who has afantastic restaurant called The Grill House. He hasn't changed his menu in 25 years and it's only three items and he is full, constantly. Everybody goes there for a specific dish. So why here do we always seek for something new? Melis: Because here it is the idea to always make the guest happy. Never say ‘no’. For me, a happy

guest is looking for a specific restaurant where they want to eat. You have to create the whole package for that guest, even lasagne in a Mexican restaurant! Pendarovski: I advance book for the new places in town, but I will always go to my favourite restaurant because I want to visit. But I always want to see what's out there first. As a final question, can we have a 4-star or 5-star hotel in Dubai that does only breakfast and has no other outlets? Micheel: In the future, yes Martinez: In order to be a 5-star hotel, you need all day dining and a lobby lounge but I think that if the regulations cease to apply you will find many operators seeking to do that. Knight: We are doing the opposite. The perception of the customer is that it is a 3-star hotel, but the F&B outlets are as good as any in Dubai. We have Angus and grade A beef. So a 3-star hotel with top quality service and food. Yes, there will be hotels in the future with only one restaurant, but we are trying to break that mentality by having a mid-market hotel that isn't restricted to mid-market outlets. Gicquel: Accor is bringing in different brands to target a different style of customer with different F&B concepts. Pendarovski: In the Sofitel brand, that'd kill us! Thanks to Alta Badia for hosting this round table. To join a future one, mail:

market focus / FEATURES

Today, tea is ranked as the second most popular beverage in the world following water. Since its discovery in China over a millennium ago, tea has travelled the world capturing the hearts and taste-buds of individuals from all nationalities and origins. Thriving in the F&B industry, we take a look at just how this beverage remains so sought after and how tea brands continue to optimise their supplies in order to satisfy the ever-changing market and bring in successful revenue streams.


ith its relaxing versatility, tea simply appeals to all and can be enjoyed in a vast range of locations and atmospheres, at any time of the day - in the company of friends, or in that lone moment of thought and collection, tea is a drink fit for every occasion. Following a trend first enjoyed by Europeans in exquisite tea parlours, many hotels across the region now offer 'afternoon tea' or 'high tea' sessions, where visitors can indulge in the finest of tea ranges available in the market and accompanying light snacks. Popular amongst residents and tourists alike, these sociable, chic get-togethers are proving to be successful revenue earners for their hosts. Since its opening in 1998 The Ritz-Carlton,

Dubai's afternoon tea at the Lobby Lounge has become a tradition and is now considered as one of the 'must-do' activities while visiting the resort. "We consider tea to be a premium beverage and have over 20 different flavours on offer. Due to demand, the resort appointed a dedicated tea sommelier to ensure that the afternoon tea experience is enhanced by educating guests on the different types of tea available. The offering will be refreshed shortly to keep it special and more relevant," explains Mary Rose Baldonadi, Public Relations Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai. Tea sold as a high-end beverage is increasingly gaining popularity at the resort, especially within the on-site restaurants where visitors are more frequently requesting tea-infused cocktails and mocktails, which are designed to be paired with

selected dishes. "Our current best sellers are green flavoured teas, black tea and for the ladies, a green oolong tea embellished with jasmine flowers,‚" adds Baldonadi. Current favourites at the One&Only Royal Mirage's Samovar Lounge include green tea and Earl Grey, supplied exclusively by Ronnefeldt Tea. According to the One&Only, tea is the foremost traditional drink involved in the Arabic culture and, furthermore, so is the act of attending regular afternoon tea events, which is why they place such emphasis on the showcasing of high qualities of tea. Speaking on behalf of Ronnefeldt Tea, Jutta Tarlan, Manager of Communications, said: "We have a sophisticated range of high qualitative loose leaf teas and pre-portioned solutions, which serve the global taste of frequent business or

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


FEATURES / market focus

leisure travelers and make tea service for hoteliers easy. Our highest tea revenues come from the hotel, restaurant, catering sector and the highend hospitality industry. Strong black teas are our bestseller in the UAE, in addition to green teas becoming more and more popular due to the international tourism streams here. Besides hot teas, interest in fresh iced teas and tea cocktails is continually growing and beneficially for hotels they generate a great turnover due to the minimal cost requirements it takes to prepare them." In agreement, David Nuenemann, F&B Manager at the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates finds that its iced teas, which are made from fresh fruits and served in a jar, are really popular at the hotel during the summer months. Striving to fully cater to all tea drinkers, Nuenemann has recently found that the main market trend is the demand for healthier options, with an increasing amount of guests tending to substitute their coffee for tea as it is seen to have better health implications. He also believes another important factor in keeping tea high on the luxury market is by providing consumers with a new experience when visiting tea venues and allowing them to personally choose their tea and find out more about the tea with regards to where the leaves came from, how they were dried and where the tea was produced. "Tea is an important beverage for us at Kempinski, as it is very popular with our guests. We noticed a shortage of quality tea lounges in the region and looked into this when we redesigned Aspen by Kempinski, which reopened late 2012. We have partnered with Tchaba Tea to create its first tea boutique in the country, which is completely integrated into the restaurant with an 'aroma path' where guests can smell and touch the tea before choosing it. Tea is no longer a substitute for coffee or other beverages. Drinking tea is a real experience which is why for us tea is considered a premium beverage." A new concept introduced at the Park Hyatt Dubai, to drive forward tea revenues, is an evening tea experience that focuses on sweet food options that pair well with the beverage for guests to

Brewing time of tea is critical: two to five minutes for green or black teas; a minimum of five minutes for herbal and fruit infusion teas.

Real tea comes from the tea bush, camellia sinensis and assamica.

The word tea comes from the word ‘te’ in the South Chinese dialect, Amoy.


Tea facts The top six countries producing tea are India, China, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Japan and Indonesia.

The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

Tea contains half the amount of caffeine found in coffee.

One cup of white tea contains the same amount of antioxidants as ten cups of apple juice.

market focus / FEATURES

SUSTAINABLE TEA Although tea has earned its success globally as a beverage, the farming of tea has its downsides both environmentally and for workers, which is why the Rainforest Alliance Organisation is working with individuals, communities and companies worldwide to reduce environmental impacts and increase social and economic benefits of tea farming. What many people are unaware of when enjoying a cup of tea, is that cultivation of tea in many circumstances can lead to soil erosion, competition for water, pollution from fertilisers and the need for firewood to fuel tea dryers is also furthering the act of deforestation. Sadly, many workers in the tea field do not receive fair wages and suffer from lack of health care and decent housing.

Globally, as more tea manufactures enter the market, supply has exceeded demand and as a result the price of tea has been steadily dropping for more than two decades; making it even more difficult for farmers to earn a living. Working to put the tea industry on the path to sustainability, Lipton Tea is now proudly Rainforest Alliance certified at its tea estate in Kericho, Kenya and have committed to worldwide sustainability of all Lipton tea bags by 2015. Rainforest Alliance certification encourages farmers to grow crops and manage ranchlands sustainably in three ways, through environmental protection, social equity and economic viability, in order to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. By choosing a Rainforest Alliance certified tea such as

Liptons, consumers are supporting farmers to improve their livelihoods, while protecting the planet for the future. Benefits of sustainable tea farming are also economic and a key aim of the certification programme is to enable tea growers to bring in increased revenues. Unilever estimates that tea manufacturers who are Rainforest Alliance certified will be able to command prices 10-15% higher than the current average and farmers will receive around $6.7m more for their tea by 2015. "This has the potential to improve the livelihoods of nearly one million tea workers in Africa," says Unilever CEO Patrick Cescau, “and eventually up to two million people around the world."

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


The Dilmah real high tea challenge The new world order of high tea The world is discovering a whole new dimension to tea - the real depth of its character and the potential that has always existed beneath the layers of tradition and old world charm. Spearheading this revelation is Dilmah, the Sri Lankan family tea company with a passion for tea and a fascination with tea innovations. They have become synonymous with tea and tea gastronomy and events like the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge has created a buzz around the world by bringing the limitless possibilities of tea to the forefront at its most contemporary. Over the years high tea became quite the preferred indulgence among many. But tea, the very heart of this most captivating of ‘tea’ occasions was still an afterthought. Dilmah, with over a decade of experience in tea gastronomy and mixology, brought to the table their extensive knowledge, global presence, visionary thinking and new thought-provoking ideas to recognise, celebrate and showcase the intriguing dimension of tea in the 21st century. The Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge, created by Dilmah to put the tea back in high tea, set in motion a whole new culinary movement that fell in love with idea of a 21st century Real High Tea: a high tea that truly belonged to the new generation. Today, the Challenge has seen the high tea occasion transformed in to an über-chic gastronomic delight full modern ideas that captures the spirit of the young and ultra-trendy, all the while paying due respect to tea – this amazingly wholesome yet elegant herb. For Dilmah, tea is something deeply personal. Therefore, they see tea

gastronomy as a personal interpretation of a culinary artist. A masterpiece created with passion, flair and innovation. As the Challenge makes its ways across 22 culinary capitals of the world including UAE, it will inspire hundreds of chefs, bartenders and hospitality professionals to bring their own unique perspective on tea mixology and tea gastronomy to life. Also, Dilmah’s commitment to ethics and sustainability sees them supporting the sustainability of local producers wherever they conduct the Challenge. The Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge is conducted in affiliation with the World Association of Chefs and esteemed local governing bodies like the Emirates Culinary Guild. The global journey of the Challenge will culminate in a grand finale at the Dilmah Global Real High Tea Challenge in Sri Lanka where all the winners from national RHT Challenges across the world will compete for the top spot. Coming up with innovative ideas to please those who relentlessly seek for what’s fresh and new is a constant challenge in this dynamic modern culture. The Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge gives a new twist in flavour to those who are in search of new gastronomic pleasures, so that they may create a novel and satisfying interaction with their consumer each time. Get inspired by Dilmah’s spirit of innovation. Discover the high tea of the 21st Century. Become part of the new world order of Real High Tea. Follow us on or visit




Dilmah Real High Tea UAE


to our winners!


Australia 2012






The Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge began in 2007 as an exploration of a contemporary high tea. It has traversed continents with this quest, starting in Colombo, Sri Lanka and continuing through Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, UAE, Netherlands, Chile, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, England, Scotland, France, Malaysia… Not merely a culinary challenge, our Real High Tea demands an intelligent and creative approach to tea.

Welcome to the global tea gastronomy elite! Congratulations to the winners of the Dilmah Real High Tea UAE Haresh Mohihani and Michael Kitts from The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management! Now that you have claimed the top spot in the national Challenge it’s time to get ready to test your skills against those of a new generation of tea loving culinary geniuses from around the world at our Dilmah Global Challenge due to be held in Sri Lanka in 2014. Passionate about the tea we produce, we see the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge as an intrinsic part of the global tea renaissance, as the world looks to discovering the many fascinating and as yet underexplored facets of tea. The Challenge is endorsed by WACS and began in 2007. The idea is to challenge culinary and hospitality professionals to discover the delicious luxury in tea. The Challenge continues its journey as some of the world’s finest chefs and hospitality professionals combine their ingenuity, flair and knowledge of food and tea in a series of national Challenges spread around the world, counting up to the Dilmah Real High Tea Global Challenge – the ultimate test of greatness in the company of the global tea gastronomy elite.


CHILE 2013

Follow the progress of the Challenge. Visit

FEATURES / market focus

enjoy, post dinner. However, a lock-down on healthy options is where the resort is finding most growth. "IT's very important for us to keep up with organic offerings and healthy detoxifying teas. The quality and variety of teas has improved consistently over the last few years and we are finding many people moving from coffee to tea consumption because it is perceived to be healthier. Yet, despite the demand for healthy teas, English Breakfast tea still remains our best seller," explains Reef Fakhoury, Area PR Manager for Park Hyatt Dubai. Offering a word of advice to hoteliers, fine tea brand Newby Teas notes that even though it is important to supply on demand, the key to retaining a successful tea venue is through quality and consistency. "Tea is a vast subject that comes with vast knowledge, possibilities and creativity. Creativity doesn't end at sticking to the traditional serving styles - tea can go many places far beyond that. For example, many hotels and restaurants across the globe have now started using tea to create ice teas, tea with champagne, cordials, tea with liqueur. Subsequently, in the modern day setting, many restaurants have started pairing food and tea, as pairing food and wine, and cooking with tea in desserts and pastries," said Dalia El Bahr, Assistant Marketing and PR Manager, Newby Teas. "However, with the increase in creativity and decrease in quality, true tea culture and heritage is being lost and forgotten. As a company driven by the passion to create the finest teas, Newby has taken it upon itself to restore tea to its rightful place as a classy beverage for those with fine taste." Souk al Bahar's tea specialty boutique Eugenie Les Gourmandises, which showcases gourmet tea from the French company Mariage Frères, has found that consumers in the Middle East are especially brand conscious when purchasing tea and relate to products particularly through brand recognition, admitting that the brand value of tea companies plays a very vital role in the industry. A significant trend observed by the company in

"With the increase in creativity and decrease in quality, true tea culture and heritage is being lost and forgotten. Newby has taken it upon itself to restore tea to its rightful place as a classy beverage for those with fine taste." - Dalia El Bahr, Assistant Marketing and PR Manager, Newby Teas. the Middle East is the rise in specialty teas due to people becoming more health conscious, specialty teas are known to be both a healthy and revitalising reward for its drinkers and therefore these types of teas are becoming increasingly popular. Many tea drinkers are also switching to caffeine-free tea blends. More recently, the boutique has also noticed the growth of a demographically younger tea drinking customer base and as such, the packaging and branding of teas are becoming more colourful and their design more modern to appeal to the youthful segment. Chayan Shah, director of operations and quality assurance at Premier's Tea, agrees that new, more diverse younger markets are emerging in the industry. "We are now looking at a new generation that wants to connect through tea,


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

however, perhaps not in the traditional manner. The expansion of social media Web sites has created mass awareness about this simple yet exotic beverage. Consumers are getting more curious and looking for details about the products they purchase, than ever before. says Chayan Shah, director of operations and quality assurance, Premier's Tea, acknowledging that new, more diverse younger markets are emerging in the industry. Premier's Tea understands that although tea as a healthy, non-intoxicated beverage has been commonly known and bought for some time, trends are now breaking out in the market where consumers are searching primarily for quality tea that has the best taste. "In today's market, our highest revenues come from the customers who value well chosen, clean, well packed and preserved quality teas," Shah concludes.

FEATURES / market focus

Estimates for global sales of premium bottled water are close to 10b litres per annum, over 6% of all bottled water consumption. In the UAE, where bottled water consumption is high due to concerns about local water supplies, the opportunity for premium players continues to be high despite everincreasing competition.

A clear solution W

ater is something we take for granted in many parts of the world - it’s locally sourced and sold at relatively low prices. In the Gulf, however, sales of bottled water are high because of either a general distrust or distaste for local Municipality water. This despite new regukation enacted last year that will see, this quarter, all packaged drinking water on sale with a quality mark issued by ESMA (Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology). This will affect almost 100 companies that

currently market and manufacture drinking water in the UAE with the aim, according to Mohammad Saleh Badri, Director General of ESMA that "all water that is sold as drinking water in the market is actually ďŹ t for drinkingâ€?. However, many consumers feel that much bottled water on sale is simply local water treated in differing ways. For them, especially when dining out, such water is not enough and they are persuaded to pay a premium for their water. Hence the booming market for premium bottled water, which is differentiated in the market by both price

Sponsored by:


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

FEATURES / market focus

and positioning. These include key globally leading premium brands such as Evian, Perrier, S.Pellegrino, Vittel and Volvic, with the local market also seen as a prime target for suppliers of premium waters from as far afield as New Zealand, South America and Canada finding favour. So the UAE faces an almost perfect storm for water suppliers. Drier winters in the UAE matched with an unrelenting population boom means that pressure on local supplies is approaching a critical situation - groundwater currently supplies around 70% of water needs but the population’s incredible appetite for water (amongst the highest per capita figure in the world, with an average of 550 litres consumed daily) means that energy-intensive desalination is growing fast. Unfortunately, nearly all waste water runs away and is not captured for potential reuse. That perhaps explains why consumers are less concerned about the carbon footprint of imported premium waters and more about perceived levels

THE KEY BRANDS Acqua Panna A natural still mineral water from the famous Villa Panna on the hills of Tuscany in Scarperia near Florence. Clear and crisp, this is a great choice for those who prefer non-carbonated water with a good meal. Unique geological formations impart an incredible mineral composition to the water and it is one of the last millennial reservoirs away from pollution and untouched by man. Badoit Mineral water obtained from natural sources at Saint-Galmier, France. The water is naturally carbonated, on its journey through granite rocks and subterranean gas deposits. It is named after Auguste Badoit, who began bottling the water of Saint Galmier in 1838. The water was sold only in pharmacies until 1954. In 1971, Badoit became part of Evian SA, which later became a fully owned subsidiary of Boussois Souchon Neuvesel. Today, Badoit is a product and brand of the Danone group. evian A French brand of mineral water coming from several sources near Evian-les-Bains, on the south shore of Lake Geneva. Today, evian is owned by Danone Group, a French multinational company. In addition to the mineral water, the Danone Group also uses the evian name for a line of organic skin care products as well as a luxury resort in France.

Highland Spring Natural spring water taken from the same protected land in the Ochil Hills, Perthshire, Scotland since 1979. Its purity is based on 400 million year old rock formations. The area is certified organic - Highland Spring is the only major bottled water brand to protect its source in this way.

S.Pellegrino An Italian brand of mineral water with naturally occurring carbonation and additional carbonation added by the bottler, produced and bottled by Nestlé at San Pellegrino Terme in Lombardy. The water contains carbon dioxide and at least the following chemical elements in amounts of 100 or more micrograms per litre: calcium, chloride, fluorine, lithium, magnesium, nitrogen, potassium, silicon, sodium and naturally occuring strontium.

Naleczowianka This natural mineral water comes from the Polish well which has the same name. It is low in sodium and has a average content of minerals with domination of calcium and magnesium bicarbonates. It is chemically pure and classed as among the best mineral waters in Poland. Since 2006 it has been owned by Nestlé Waters.

Perrier The origins of the spring Les Bouillens lie in the Garrigues de Nèmes, made up of limestone rock formed during the Mesozoic era. This limestone was initially covered with Plaisancian marls from the Tertiary era, then by Quaternary alluvium formed of siliceous sand acting as a filter. This sand was covered more recently by an impermeable layer of clay, which still provides excellent protection for the Perrier water site. Carbonic gas creates bubbles on the surface of the water. MonViso A minimally mineralised water with one of the lowest sodium levels and total dissolved solids in the world, sourced from the pristine Cottian Alps at the heart of the Monviso Mountain. Annual production has increased threefold since first introduced to the market. Vittel Mineral water from a commune in the Vosges department in Lorraine in northeastern France, bottled and sold by Nestlé Waters France. In 1854, after visiting the baths at nearby Contrexéville, lawyer Louis Bouloumié purchased the Fontaine de Gérémoy, site of the modern-day town of Vittel. Two years later, Bouloumie built a pavilion from which developed the grand, luxurious architecture which characterises the site.

Sponsored by:


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

FEATURES / market focus

“Badoit’s natural qualities and its joyful cavalcade of ever-so-light bubbles awaken the slightest ingredient" - Thierry Marx Executive Chef, Mandarin Oriental Paris of healthiness, flavour or even style. Of all the various premium bottled waters, it is perhaps Badoit that is most associated with fine dining, thanks to the wholehearted commitment to its use in his cuisine by French master chef Thierry Marx. He goes many steps beyond the usual pairing of particular waters with his menus, but uses Badoit extensively in his cooking. According to Renaud Marchand, Middle East Zone director for evian, Volvic Export of Danone, “bottled from source and untouched by human hands, naturally-sparkling Badoit with subtle bubbles is proven to be a good pair for fine dining as it brings out the flavours of ingredients when used in cooking as well as the presence of high bicarbonate levels aiding digestion, among others. It is the number one fine dining water brand in France and is endorsed by chefs and sommeliers because it doesn't alter the flavours of food but, in fact, enhances them.”

THE NEW PLAYERS With such a competitive market for premium bottled waters, how does a new entrant gain traction in this region. We spoke to two such new players: Paulina Jankowska, Regional Sales Manager of Nalee International (Naleczowianka) and Stefano Iorini, CEO of MonViso. With so many entrants in the market, how do you differentiate your brand? Paulina Jankowska: Naleczowianka is a natural mineral water with a very long tradition, different by the rich mineral composition due to which the water has medical properties and recommended for people with kidney stones, hypertension, dietary issues and well as being perfect for proper everyday hydration. Stefano Iorini: We have very distinctive and unique selling propositions: one of the lowest sodium contents, very low in minerals (TDS) and our spring at 2,042 metres is the highest in Europe. We also seek to minimise the environmental impact of water collection and distribution. We power our plant only with renewable energy sources. Is the premium bottled water sector growing in the UAE. If so, by how much? What’s the potential future growth? What’s your sales split between consumer and F&B?

Jankowska: 80-20%. Iorini: We do not have recent statistics, but the market is growing in parallel to the F&B market. Also, consumers here are more conscious of quality. In fine dining, are you seeing an increase in sales as alcohol sales reduce? If not, how can you increase sales? Jankowska: The fine dining sector is dominated by three brands, so it’s hard to see an increase of sales in there. Iorini: MonViso today is the fastest growing natural mineral water brand in Europe and is now taking the Middle East region by storm. Monviso mineral water is in a class all its own. What is the main challenge you face in increasing market share? Jankowska: Jankowska: Customers do not have the correct information about the properties of water. Only a small group realises that the mineral composition in water is extremely important. Our work is not only to sell water but to build consciousness about its properties, to educate people about what they can gain drinking natural mineral water and what it does for the good functioning of their bodies. Iorini: The established brands.

AT THE TABLE For a fine dining perspective, we asked two knowledgeable sommeliers to talk us through the premium water market. They are Sydney Rathnayake (Sommelier, Raffles Dubai) and Madan Periyasamy (Bar Team Leader at Radisson Blu DMC). Do you see customer take-up of premium water increasing? If so, what do you credit for the growth? Healthier lifestyles? Introduction of more premium brands into the market? Sydney Rathnayake: Yes, we do notice our customers are health conscious and follow the healthy lifestyle trend. Premium natural spring water is always more popular. Madan Periyasamy: Yes, I have seen most of my guests asking for premium water, as per my experience most of them are looking for a healthier lifestyle rather than saving money. What brands do you currently stock? Rathnayake: Acqua Panna, San Pellegrino, Evian, Perrier and Oxygizer. Periyasamy: We have a variety of local and imported waters such as Acqua Panna, San Pellegrino, Perrier, Evian, Jema or Oasis. How did you choose them? Rathnayake: Quality of the water, but we also take

into consideration the price. Periyasamy: We have different restaurants with different cuisines and concepts and the water has to match - for example at our Italian restaurant Certo, we mainly stock Italian brands, such as Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino while local water is offered at Chef's House, the all-day dining restaurant or our banqueting facilities. Perrier is widely popular at ICON. Do you continue to look at waters on offer? Rathnayake: Yes we do, as our guests do like to have a variety to choose from. Do you think the market is currently overstocked with brands or do you think there is still untapped potential here? Rathnayake: There is definitely untapped potential for the brands. Variety is the spice of life! Periyasamy: Although there are many brands available in the market, I believe that with such a variety of cuisines and with the number of nationalities with diverse preferences, there will always be room for a new brand to establish itself. How much do you advise diners on a relevant water choice? Do you work with the chef to match water to a particular dish? Rathnayake: Around 10% to 15% of the time. We don’t match water and food but choose premium

natural spring water that tastes fresh. We focus on the serving temperature of the water and sommeliers or station captains advise guests to choose the water temperature depending on the food and wine they have ordered. In a fine dining restaurant, it's all about creating the perfect dining experience and water plays an important role. Serving water at the wrong temperature can affect a guest's taste buds, so we recommend still water be served at 20C and sparkling water well chilled. Periyasamy: I strongly recommend matching the water with food dishes. Each natural water has a different character like aroma, body and tasting notes, similar to wines - it does change your palate. As a sommelier, I try often to match particular dishes with certain water brands. Roughly, what percentage of total beverage revenue derives from premium water sales? Do you see opportunities to increase that? Rathnayake: I can't share the revenue percentage but there is always room for growth. Periyasamy: 8% to 10% of sales come from premium water sales. The new trend in food habits is moving towards healthy eating and consumers are more focused in staying healthy and most important in good shape. Premium waters with such criteria are fast moving as long as they are still affordable.

Sponsored by:


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

FEATURES / show preview

Showcasing the avours of the world Take a sneak peak at what you can expect to ďŹ nd at this year's Gulfood show, where a record number of international companies will take to the stands to represent their country's offerings.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

show preview / FEATURES


n its 19th edition, the world's largest annual food and hospitality show Gulfood is set to triumph above all previous years as it returns with the strongest global representation to date; a grand total of 120 official national pavilions and a record 4,500 exhibitors including more than 300 show debutants - a 7% year on year increase. Following exceptional levels of business transacted each year, Gulfood 2014 has been extended to take place over five days, from February 23 until 27 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. "As part of our strategy to continually enhance the world's biggest annual food and hospitality industry trade show, Gulfood will feature a host of innovative new features, specialist conferences, high-ranking ministerial summits and pioneering B2B programmes as part of an evolved, segmented format for its 2014 edition," said Mark Napier, Gulfood show director. Boasting a 100% year on year increase, ten new country pavilions are set to launch at the show and for the first time products and services will be showcased from Bahrain, the Basque County, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Qatar, Romania and Vietnam, in addition to Dubai SME also making its pavilion debut. "As the organiser of the region's biggest consumer and trade exhibitions, including Gulfood, DWTC facilitates substantial business growth locally, regionally and internationally. In terms of visitor numbers alone, DWTC welcomed 1.85 million show attendees in 2012, 700,000 of which were high-spend international visitors - meaning the venue and its events contributed 7% of Dubai's 10.16 million international visitors that year. With Dubai's recent victory as the host city for World Expo 2020 and its role as catalyst for super-growth in the UAE and broader Middle East region, particularly in the food and hospitality industries, Gulfood has never been more important for helping to foster mutually beneficial trading partnerships across the board," said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, DWTC.

"At Gulfood, exhibitors at the Australian stand will gain an opportunity to visit their existing supply chain partners and also meet new businesses not only from the ME but also other importing countries from around the world, which is what makes Gulfood such a great global food show." - Jamie Ferguson, Regional Manager, MENA, Meat & Livestock Australia. African pavilion hopes to broaden their country's brand presence throughout the UAE and will be generously equipped at Gulfood with a wide selection of edibles and beverages. South African companies are targeting Gulfood due to the large volumes of food that is imported by the UAE. "By our ever increasing presence at Gulfood, we hope to see more and more quality South African products on the shelves of the many retailers in the UAE," explains Sudhir Mannie, Consul (Economic), South African Consulate General.

The show's layout, which covers more than 1,000,000 square feet has been refined into geographic zones this year, in order to cater to the 4,500 plus exhibitors and more than 80,000 trade visitors. It should also ensure easier navigation. Here’s what's on offer: SOUTH AFRICA With 32 supporting companies this year, the South

Several companies that showgoers can expect to find at the South African pavilion include: ∙ Fry Group Foods: Internationally recognised vegetarian food manufacturer. ∙ Rooibos: Supplier of Rooibos Tea worldwide. Rooibos is an Afrikaans word that means 'red bush'. ∙ Tiger Brands: One of the largest manufacturers and marketers of FMCG products in Southern Africa. ∙ Totally Wild: Manufactures of an aloe drink that is certified organic and preservative free. ∙ Future Life Health Products: A functional food company with a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of its consumers. ∙ Munch Bowls: Original producers of the eco-friendly, edible wheat bowls and 100% biodegradable, compost-able bowls and plates.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


FEATURES / show preview

Speaking on behalf of the US Dairy Export Council, Catherine Davis, global marketing manager comments that the MENA region is a major importer of US dairy products and, in 2013, buyers in the region purchased 13% of the United States' global dairy exports of $5.5b (data as of November 2013). "At Gulfood, US Dairy hopes to strengthen and build relationships with these regional partners, offer a taste of our diverse and everexpanding dairy product portfolio, and support the connection to the innovative solutions and market insights that the US industry has to offer."

Due to global recognition received for its advanced agro-processing industry, South Africa's initiative at Gulfood will primarily bring focus to products manufactured with great care and high quality. "South African firms manufacture and export their products world over, foods are well made with due quality and compete with the world's best for market share. Since the UAE has a large expatriate population, our products will naturally do well in this market. South Africa also offers niche products that will do well in the ME region, products such as indigenous rooiboos and honey bush teas, in addition to certain fruits, are highly sought after in export markets," adds Mannie. USA Gearing up to capitalise on future trade opportunities in the Middle East, the USA returns again this year as one of Gulfood’s largest pavilions on site. Last year alone the USA reported onsite sales of $106.7m and aims to top that at the 2014 show. "We have a healthy relationship with the ME and due to their significant market that is continuously expanding and growing with demand, our main objective is to grow and strengthen the market share between the USA and the Middle East. Especially within the F&B industry where we are finding there is a growing demand for high-quality beef supplies. The USMEF stands will feature products like fresh, raw beef meats,


∙ Imports to the UAE are estimated to rise to $5.5b in 2015, with the majority being traded via Dubai. ∙ In 2010 Dubai was ranked one of the top ten world container ports, with 11.60 millionTEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). ∙ Ports in the UAE account for a 61% majority of trade volume among the GCC countries.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

processed products such as breakfast beef bacon, burgers and much more," comments John Brook, US Meat Export Federation regional director of Europe, Russia and the Middle East. An extremely vast range of companies and products will be found at the USA pavilion, including: ∙ American Foods Group: The fifth largest beef processing company in the US. ∙ Tyson: One of the world's largest processors and marketeers of chicken, beef and prepared foods. ∙ US Dairy Export Council: a non-profit, independent membership organisation representing the global trade interests of US dairy producers, proprietary processors and co-operatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. ∙ US Pecans: Growers and producers of pecans. ∙ Rastelli Foods: An industry leading company supplying hotels, restaurants, institutions and retails markets worldwide with high quality food products.

PERU Peru returns this time with a bigger stand, more products and a live cooking station that will allow visitors to sample typical Peruvian dishes such as ceviche, beef anticucho, causa and quinotto. With claims of offering a gathering of the best food products the country has to offer, nine contributing companies from the food sector will exhibit at Peru's national pavilion, including: ∙ Algarrobos Organicos del Peru: A company dedicated to the production of dried golden berries, lucuma powder, maca powder, cacao powder, cacao beans and nibs, purple corn flour, yacon powder and camu camu powder. ∙ Agrofergi: Experienced producers and exporters of Peruvian grains, seeds, beans (black eye peas, lima beans, broad beans) and spices. ∙ Camposol: Its product lines include, asparagus (green and white), piquillo peppers, avocados, mangoes, grapes, mandarins, among others, which are packed fresh, frozen or canned. ∙ Fundo Sacramento: A Peruvian company that grows and exports table grapes of excellent quality during October to March. ∙ Gloria: Leading producers of milk and yoghurt products including evaporated milk, UHT milk, condensed milk, butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt, as well as non-dairy products such as juices, canned fish and jam. ∙ Machu Picchu Foods: Producers of cocoa and coffee with ingredients that are Fair Trade, EU/


Hall 3, booth G3-25



FEATURES / show preview

NOP/JAS and halal certified. ∙ Quechua Foods: A Peruvian export company selling items such as natural organic products, condiments, spices and certified organic Peruvian sauces. ∙ Villa Andina: With a food dehydration plant in the city of Cajamarca, Villa Andina works with local farmers in the Andean Valleys. Itas main products include dehydrated golden berries, quinoa, mangoes, papaya, pineapple and maca. Following its second consecutive win as the world's leading culinary destination at the World Travel Awards 2013, Peru will aim to convey to visitors of Gulfood what makes its cuisine and F&B products so exceptional in the export industry. "Our objective for 2014 is to be able to showcase the complementarity existing between the UAE and Peru. Moreover, Gulfood has proven to be 'the exhibition' to further expand our trade into the region. Our participation in fairs like Gulfood are platforms that allow us to both introduce our vast and ample produce as well as to introduce masterpiece dishes‚" said Alvaro Silva-Santisteban, Director of the Trade, Tourism and Investment Office of Peru in the UAE. CHILE A longterm player in the Gulfood world, Chile is back this year with companies specialising in nuts and dehydrated fruits; products of which the country believes to be the most relevant to the local market. With hopes of expansion in the export market, Chile aims to introduce and strongly promote more added value products at this show by entering competitive segments with products such as Andes Mountain Water and Unifrutti-Tamaya fruit juices. Additionally, the nation's pavilion will place great emphasis on the importance of diversity among Chilean product supply in the market and will be introducing new products like IQF fruit and gourmet oils.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

"Dubai has a strategic position in the region and is a real trade hub. About 50% of food imports are re-exported to 160 countries including the Gulf countries, the Indian subcontinent, North Africa and East and Central Asia. Therefore, Dubai is one of the largest re-exporters in the world thanks to its efficient infrastructures (ports and airports) associated with large free trade zones." - Tarek Solimane, head of communications, UBIFRANCE. Among companies exhibiting at the Chile pavilion will be: ∙ Frunut: Walnut grower, processor and exporter. ∙ Onizzo: Producers of high quality dehydrated and fresh agricultural products. ∙ Baika Exporter: Specialists in fresh and dried fruits. ∙ Natural Nuts: A company that produces and exports walnuts and its sub products in domestic and international markets. ∙ Prunesco: Consultants and producers of top quality prunes. ∙ Sugal Chile: Distributors and producers of tomato paste and pulp of fruits and vegetables. Speaking on behalf of Chile's initiative, Carlos Salas, Trade Commissioner of Chile, explains that: "Dubai is the development centre to promote our products in the Middle East and thus diversifying markets. This year’s product offering is focused on those where we know there are more opportunities. The Muslim community consumes many nuts and Dubai wants to be the 'international centre for halal food' and we believe it is the best promotion platform. It is noteworthy that the Muslim community reaches 1,800 million and is still unexplored by our exports. Thus we are targeting this area of the Middle East with the Gulfood trade exhibition."

Chile's pavilion is sure to be a winner for all lovers of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, prunes, raisins, avocados, citrus, fresh grapes, juices and canned products, tomato pastes and pulps of fruits and vegetables and, grape seed oil. AUSTRALIA As a nation that has a diverse climatic environment allowing for production and supply all year round, the Australian pavilion will present itself at Gulfood this year backed by an extensive range of brands. Australia's reason to exhibit at Gulfood and driving force in the MENA region is based on the apparent partnership between the Middle East's extremely high requirement to import food and Australia's vast land mass and extensive production systems. The Victorian Government has a long-standing and fast growing trade relationship with the MENA region and our presence at Gulfood has grown year on year from 20 companies only three years ago to 70 last year in 2013 "This speaks for the significant opportunities our exporters are seeing in the region, as well as the immense value the exhibition delivers to companies," said Louise Asher MP, Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business and Minister for Tourism and Major Events in Australia.

P.O. Box 130 455, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. T: +971 2 656 20 00; F: +971 2 656 50 01;

FEATURES / show preview

Supporting its pavilion, Australian companies to be found exhibiting will include: ∙ Meat & Livestock Australia: Producer-owned company providing marketing, research and development services for the Australian red meat and livestock industry. ∙ Jacks Creeks: Producers of Australian certified Wagyu beef. ∙ Mathias International: A meat, seafood and produce trader and marketer. ∙ Pana Chocolate: Raw, organic homemade chocolate producers. ∙ Thomas Foods International: Dedicated to creating unsurpassed meat products. ∙ White Stripe Foods: Meat exporting and packing. Speaking on behalf of MLA (Meat & Livestock Australia), Jamie Ferguson, Regional Manager, MENA explains: "Australia has been exporting meat and livestock to the ME region for over 45 years. We have enjoyed growth and built strong, long-lasting relationships with the local governments and food businesses throughout this time. Australia is well positioned to supply a wide range of quality red meat items to suit all facets of the market from manufacturing to the highest and most exclusive items only found in white tablecloth restaurants." JAPAN Returning this year after a two year absence, the Japanese national pavilion will be making a comeback to introduce a wide variety of food and drink products they feel are perfectly suited to target not only the MENA region, but also other global markets that will be present at Gulfood. "Since Gulfood welcomes buyers from all over the world, we believe that this exhibition will be a great opportunity for our exhibitors to expand their markets. The Japanese government recognises the MENA region as one of the high potential markets for Japanese products," comments Masayoshi Watanabe, managing director, Dubai and MENA, Japan External Trade Organisation.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

At the nation's pavilion, companies will include: ∙ Kashiwazaki Seika: Food and beverage wholesalers. ∙ Miyasaka Jozo: Experts in manufacturing and exporting miso, freeze dried foods. ∙ Onagawa Foods Processing: Fish exports. ∙ Royal of Japan: Japanese food exports. FRANCE Organised and supported by UBIFRANCE, the French pavilion this year will see a triumphant 90 plus companies participating at Gulfood to deliver a grand choice of products for both consumers and professionals. At this edition of Gulfood, France will be heavily represented by a wide range of firms in the equipment and food sectors. From the food section, 60 companies will be presenting products ranging from foie gras to honey to pastries. A further 30 companies will be representing the equipment section to showcase the latest technologies required by hoteliers worldwide. Being one of the world's largest exporters of equipment for the food industry, France aims to strengthen its presence in all major food outlets across the UAE, especially in the bakery and dairy sectors. "Dubai is a key market strategic point for French food firms, restaurants, and chefs that are high experienced and famous in their sector. However, new companies are exhibiting for the first time in Gulfood this year. UBIFRANCE aims at increasing the business opportunities for the French SMEs. Creating partnerships with Middle East companies is one of our main targets. With Gulfood as a worldwide event, DWTC provides a comprehensive and very efficient platform for food professionals," said Tarek Solimane, head of communications for trade commission UBIFRANCE. Available at the France pavilion will include: ∙ Dairy products ∙ Seasoning (vinegar and mustard) ∙ Processed fruit products and drinks ∙ Poultry and eggs

∙ Pastries ∙ Vanilla ∙ Dryers ∙ Ovens ∙ Kitchen clothing "French products are appreciated because of their quality, traceability and the European standards and halal certifications," concludes Solimane. CANADA Reporting significant growth in the number of participating companies this year, the longstanding Canadian pavilion is hoping to further penetrate the UAE market, bringing with it a focus on agrifood and specialty gourmet products. Over 70% of Canada's agriculture and agrifood is exported, making the region one of the top global agriculture exporters and, as import demands across the ME heighten, Canadian companies believe that their high quality, diversified products will cater to the local market well. "Canada is very excited about its exhibitor contingent at Gulfood 2014. The Canada Pavilion has almost doubled in size over 2013, illustrating the rapidly growing importance of the Middle East to Canadian food producers. This year we have 46 companies exhibiting, including a large contingent of beef exporters under the umbrella of Canada Beef International," said Benjamin Berry, Deputy Director Trade Show Strategy & Delivery, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Visitors will find companies such as: ∙ Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Providing information, research and technology, as well as policies and programmes to achieve security of the food system. ∙ Berg Water: Natural Canadian water. ∙ Canada Beef: An organisation representing the research, marketing and promotion of Canadian beef worldwide. ∙ Edde Almond Paste: Manufacturers of a full line of bakery ingredients.

FEATURES / product focus

We tend to think of mayonnaise as an accompaniment to salads or as a dressing on sandwiches, but its uses in the kitchen can be much more versatile. Here, courtesy of Unilever Food Solutions, are three recipes using Hellman’s Mayonnaise.

SMOKED SALMON PIZZA WITH FUSION DILL TARTAR SAUCE SERVES 1 INGREDIENTS Pizza dough Fusion tartar sauce 70g Hellmann’s Standard Mayonnaise 4ml Worcestershire sauce 4g capers, chopped 6g cucumber pickles, chopped 4g Knorr Mise en Place Dill 10g onions, chopped Pizza topping 80g mozzarella, grated

120g smoked salmon, sliced 30g onions, sliced 15g red capsicum, sliced 15g green capsicum, sliced 10g capers 40ml sweet chilli sauce METHOD

∙ Prepare standard pizza dough. ∙ In a bowl, mix the tartar ingredients together. ∙ Roll the pizza dough and then spread tartar sauce on it. Arrange 70% of the mozzarella on top of the tartar sauce, then place the salmon slices, onions and capsicum. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella at the end and then follow with the capers. ∙ Bake the pizza in a pizza oven until cooked and crispy. Drizzle with sweet chilili sauce and serve.

CHICKEN KOFTAS SERVES 10 INGREDIENTS 1.8kg chicken breast, minced 30g Knorr Chicken Bouillon Powder 400g Hellmann’s Standard Mayonnaise 30g cumin 130g onion 25g coriander 10g garlic cloves 100g lettuce 80g parsley 510g small yellow pepper 120g breadcrumbs 1kg small tomatoes 60g sweet and sour sauce METHOD ∙ Pre heat oven to 180C, add 100g of onion, Knorr

Chicken Bouillon Powder, ground cumin, 2/3rds chopped coriander, garlic and breadcrumbs. Mix well, separate them into small rolls and put them in a tray and then bake for ten minutes in the oven. ∙ In a bowl, mix Hellman's Standard Mayonnaise with the rest of the coriander and onions. ∙ Cut five tomato pieces into halves and put this

mixture in each tomato.

∙ Cut the remaining tomatoes into small cubes and mix with parsley. Cut the yellow pepper into halves and put this mixture in each. ∙ Serve on a plate with lettuce and a small bowl of sweet and sour sauce on the side.

Sponsored by:


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

FEATURES / product focus

SMOKED SALMON PIZZA WITH FUSION DILL TARTAR SAUCE SERVES 1 INGREDIENTS 1 tortilla bread 120g chicken breast, skinned and cut into medium cubes 12ml corn oil 8g tomato paste 5ml lemon juice 1g Knorr Aromat 2g Knorr Basillicum & Thyme 15g iceberg lettuce, julienned 15g cucumber pickles, diced 20g tomato, diced 2g mint leaves 40g Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise 8g garlic paste 2g Knorr Basil & Thyme METHOD ∙ Marinate chicken with oil, garlic paste, lemon juice, Aromat and Basil & Thyme. Put on skewers. Refrigerate for one hour. ∙ For the dressing: mix well mayonnaise, garlic paste and Knorr Basil & Thyme. ∙ Grill the chicken skewers on a char grill. ∙ In the middle of the tortilla bread, spread the dressing, top it with lettuce, cucumber pickles, tomato and mint leaves. ∙ Remove grilled chicken from skewers and place it on top of dressing and vegetables in the tortilla. ∙ Roll the sandwich and put in the toaster for a minute. ∙ Serve with fries and salad.

THE HELLMAN’S STORY Hellmann’s products have been staples in kitchens for generations with the brand’s flagship product, Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, a global bestseller. Mayonnaise is said to be the invention of the French chef of the Duke de Richelieu in 1756 who, whilst making a sauce consisting of cream and eggs, substituted olive oil for the cream. The Duke defeated the BRitish at Port Mahon and the sauce was named ‘Mahonnaise’ in honour of the victory. In 1905, German immigrant Richard Hellmann opened up a delicatessen in New York City. His wife’s recipe for mayonnaise was featured in salads and sold in the deli and the condiment quickly became popular. Meanwhile Best Foods introduced mayonnaise to Californian consumers and the two brands became equally successful, with Best Foods acquiring Richard Hellman’s company in 1932. Hellman’s is sold more widely in the world, but the Best Foods recipe is still sold west of the Rockies. Best Foods was

acquired by Unilever in 2000. In 2010, Hellmann’s became the first consumer product of its stature and volume in the packaged foods industry to use 100% cage-free eggs in its Light Mayonnaise.

Two years later, it committed to using cage-free eggs across its entire product line. Once the entire line is changed to certified cage-free eggs, it will impact approximately 1.8 million egg-laying hens.

Sponsored by:


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

Signature plates Would you like to be a part of our exciting, on-going series of recipe supplements, produced in association with RAK Porcelain?            

FEATURES / product focus

Although featuring in the Koran, olive oil still only represents a small portion of the local oil market. One company intending to change that is IFFCO, whose Tunisian subsidiary COGIA is now a regional market leader. We spoke to COGIA’s Directeur Général, Mohamed Nejib Attia, about the benefits of Tunisian olive oil.


ohamed Nejib Attia, DG of COGIA (Compagnie Générale des Industries Alimentaires), is passionate about olive oil. Working in the business since 1980, he has driven the Rahma brand to market leadership in the Middle East, as well as establishing it in numerous overseas markets. He’s also passionate about Tunisia’s heritage of olive oil production, which he points out predates the Roman occupation by hundreds if not thousands of years. He also believes that olive oil produced outside the Mediterranean is just not olive oil, because the olive is native to this region.

We know olive oil is produced around the Mediterranean, but why do you think Tunisian is special? We have one real advantage - almost 100% of our olive farms are organic and, as standard, we grow them 15 metres apart and use no fertiliser or irrigation. So it’s very natural. We also hand pick the olives instead of using machinery - a tree takes a couple of hours to pick. So SOGIA is a grower? No, our strength lies in selection from around 200 farms. We pick the best farms and, from those

farms, the best olives. Selection is key - of the tree and of the crushed oil. We select oil from four varieties of tree, although 60% comes from one variety because of its light taste and smell. How do you ensure selecting the right oil? As soon as the olives are crushed, we take samples for our laboratory and seal the vats. That way we can ensure that we are receiving the oil that we want. The whole process is fast, so there’s no storage taste or fermentation. The blending process depends on the colour, the taste and the smell of the oil.

Sponsored by:


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

product focus / FEATURES

“Have you ever heard of the Tunisian Diet? No, but everyone has heard of the Mediterranean Diet and how healthy it is because of the use of olive oil.”

So it’s harder to sell in this market? I think so, as many consumers are not used to olive oil and are price resistant. That’s why it’s important to stress the very real health benefits of olive oil. But even in markets where you think olive oil rules, like Italy, there’s normally an equal split between olive and vegetable oils. What is pomace oil? A normal tree will yield about 70kg of fruit and somewhere between 20 and 25% of that is oil. To extract as much as possible, after the normal pressing the pulp has a liquid solvent added and is then heated to extract an extra 3% of oil. It’s not sold retail but some restaurants do use it for cooking. It’s a small part of our business, about 3% of total production. That’s how you maintain consistency from batch to batch? Yes. We also vary the blends depending on the markets with the one we sell in Tunisia being the fruitiest. We use different blends for our main markets of the GCC, Europe, the USA and Asia.

You’re not hiding the fact, but your marketing does stress that Rahma is Mediterranean rather than Tunisian. Why? Have you ever heard of the Tunisian Diet? No, but everyone has heard of the Mediterranean Diet and how healthy it is because of the use of olive oil.

For this market? Because of the population mix here in the GCC, we sell a medium mix because, in general, Asians want and are used to a cooking oil with little or no smell or taste, unlike Europeans who want the taste to remind them of the fruit.

And the future for the brand? We’re looking at selling olives, as well as producing our own vinegar. Now we’re the leading brand in the GCC, we’re expanding other markets - for example, sales to Africa only account for about 5% of our business so there’s good growth potential

KNOW YOUR OLIVE OILS ∙ Extra virgin olive oil comes from cold pressing of olives, contains no more than 0.8% acidity and is judged to have a superior taste. There can be no refined oil in extra virgin olive oil. ∙ Virgin olive oil has an acidity less than 2% and judged to have a good taste. There can be no refined oil in virgin olive oil. ∙ Pure olive oil is usually a blend of refined olive oil and one of the above two categories of virgin olive oil. ∙ Olive oil is a blend of virgin oil and refined oil, containing no more than 1.5% acidity, commonly lacking a strong flavour. ∙ Extra light olive oil is a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil. ∙ Olive pomace oil is a blend of refined pomace olive oil and possibly some virgin oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be called olive oil.

there. We’re also thinking hard about aromatic oils, but we really want to increase olive oil use in the GCC. At present, it’s about 15% of the market and I won’t be happy until that’s 25%. At present we’re doing market research to understand our customers more and certainly the growth in the number of people eating healthily is very good for our business.

Sponsored by:

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


CHEFS / pimp my plate

CLAM-TASTIC! Take a classic American rustic dish, give it to a Vietnamese chef to reinvent for a Chinese restaurant - what could happen? The result, thanks to Blue Jade’s Chef de Cuisine Ta Van Houng, was a dish so delicious that it could be a classic on the menu at this award-winning Ritz-Carlton outlet.


orn in Vietnam, Chef Ta Van Houng began cooking at the age of six, inspired by his grandmother who taught him to make traditional rice cakes and other home-cooked meals in her kitchen. Since then, his grandmother has always been an inspiration to the chef, playing an integral role in his development as a chef. In fact, the signature dish in Blue Jade - Ginger Sea bass wrapped in lotus leaf - is her specialty dish. With this love of food defined at an early age, Ta Van worked his way up the kitchen ranks with positions in restaurants in Vietnam and hotel chains in Dubai, where he moved to in 2002. Key experiences include heading a Vietnamese restaurant in Dubai and also overseeing the kitchen operation of a fine dining restaurant Blue Jade that serves fusion of European and Asian cuisine. Although Asian dishes are his speciality, his knowledge of European cuisine gives him an edge in producing dish deep in flavour and imagination. But how did he cope with that very American dish, Clam chowder? Originating in New England, the most accepted theory of the name is that it


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

derives from the old French word ‘chaudière’, a cauldron or big cooking pot. Although clams feature in Asian cuisine, many of the traditonal ingredients such as butter, cream and wine do not, nor does the addition of flour to thicken the dish. Ta Van took an approach typical of his style, determined to extract maximum flavour from the ingredients, especially lemograss which features heavily in the cooking liquid for the clams and then the final dish. Substituting coconut milk for cream makes sense, but it was interesting to see that he did include some butter in the dish. Surprising, perhaps, was the length of cooking time for the clams, firstly in extracting the clam juice and then sauteeing the actual chowder. “You need to do this to extract the full flavour,” Ta Van explained and the clams as served were not hard and overcooked but delicious. Had he known the original dish before? “Oh yes, I know this one,” he replied. And would it make it onto the Blue Jade menu? “We have to change the menu every six months so I’m always developing new dishes. This is good, we can use this one,” he said, smiling.

pimp my plate / CHEFS

CLAM CHOWDER SERVES 8 INGREDIENTS 3 dozen clams 1 tbsp butter or vegetable oil 120g salt pork, cubed 2 cups chopped onion 1 tbsp flour 240ml dry white wine, or 2 tbsp of white or cider vinegar, or lemon juice 900g potatoes, peeled and diced 240-480ml water 1 bay leaf 2 sprigs of thyme 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp paprika 250g cups corn 240ml whipping cream 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

METHOD ∙ Rinse and scrub the clams to remove of any dirt. Place clams in a bowl, cover with cold water and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. This will allow the clams to expel some of their grit into the water. Discard any broken clams or clams that are open and do not close when you touch them. ∙ Steam the clams. Place the clams in a large pot and add about a half inch of water to the pot. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Let the clams steam until they all open up, five to ten minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the clams from the pot to a bowl. Strain the remaining clam steaming liquid through a fine mesh sieve to catch any grit and reserve. You should have two to three cups of clam liquid. Separate the clams from the clam shells. Discard the shells. Roughly chop the cooked clams. ∙ Place the salt pork and butter or oil in the bottom of a large, thick-bottomed pot. Heat on medium and brown the salt pork.

∙ Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about five minutes. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir until everything is coated with the flour. Let the flour cook for a minute or two. Slowly add the white wine to the pot, stirring after each addition. ∙ Add potatoes to the pot. Add two to three cups of the strained clam steaming liquid and a cup of water. The liquid should cover the potatoes. If not, add a little more, either water or clam cooking liquid. Add the bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, and paprika. Heat to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for ten minutes, then add the corn and cook for five minutes more, or until the potatoes are cooked through. ∙ While the potatoes are cooking, heat a cup of cream in a small saucepan until steamy. When the potatoes are tender, add the chopped clams and turn off the heat of the soup. Slowly stir in the heated cream. Adjust seasonings. Stir in the fresh parsley.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


CHEFS / pimp my plate

VIETNAMESE-STYLE CLAM CHOWDER INGREDIENTS 1 fresh lemongrass stalk, peeled 1 fresh lemongrass stalk, chopped and crushed 1 tsp butter 340g peeled baking potato, diced 170g chopped onion 85g celery, chopped 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated 1 tbsp shallot, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce 240ml clam juice 130g chopped zucchini 100g chopped clams, drained 2 serrano chili, thinly sliced 180ml light coconut milk 60ml fresh lime juice 2 tsp fresh coriander. chopped 120ml fresh coconut milk METHOD ∙ Boil clams in water with lemongrass. Strain and reserve clam juice. Deshell clams. ∙ Cut lemongrass stalk in half crosswise then coarsely crush using a meat mallet or rolling pin. ∙ Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. ∙ Add potato, onion, celery, ginger and garlic. Cook

for five minutes or until celery and onion is tender, stirring occasionally. ∙ Add in lemongrass, sugar, fish sauce and clam juice. ∙ Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes or until potato is tender.

∙ Stir in zucchini, clams and chili. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.

∙ Stir in coconut milk, lime juice and coriander. Remove from heat.

∙ Remove lemongrass and serve in a young coconut shell.


Step 1: Mise en place

Step 2: Boiling up the clams with lemongrass for clam juice

Step 3: Deshelling clams

Step 4: Adding ingredients

Step 5: Stirring pot

Step 6: Steaming the coconut shell

Step 7: Plating up

Step 8: Final dish


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

Gerald Lawless CEO, Jumeirah Group

Hospitality Business ME magazine The choice of the professionals To advertise please contact: DIRECTOR OF SALES, BUSINESS DIVISION


Sarah Motwali

Julie Caulton


M: +971 (0) 50 678 6182

M: +971 (0) 56 778 9793 Published by

Read every monthly issue free of charge via:

CHEFS / face to face


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

face to face / CHEFS

New name above the door UK chef Darren Velvick is used to working for demanding chefs, with successful positions under both Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing. Now, as the new Chef/Patron at Dubai favourite table 9, he has to deliver on his own promise as well as overcome the market’s understandable disappointment that favourites Scott Price and Nick Alvis has moved on. One week into full-on service when we speak to him, he appears to be winning.


t’s never easy to step into the shoes of another chef, so it must be twice as hard to step into two sets of shoes. Yet Chef/Patron Darren Velvick seems quite calm about his new role as the name above the door at table 9 by Darren Velvick. “Our priority is to reassure customers that this is just a new version of table 9, not a radical departure,” he says. Coming from the same Gordon Ramsay stable as previous chefs in the space - Angela Hartnett when it was still Ramsay’s Verre and Scott Price and Nick Alvis when it eveolved into table 9 by Nick and Scott - diners can expect the same general experience of modern European cuisine, presented in a clean style. Apart from new dishes, of course, the key changes that will emerge are a more imaginative approach to vegetables where they’ll be allowed to shine rather than act just as backup to protein and a reaction to his own personal dislike of tasting menus. He wants to make the restaurant more accessible and welcoming to hotel guests, rather than position it mainly as a destination for Dubai residents. A week in, covers were equally split between the two groups - a dramatic change. And, unlike Scott Price’s role, he is focused purely on table 9 and is not the hotels’s Executive Chef. So early into residence, he is still finding his feet in the city, having moved over mid-December, barely finding time to do more than work and sort out family issues such as researching schools.

So, how are you finding Dubai? It’s a bit of a shock. When I heard about the job, I called up Angela (Hartnett) who I’d worked with. I knew she’d been here at Verre and I asked her what to expect. She laughed and said Dubai changed so fast that her experience woudn’t really help me - I just had to come and see for myself! I came out last August to look around and talk to the Hilton people and then shifted with my family last December.

knew needed attention was pastry and so I also gained a special pastry diploma. In the end, I needed a change and so spent nine months in France, at La Vallée close to Houlgate in Normandy.

Where did your journey to Dubai begin? I gew up in a small village between Reading and Newbury. I don’t want to overstate it but it wasn’t esy for us, but my Mum fed us well at home - all the things that chefs are now going back to like home-grown veg and pies! To get some money, I got a part-time job as a pot washer when I was 14 at a nearby restaurant and slowly got to like the life and food more and more. The chefs were always giving me a variety of things to taste - it was all new to me.

Was that very different from Sevenoaks? I worked very hard. The restaurant was very seasonal so they had to maximise business in the holiday season. The chef was passionate about local produce and I learned a great deal about fish from him. He’d ask me to go to the market with him and we’d arrive there at two or three in the morning, buy stuff and head back to the restaurant and then I’d realise I had a very long day ahead of me prepping! The main lesson I took from him was the importance of utilising products. For example, at the fish market he used to buy up the monkfish heads that people didn’t want in order to utilise the cheeks. Be clever and maximise - a great lesson. After my time there, I had a chance to work in Paris but the job fell through a day or so before I was due to shift there.

I’m guessing your family didn’t really eat out very much? No. In fact, I was 16 before I had my first real meal in a restaurant - at the Savoy! When i got the chance, I joined the historic Royal Oak Hotel in Sevenoaks and sprnt seven years there. I really enjoyed my apprenticeship and studied at Hendon and Slough to get my qualifications. One area I

So what did you do instead? I was reading a trade magazine and in a piece about chefs with Michelin restaurants there was a photograph of a chef on a motorbike - Gordon Ramsay. I didn’t know about him but I thought any chef with a motorbike would be good so this would be 1997 - I wrote to him at Aubergine on the offchance of a job. At the time he was a

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


CHEFS / face to face

consultant shareholder in Teatro and got me into the opening team under Stuart Gillies who was ex-Aubergine. It wasn’t really my style, though, as I was interested in fine dining so it was great to get a message from Marcus Wareing asking me to call him, so I took a job with him at L’Oranger as a commis. That was quite a step down, wasn’t it? One piece of advice I’ve always remembered is ‘try to get to great places’. I’m competitive but not arrogant and it was a good career move to me to get into fine dining, even at commis level. Anyway, after a couple of months, I went with Marcus to Petrus, working up to Head Chef. I really learned about consistency and timing thwre. After that I took over from Angela as Head Chef when Marcus opened a new restaurant, Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley. Eventually, in 2005, I realised I needed a break from 100 hour weeks to spend time with my family and got away from that pressure for eight months. I spent some time helping out at a couple of sites in Brighton and then missed the vibe of London and took jobs first with JP Morgan and then KPMG. Surprisingly, very modern kitchens and I had to do a crash course in modern techniques! We’re now - what? - 2006? Yes. Another call from Marcus to help out with his Gordon Scott opening and In worked in an executive role, supporting and training, that still gave me time with the family. Then back to the Berkeley. By now, I wanted my name above the door and last year my agent asked me if I’d ever considered Dubai. Well, everyone’s heard of the scene here so I came over in August. To be honest, I spent all my time in the hotel and could have been anywhere but I felt at home because the kitchen set-up was what I was used to - that Ramsay heritage. What did you think of the food? At a very high level - to be honest, I was a bit worried! It was a challenge to put my own spin on what Nick and Scott had achieved, but we’ll see some changes here. Not being based here, how did you develop your new menu without access to suppliers? I needed to play the launch menu a little safe, using ingredients I knew were available here from existing suppliers. we’ll develop as we talk to them and get them to source other produce and I really get to grips with the delivery timelines. Of course, all through the autumn I was under pressure to

deliver the menu because Hilton wanted to start marketing the change but, as you know, the lead up to Christmas in the UK is a crazy time for us in the business. But we achieved it and I’m happy. What changes are you envisaging? I want us to attract more hotel guests and one way of doing that will be to deformalise fine dining here. I don’t mean delivering street food but shifting to wooden floors and tables, new less formal tableware, great technique with the food but less stiff service. Very much a Jason Atherton Pollen Street Social feel, I guess. Your approach to food?

“I’m very attracted to the idea of not wasting good produce so one thing you’ll see is using a vegetable in multiple forms and textures on a plate. A cauliflower, say, using the florets and the stalk in very different ways.”


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

As I said, I’m very attracted to the idea of not wasting good produce so one thing you’ll see is using a vegetable in multiple forms and textures on a plate. A cauliflower, say, using the florets and the stalk in very different ways. I’m attracted to the idea of building the protein around one main veg. I’m keen to use as many local ingredients as possible, but I’ve not really had the chance to explore that too much yet, but we’re already using local chickens, tomatoes, fennel and so on. We’ll keep European fish on the menu but I want to see how we can use local fish as substitutes - dory for halibut, for example - as well as local mackerel and so on. So, yes, the style of table 9 will change. Do you see it as a challenge to carry forward the large numbers of diners who were passionate about table 9 with Nick and Scott? Well, the first night we had 40 covers - half as bookings and half as hotel walk-ins. Given our location, that is I think the way forward for us. Diners in Dubai have such a wide choice any restaurant faces challenges but I think Nick and Scott have done a great job and I want to build on that. Just let me catch my breath!

Fine dining? Fine reading! If you work as a chef, restaurant manager, sommelier, banqueting manager or catering manager for a four or ďŹ ve star restaurant in the UAE, then apply for your free monthly copy of The Pro Chef Middle East, the magazine for ďŹ ne dining professionals.

To advertise please contact: Ankit Shukla Sales Director E: M: +971 (0) 55 257 2807 Read every monthly issue free of charge via: www.cpidubai/com and Theprochefme on Facebook Published by

CHEFS / face to face

Staying on top Bucking the market by staying firmly in style year after year, Zuma continues to dominate Dubai’s fine dining scene, constantly busy and continually winning awards for itself and for Executive Chef Reif Othman. We sat down for an overdue chat in his busy schedule.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

face to face / CHEFS


fter winning numerous accolades in his native Singapore, including Top Restaurant Status, Best European Bistro, Best Western Cuisine, Best Casual Dining and a nomination for Executive Chef of the Year 2009/2010, Reif Othman has continued to win awards for himself and Zuma since taking over from Colin Clague, now busy at Qbara. As if that wasn’t enough, he also oversees Zuma Istanbul and the about to open Zuma Abu Dhabi. Zuma continues to be highly successful, but what’s the biggest challenge you face? To keep the quality and the food consistent, that’s the biggest challenge. We have to deliver for our regulars - some of whom are in every night and one even comes ever day for lunch and dinner, returning with his family at the weekend! - by not changing the favourites too much but, at the same time, bringing in new products. We have to be creative - that’s what being a chef is all about and i’m lucky in having a good deal of freedom from Rainer (Becker - Zuma’s founder). Another challenge is training staff to match what we are and we now have on the team chefs from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Italy and Spain. What do you look for when hiring? They don’t have to have our skills but good basic knowledge - knife skills, for example. However, on the sushi counter, we always have Asian staff, mainly Japanese direct from catering college, because anything else wouldn’t look right. We’re going through some changes now with my Sous Chef who’s been with me for four years moving to run the Abu Dhabi restaurant. I’m promoting internally to fill his position. I think continuity is important and staff development is a cycle. What would you do if you left Zuma? I have ideas for my own restaurant, but Dubai is a challenging market with so many branded outlets. Hopefully, I now have a reputation and could open in London. What sort of place would it be? A mixture of pure Japanese and French. As well as working in Singapore, I spent time in Montpelier so know French food. I like the idea of communal dining like back home in Singapore. To me, food has to be not expensive but cooked a la minute. Part of the problem with this market is that people here don’t always understand what they’re eating. Zuma is popular but it’s not what people in Japan would eat. Why is Japanese food so popular? It’s very clean and fresh, straighforward, simple flavours and, I would hope, made from quality ingredients. Of course, not every Japanese restaurant delivers on that, but they should. Do you eat out much? Where do you go? I eat at home a lot. The deal with my wife is that Zuma is my life Sunday to Thursday, then the family

“The thing about food is that, as a diner, you need to trust the food and ensure freshness. Some places - well, I just would not eat there.” Friday and Saturday. On a normal week, the first three days are spent settling down so there’s only a couple of days I can get out. What am I impressed with? Not much really, everything’s copycat instead of new. Dubai needs to move to the next level but that won’t happen until hotel owners and GMs invest more in F&B. At the moment, it’s all about budgets. Most places you go, it’s the same ideas recycled and the food is all the same. You were recently in Ireland. How did you enjoy the trip?

Amazing. I’ve tried beef from all over - Canada, New Zealand, France, German, Italy and so on but the grass-fed beef we use from Ireland has lots of flavour. Our supplier used to be a butcher so he really knows his product. He joined up with a farmer and took his own cattle with him. Ages it just for me for four weeks instead of the usual three and we use a ton of it a month. Other produce from Ireland was incredible - we now import strawberries and oysters. We’re also looking to import blue lobster, as it’s cheaper than from France. And lamb from Connemara. How sophisticated are the Zuma diners? Locals like straightforward dishes so we find regulars and tourists being more adventurous. There’s definitely an education role. I’d like to bring the food level up in Dubai but rents are high. A kind of Japanese tapas bar would be great good food for normal people. Maybe a food truck or a location on the Metro? The thing about food is that, as a diner, you need to trust the food and ensure freshness. Some places - well, I just would not eat there.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


CHEFS / face to face

Another door opens La Porte Des Indes, a critically acclaimed Indian restaurant concept with successful existing venues in London and Brussels, as opened at The Address Dubai Mall. What sets it apart from other Indian restaurants is its focus on the food of French colonial India, a part of the country’s history not as well knownas British or Portuguese colonisation. Group Executive Chef Mehernosh Mody oversaw the opening, but still found time to talk to us.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

face to face / CHEFS


iterally meaning ‘Gateway to India’, the inspiration behind La Porte Des Indes reflects the cuisine of the French influenced dishes representative of Pondicherry, a former French colony. Group Executive Chef Mehernosh Mody spent months in Pondicherry, before the first London branch opened in 1996, where he fully immersed himself in the traditional French-Creole communities researching guarded recipes from French, Tamil and Creole families. Last year Chef Mody won the Craft Guild of Chefs Ethnic Chef award, a long way from his Parsi roots in Bombay.

Did you enjoy food as a child? Yes and there are still dishes my mother made that I love. I entered the profession really via a mistake. I intered a three year diploma course at the Institute of Catering Technology and Applied Technology in Bombay - sorry, it’s always Bombay to me, never Mumbai - and found I loved it! We had the choice between Front of House or the kitchen and I chose to be a chef I loved the passion and the praise you get from diners. What was your first job? I joined the Taj Group and worked at the InterContinental at Colaba in Bombay. we were

CASSOULET DE FRUITS DE MER SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS: 500g assorted seafood 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 sprig fresh curry leaves 1/2 onion, chopped 200ml coconut milk 2 tsp lemon juice salt to taste fresh coriander, to garnish spice paste

really put through the grind in our first year, starting with the basics, cleaning, scrubbing. After a year, we were judged by other Taj chefs, at which point they’d assign you to a type of cuisine such as Indian or Italian. Did you know other types of food? The area we lived meant I was exposed to lots of different foods from Punjabi to Tamil. In fact, I started with pastry and baking. At first, I didn’t want to do it but after about a year, I loved it! Then I got shifted into banqueting for a year and a half, cooking both Indian and continental food. That initial training period exposed me to

ingredients together until they are homogenous.

INGREDIENTS 4 dry red chilies 2.5cm ginger, peeled and chopped 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 2 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp turmeric 6 black peppercorns 1 tbsp malt vinegar METHOD ∙ For the spice paste, pound or process all the

∙ Shell, trim and clean the seafood as required. Heat the oil in a pan and add the curry leaves followed by the chopped onion. Stir fry until the onion is translucent, add the paste and sautée for two minutes. ∙ Gently mix in the seafood except for the fish and simmer for two minutes. Add the coconut milk, bring it to the boil, add the fish, lower the heat and simmer until the fish is cooked, five to seven minutes. Season with the lemon juice and salt. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


CHEFS / face to face

a lot then, in the late 1980s, I got a completely different perspective working in a high-end French restaurant - different produce, French chefs and the language problems. But that led you to La Porte des Indes? I had an approach from Blue Elephant (the parent company) and moved to London. They sent me out to eat as a market survey. Maybe we were fools: a French name, in England with Indian food! Initially it was bumpy, but I was able to bring many influences to bear. Indian food is so diverse, just with differences in the tempering I can make you 20 different dhals. I always though the venue in a side street near Marble Arch was a strange choice. It was luck. The property, an ex-ballroom, had been empty for two decades and was such a good size that we got 300 covers in.

CRUNCHY CHARD AND WATERCHESTNUT PAKORAS SERVES 8 INGREDIENTS 150g Swiss chard 150g red chard 75g gram flour 20g cornflour 100g waterchestnuts, fresh or tinned 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 1/2 tsp cumin powder 1/2 tsp caraway seeds 1/2 tsp red chilli powder 1/2 tsp salt vegetable oil to deep fry 2 tsp chaat masala powder

METHOD ∙ Remove the stalks of the two chards and shred the leaves finely with a knife. Dice the waterchestnuts into small bits. ∙ Put the chard in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except the chaat masala, mixing them together and adding a little water to form a thick mixture. ∙ Form twelve golf ball-sized balls with the mixture. Heat the oil to 180C and deep fry for four minutes. Remove and drain. Place the balls between two sheets of kitchen paper and press lightly to flatten into round cakes. ∙ Return the cakes to the oil and deep fry again for one to two minutes until crisp. Sprinkle with the chaat masala and serve hot.

With a concept that relies on a small region of India, is it a challenge to keep the menu fresh? Yes, that’s a constant battle. We have a food concept that works, but we’re adding dishes. It’s strange to say but I don’t believe in fusion at all? There are some dishes that we just can’t take off the menu because of customer demand, like poulet rouge. I’d say that the core menu remains, but we’re constantly evolving with new regional specialities also appearing.

THE FRENCH COLONIES The last of the major European powers to trade in India through the French East India Company from the middle of the 16th century. At the creation of the Union of India, there were still five districts: Pondicherry, Karaikal and Yanam on the Bay of Bengal, Mahé on the Arabian Sea and Chandernagor in Bengal. The first four of these now make up the union territory of Pondicherry, now known by many by the Tamil version of the name, Puducherry or ‘New Town’. Pondicherry and Karaikal are the largest sections in terms of territory and population, both being enclaves of Tamil Nadu, whilst Yanam and Mahé are enclaves of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala respectively.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

Check out the all new The only culinary inspiration you'll ever need! Get your BBC Good Food ME foodie fix more often with our revamped website, with a fresh new look, lots of regularly updated content – from recipes to restaurants and videos – including exclusive Middle East content, and all the latest in the world of food. It's everything you love about, given a local flavour!

Log on to win exciting prizes!

7 Thousands of tried & tested recipes 7 Comprehensive restaurant listings and reviews 7How-to videos 7 Inspiring travel, nutrition and lifestyle features 7 Chef interviews 7 Food Club events, competitions, and awards updates Plus lots more...

CHEFS / face to face

How was Pondicherry when you went there the first time to research the cuisine? It was a revelation - one of those parts of Indian history I’d never been aware of. But it was beautiful to see the French presence and influence. More than 60 old ladies who cooked for us. Really interesting to see the difference in the way they cooked and we have credited recipes to them as their essence is in the dishes. It took a year to get the first menu ready, with modern versions and so on. The flavour of Pondicherry is there. Many people would say that the best Indian food is street food and that Indian fine dining

is an odd concept. Your thoughts? I think people are interested in Indian food from a fine dining perspective. It’s a great opportunity to showcase this food in Dubai and, before this, customers from Dubai who ate in our restaurant in London loved the food. How long have you been involved in setting up the team here? Two months or so. we’ve got a great team under Head Chef Vishal Rane. It’s actually more of a challenge to find good staff in London - here we’ve found a good mix of experience and passions are high.

KAMAL KAKRI JAIPURI (CRISPY FRIED LOTUS ROOT) SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 350g lotus roots, carefully washed, peeled and thinly sliced salt to taste 1 tsp red chilli powder 1.5 tsp turmeric powder 3 tbsp gram flour 3 tbsp cornflour vegetable oil, to deep-fry 2 tbsp vegetable oil, to pan-fry 2 red onions, chopped 1 green chilli, finely chopped 1 red chilli, finely chopped 1/2 tsp chaat masala 2 tsp lemon juice 3-4 stems fresh coriander, chopped fresh coriander and fresh red chilie,s julienned METHOD ∙ Dry the lotus slices on kitchen paper and sprinkle them with salt, red chilli and turmeric powders. Leave for two to three minutes, then dust with gram flour and cornflour. ∙ Heat the deep-frying oil to 180C and deep-fry the roots in batches until they are golden brown, about one to two minutes. Transfer to kitchen paper to soak up excess oil. ∙ Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan and put in the chopped red onions over high heat, adding the chillies after a few seconds. Toss for half a minute, then mix in the lotus root slices and remove from the heat. All the ingredients should be crisp and dry. ∙ Sprinkle over the chaat masala, lemon juice, coriander and salt to taste. Serve hot with coriander and red chillies julienned as garnish.

STAR ANISE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE SERVES 6 INGREDIENTS 4 egg yolks 30g sugar 200g finest quality dark chocolate 60g butter 1.5 tsp star anise powder 6 egg whites 15g white chocolate 1 tbsp thick cream METHOD ∙ Whip the egg yolks and 15g of the sugar together in a mixing bowl until you have a consistency that forms a ribbon when poured. Melt the dark


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

chocolate and three-quarters of the butter in a bain marie to make a smooth emulsion. Add the star anise powder. Fold the emulsion into the eggs and sugar mixture. ∙ In another bowl whip the egg whites, adding the rest of the sugar at the half way point and continue until the mixture can form stiff peaks. Set aside two tablespoons and fold the remainder very gently into the dark chocolate mixture in the first bowl so that it retains as much air as possible. ∙ Melt the white chocolate with the remainder of the butter, add the thick cream and fold in the remaining egg whites. ∙ Divide the dark chocolate mousse between six ramekins or glasses and top with the white chocolate mousse.

CHEFS / recipe corner

New year, new tastes Just in time for the Chinese New Year, the Ba Restaurant and Lounge at Fairmont The Palm is being touted as a mix of pure Chinese and contemporary dishes representing eight regions of the country through Chinese chefs from those regions. The concept of Ba derives from its name which stands for the number eight in Chinese culture, standing for luck, prosperity and wealth. It has eight signature dishes, eight tapas dishes and eight signature cocktails, developed by Hong Kong born Master Chef Lau Pak Wai who previously worked in Asia for Mandarin Oriental and Hyatt.

BRAISED LO HAN WITH VEGETABLES AND WILD MUSHROOM INGREDIENTS 5g carrot 15g bamboo shoot 20g bean sprout 60g choy sum


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

10g black and white fungus 10g wild mushroom 50ml chef’s special sauce 5g chicken stock cube 3g sugar 3g salt 8ml oyster sauce 10ml oil


∙ Preheat the oil to 90C in a wok. ∙ Mix all vegetables and cook for 20 seconds in boiling water. Pour into a strainer. ∙ Stir fry all the vegetables in the wok adding the salt, chicken powder, sugar and oyster sauce. Check for seasoning and serve immediately.

Note: Always serve the vegetables with a crunch preserving all the flavour and natural nutrients. When cutting the vegetables use various shapes and sizes to create volume in the plate.

recipe corner / CHEFS

CLAY POT BEEF BRISKET WITH RADISH INGREDIENTS 100g white radish 200g beef 10ml oyster sauce

5g salt 10g sugar 10ml dark soy sauce 10ml hoisin sauce METHOD

∙ Place the white radish and beef

brisket in a bowl and steam for one hour turning the mixture from time to time to ensure even cooking. ∙ Remove from the steamer and place in a wok. Braise with the radish, salt, sugar, dark and hoisin sauce for ten minutes.

∙ Serve in an earthenware clay pot Note: This can be prepared the previous day and just reheated as required.

CASHEW NUT AND VEGETABLE CHOW FAN INGREDIENTS 10g honey beans 10g carrot 5g winter mushroom 10g sweet corn 10g cashew nut 20g lettuce 300g rice 3g salt 5g chicken powder 5ml soy sauce 10ml oil 5g green onions, chopped

METHOD ∙ Steam the rice and set aside. ∙ Preheat the oil in the wok to 90C then stir fry all vegetables, swiftly adding the chicken powder and salt,

then set aside.

∙ Clean the wok and heat more oil to 90C. Add the rice and keep it moving in the wok so it doesn’t stik. Add the precooked vegetables, soy sauce and

salt, cooking together.

∙ Season and serve in a rice bowl, adding green onions.

∙ Garnish with spring onions.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


CHEFS / recipe corner

CRISPY ROAST PORK BELLY WITH MUSTARD DIP INGREDIENTS 100g pork belly 20g Dijon mustard 20g tamarind 10g sugar METHOD ∙ Take one fleshy piece of pork belly, score lightly on the skin and immerse entirely in oil at 180C, effectively deep-frying. ∙ Cut into small square bite-sized pieces. ∙ Serve with a tamarind sauce, Dijon mustard and a touch of sugar.

STIR FRIED KALIAN INGREDIENTS 150g kalian, trimmed of outer leaves and cut into stalks


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

5g garlic, crushed 2g salt 5g chicken powder 5g sugar 5g garlic, fried

METHOD ∙ Preheat 10ml of oil to 100C then stir fry the kalian with garlic. Add salt, chicken powder and sugar. ∙ Remove cooked kalian - do

not overcook! - and dress with uniformity on a plate. ∙ Finish the dish with some fried garlic chips to taste.

CHEFS / recipe corner

JAPANESE NEGRONI INGREDIENTS 25ml Nikka from the Barrel whisky 15ml Campari 15ml Martini rosso 25ml Choya Umeshu (plum liqueur)

METHOD ∙ Pour the ingredients into a Boston glass and stir the mix until the last ice cube touches the liquid. ∙ Pour it in a rock glass over chunks of fresh ice and garnish with grapefruit peel.

HIBISCUS AND LEMONGRASS ICED TEA INGREDIENTS 5g lemongrass, chopped 20ml hibiscus and berry tea infused syrup 45ml pomegranate juice 20ml lemon juice


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

METHOD ∙ Muddle the lemongrass in a Boston shaker. Add hibiscus and berry tea infused syrup, pomegranate juice and lemon juice. Shake well with ice cubes. ∙ Strain the mix in a hi-ball glass over fresh ice then garnish with crushed ice and a lemongrass stick.

recipe corner / CHEFS

Classic Italian BiCE Ristorante in Hilton Dubai Jumeirah is a longstanding favourite of Italian food lovers. Head Chef Cosimo Danese, Head Chef was born in Southern Italy, studied in London and then worked at Michelin starred The Connaught under Angela Hartnett before opening his own restaurant in Valencia before joining BiCE as Sous Chef. He has been in charge of the kitchen since October 2010, taking over from Andrea Mugavero.

BURRATA CHEESE ON ZUCCHINI CARPACCIO INGREDIENTS 400g burrata or mozzarella 600g green zucchini 250g cherry tomatoes 20g dry oregano 100g rocket 50g sunflower seeds 20g fresh basil 100ml olive oil 30g salt 50ml balsamic cream


∙ Slice the green zucchini very fine on the longer side. On a hot grill, mark the zucchini for about one minute on each side. Place the grilled zucchini on a flat plate, dust with dry oregano, salt, olive oil and balsamic cream. ∙ Place a small bunch of rocket salad and cherry tomato on top of the zucchini and add the cheese. ∙ Serve immediately, garnishing the dish with sunflower seeds and a fresh basil leaf.

PACCHERI WITH CANADIAN LOBSTER INGREDIENTS 400g pasta - paccheri, penne or rigatoni 600g Canadian lobster 100g black olives, pitted 200g cherry tomatoes 20g garlic 20g parsley 20g salt 100ml water 30g red chilli 60ml olive oil


∙ In a saucepan heat the olive oil. When hot add the garlic and fresh chilli. Saute for one minute and then add the lobster and cook until it is golden. ∙ Add the fresh cherry tomatoes, black olives, water, salt and pepper and finish to cook the sauce for about ten minutes. ∙ In a large pot boil five litres of water, add salt and cook the pasta for ten minutes. Then remove the pasta from the water and add to the sauce, cooking for another two minutes. ∙ Remove from the heat, add the parsley and serve in a hot pasta bowl.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


LEISURE / travel

THE NEXT BIG THING… Touted as the next cuisine to break through on the global stage, the food of Peru benefits from a multi-climate landscape, a host of indigenous 'super foods' and a centuries-old tradition of fusion. And now the country has won the title of World’s Leading Culinary Destination at the World Travel Awards 2013.


eru's eclectic cuisine has earned acknowledgement as one of the world's finest and has taken home the award for the second year in a row, beating Australia, China, France, India, Italy, Japan. The cuisine, the result of a nearly 500-year melting pot of Spanish, African, Japanese and Chinese immigration and native culture, is on the lips of top chefs worldwide. Peruvian cuisine is the big international food trend for 2014. Over 40,000 restaurants across Peru reflect the diversity of a nation that offers an exciting mix of its native traditions and the cuisines from around the globe. Capital Lima has the best restaurant in Latin America, which is also ranked 14 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant List 2013. And almost half of all tourists visiting the country say that the cuisine is one of the aspects that most influences their choice of Peru as a tourist destination. So what is Peruvian cuisine? Firstly, it reflects local practices and ingredients from both the indigenous Inca and waves of immigration. It’s built on three staples: corn, potatoes, and chili peppers. As well as basic foods brought in by the Spanish - such as wheat, rice, beef, pork and chicken - it’s increasingly identified today by the rediscovery of traditional foods - such as quinoa, chili peppers and a variety of tubers. Critically, Peru is thought to be an important centre for the genetic diversity of the global crops. For example, over 99% of all cultivated potatoes worldwide are descendants of an Andean subspecies, which has developed into thousands of varieties. The sweet potato is native to Central America and was first domesticated there at least 5,000 years ago. And, from Peru, the Spanish brought to Europe foods that would become global staples from potatoes to beans.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

TIRADITO SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 850g sole 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1 1/4 cup olive oil 5-6 garlic cloves 3 aji limo chili peppers 3 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp key lime juice 1 1/4 tsp pepper 3 1/4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped 1/2 cup boiled corn niblets METHOD ∙ Clean the fish and cut into very thin strips. Mix the rest of the ingredients, except the corn, in a blender. ∙ Arrange the fish strips onto a platter and pour the sauce over them. Serve with the corn niblets.

travel / LEISURE

CRAB CAUSA SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 900g Yukon gold yellow potatoes 4 tbsp key lime juice 2 tbsp vegetable oil 4 tbsp ground aji amarillo chili salt and pepper 350g crab pulp

4 tbsp mayonnaise 2 tbsp key lime juice cayenne pepper powder 1 avocado, sliced fresh parsley METHOD ∙ Boil the potatoes and, while still hot, peel and mash them. ∙ Let them cool and then add the lime juice, aji amarillo

pepper, oil, and salt. Mix well using your hands.

∙ Mix the pulp, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt and cayenne pepper.

∙ In a baking tin, fill the bottom with a layer of mashed potatoes (causa), on top of that a layer of crab meat and on top of that another layer of causa. ∙ Place a layer of avocado slices and season with salt and the lime juice. Finally, cover that with another layer of causa.

PAPA A LA HUANCAIÃÅNA SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 2 yellow potatoes, boiled and peeled 2 huayro potatoes, boiled and peeled 2 white potatoes, boiled and peeled 1/2 onion, thickly julienned 200g fresh Serrano cheese 3 ajiÃÅ amarillo chili peppers, seeded and deveined 1/2 cup milk 1/4 cup oil 1/2 key lime, juiced 2 hard boiled eggs, halved 4 black olives 1/2 cup boiled corn niblets lettuce leaves salt METHOD ∙ Slice the potatoes thickly. Sautée the onions until they turn brown. Blend the cheese, onions, chili peppers, milk, and oil until it is a consistent cream. Season with salt and lime juice. Serve over the potato slices with a hardboiled egg half, an olive, corn niblets and lettuce.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


LEISURE / travel

SUSPIRO LIMENÃÉO SERVES 6 INGREDIENTS 2 cups evaporated milk 2 cups sweetened, condensed milk 10 egg yolks, beaten 1 1/2 cups sugar


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

1 cup port 5 egg whites, beaten stiff 1 tbsp cinnamon powder METHOD ∙ Pour both types of milk into a saucepan and simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until they thicken to the point where you can see the bottom

of the pan. Remove from the heat and slowly pour in the egg yolks. Stir vigorously and set aside to cool. Pour into cups. ∙ Make a thick syrup with the sugar and port, then slowly trickle the hot syrup into the egg whites. Stir constantly until this cools and becomes meringue. Decorate the top of the suspiro with the meringue and sprinkle the cinnamon over the top.

travel / LEISURE

AJI DE GALLINA SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 1 chicken breast 1 laurel leaf 2 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, celery and leeks) 1 mini baguette 2 cups milk 1/4 cup oil 1 onion, chopped 4 garlic gloves, minced 1/2 cup aji amarillo chili pepper cream

1/4 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 4 yellow potatoes, boiled and sliced 4 black olives 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered salt and pepper METHOD ∙ Boil the chicken breast in water with salt, the laurel leaf and mixed vegetables. When cooked, remove the chicken but keep the broth for later. Tear the

chicken into thin strips. Tear the bread into pieces and moisten in the milk. Set aside. ∙ Place 5 tbsp of oil into a saucepan and sautée the onion and garlic with the aji amarillo pepper cream, cumin and turmeric. Add small amounts of broth and the bread. Remove from the heat and mix this in a blender. Put it back into the saucepan, stirring constantly and adding more broth. Season with salt and pepper, pour in the remaining milk and simmer. Put in the chicken strips and pecans, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top, and cook until done. ∙ Serve over the potato slices, decorating with the black olives and hard boiled eggs.

CEBICHE SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 720g fresh sole fillets 12 key limes, juiced 2 aji limo chili peppers, deseeded, deveined and cut into strips 2 purple onions, thinly sliced 450g sweet potatoes, boiled 225g corn niblets, boiled 225g corn niblets, toasted fresh cilantro METHOD ∙ Cut the fillets into medium-sized cubes and place into a bowl. Season with salt and add the onions and chili peppers. Mix well. Add the lime juice, mix again and let stand for one minute. ∙ Serve with the ice, corn niblets and sweet potato. Decorate with chili peppers and cilantro.

February 2014 / The Pro Chef Middle East


LEISURE / the last word

Meet the board Now that The Pro Chef Middle East celebrates its second birthday, we thought the time was right to invite a number of respected and experienced members of the F&B world to form an editorial board to help guide us into the future. These are people whose opinions I value and who have already contributed to the magazine. This more formal relationship is one way of thanking them.

MARC GICQUEL Regional Director of Food & Beverage, Arabian Peninsula Hilton Worldwide Born and educated in France, Marc Gicguel has wide experience of different parts of the F&B sector, from Disneyland Resort Paris to Jumeirah Restaurants and Nestlé Professional before joining Hilton Worldwide.

CHRISTIAN GRADNITZER Corporate Director Culinary Jumeirah Group German-born Christian Gradnitzer moved a couple of years back from kitchens to management and is now a key element in Jumeirah RnB’s strategy to establish Jumeirah Group as a leading operator of successful restaurants and bars globally.

MICHAEL KITTS Director of Culinary Arts and Executive Chef The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management UK chef Michael Kitts’ career has combined distinguished work in kitchens, global competition success and a major focus on mentoring younger chefs, all of which make his current job an ideal fit.

UWE MICHEEL Director of Kitchens, Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek President, Emirates Culinary Guild German chef Uwe Micheel is a highly visible member of the regional F&B scene with two decades of experience in the Gulf and a key role in driving the success of UAE-based chefs at culinary competitions worldwide.

MARK PATTEN Senior Vice President, Food & Beverage Atlantis, The Palm Dubai In place at Atlantis since pre-opening in 2007, Australian native Mark Patten has had a highly successful and celebrated career across the world. He now oversees more than 400 chefs and numerous outlets at the resort.

SAMANTHA WOOD FooDiva A distinguished ex-Hilton PR executive, British-Cypriot Samantha Wood now combines food journalism, hospitality consulting and the highly acclaimed FooDiva food blog.


The Pro Chef Middle East / February 2014

ANNA Meet us @

Hall 1, B1-2 GULF FOOD SHOW 23 - 27 FEB 2014, DUBAI, UAE

The Pro Chef Middle East - February Issue, 2014  
The Pro Chef Middle East - February Issue, 2014